FABIAN Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, stated to the UN that its people would ‘simply not accept’ any discussion of its British sovereignty without their consent.

He outlined self-determination as the main driving force of Gibraltar’s argument for decolonisation at UN General Assembly while recalling the desire to negotiate over the EU treaty.

Picardo pointed out that the Committee of 24 has still not visited the Rock, despite various invitations from the government of Gibraltar to do so.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister went to New York immediately after the Tory party conference.

He based his statement on the principle of self-determination in response to Spain’s territorial integrity claim.

Picardo claimed that the Rock was ‘safe in the knowledge’ that the UK – the ‘administering power’ – respected Gibraltar’s ‘inalienable right to self-determination’.

He said that it was not just a political commitment but ‘legally binding’ as it is a key part of the 2006 Gibraltar Constitution.

The Chief Minister was speaking at the United Nations General Assembly special political and decolonisation committee.

“This Committee needs to understand that in taking that position, the United Kingdom is upholding our rights under international law to decide our future, over our land and our home,” Picardo explained.

“The United Kingdom is thus supporting your work and our right to self determination.

“So I urge you to proceed with the decolonisation of Gibraltar in accordance with the principle of self-determination.

“I urge you to remove Gibraltar from your list of non self-governing territories.”

Negotiation over conflict

Moving on to the EU treaty he said that Gibraltar and the UK’s willingness to reach an agreement over the EU treaty could be reflected at UN level.

“We seek to work with our neighbours in demonstrating that we can put aside historic disagreements.

“We can show that there is a route away from sterile disagreement and toward mutually beneficial outcomes.

“And we can show that with goodwill, hardwork and determination we can produce positive outcomes that do not require negative compromise by any party to negotiations.”

He concluded by saying that ‘harmony and peaceful cooperation’ was his goal so that the Rock could have a fluid frontier for the future of its people.

Spanish fascist dictator Franco first went to the UN to claim that Gibraltar is a colony that needs to be returned to Spain in the 1960s.

The Spanish delegation repeats a similar case every year at the decolonisation committee hearing ever since.

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