The Question of the Malvinas Islands in International Organizations and other Regional and Bi-regional Fora

The Argentine Republic’s proactive efforts to obtain from the different international organizations and fora which address the Question of the Malvinas Islands an express recognition that the sovereignty dispute includes the three archipelagos is due to the illegitimate adoption by the United Kingdom of measures with respect to the South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands which are different in nature and scope from the (also illegitimate) measures referring strictly to the Malvinas Islands, in spite of the fact that the dispute has always been a single and indivisible conflict with respect to the three archipelagos. The sovereignty dispute over the three archipelagos is reflected in the sovereignty safeguard formula under which Argentina and the United Kingdom have reached provisional understandings regarding practical issues relating to the South Atlantic, as well as in other agreements.

1. United Nations
2. Organization of American States
3. Ibero-American Summits
4. MERCOSUR
5. ALADI
6. South American Summits
7. South American Community of Nations
8. First South American Energy Summit
9. Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
10. Central American Integration System (SICA)
11. Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean (CALC)
12. Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
13. Rio Group
14. Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)
15. South America-Africa Summits
16. Summit of South American- Arab Countries
17. South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone
18. The Group of 77 and China
19. The Question of the Malvinas Islands in the context of the European Union (EU)

1. United Nations

The development of the Malvinas Question in the framework of the General Assembly of the United Nations as from 1945 has been analyzed above.

As from 2004, and by virtue of a process of revitalization of the General Assembly, the Question of the Malvinas Islands appears in the permanent agenda and in the Document of the General Assembly Bureau. The issue may be addressed subject to prior notification by a member State, whereupon it will be automatically included in the General Assembly agenda for the next year.

The President of Argentina always includes a reference to the Question of the Malvinas Islands in his or her address to the General Assembly during the general debate held in September each year.

The UN Secretary-General is in charge of the good offices mission entrusted to him by the General Assembly and supported every year by the Special Committee on Decolonization.

Argentina has reiterated to the Secretary-General, through the highest level of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its interest in such good offices. The latest meetings with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, were held on 24 February and 24 June 2010 in New York, and between 12 and 14 June 2011, on the occasion of his visit to Argentina. In addition, the Argentine President met with the Secretary-General on 14 June 2012, during her visit to New York to address the Decolonization Committee.

It should be recalled that, on 6 April 2011, the Foreign Minister Hector Timerman delivered to the UN Secretary-General a note (A/65/812) signed by the Heads of State and Government of UNASUR member countries requesting that he renew his efforts in the fulfilment of the good offices mission entrusted to him by the General Assembly through successive resolutions aimed at resuming negotiations in order to find as soon as possible a peaceful solution to the dispute.

The Special Committee on Decolonization, currently comprising twenty-nine States, adopts a resolution every year which – among other considerations – requests both Governments to consolidate the present process of dialogue and cooperation through the resumption of negotiations, in order to find as soon as possible a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute.

The draft resolution has been traditionally co-sponsored by the Latin American countries which are members of the Committee: Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador (since 2009) and Nicaragua (2010). Ever since 1996, the draft has been submitted by Chile.

As from 1993, the relevant resolutions are adopted by consensus. These resolutions are referred to the Fourth Committee, where they are adopted together with the Committee’s report which is adopted by consensus without any discussion on the merits.

The Argentine Delegation that participated in the session of the Special Committee on Decolonization held on 14 June 2012 was led by the President of the Argentine Republic, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, This is a historical event, since it is the first time that a Head of State has taken part in the sessions of the Committee.

In her address to the Committee, the President said:

“I have not come alone. I come as the President of the Argentine Republic, accompanied by members of most Argentine political parties represented in Congress. They are here, sitting on many seats. Some are strong opponents of my administration, but they believe that the question of colonialism and the question of the Malvinas Islands are more than just a national matter involving the sovereignty of Argentina. They believe those questions are an affront to the world that we all dream of, that many of us fight for and that so many have died for in the wars of liberation. We do not want any more deaths and we do not want any more wars, because we have suffered them both at home and abroad.

(…)

Argentina is open to negotiations as evidenced in the 1974 negotiation that was interrupted and which, at the same time, implies recognition on the part of the UK that there is a sovereignty dispute. Otherwise, why did the UK government secretly send, through its Ambassador, this document to Foreign Minister Vignes for it to be dealt with by General Perón, who subsequently answered?

(…)

But we come here with no resentment against anyone, without seeking to offend anyone and with the certainty and confidence that we are an open country that will continue to strictly observe UN resolutions demanding that such negotiations be held. Negotiations that, on the other hand, in the upcoming world, where the three pillars will be energy, food and science and technology, the UK should act with more intelligence and not use this matter for the purposes of its own domestic policy. It should act with more intelligence, because a negotiation between both countries to settle many issues would give rise to partnerships that could be beneficial for South America, for all countries and for the world as a whole, because another thing that the advocates of globalization have failed to grasp is that no one will be able to experience a certain situation in isolation, with no impact on others. Just look at what is happening in the global economy.

That is why I am saying that taking the question of the Malvinas Islands as a bilateral, territorial or sovereignty dispute limits the scope. The Question of the Malvinas Islands is something else: it is a challenge, a challenge for ourselves, for multilateral organizations, for governments to be able to overcome prejudice and clichés related to what they no longer are or of what they will never be again, because the world has changed and there are new leading players.

The only thing we expect, Mr. Chairman, is to leave behind this history of colonialism, this anachronistic history and build a new history based on dialogue.

We are not asking for much: just to engage in dialogue. We are not asking anyone to tell us that we are right; we are not asking anyone to say ‘yes, the Malvinas Islands are Argentine.’ All we are asking is for the UK to sit at the negotiating table, no more and no less than that.”

Presentation of the Argentine Government on the militarization of the South Atlantic by the United Kingdom

On 10 February 2010, following instructions from the President of the Argentine Republic, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, made a presentation before the President of the UN Security Council, the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General, warning the international community about the militarization of the South Atlantic by the United Kingdom.

During this presentation, the Argentine Government expressed its concerns about the clearly provocative declarations and decisions adopted by the British Government, including declarations made by senior officers of the Government of the United Kingdom, and the deployment to the Malvinas Islands of Prince William, second in line to the British throne, in his capacity as ranking official of the British Armed Forces, to participate in naval aviation exercises. The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs drew attention to the violation by the United Kingdom of the almost 40 UN resolutions calling for dialogue between said country and Argentina in order to find a peaceful solution to the dispute that started in 1833 with the military invasion of the Malvinas Islands.

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2. Organization of American States

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States passed a resolution every year, between 1982 and 1992, and since 1993, it has adopted a declaration every year which establishes that the Question of the Malvinas Islands is of permanent hemispheric interest; calls upon Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations in order to find, as soon as possible, a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute; expresses its satisfaction at the reaffirmation of the Argentine Government’s willingness to continue exploring all the possible avenues to reach a peaceful solution to the dispute, and, especially, its positive considerations on the inhabitants of the Malvinas islands; and decides to continue to examine the question through to its definitive solution.

The most recent declaration was passed on 5 June 2012, during the 42nd Period of sessions of the OAS. Ever since the 37th period of sessions, the General Assembly has expressly declared that the sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom refers to “the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas”.

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3. Ibero-American Summits

The Ibero-American Summits which gather the Heads of State and Government of the 19 Ibero-American countries and of Spain and Portugal, have reiterated every year since 2000, through a special communiqué, the need for Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume, as soon as possible, negotiations towards a prompt solution to the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, pursuant to the resolutions of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, and the provisions and objectives of the UN Charter, including the territorial integrity principle.

The Communiqué issued at the 21st Ibero-American Summit held in Asunción, Paraguay, on 28-29 October 2011, reiterates the customary declaration and underscores that unilateral activities in the disputed area, which include the exploration and exploitation of renewable and non-renewable resources and the conduct of military exercises – including the launch of missiles from the Malvinas Islands – are contrary to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 31/49 and incompatible with the search for a peaceful and definitive solution to the dispute. Furthermore, it points out the successive United Nations General Assembly resolutions calling upon the Secretary-General to employ good offices efforts aimed at the resumption of negotiations that seek to find a peaceful solution to the aforesaid dispute as soon as possible.

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4. MERCOSUR

On 25 June 1996, MERCOSUR Member Countries, Bolivia and Chile, expressed in the Declaration of Potrero de los Funes their full support for Argentina’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute related to the Question of the Malvinas Islands, thus conveying a clear message from the sub-regional bloc on the need to reach a solution to the dispute. This support continues to be expressed through the Joint Communiqués of the Presidents of MERCOSUR States Parties and Associated States issued every six months on the occasion of the meetings of the MERCOSUR Common Market Council. Since 2005, those communiqués also reiterate that the pretence to consider the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands as countries and territories to which Part Four of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Decisions of the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories implementing it apply is inconsistent with the existence of a sovereignty dispute over such archipelagos.

In addition, MERCOSUR Member and Associated States have stated their rejection to the exploration of non-renewable natural resources on the Argentine continental shelf conducted by the United Kingdom, and have undertaken specific commitments not to facilitate the activities of vessels intended to directly support hydrocarbon activities that affect the rights of the Argentine Republic on its continental shelf, to prevent access to their ports by vessels that carry the illegal flag of the islands, and to transfer information on the matter, for which purpose a mechanism with contact focal points was established to implement the abovementioned commitments. Furthermore, they have expressed on repeated occasions their condemnation of British military exercises on the Malvinas Islands.

At the MERCOSUR Summit held in Brasilia in December 2012, the presidents of the Member and Associated States declared that the referendum that is to take place in the Malvinas Islands, will in no way alter the essence of the Question of the Malvinas Islands, and that the final result of it will not put an end to the sovereignty dispute. They pointed out that in 1985 the United Nations General Assembly rejected by a large majority the incorporation of the principle of free determination into the resolution concerning the Question of the Malvinas Islands.

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5. ALADI

On 18 October 2004, in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) adopted for the first time a declaration whereby it supports the Argentine Republic’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute over the ‘Question of the Malvinas Islands’ and ratifies the “regional interest in finding as soon as possible a resolution to the sovereignty dispute between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands in accordance with the relevant UN and OAS resolutions.

In its Declaration of 2008, the Council reiterated its support for the Argentine sovereignty rights and further highlighted that the adoption of unilateral measures is at odds with the resolutions of the United Nations. Furthermore, in connection with the Treaty of Lisbon modifying the European Union Treaty and the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Council stated that the inclusion of the Malvinas in the “Overseas Countries and Territories Association” regime is inconsistent with the Argentine Republic’s legitimate rights and with the existence of a sovereignty dispute over such archipelagos.

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6. South American Summits

The First South American Summit adopted the following Declaration on the Malvinas Islands: “The Meeting of South American Presidents, held in Brasilia between 31 August and 1 September 2000, confirms that the colonial situation in the Malvinas Islands subsists in the South Atlantic. Convinced that the maintenance of colonial situations is inconsistent with the ideals of peace, security and cooperation in the subcontinent, the Meeting of Presidents agrees on the need for both Parties to resume negotiations in order to find, as soon as possible, a peaceful and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute, in accordance with the relevant UN and OAS Resolutions.” The Third South American Summit, which took place in Cuzco on 8 December 2004, reiterated in similar terms its support for Argentina’s legitimate rights.

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7. South American Community of Nations

The Presidents assembled in the Second Summit of Heads of State of the South American Community of Nations, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on 9 December 2006, reiterated their support for the Argentine Republic’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the Question of the Malvinas Islands and emphatically encouraged the parties to resume negotiations in order to find as soon as possible a fair, peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, pursuant to the relevant resolutions and declarations of the General Assembly, the Special Committee on Decolonization and the Organization of American States.

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8. First South American Energy Summit

The Argentine Government’s decision to terminate the provisional agreement on hydrocarbons was supported by the twelve countries that participated in the First South American Energy Summit held in Margarita Island, Venezuela, in which Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Guyana, Surinam, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia signed on 17 April 2007 the “Presidential Declaration on the Malvinas Islands” for the purpose of reaffirming their support for the Argentine Republic’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom and endorsing the decision of the Argentine Government with regard to the provisional agreement.

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9. Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)

The Presidential Summits of UNASUR, an organization set up in 2008 to replace the South American Community of Nations, have issued since 2009 communiqués reiterating their support for the Argentine Republic’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland regarding the Question of the Malvinas Islands and recalling the permanent regional interest in seeing the Governments of Argentina and of the United Kingdom resume negotiations in order to find a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute, pursuant to the relevant resolutions and declarations of the UN and of the OAS. In that regard, they highlight the permanent constructive attitude and willingness of the Argentine Government to reach a definitive solution to this outdated colonial situation in the Americas. In addition, they state that the inclusion of the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands in the Overseas Countries and Territories Association regime of the European Union is inconsistent with the Argentine Republic’s legitimate rights and with the existence of a sovereignty dispute over such archipelagos.

UNASUR has also expressed its rejection of the unilateral activities being carried out by the United Kingdom in the disputed area, which include the of non-renewable natural resources the Argentine continental shelf and the conduct of military exercises..

In addition, UNASUR Member Countries undertook to adopt, pursuant to International law and their respective domestic legislations, any measures susceptible of being regulated to prevent access to their ports by vessels that carry the illegal flag of the Malvinas Islands, as well as to inform the Argentine Government of any vessels or naval artefacts whose routes include the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and with cargo intended for illegal hydrocarbon and/or mining activities on the Argentine continental shelf, and in this way prevent or avoid the consolidation of such activities.

The Heads of State and Government of UNASUR member countries addressed a note to the Secretary-General of the United Nations requesting him to renew his efforts in the fulfilment of the good offices mission entrusted to him by the General Assembly through successive resolutions aimed at resuming negotiations in order to find as soon as possible a peaceful solution to the dispute.

In November 2012, the Member States of the UNASUR declared that the referendum to be held in the Malvinas Islandswill in no way alter the essence of the Question of the Malvinas Islands, and that the final result of it will not put an end to the sovereignty dispute. They pointed out that in 1985 the United Nations General Assembly rejected by a large majority the incorporation of the principle of free determination into the resolution concerning the Question of the Malvinas Islands.

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10. Central American Integration System (SICA)

At the Extraordinary Meeting of the President of the Argentine Republic and the Heads of State and Government of Central America, the Dominican Republic and Belize, held in San José, Costa Rica, on 4 December 2000, a Joint Declaration was issued, which reaffirms in paragraph 27 the need for the Governments of the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume, as soon as possible, negotiations towards finding a prompt solution to the sovereignty dispute related to the Question of the Malvinas Islands, pursuant to the provisions, objectives and resolutions of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, including the territorial integrity principle.

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11. Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean (CALC)

The Heads of State and Government of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, assembled in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, on 16-17 December 2008, on the occasion of the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development, reiterated that the Question of the Malvinas Islands is an issue of permanent hemispheric importance and reaffirmed the need for the Governments of Argentina and of the United Kingdom to resume, as soon as possible, negotiations on the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, for the purpose of finding a peaceful solution to this prolonged dispute, in the context of the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Special Committee on Decolonization, as well as the repeated resolutions and declarations on the same issue approved by the OAS General Assembly.

In the Joint Declaration on the Argentine Republic’s Legitimate Rights in the Sovereignty Dispute over the Question of the Malvinas Islands, adopted at the Ministerial Meeting of the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 6 November 2009, the CALC reiterated the terms of the summit of Heads of State and Government and stated that the inclusion of the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands in the “Overseas Countries and Territories Association” regime is inconsistent with the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic and with the existence of a sovereignty dispute over those archipelagos.

In addition, within the framework of the Latin American and Caribbean Unity Summit, and in view of the arrival of a new semi-submergible oil platform to conduct exploration activities in the disputed area, the Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean recalled the provisions of United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 31/49, which calls upon both parties to refrain from adopting decisions that entail the introduction of unilateral modifications to the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended by the General Assembly.

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12. Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

Within the framework of Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) The Heads of State and Government of the Member States reiterated their support for the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, and that the permanent interest of the countries of the region is for the Governments of the Argentine Republic and of the United Kingdom to resume negotiations in order to find as soon possible a peaceful and definitive solution to such dispute, pursuant to the relevant pronouncements of the United Nations and of the Organization of American States (OAS), highlighting the permanent constructive attitude and willingness of the Argentine Government.

Furthermore, they reiterated the importance of having both parties refrain from adopting decisions that entail the introduction of unilateral modifications to the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended by the General AssemSbly.

In addition, the Presidency Pro Tempore was instructed to request the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, to renew his efforts to fulfil the good offices mission commissioned by the General Assembly.

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13. Rio Group

The Rio Group has expressed its opinion on the Question of the Malvinas Islands since 1993. It regularly issues declarations supporting Argentina’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas and also expressing that the inclusion of the South Atlantic islands in the association regime of the European Union is inconsistent with the existence of a sovereignty dispute over such islands.

On the occasion of the discussion of the Question of the Malvinas Islands by the UN Committee on Decolonization, the Representative of the country in charge of the Secretariat of the Group in the relevant year participates in the discussions on behalf of the group.

On 15 October 2010, the Río Group issued in Santiago de Chile a Declaration on UK military activities on the Malvinas islands in view of the communiqué forwarded by British military forces to Argentine authorities on 8 October 2010 informing of a project to launch missiles from the territory of the Malvinas Islands. The Río Group rejects the conduct of such exercises as they are at odds with the region’s policy to search for a solution to the dispute through peaceful means pursuant to the calls of the international community and the provisions of UNGA Resolution 31/49.

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14. Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)

On 4 February 2012, the Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) met in Caracas, Venezuela, and adopted a Special Communiqué on the Question of the Malvinas Islands reiterating their support for Argentina’s legitimate sovereignty rights in the dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, and calling for a peaceful and definitive solution to the dispute. They further noted the permanent constructive attitude and willingness of the Argentine Government, and called upon both parties to refrain from introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended. In addition, they supported the decision by the countries of the region to prevent access to their ports by vessels carrying the colonial flag imposed on the Malvinas Islands.

On 10 March 2013, the countries of ALBA issue a special communiqué which expresses their firm rejection to the vote which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland staged among the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands on the political status of the archipelago, “ignoring the historical rights of the Argentine Republic on the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich and surrounding maritime areas.”

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15. South America-Africa Summits

The Second South America-Africa Summit was held in Margarita Island, Venezuela, on 26-27 September 2009, and a declaration was issued there urging the United Kingdom and Argentina to continue negotiations in order to find a fair, peaceful and definitive solution to the dispute over the sovereignty of the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and other regional and international organizations.

The Third Summit of this forum, which took place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 20 to 22 February 2013, gave its support to the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute on the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

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16. Summit of South American- Arab Countries

Since 2005, of the 3rd Summit, held in Lima, Peru, in October 2012, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States also stated that the exploration of non-renewable resources on the Argentine continental shelf conducted by the United Kingdom is incompatible with the provisions of UNGA Resolution 31/49, and called upon the United Kingdom to refrain from conducting military exercises in territories that are subject to a sovereignty dispute acknowledged by the United Nations.

In the Declaration of the 3rd Summit, held in Lima, Peru, in October 2012, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States also stated that the exploration of non-renewable resources on the Argentine continental shelf conducted by the United Kingdom is incompatible with the provisions of UNGA Resolution 31/49, and called upon the United Kingdom to refrain from conducting military exercises in territories that are subject to a sovereignty dispute acknowledged by the United Nations.

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17. South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone

The South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone was established in 1986 by the countries of the western coast of Africa and those bordered by the South Atlantic in Latin America. The 24 countries seek forms of regional integration and cooperation. At the meeting held in Luanda, Angola, on 18-19 July 2007, they issued a declaration calling upon Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations pursuant to Resolution No. 2065(XX) of the General Assembly and other relevant UN resolutions in order to find as soon as possible a peaceful and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute.

At the 7th meeting of “the Zone”, that took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 15-16 January 2013, the member countries viewed with concern the development of illegitimate hydrocarbon exploration activities in the area under dispute, as well as the reinforcement of the military presence by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the area, in violation of UNGA Resolution 31/49, which requires both parties in the sovereignty dispute to refrain from taking decisions that would imply introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended by the General Assembly resolutions.

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18. The Group of 77 and China

A declaration was issued by the Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77 Member Countries and China, assembled in Doha, Qatar, on the occasion of the Second South Summit held on 14-16 June 2005, reaffirming the need for the Government of the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume negotiations, pursuant to the principles and objectives of the UN Charter and the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, in order to find, as soon as possible, a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute related to the “Question of the Malvinas Islands”, which seriously affects the Argentine Republic’s economic capabilities.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77 and China met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 23 September 2011 on the occasion of their Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting adopted a similar Declaration stressing, in addition, the need for both parties to refrain from taking decisions that would imply introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended by the General Assembly.

The 132 Member States of the Group of 77 and China included a paragraph with similar content in the Final Declaration of the Group, adopted by consensus during the 23rd United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, held in Doha, Qatar, from 21 to 26 April 2012.

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19. The Question of the Malvinas Islands in the context of the European Union (EU)

The Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the Argentine Antarctic Sector are not European Union overseas territories.

The 1957 Rome Treaty, which established the European Economic Community (EEC), laid down in its Fourth Part special provisions regarding the association of certain non-European overseas countries and territories (OCT) listed in the then-current Annex 4 (Annex II in subsequent Treaties).

The UK Accession Treaty to the European Community, which entered into force on 1 January 1973, incorporated the British overseas countries and territories into the Annex, including the Argentine territories “Malvinas Islands and their dependencies” (South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands) and the so-called “British Antarctic Territory.”

Argentina’s initial complaint was made on 6 July 1972 before each of the Member States signatories to the UK accession treaty to the European Communities (EC), expressing its reservation with regard to the inclusion of parts of the Argentine territory in Annex 4 to the Rome Treaty.

The aim of this association, which has remained the same to this date, is to promote the economic and social development of the overseas countries and territories and the establishment of close economic relations between them and the European Union as a whole.

This association regime is only applicable to non-European countries and territories that maintain special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. OCTs (including the Argentine territories illegitimately occupied by the United Kingdom) are not part of the European Union, nor of its territory, and, therefore, they are not subject to EU law. They are only associated with the EU by virtue of the special relations they maintain with the above-referenced countries.

The “Treaty of Lisbon” introduced certain modifications to the existing treaties (the European Union Treaty and the Treaty establishing the European Community), which are still in force. The reformed treaties are respectively known as the Treaty on European Union and Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and do not have constitutional status.

With regard to the treatment of the “Association of Overseas Countries and Territories”, the Treaty of Lisbon only introduced non-substantive modifications to bring the text of those articles into line with the rest of the articles. Therefore, there were no changes in the treatment or in the list of OCTs and that is why Argentina’s complaint subsists.

On the occasion of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, on 1 December 2009, Argentina made new submissions rejecting the pretence to include portions of the Argentine national territory – the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the Argentine Antarctic Sector – in the list of territories to which the association rules provided for in the Fourth Part of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union apply (Annex II of such Treaty).

The Argentine territories that are subject to the sovereignty dispute acknowledged by the United Nations are in a special situation, which differs from that of other Overseas Countries and Territories and must therefore be reflected in the treatment given by the European Union, because their future is inextricably linked to the settlement of that sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom.

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