‘UN still not listening to us’ says Bossano
Not much has changed in Spain’s or the United Nation’s attitude to the question of Gibraltar, Joe Bossano told the UN C24 regional seminar as he reminded the committee that they are not empowered to determine if a territory should belong to one member state or another.
Mr Bossano, Minister for Economic Development, was addressing the annual seminar of the UN C24 held this year in the southern Caribbean nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Updating the committee on the situation in Gibraltar, Mr Bossano said Spain’s right-wing government “which is not the result of a military coup, democratically elected, nonetheless pursues the same doctrine on Gibraltar as the dictatorship of 50 years ago”.
“The UN is still not listening to us and I am now, a not so young, left-wing, revolutionary, campaigning for our right to self-determination,” he said.
“Except for me getting older, not much has changed in Spain’s or the UN’s attitude to the question of Gibraltar, notwithstanding the massive changes that have taken place in the rest of the planet,” Mr Bossano said.
Conversely, Mr Bossano explained that Gibraltar’s constitutional relationship with the administering power has come a long way since 1967, although notes it is not yet sufficient to have the Rock delisted, because there is only one delisting criteria that C24 can apply.
He flagged the transfer of power from the administering country to Gibraltar “such that we reach the point where you are satisfied with the degree of self-government it delivers”.
“Once that happens, the requirement for the UK, to report on our progress under article 73e will cease, and we shall be decolonised.”
The C24 has no other jurisdiction than this, he said.
“You are not empowered to determine if the territory should be belong to one member state or another,” Mr Bossano told the Committee.
“Your role consists in monitoring the relationship with the state that you consider to be responsible for the territory and the People of that territory, to assess the People’s progress on the road to full self-government.”
“That is all the decolonisation resolutions require you to do,” he added.
Mr Bossano opened his speech to the committee by stating that he ‘knows only too well’ that it will have no effect on the deliberations of the C24, “or change one iota its position on the right to self-determination of our People”.
But, he said, the seminar needs to know that our neighbour, the Kingdom of Spain, has taken the step of attempting to bend our will, by the use of blackmail, contrary to its obligation under article 74 of the charter.
“They should know us better by now,” he said.
“They should have learned by now, that we are a true People under colonial rule, committed to the defence of our human rights, in particular, our right to self-determination, and that we shall stand steadfast and defend our right to the land of our fathers.”
“The only land that we have had and known for 313 years, free from Spanish domination.”
“We shall remain free and defend our freedom.”
“We shall not be bought, and we shall not be intimidated, powerful and hostile though our neighbour, may be.”
Mr Bossano said Gibraltarians shall not waver in their resolve, “because we know who we are”.
“We know we are a People, and not a prefabricated population, as Spain would have you believe.”
“We are the Gibraltarians and our Rock, the 6 km² lump of limestone that guards the entrance to the Mediterranean, is what we call home.”
“It is ours, it had been ours for 313 years and it will always be ours.”