On January 3, 1833, the Malvinas Islands were illegally occupied by British forces that expelled the Argentine population and authorities legitimately established there, replacing them with British subjects. Since the beginning of its emancipation process, the Argentine Republic, as legitimate heir to the continental, island and maritime territories that had belonged to Spain, exercised its sovereignty over these archipelagos and maritime areas through various acts of government, including the appointment of authorities, the solemn taking of possession of the Malvinas Islands in name of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and the first raising of the Argentine flag on that soil. The year 2020 marks the 200-year anniversary of that event. The British act of force that culminated in the illegitimate occupation of the Malvinas Islands was immediately protested by the Argentine authorities at the time and was never consented to by any Argentine government. Throughout the 188 years of usurpation, Argentina maintained uninterruptedly the firm claim to exercise its effective sovereignty over these islands and the surrounding maritime areas.
The recovery of the effective exercise of our sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias, South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime 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 enshrined in our National Constitution and constitutes a State policy.
The call of the international community on the need to carry out bilateral negotiations between the United Kingdom and Argentina in order to find a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute, taking into account the interests of the inhabitants of the Islands, was first made 55 years ago in General Assembly resolution 2065 (XX). This declaration, which recognized the existence of a special and particular colonial situation in the Malvinas Question, was reiterated in subsequent resolutions of the General Assembly and in the annual consensus of the member countries of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization.
Furthermore, the international community has insisted on this call to dialogue through numerous declarations of multilateral fora, such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Group of 77 and China, the Ibero-American Summit, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), the MERCOSUR Parliament (PARLASUR), the Africa-South America Summit (ASA) and the Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA) that have requested the resumption of negotiations as soon as possible.
The refusal to comply with the obligation to resume negotiations over the sovereignty is aggravated, by the continuous introduction of unilateral acts by the United Kingdom. These actions include the exploration and exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources -which Argentina has continuously rejected-, as well as an unjustified and disproportionate military presence in the Islands. All these acts are contrary to resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly and have provoked expressions of concern and rejection by the international community.
Reaffirming its legitimate sovereignty rights, in 2020 the National Congress unanimously enacted three laws that strengthen the work for the Argentine claim. In the first place, the National Council of Affairs relative to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas was created in order to constitute a plural space at the highest institutional level that designs medium and long-term State strategies. Secondly, the demarcation of the outer limit of the Argentine Continental Shelf, consolidating the result of more than two decades work by the Commission on the Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf that had been timely presented before the United Nations. Finally, the fines and penalties for illegal fishing in Argentine waters were raised to discourage poaching and promote the conservation and efficient management of our resources in the South Atlantic.
We reiterate our firm commitment to the peaceful settlement of the dispute and with the full respect for international law and the interests of the inhabitants of the Islands. We also reaffirm our willingness to resume negotiations with the United Kingdom in accordance with the repeated calls of the international community, with the same constructive spirit we maintained in the years that followed the adoption of resolution 2065 (XX), years in which both parties set in motion the mechanisms of negotiation stipulated in said resolution. Furthermore, we ask the United Nations General Secretariat to renew its efforts in the fulfillment of the good offices mission that was entrusted to it by the General Assembly through several resolutions.
188 years after the usurpation of the Malvinas Islands, the Argentine Government and people reaffirm once again their legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.
Buenos Aires, January 3rd, 2021