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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 981

(Question No. 4990)

Mr Downer asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 28 November 1986:

(1) Why did the Government support an Argentine sponsored resolution in the UN urging Britain and Argentina to negotiate the issues of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

(2) Was the resolution consistent with Article 73 of the Charter of the UN and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

(3) Have the people of the Falklands expressed an act of self-determination at any time.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Australia supported resolution 41/40 (sponsored by Algeria, Brazil, Ghana, India, Mexico, Uruguay and Yugoslavia). The resolution was adopted on 25 November 1986 by 116 votes in favour to 4 against with 34 abstentions. Those voting in favour included many of the United Kingdom's EC partners, NATO allies and fellow Commonwealth countries. The four countries voting against the resolution were Belize, Oman, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.

Resolution 41/40 was virtually identical to resolution 40/21 of 1985 which Australia also supported. The resolution calls for negotiations to recommence ``with a view to finding the means to resolve peacefully and definitively the problems pending between both countries, including all aspects on the future of the Falkland Islands, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations''.

(2) Yes.

(3) No United Nations supervised act of self-determination has taken place in the Falkland Islands. Australia supported the United Kingdom's unsuccessful attempt in 1985 to insert a reference in resolution 40/21 to the right of the people of the Falkland Islands to self-determination. No similar amendment to resolution 40/41 was proposed in 1986.