On 3 January 1833, UK military forces occupied the Malvinas Islands, expelled the population and the Argentine authorities lawfully established there and replaced them with British subjects. The Argentine Republic immediately protested against such unlawful act of force perpetrated by the colonial power, without ever consenting to it.
Britain's unlawful colonial occupation has been further compounded by its provocative and continued disregard for international law, which is manifested through the United Kingdom s persistent refusal to resume sovereignty negotiations pursuant to the United Nations mandate in force, established through Resolution 2065 (XX) and endorsed by nine subsequent resolutions passed by the General Assembly and 31 resolutions passed by the Special Committee on Decolonization, with the most recent one having been adopted by unanimity on 20 June 2013.
The Argentine Government reiterates that the principle of self-determination, which is the only element on the basis of which the United Kingdom attempts to substantiate its position regarding the Malvinas Islands, is totally and manifestly inadmissible and inapplicable to the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. By invoking the principle of self-determination for the purpose of perpetuating a colonial situation, Britain's position seeks to undermine such principle, defeating the purposes for which it was created. None of the requirements that give rise to the application of the self-determination principle are present in the Question of the Malvinas Islands. Britain's position is also contrary to UNGA Resolutions 2065 (XX) et seq., and to the resolutions on the Question of the Malvinas Islands adopted every year by the Special Committee on Decolonization. Moreover, in 1985, on two occasions, the General Assembly expressly rejected the applicability of such principle to the Question of the Malvinas Islands.
In addition to its refusal to engage in dialogue with Argentina on this matter, the United Kingdom maintains its military presence, claiming false needs of defence, and constantly conducts unlawful unilateral activities on the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, such as the granting of permits for fishing and for exploring and exploiting hydrocarbons. These activities are manifestly contrary to UNGA Resolution 31/49, which urges both parties to the dispute to refrain from introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the Islands are going through the process recommended by the General Assembly.
The United Kingdom's colonial attitude is met with Argentina's willingness to engage in dialogue, which the international community increasingly supports. In this regard, the legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty rights of the Argentine Republic over the Question of the Malvinas Islands are firmly supported by the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, as expressed by them at regional and bi-regional fora, such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), MERCOSUR and the Third Africa-South America Summit, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in February 2013. In turn, the Ibero-American Summit, the Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA) and the Group of 77 and China have called on the United Kingdom to resume negotiations with Argentina.
The region has unanimously rejected Britain's military presence in the South Atlantic and has expressed its concern about the unilateral activities referred to above through several declarations at the summits of Presidents of MERCOSUR Member and Associate States, UNASUR, CELAC, the Ibero-American Summit and the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone. This has translated into commitments assumed by UNASUR and MERCOSUR countries to adopt concrete measures to prevent the consolidation of Britain s unlawful unilateral activities in the South Atlantic, and, as recently decided by the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), into the recognition of Argentina's right to pursue legal actions under international law against unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities.
181 years after the usurpation, the Argentine Government reaffirms once again the Argentine Republic's imprescriptible sovereignty rights over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, which are an integral part of its national territory, and reiterates its permanent and sincere willingness to resume the bilateral negotiations process with the United Kingdom, as demanded by the international community, in order to find a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute and thus to put an end to this anachronistic situation.
Buenos Aires, 3 January 2014