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Argentina: Government Accepts UN Mediation in Falklands Conflict

Amidst a climate of rising tensions with the United Kingdom, the Argentinian government has decided to take the conflict over the sovereignty of the Falklands to the UN.

This year the debate on the subject has escalated, with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Prime Minister David Cameron exchanging ever more controversial statements on the subject, and it was the Argentinian government that first took drastic action, closing its ports to ships flying the Falkands flag. The message the President is sending in her speeches and these kinds of decisions is clear: “we will not stop fighting for the Falklands”.

Days later, two months before the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, the Argentinian media reported [es] on the arrival of a British warship to the islands. The ship in question was the HMS Dauntless [es], a destroyer equipped with anti-aircraft missiles. However, despite what such news might suggest, the British government immediately released a statement to clarify why it had sent the vessel.

Timerman-Ban Ki Moon by MRECIC ARG on Flickr. Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Timerman-Ban Ki Moon by MRECIC ARG on Flickr. Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Argentinian newspaper Página/12 reported [es] on it:

El Ministerio de Defensa británico había dado a conocer la información del envío de la nave con un comunicado en el que afirmó que se trata de un “despliegue de rutina” para reemplazar “otro buque de patrulla” en la zona. El parte oficial sostuvo que “la Marina Real ha tenido una presencia continuada en el Atlántico Sur desde hace muchos años” y que “el despliegue del HMS Dauntless al Atlántico Sur estaba previsto desde hacía tiempo”

The British Ministry of Defence had released information on the ship's mission in a press release in which it stated that it was a “routine deployment” to replace “another patrol ship” in the area. The official line insisted that “the Royal Navy had had a continued presence in the South Atlantic for many years”, and that “the deployment of HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic had been planned for a long time”.

Even so, the Argentinian government did not believe their justification, and accused the United Kingdom of militarizing the conflict. Taking the matter a step further, the President announced [es] at a conference that they would condemn the United Kingdom in front of the UN Security Council. Argentinian newspaper La Nación commented on her statement:

“Vamos a plantear fuertemente esta militarización, que implica un grave riesgo para la seguridad global”, agregó Cristina Kirchner. Dirigiéndose directamente al primer ministro inglés, David Cameron, le advirtió: “Que nadie espere de nosotros gestos por fuera de la diplomacia. No nos atraen los juegos de las armas y la guerra”. Y, parafraseando a John Lennon, le pidió que le dé “una oportunidad a la paz” [...]

“We will call attention to this militarization, which poses a grave threat to global security”, added Cristina Kirchner. Addressing the British prime minister, David Cameron, directly, she warned that: “No one should expect our actions to be anything but diplomacy. We see no place for weapons and war games”. And, paraphrasing John Lennon, she asked him to “give peace a chance” [...]

UN mediation

Argentinian Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman took Argentina's concern about the “militarization of the South Atlantic” by the United Kingdom to the UN headquarters. The details of the complaint, which Timerman explained in a press conference, are available to hear in a video posted [es] on Senator Aníbal Fernández's blog [es].

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon expressed his own ”concern about the increasingly strong exchanges” between the two governments, and added that the UN would be prepared to act as a mediator in the conflict, if both parties wished for it to do so.

Finally, on February 13, the Argentinian government made known its approval of this proposal in order to come to a peaceful solution to put an end to the dispute.

The news immediately spread across social networks, and some users expressed their thoughts and opinions about it.

Mauro Román (@maurooroman) said [es]:

Me pregunto muchas veces que pasará con las Islas Malvinas, si la ONU dice que devuelvan la soberanía y no lo hacen que esperan?otra guerra?

I often wonder what will happen to the Falkland Islands, if the UN says they have to give back the sovereignty and they don't do it what do they expect? another war?

Oscar Hector Alva (@OscarHectorAlva) gave his opinion [es] on the stance of the United States:

Cuanto pesará EEUU sobre la ONU en la mediación sobre nuestras Malvinas? Ya dijeron que no hay militarización del Atlántico x parte inglesa!

How much influence will the US have on the UN in the mediation on our Falklands? They've already said that the English aren't militarizing the South Atlantic!

With regards to the conflicts the UN is mediating, Angel Santamaría (@jang3l) noted [es]:

ONU: Malvinas, y Siria. Veamos qué hace en cada caso

UN: Falklands, and Syria. Let's see what they do in each case.

And Selena Desprini (@seledesprini), criticizing the Argentinian government, thinks [es] that:

Hay que ser muy caradura para ir a plantear una denuncia formal a la ONU por las malvinas y no dar una misera pensión a los combatientes.

They must have a lot of nerve to go to raise a formal complaint at the UN about the Falklands but not even give a basic pension to their veterans.

Ami Múgica (@amiimugica), from Rosario, Argentina, made a similar observation, saying that [es]:

En la ONU defienden la soberania de las islas malvinas. Dsp le dan la espalda a los ex combatientes.Los q cuentan son los caidos nomas? #HDP

They're defending the sovereignty of the Falkland islands in the UN. Then they turn their backs on the veterans.Do only the fallen count for something? #SOB

What remains to be seen is how the United Kingdom will respond to the proposal – whether or not it will accept UN mediation in the same way that Argentina has done.

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