By Talia Delgado Culebras
In mid-December, took place the now traditional end-of-year meeting of the Romanian Solidarity Group with the Malvinas Islands.
On this occasion, the activities carried out by the members of the group during 2021 were presented and the main activity guidelines for next year were established. Like most of the topics related to the Latin American region, the Question of the Malvinas Islands is little known in the Romanian public environment. To better understand this issue, we spoke with Mr. Counselor Carlos Maria Vallarino, Deputy Head of Mission of the Argentine Republic in Bucharest, and with Dr. Razvan Victor Pantelimon, coordinator of the Romanian Solidarity Group with the Malvinas Islands, who had the kindness to answer some questions.
– What is the current position of the Argentine Republic on the Question of the Malvinas Islands?
-Vallarino: Argentina’s current position on the Malvinas Islands is the traditional one held by Argentina, in favor of resuming bilateral negotiations and finding a peaceful solution to this sovereignty dispute. In fact, the same position is supported in many United Nations resolutions, as well as by other international organizations.
-Can you give us some examples of such resolutions?
–Vallarino: We can start with the famous Resolution 2065 (XX) adopted by the General Assembly on December 16, 1965, which clearly states “Noting the existence of a dispute between the governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on sovereignty over the same islands, Calls on the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to continue without delay the negotiations recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee […] to find a peaceful solution to this issue, respecting the provisions and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations and Resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly, as well as the interests of the people of the Malvinas Islands “. The most recent resolution of this type is dated June 24, 2021, in which the UN reiterated that the way to end the “particular colonial situation” of the archipelago is the negotiated solution to this bilateral dispute.
– Can you tell us more about the Solidarity Group with the Malvinas Islands and what are its aims and objectives?
-R.V. Pantelimon: In a few days, the Romanian Solidarity Group with the Malvinas Islands will celebrate 10 years of activity, which was created in January 2012 as an initiative of specialists in international relations and political science, diplomacy and history, together with young people, alongside those who gathered researchers, students, master’s and doctoral students. Ten years ago, we set out to show our support for the peaceful resolution of this sovereignty dispute, which must be resolved by bilateral negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Since its beginning, the main objective of this Group has been to carry out academic, cultural and media activities to publicize the issue of the Malvinas Islands and support actions and initiatives to promote compliance with United Nations resolutions on the matter, especially resume bilateral negotiations on the peaceful solution of the sovereignty issue.
– What have been the activities of the Solidarity Group so far?
-R.V. Pantelimon: Given that the subject related to the Malvinas Islands is very little known in Romania, the main activities on which we have focused so far have been mainly the promotion and popularization of this subject. Our actions are aimed both at the specialized academic environment, as well as at ordinary citizens who want to know more about the Malvinas Islands. In this purpose, we have published a volume with materials prepared by specialists in international law, historians, diplomats, etc., which present a series of elements and historical-legal arguments to understand and deepen this topic. The volume, which has already had 2 editions, was presented during debates and discussions in the main university centers of Rumania and in the Republic of Moldova; these presentations were attended by personalities from the academic and scientific world, but also by many young people and students, which made us very happy. I also wrote and signed a note addressed to the President of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, reaffirming our interest and support for the resumption of negotiations between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom for the peaceful solution of this controversy. We organize a contest of scientific articles on this topic for high school students, rewarding the best and most documented materials with vouchers for the purchase of books.
– And what do you intend to achieve in the future?
-R.V. Pantelimon: Aware of the role and importance of new technologies, especially for young people, the Group has used Facebook from the beginning to present information about the Malvinas Islands and its objectives. We also have a website where we upload a lot of materials, a website that is currently being rebuilt and will be relaunched soon. Because of the pandemic context that prevented us from carrying out activities with direct participation, we have recently focused on making a documentary in Romanian language that would present and explain the Question of the Malvinas Islands. Now I can tell you for the first time that this documentary is 90% complete and will be released next year, on the occasion of the 10-year existence of the Romanian Solidarity Group with the Malvinas Islands. We hope that the evolution of the pandemic will allow us to screen this documentary in various cities of Rumania and resume discussions. We also intend to hold, as soon as the sanitary regulations allow, a conference with international participation on these topics.