UN / CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO

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22-May-2019 00:03:38
The General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding an end to British control of the Chagos Archipelago and for the disputed islands to be handed back to Mauritius. The Prime Minister of Mauritus, Pravind Kumar Juqnauth, said, “the decolonization of Mauritius has not yet been completed and will not be completed until Mauritius is able to exercise sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago,” which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found to be “an integral part of the territory of Mauritius.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO
TRT: 03:38
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

22 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, General Assembly
3. Wide shot, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Juqnauth, at the podium
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Pravind Kumar Juqnauth, Prime Minister, Republic of Mauritius:
“The decolonization of Mauritius has not yet been completed and will not be completed until Mauritius is able to exercise sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago, which the International Court of Justice found - with no dissenting voice - to be an integral part of the territory of Mauritius.”
5. Wide shot, Juqnauth at the podium
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Pravind Kumar Juqnauth, Prime Minister, Republic of Mauritius:
“Mauritius is extremely disappointed with the stance taken by the UK. So is Her Majesty s Leader of the Opposition in the UK, who has made clear his respect and support for the Court’s conclusions. We are all the more disappointed to see that all the arguments - both jurisdictional and on the merits - that the Court has flatly rejected are being repeated here, more aggressively than ever before. It feels like we are back in 1965.”
7. Wide shot, UK Ambassador Karen Pierce walks up to podium
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“The United Kingdom is not in doubt about our sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory. It has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814. Contrary to what has been said today, it has never been part of the Republic of Mauritius. In 1965, the Mauritian Council of Ministers freely entered into an agreement to detach the British Indian Ocean Territory in return for a range benefits including fishing rights and natural and marine resources. The agreement also included a commitment by the United Kingdom to cede the Territory – I use the word “cede” here deliberately, not “give back” – to cede the territory when it is no longer needed for defence purposes.”
10. Med shot, GA President
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“I need to take a moment to reject unconditionally the allegations that the United Kingdom was engaged in crimes against humanity. This is a very serious allegation Madam President; it’s not to be used lightly. It is a gross mischaracterisation of the United Kingdom’s position and once again, I rejected without qualification and I hope it won’t be repeated.”
12. Various shots, voting boards
13. Wide shot, audience
14. Wide shot, Pierce at the stakeout podium
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“The joint UK-US defence facility on the British Indian Ocean Territory helps keep people in Britain and around the world safe from terrorism, organized crime, and piracy. As the US government has made clear, the status of British Indian Ocean Territory as a UK territory is ‘essential’ to the value of the joint facility and our shared interest, an arrangement that cannot be replicated.”
16. Wide shot, Pierce walks away

STORYLINE:

The General Assembly today (22 May) adopted a resolution demanding an end to British control of the Chagos Archipelago and for the disputed islands to be handed back to Mauritius. The Prime Minister of Mauritus, Pravind Kumar Juqnauth, said, “the decolonization of Mauritius has not yet been completed and will not be completed until Mauritius is able to exercise sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago,” which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found to be “an integral part of the territory of Mauritius.”

Juqnauth said Mauritius was “extremely disappointed with the stance taken by the UK” which rejected the ICJ’s advisory opinion in the matter.

He said, “we are all the more disappointed to see that all the arguments - both jurisdictional and on the merits - that the Court has flatly rejected are being repeated here, more aggressively than ever before. It feels like we are back in 1965.”

In her address to the General Assembly, British Ambassador Karen Pierce said “the United Kingdom is not in doubt about our sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory. It has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814. Contrary to what has been said today, it has never been part of the Republic of Mauritius. In 1965, the Mauritian Council of Ministers freely entered into an agreement to detach the British Indian Ocean Territory in return for a range benefits including fishing rights and natural and marine resources.”

She said, the agreement “included a commitment by the United Kingdom to cede the Territory – I use the word “cede” here deliberately, not “give back” – to cede the territory when it is no longer needed for defence purposes.”

Mauritius had argued it was forced to give up the islands in 1965 in exchange for independence.

Pierce rejected the allegations “that the United Kingdom was engaged in crimes against humanity,” when if forcibly ejected the whole population of the archipelago.

She said this was “a gross mischaracterisation of the United Kingdom’s position.”

The United Kingdom has argued it would hand the islands to Mauritius when they are no longer needed for defence purposes. One of the largest islands, Diego Garcia, is currently home to a joint military base with the United States and it is leased until 2036.

Speaking to reporters after the vote, Pierce said “the joint UK-US defence facility on the British Indian Ocean Territory helps keep people in Britain and around the world safe from terrorism, organized crime, and piracy.”

She said, “as the US government has made clear, the status of British Indian Ocean Territory as a UK territory is ‘essential’ to the value of the joint facility and our shared interest, an arrangement that cannot be replicated.”

116 states voted in favour of the resolution, while six voted against, and fifty six abstained.
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