The Argentine government accused the United Kingdom of violating UN resolution 3149 after British Deputy Foreign Minister Morton celebrated that the archipelago has been freed of landmines.
This was expressed by the Secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, Daniel Filmus, after the announcement of the British Government that the usurped archipelago is finally free of landmines, 38 years after the end of the war between the United Kingdom and Argentina by the sovereignty of the islands, during thousands of explosive devices were placed.
“For the Argentine Republic, this process had to be done jointly. In fact, based on the agreements for the exchange of notes that Argentina and the United Kingdom made under the sovereignty formula, in October 2001 and in August 2006, a study of feasibility for the removal of antipersonnel mines “, in Malvinas, explained Filmus.
The Foreign Ministry official recalled that this feasibility study was “approved by both governments and presented at the Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention”, held in Jordan in 2007.
However, in 2009 and “without prior notice” the United Kingdom decided “not to comply with the commitments it had assumed” and to undertake demining tasks “illegitimately” on its own, without the participation of Argentina, “Filmus explained. A decision that, he judged, “clearly violates United Nations Resolution 3149, which says that any action done in a disputed area must be done in agreement with the other party.”
In this sense, he recalled that this resolution, unknown by the United Kingdom, covers “from illegal fishing, to the exploitation of hydrocarbons, the installation of the British military base in the Islands and demining.”
Since 2009, Argentina has been presenting at each annual meeting of the Ottawa Convention its formal complaint about the unilateral decision of the British Government to advance in the demining process without Argentine participation, a protest that it will make again at the next meeting of the organization that it begins next Monday, said Secretary Filmus.
In fact, he pointed out, “this same year when the United Kingdom announces the presentation of the final demining report in the Islands, Argentina offers the possibility of doing it jointly so that this report is also verified by the Argentine side, but not yet we had an answer. ”
“There are two very clear UN mandates that the British Government is ignoring: resolution 2065, which indicates that the only form of permanent and peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute is bilateral dialogue, which the United Kingdom has ignored since 1982; and Resolution 3149, which makes both the military base and the exploitation of natural resources illegitimate, and in this case, also demining, “insisted Filmus.
Finally, he argued that Argentina “aspires it the final evaluation can be done in a shared way and in this way fulfill the humanitarian objective of demining and the United Kingdom hears the call of the UN and practically all the countries of the world to restart the negotiations for the Malvinas Islands’s sovereignty.
In a statement issued, the British authorities indicated the removal of the mines laid during the conflict in 1982 implies the United Kingdom “has already fulfilled its obligations under the Convention on the prohibition of antipersonnel mines”.
As reported, the Falklands will be officially declared free of landmines on November 14 in a local celebration, where the islanders will mark the moment with the detonation of the last mine and the cutting of the barriers that will finally reopen their access to the beaches.
Speaking to the press, British Vice Chancellor Wendy Morton said “this is a great achievement for the Islands”, and announced that a tribute will be paid to the demining team.
The demining that began in 2009 was carried out by a team from Zimbabwe, under British supervision.