It was 59 years ago that Sir Joshua Hassan travelled to the United Nations

Fabian Picardo addressed the United Nations on June 13 Credit: Gibraltar Government

IT was 59 years ago that Sir Joshua Hassan travelled to the United Nations to discuss the position of Gibraltar with the Committee of 24 which regards Gibraltar as a British Colony.

After two years of being unable to attend the annual review due to the pandemic, both the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Richard Garcia were finally able to make the flight to New York to present their case on June 13

In the past, the Spanish representative on the Committee has rallied support from other Spanish speaking countries and consistently claimed Spain’s right to be involved in deciding the future of the Rock.

On this occasion however, in line with Spain’s current more laid-back position, its representative made a short speech in which he called for the UK to comply with Committee recommendations to resolve the situation through discussion.

Picardo however made it clear that whilst he was prepared to work with Gibraltar’s neighbours, there was no question that any option, other than for the Rock to be delisted was acceptable.

He repeated his regular request that members of the Committee – which is happy to pass its opinions – should actually visit Gibraltar to see for themselves the situation and the determination that Gibraltarians had to maintain their current relationship with the UK.

Possibly the most telling point of his speech was as follows;

“This Committee therefore has power and jurisdiction to do one thing and one thing only:

“To protect OUR rights as a people – and OUR rights only.

“That is THE binding principle of international law here in play here.

“The right of the people of ALL Non-Self-Governing Territories to self-determination.

“That is the inalienable human right in play here.

“You have no power to accept or promote a solution which relates to the transfer of our land above our heads.

“That would be to breach binding international law.”

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