Your June 4 article, “Argentina Says It Will Sue Falklands Oil Companies,” fails to accurately portray the United Kingdom’s negative unilateral actions in the Falkland Islands that might give Argentina solid grounds for legal recourse.
The 1976 U.N. Resolution 31/49 makes clear that, until the status of the Falkland Islands’ resources and sovereignty are resolved, neither Argentina nor the United Kingdom can act without permission from the opposing party. The United Kingdom’s unilateral decision to commence oil exploration and drilling constitutes a violation of international agreements, providing Argentina with suitable grounds to seek legal recourse.
Moreover, the United Kingdom’s actions threaten to undermine the purpose of international institutions and global cooperation. If countries in a position of influence continually ignore provisions of the transnational institutions to which they belong, other states will be left with little incentive to abide by their agreements. Such violations of international law foster contention and hostility within the international legal system.
It is imperative for all nations, especially when a source of conflict is in question, to act in accordance with the international legal framework, thereby upholding an international system intended to promote global unity, cooperation, and peace.
Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs