‘I’ll fight till I’m 100’, Bossano tells UN
Joe Bossano has told the C-24 that he will keep coming back to committee year-on-year until he is “100 years old” to fight for the Gibraltarian people’s right to self-determination.
Mr Bossano, the Minister for Economic Development, made the comments during an address to the United Nations Pacific Regional Seminar of the Committee on Decolonisation (C-24) in Managua, Nicaragua earlier this week.
He told the Committee: “The UN is 71 this year and I am 77; and I have already invested 53 years of my life in our decolonisation campaign.”
“And if I have to, I will keep on coming back, until I am 100, to unmask Spain’s perfidious attempts to strip away our human rights and deprive us of our freedom.”
Mr Bossano vowed to return to put Gibraltar’s case to the Committee until the day it does the correct thing and supports the Rock’s decolonisation through self determination.
The UN’s mission is to monitor levels of self-government, Gibraltar’s former Chief Minister told the Committee.
Mr Bossano said the Committee must identify the will and aspirations of the people on a case by case basis and ensure that the maximum level of self-government, reasonably attainable, has been reached.
“You are doing none of these,” he said.
“I have difficulty in understanding how a Committee which has done so much to free people from colonial rule in over half a century in its final chapter conducts itself in this manner,” Mr Bossano said as he slammed the organisation for ‘turning a deaf ear’ to everything the Gibraltarians say.
He further blasted the Committee for mirroring Spain’s terminology in its reports, describing Gibraltarians as ‘the territory’s population’ and not it’s people.
He reminded the Committee that the General Assembly resolution states that it is “to facilitate participation by the peoples of the territories in the seminar”.
“I am therefore asking you, in the name of the People of Gibraltar, to refer to us, for whom we are under the Charter; in your summaries and reports,” he said.
Mr Bossano warned the Committee that should it continue to use Spain’s terminology it will be in breach of the text of the Charter, ‘the highest international law’.
Mr Bossano delved further in picking apart the subtle changes in the Committee’s language. He pointed out that in the first and second decades the seminar conclusions included the statement that the process of decolonisation would be incomplete until all decolonisation issues were resolved in a satisfactory manner.
At the beginning of the third decade, “mysteriously and without any debate or transparency,” the words ‘and related follow-up matters’ were inserted as an additional condition.
“What on earth does ‘related follow-up matters’ mean?” Mr Bossano asked.
“If this is the view of the participating members then I believe we are entitled to know in this seminar the implications of the use of these words which had not appeared in the preceding 20 years,” he said.
The Minister further told the Committee that the right-wing caretaker government in Madrid considers Gibraltarians to be ‘nothing’ and ‘mere squatters’.
“They accuse us of all sorts of illegalities and corrupt practices,” Mr Bossano said adding that they would know a lot about corruption as they are constantly being investigated at the highest level by the Spanish courts.
“Their accusations about us are false and an attempt to blacken our reputation and influence this Committee,” he said.
“They will never break our spirit, and they will never conquer our land. We are not going to give up and we are going to win this battle, because we are a true People fighting for our human rights and defending the land of our forefathers,” Mr Bossano said of Spain by way of a departing shot.