Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Territorial disputes: Falkland/Malvinas islands (Part 3) [Post 23]


What do Falklands/Malvinas islanders want?
The Falkland/Malvinas islands as a territorial dispute has many issues at stake. Potentially, there are many remedies that could be applied. The previous post presented an article (its abstract) which summarizes the situation and the official position of all three involved parties: Argentina, the Falkland/Malvinas islands, and the United Kingdom.

Today’s post centers the attention of one of these parties: people. What do Falklands/Malvinas islanders want?
In March 2013, the Falkland/Malvinas Islanders voted in a referendum whether they wanted (or not) to remain as British Overseas Territory. By a large majority (99.8%) they made clear their wishes to remain British.
  • The number of ballot papers issued was 1,522
  • The number of votes cast at the referendum was 1,518
  • The total number of rejected ballot papers was 1
  • The total number of votes validly cast at the referendum was 1,517
  • The percentage of turnout at the referendum was 92%
  • The number of “Yes” votes cast was 1,513 (99.8%)
  • The number of “No” votes cast was 3 (0.2%)


There was only one question with an explanatory preamble that read:
The current political status of the Falkland Islands is that they are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.  The Islands are internally self-governing, with the United Kingdom being responsible for matters including defence and foreign affairs.  Under the Falkland Islands Constitution the people of the Falkland Islands have the right to self-determination, which they can exercise at any time.  Given that Argentina is calling for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, this referendum is being undertaken to consult the people regarding their views on the political status of the Falkland Islands.  Should the majority of votes cast be against the current status, the Falkland Islands Government will undertake necessary consultation and preparatory work in order to conduct a further referendum on alternative options.
Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?
YES or NO

For more information about this referendum, dates, the question and the relative leaflet see on this blog:

Lisa Watson, editor of the 'Penguin News', gave an interview a week after the referendum in the Falklands. Amongst many issues, she talked about self-determination.
Interview and information available on this blog:

To finish today’s post, I am leaving a link to a post I published on this blog back in 2013 at the time of the referendum. I had the opportunity to have one of the Falkland’s islanders writing for us. Post available on this blog:

To reiterate part of what I wrote at the time “[…] to have so many people arguing about others without even including them is just... bizarre. In any case in which someone's life is going to be affected by another's decision, that someone should at least BE HEARD. Why? Simply because they count, they have moral standing. Their life is the one that is going to be affected by any decision - and that of their children. […]

NOTE: This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, “Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty: International Law and Politics,” London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2020 (forthcoming)
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, “Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue,” London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST: The Falklands/Malvinas and the different accounts

Wednesday 16th October 2019
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @London1701

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