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FINN(COM) Daily Record: 18 June 2004

FINN(COM) DAILY RECORD: FRIDAY, 18 JUNE 2004

 

Compiled by J. Brock (FINN)

 

 

 

FALKLAND ISLANDS GOVERNMENT ANNUAL RECEPTION

17 JUNE 2004

 

 

 

Despite traffic problems in London (and competition with a certain football match!), over two hundred guests were in attendance at the Falkland Islands Government Annual Reception at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn last night.

 

Amongst the Parliamentarians present were the Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, the Rt Hon Michael Ancram MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and the Rt Hon the Lord Hurd of Westwell.

 

The Chilean Ambassador was able to attend for the early part of the evening, and the Uruguayan Ambassador was represented by the Embassy’s Consul.

 

Also in attendance were visiting Islanders (including Councillor Ian Hansen), Falkland Islands students, FCO and MoD personnel, former Governors, Chief Executives and CBFFIs, and members of UK based Falkland Islands groups.

 

The speech by the Falkland Islands Government Representative, Sukey Cameron, which was well received, was followed by a message from Her Majesty the Queen, read by Sir Rex Hunt, who then proposed the Loyal Toast.

 

An impressive performance of Beating Retreat by the Band of the Irish Guards provided a perfect close to the evening.  The Representative was joined on the dais by Major General Sebastian Roberts OBE, Officer Commanding London District, and the Minister for the salute.

 

18 June 2004

 

 

ADDRESS BY THE REPRESENTATIVE, SUKEY CAMERON MBE

AT THE FALKLAND ISLANDS GOVERNMENT ANNUAL RECEPTION

17TH JUNE 2004, THE HONOURABLE SOCIETY OF LINCOLN’S INN

 

My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen: This is the 30th Anniversary of our Annual Reception, which was initiated by the Falkland Islands Association in 1974.   It is always a great source of strength that so many of you attend this event.  We welcome those attending for the first time and those who may have attended nearly all!

 

The last few months have been dominated by three issues: flights, fishing and finance.

 

As many of you know, the current Argentine government has adopted a more assertive policy on Falklands issues, and has deliberately taken measures designed to make life more difficult for Falkland Islanders.  They have effectively banned all charter flights between South America and the Islands by refusing permission to overfly Argentine territory.  They have demanded the introduction of direct flights from Buenos Aires.  They have authorised incursions into our fishing zone in order to undermine our fishing industry, at a time when our Illex fishery has had its worst ever year.   It is hard to imagine more blatant and unprincipled acts of intimidation.

 

Despite these provocations, our Councillors have refused to bow to bullying and blackmail and we have had robust support from the UK Government and our friends in Parliament, for which we are very grateful.  These actions only reinforce Islanders’ commitment to the principle of self-determination.  The Argentine Government will discover in time that they are totally counterproductive.

 

The loss this year of £10 million in fishing revenues has left a hole in our finances and we are taking steps to live within our reduced means.  Our representatives have also been out and about, ‘selling’ the Falkland Islands and its attractions and exploring new sources of potential revenue.  We are seeking to maximise the number of cruise visitors and exceed last year’s record number in the coming season.  Despite the difficulties to which I have referred, our excellent weekly air link with Chile continues to operate, and of course we also enjoy the benefits of the direct air link with the UK run by the RAF.  So visitors can still reach us! 

 

We are exploring the potential for aquaculture, expanding renewable energy sources through harnessing wind power and continuing the search for oil and other minerals, which is currently experiencing heightened interest from investors. 

 

Some of the challenges we face may be hindered by what has become known as “the Falklands Factor.”  However, it was good to see this referred to recently as a positive force, by a local businessman who, at the naming ceremony of a fishing vessel the company had just invested in, despite the downturn in fisheries, said:  ”Generally when we talk about a ‘Falklands factor’ we mean the additional difficulties sometimes encountered.  But we find too that there is also a ‘Falklands factor’ which results in valuable advice, guidance and people working together to make things possible.”  I believe that this positive, ‘can do’ attitude is one of the many special characteristics of the Islands and will stand us in good stead in the months to come.

 

Whatever the current financial constraints, we are determined not to jeopardise the investment we are making in the regeneration of the Camp or the high standards of health and education that we have worked so hard to achieve.  In this, as in our commitment to preserve our freedom, self-determination and self-sufficiency, Falkland Islanders are united.   We are also determined to preserve our greatest natural asset, the unique wildlife and environment of our Islands in this, the 25th Anniversary year of Falklands Conservation. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on the their past work and I am sure that you will all support them in their future activities.  To mark the ratification of the UN Agreement on the conservation of albatross and petrels the Falkland Islands has adopted a national Plan of Action to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds in long line and trawl fishing.  This is being actively pursued by Falklands Conservation as part of its Seabird Monitoring Programme.

 

 

Later this year we are delighted that, for the first time, the Falkland Islands will be represented at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Australia.  As we anticipate the achievements of our young people, we also salute the achievements of those who, sadly are no longer with us and, in particular, Harold Rowlands and Adrian Monk who made invaluable contributions to the Falkland Islands.

 

Harold spent 45 years of his life in the service of the Islands as Colonial Treasurer, Financial Secretary and as a Councillor.  Among his many achievements he successfully denied the Argentine invaders access to the bank vaults in 1982.  Never was the word ‘manana’ used to such good effect!  As others have said in tribute, he was a good and kind man - - a true original.

 

Adrian was the first Falkland Islands Government Representative in London, appointed in the aftermath of the Conflict.  This was a particularly difficult time when our future relationship with the UK was still to be determined.  He too made a unique contribution.  We shall miss them both.

 

 Our current difficulties pale into insignificance compared to the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom and I believe our greatest tribute to them must be to resist bullying and intimidation – as they did.  With your continuing support, I am certain that the positive ‘Falklands Factor’ will prevail and we will preserve the right to self- determination and self-sufficiency that they bequeathed to us. 

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

MUSSEL FARMING:

 

Will mussel farming ever be viable in the Falklands?  Lee Hazell (LH) asked Stuart Wallace (SW) how much money would be involved in getting the industry off the ground here.

 

SW:  There would be large sums of money involved in it.  One of the issues involved in creating the industry is that we have no infrastructure so we have to start it on a scale which allows us to pay for the infrastructure over a reasonable period of time.  For example, many of the mussel farms 9n Scotland – the biggest is 400 tonnes at present.  We would be looking at something in the order of 10 times that to start. Plus we need some way of processing and then we have to have the infrastructure to send it away.  So, we have to go in there on a large scale.  It would be millions of pounds.

 

MID WINTER SWIM:

 

There’s only one day left before people take to the sea for a bit of mid winter madness.  It’s all happening this Saturday at 1200 at Surf Bay.  This year there will be a BBQ and a bar on the beach.

 

 JELLY TOTS:

 

The Jelly Tots fancy dress is happening on Sunday.  Whether you are a Peter Pan or Bob the builder, all are welcome to go along to the Town Hall on Sunday from 1400 to 1600.  The competition is open to 11s and under.  Entry on the door is £1.00 and .50p for children, apart from those in fancy dress who get in for free.  Parents are also asked to bring a plate of nibbles for the party table.

 

COMMITTEE MEETINGS:

 

There are 3 Committee meetings planned for next week.  On Tuesday, the Environmental Committee will meet at 0900 in the Liberation Room, Secretariat.  At1330 on Tuesday, the Historic Buildings Committee will meet in the Archives Building.  On Friday, Standing Finance Committee will meet at 0800 in the Liberation Room, Secretariat.

 

HARBOUR NEWS:

 

Krill trawler Top Ocean is in Port William at the moment for a crew change.  She joins then reefer, Qatar is in for bunkers.  Tamar FI is alongside FIPASS at the moment and the Marian Danica is alongside East Jetty.  There is still only one Korean Trawler and the Falkland Islands Long Liner fishing in the zone.

 

DESIRE PETROLEUM:

 

Desire Petroleum gushed 2 3/4p to 19 1/2p on heavy buying amid speculation that it is in talks with Shell about farming out its licences in the Falkland Islands. 

 

(100X Transcription Service)



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