Spain to take Gibraltar sovereignty case to the UN in bid to reinitiate Brussels process - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Spain to take Gibraltar sovereignty case to the UN in bid to reinitiate Brussels process

Thursday, 14 June 2012
Fernando Arias Gonzalez, Spain's Ambassador to the UN, will reportedly this week present a report to the United Nations’ Committee of 24 (Special Committee on Decolonisation) in which Spain will reiterate its claims over the sovereignty of the Rock of Gibraltar and again call for the United Kingdom to reopen talks under the Brussels process.

The move comes amid mounting diplomatic tensions between the two countries over the disputed territory, with both sides making bold statements in recent days to change the status quo.

Last week Spain lodged a formal complaint to the European Union stating that Gibraltar's new corporate tax laws constitute a form of state aid (not permitted under EU law), and Gibraltar – to mark the occasion of HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – projected a massive image of the Queen beside a Union flag on the north face of the emblematic Rock so was clearly visible over the border (see left). Last week also saw the visit of Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex which culminated in the ceremonial and highly symbolic gift of a set of replica keys the City and Garrison of Gibraltar which the Chief Minister said “will be forever British in perpetuity”.

The Spanish want a return to the Brussels Agreement, a negotiation arrangement dating back to 1984 when, for the first time, a British government agreed to discuss Gibraltar's sovereignty with Spain, and is an arrangement long rejected by Gibraltar as it concerns talks on sovereignty without giving them a voice. It is a far cry from the current Tripartite Forum where Gibraltar has its own voice, a veto, and where all three parties are of equal voice.

This evening, the Gibraltar Panorama reports that Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia are on their way to the United Nations in New York where the the Chief Minister will address the UN Committee of 24 tomorrow.

In a not too dissimilar situation 7,000 miles away, Argentina’s attempt to step up pressure over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands (UK) at the United Nations were dealt a blow when it was announced a referendum will be held 2013 in bid to settle sovereignty dispute. The referendum would be similar to the poll carried out in Gibraltar in 2002 when the idea of Britain sharing sovereignty with Spain was rejected by a massive 98.5 percent of the population. As they maintain in statements regarding the Gibraltar situation, both Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have defended the right of Falkland Islanders to self-determination.

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