On behalf of the delegation of Cuba, we welcome His Excellency Mr. Jorge Faurie, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Argentine Republic, as well as the delegation of the Argentine Congress accompanying him on this occasion, to the Committee on Decolonization.
Since the adoption a little over 50 years ago by the General Assembly of resolution 2065 (XX), the issue of the Malvinas Islands has been an issue to which the international community has given permanent importance and attention within the framework of the United Nations. The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization has already adopted 34 resolutions on the issue, in addition to the 11 adopted by the General Assembly.
Resolution 2065 is clear. It defines the question of the Malvinas Islands as a sovereignty dispute over the islands between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and states that such a dispute should be resolved through negotiations between the two States, taking into account the provisions and fundamental purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and Resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly.
Cuba reiterates its unrestricted support for the legitimate right of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute concerning the Malvinas Islands, which are part of the national territory of that sister Latin American country.
The support for the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas has also been reiterated at the highest level in different forums held in our region, including the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Numerous other regional associations, including Africa-South America Summits (ASA) and Summits of the South American-Arab Countries (ASPA), ALADI, OLADE, SICA, ALBA, among others, have called for the resumption of negotiations aiming at finding, as soon as possible, a peaceful solution to the existing dispute.
Latin America and the Caribbean is a Zone of Peace. This was endorsed in the "Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace", adopted by the 2nd CELAC Summit in Havana, Cuba, in January 2014.
Carrying out military exercises in the geographical areas of the Malvinas Islands, runs counter to this Proclamation and to the pacifist vocation expressed in it by the 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations. At the same time, it violates Argentina's sovereign rights and contravenes resolutions adopted by international forums, including the United Nations.
Cuba reiterates once again the call for a negotiated, just and definitive solution to the question of the Malvinas in the shortest possible time, taking into account respect for the territorial integrity of Argentina.
This requires dialogue and cooperation between the parties. We note that some steps have been taken towards the creation and promotion of confidence-building measures, such as the identification of the remains of those killed in the conflict, efforts and agreements to increase air links between the islands and the mainland, as well as the resumption of the work of the South Atlantic Fishery Scientific Committee and the exchange on fisheries, which undoubtedly, contribute to making the bilateral environment between the two parties less tense. However, no progress has yet been made on the issue of the existing sovereignty dispute.
We call once again on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to respond positively to the willingness reiterated by the Argentine Republic to resume a bilateral negotiation process, with the objective of resolving the sovereignty dispute as soon as possible, in a just, peaceful and definitive manner.
We must also reiterate the request made to the Secretary-General to exercise his good offices with the aim of helping the parties to fulfil the mandate of the General Assembly.
Cuba, as a member of CELAC and in accordance with the inalienable principles of its foreign policy, will continue to work within the framework of the International Law, and particularly resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly of the United Nations, to ensure that the region of Latin America and the Caribbean is a territory free of colonialism and colonies.