May 22, 2013
CFK urges UK to 'leave history of colonialism behind'
While speaking before the UN’s Decolonization Committee in New York, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner urged the United Kingdom to “leave this history of colonialism behind and start building a new history based on dialogue."
“We are not asking them to acknowledge that the Malvinas Islands belong to Argentina. We are only asking that we sit down and talk. Can anyone in this time refuse to engage in dialogue?” she asked.
As she began her speech, the Head of State assured that “it was the dictatorship who decided to unilaterally begin the Malvinas War without asking Argentines for their opinion” and added that she did not stand there alone, since she had the support of most Argentine political parties.
“Some of them strongly oppose my Government, but even so they believe that colonialism and the defence of sovereignty supersedes that,” she said.
“I’m here to ask for the humanitarian right. Our country is a human rights champion. Few nations have the kind of immigration freedom that we have. Few nations open their doors to citizens from all over the world like we do,” she stated.
Fernández de Kirchner also reminded the committee that she had been joined by “war veterans and mothers war veterans who still haven’t been able to recover the remains of their sons and daughters.”
The President also condemned the referendum that the Malvinas islanders have planned in order to determine whether the population wishes to remain British or become Argentine, and said that she was “ashamed” after seeing the Malvinas flag waving on top of the official residence of Prime Minister David Cameron.
“When I saw the waving flag of the so-called ‘Falkland Islands’ I was ashamed, because wars are never cause for celebration or commemoration,” she sated, and wondered “what would happen if the German people think if on May 8th the German flag was seen waving under the British flag.”
Regarding the planned referendum on the islands, she said that “when it comes to conducting a referendum, why don’t we have one in Afghanistan or Iraq and see what the people think about what they are doing there?”
Before speaking before the Committee, the President met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The President arrived in New York at 8.30 am this morning and was received by the Argentine Ambassador to the United States Jorge Argüello.She was accompanied by the governors of Tierra del Fuego, Santiago del Estero and Entre Ríos, and by ministers Debora Giorgi, Julio De Vido and lawmakers Miguel Angel Pichetto and Julián Dominguez.