Spain flags territorial integrity and regional cooperation, and nods to joint sovereignty
Spain reiterated its traditional position on territorial integrity and decolonisation during an intervention at the UN yesterday, even as it signalled its willingness to put a new regional framework for cross-border cooperation into practice “immediately”.
Addressing the C24, Francisca Pedrós, from Spain’s UN mission, referred only in passing to the Spanish joint sovereignty proposal tabled at the Fourth Committee last October.
The proposal sought to promote the wellbeing of the region “and above all our workers”, without renouncing Spain’s pursuit of “a definitive solution” to its sovereignty aspirations, she told the C24.
“In line with that, I want to reiterate as in previous years that we are trying to reach an agreement with the UK to put in place a new framework for regional cooperation for the benefit of the daily lives of inhabitants on one side or the other of the fence...,”s he said, in a reference to so-called ad hoc talks.
“For our part, we have already signalled to the UK our readiness to put this into practice immediately.”
“This new framework envisages the participation, as well as of Spain and the United Kingdom, of the local Gibraltarian authorities and – unlike the now defunct Trilateral Forum – also of the competent local and regional Spanish authorities.”
For much of her intervention, the Spanish representative focused on setting out the well-known Spanish position at the UN.
Shee said the UK had occupied the Rock in 1704, “artificially populated” it with people from other places and, “if that wasn’t enough”, increased its size with territory “taken illegally” from Spain.
Gibraltar must be decolonised via a process of bilateral talks between the UK and Spain, in line with UN resolutions and taking into account “the interests of the population of the territory”, she added.
Sra Pedrós repeatedly underlined her government’s respect for the work of the C24 and the decolonisation process established by the UN.
“The issue before us will be resolved with the law and through dialogue, not with fiery speeches and accusations against this committee such as the ones we heard recently [at a regional seminar] in Kingstown from the representative of the local authorities in Gibraltar,” she said.
She added that Spain was certain that the C24 would not allow the removal of territories from the UN list of colonies unless they had been decolonised in line with the committee’s criteria and UN resolutions.