10 June: Day of Affirmation of Argentina’s Rights over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands, and the Surrounding Maritime and Insular Areas
This 10 June 2022, the Government and the People of the Argentine Republic commemorate the 193rd anniversary of the creation of the Political and Military Commandancy for the Malvinas Islands and the islands adjacent to Cape Horn by the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires.
On 10 June 1829, the Political and Military Commandancy for the Malvinas Islands was created through a Decree signed by the then Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, Martín Rodríguez, which established that: “The Malvinas Islands and those adjacent to Cape Horn in the Atlantic Ocean shall be governed by a Political and Military Commander appointed immediately by the Government of the Republic.” Thus, a government structure was established, headed by Mr. Luis Vernet, who settled in the islands and publicly exercised his authority and jurisdiction.
In its capacity as heir to Spain’s titles by succession of States, in accordance with the principle of uti possidetis iuri, from the beginning of its independence process in 1810 Argentina permanently exercised its rights over the southern archipelagoes located there.
The first governments of the United Provinces took into account in several administrative acts the Malvinas, which they considered an integral part of their territory. On 6 November 1820, Argentine Navy Colonel David Jewett took possession of the Malvinas Islands on behalf of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, raising the Argentine flag for the first time there. The Argentine government proceeded also to enact legislation and establish legal and administrative structures that consolidated the full exercise of its sovereignty, including the promotion of trade activities and the settlement of population, culminating in the creation, on June 10 of 1829 of the Political and Military Commandancy for the Malvinas Islands and the islands adjacent to Cape Horn.
However, on 3 January 1833, this effective exercise of sovereignty was interrupted by an act of force carried out in peacetime by the United Kingdom, which illegally occupied the islands and expelled the legitimate Argentine authorities settled there and the existing population. This usurpation disrupted the territorial integrity of Argentina, a situation which was immediately rejected and protested, to which no Argentine Government has ever consented in over 189 years.
Since then, there has been a sovereignty dispute between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as recognized by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 2065 (XX), adopted in 1965.
In compliance with the aforementioned resolution, starting in 1966 and for 16 years, both countries conducted negotiations with a view to finding a solution to the sovereignty dispute. However, despite countless invitations from Argentina and the exhortation of the United Nations, the United Kingdom systematically refuses to resume sovereignty negotiations.
For its part, the international community has reiterated the need to resume bilateral negotiations, as stated in 10 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and in 39 resolutions of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, in addition to several declarations of regional and multilateral forums, such as the Organization of American States, the Group of 77 and China, the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), the Ibero-American Summits, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Mercosur Parliament (PARLASUR), the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), the Africa-South America Summit (ASA) and the Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA).
The refusal to comply with the obligation to resume sovereignty negotiations is aggravated by the continuous introduction of unilateral acts by the United Kingdom. These actions include the exploration of non-renewable resources and the exploitation of renewable natural resources, which Argentina has consistently rejected.
In addition, the United Kingdom maintains an unjustified and disproportionate military presence in the Islands, with which it regularly conducts military manoeuvres and exercises that Argentina has vigorously protested and that a constitute deliberate disregard for the appeals contained in various resolutions adopted by the United Nations and other international organizations.
All these acts are contrary to Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly and have prompted expressions of concern and rejection by the international community.
Argentina observes with concern that even today restrictive migratory policies are being exercised with discretion to limit the possibility of establishing residence, acquiring land, contracting employment or starting commercial or professional activities in the Malvinas Islands, particularly with respect to Argentines from the continental territory.
On the other hand, the unjustified and disproportionate military presence, in particular, also contravenes General Assembly Resolution 41/11 (Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic), which, among other provisions, calls upon States of all other regions, in particular the militarily significant States, scrupulously to respect the region of the South Atlantic as a zone of peace and cooperation, especially through the reduction and eventual elimination of their military presence there.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of resolution 37/9 of the United Nations General Assembly, adopted on November 4, 1982, months after the end of the South Atlantic conflict, which did not alter the nature of the sovereignty dispute, as demonstrated by that resolution. In it, the United Nations, recalling resolutions 2065 (XX) and 3160 (XXVIII), once again requests the governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations in order to find as soon as possible a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute relating to the question of the Malvinas Islands and requests the Secretary-General, on the basis of that resolution, to undertake a renewed mission of good offices in order to assist the parties.
All Argentine democratic governments have continuously rejected the use of force and shown their willingness to engage in bilateral negotiations in order to find a peaceful solution to the dispute, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions and International Law. Pursuant to this mandate, the Argentine Republic once again invites the United Kingdom to resume negotiations on the Question of the Malvinas Islands under the terms established by Resolutions 2065 (XX), 37/9 and other relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, and urges the United Kingdom to cease unilateral activities of exploration and exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources in the disputed area, as established in Resolution 31/49, as well as the unjustified British military presence in the South Atlantic.
The Argentine Republic reaffirms once again its sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, which are an integral part of its national territory. The recovery of the effective exercise of our sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the corresponding maritime and insular areas, in accordance with international law and respecting the way of life of its inhabitants, is a permanent and inalienable objective of the Argentine people, as established in the first transitory provision of our National Constitution.
Buenos Aires, 10 June 2022