Friday, October 21, 2005

UN Fourth Committee backs Trilateral approach

United Nations Fourth Committee has slightly altered its annual decision on Gibraltar noting the current tripartite forum which is separate from the Brussels Process.

This was adopted, by consensus, as a draft decision on the ‘Question of Gibraltar’, by which the Assembly would urge the governments of Spain and the United Kingdom, “while listening to the interests and aspirations of Gibraltar, to reach a definitive solution to that question, in light of the relevant Assembly resolutions and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.”

It “welcomed the establishment of a new tripartite forum for dialogue on Gibraltar, under the statement made jointly by the Governments of Spain, United Kingdom and Gibraltar of 16 December 2004, noting that the tripartite forum was separate from the Brussels Process.”

Meanwhile, in the course of debate on the annual statements on self-determination and other issues affecting the listed territories, Argentina said that in accordance with the Plan of Action for the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonisation, decolonisation seminars could only be held in the Pacific, Caribbean and the United Nations. Argentina claimed that the Assembly had recognised that there were territories to which the principle was not the only one that applied, due to territorial disputes.

Regarding the Falkland Islands, he said the principle of territorial integrity, that of Argentina, should be applied according to several Assembly resolutions.

Similarly Spain said that country had joined in the consensus as it supported the principle of self-determination to certain territories included in a draft but that there were other territories, such as Gibraltar, “where other principles, expressed in General Assembly resolutions, should be applied”.

According to the official UN report on proceedings the representative of the United Kingdom said that his delegation supported the consensus on the resolution fully supporting the right to self-determination. However, the language used in this resolution, in particular that referring to the United Kingdom’s overseas territories, had, he said, become increasingly inaccurate over the years.

“The United Kingdom had made many proposals to modify the language used but none had been included,” therefore his delegation would have to consider whether they could continue to support the resolution in future years.

Related Articles and Links:

Full text of the Chief Minister’s address at the United Nations Fourth Committee on Decolonisation - 6 October 2005.

UN Fourth Committee on Decolonisation - Press Release Report - Gibraltar Petitioners tell Decolonization Committee Sovereignty Dispute between Spain and UK should not displace Right to Self-Determination

07 October 2005 - Caruana seeks calls for UN resolution to reflect reality

07 October 2005 - Bossano rounds on Moratinos: ‘Keep your nose out’

06 October 2005 - Bossano will tell UN today of weakness of Spanish claim to Gibraltar

03 October 2005 - Chief Minister lobbying in the UK and UN

1713 Treaty of Utrecht

UN Fourth Committee on Decolonisation

UN Special Committee of 24 on Deconolization (C24)


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