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Opinion & Analysis

National Day message - Dr Joseph Garcia

We commemorate the past and look forward to the future. On 10 September 1967 the people of Gibraltar decided for the first time whether their future lay with the United Kingdom or with Spain. We chose overwhelmingly to remain with the UK. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of that momentous decision.

We also look forward into the future at the same time. We must continue the campaign to push the organs of the United Nations to uphold their obligations to Gibraltar. The 4th Committee of the UN will receive the message from Gibraltar loud and clear in a few weeks time. That campaign in the Committee of 24 and in the 4th Committee will continue.

Gibraltar is entitled to an international legal status that is permanent, safe and secure and that involves moving on from being a non-self-governing territory. Self-determination is the only democratic way to achieve this.

There are new challenges also in the shape of the decision taken by the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union. Gibraltar has already risen to the challenge. New doors will open if and when existing doors close.

Throughout our long and turbulent history we have adapted, learnt and grown when we faced such challenges. Our strength and resilience as a people are powerful weapons, as a succession of Spanish Foreign Ministers have found out. That resilience will see us through once more.

Happy National Day!