Falklands : MOTION OF THANKS SPEECH BY DR THE HON BARRY ELSBY
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 08.06.2013 (Article Archived on 06.07.2013)
Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable Members, I will keep my comment brief and I would really just like to echo the words of yourself and of other speakers on the impact of public diplomacy over the past 18 months.
THANKS SPEECH BY DR THE HON BARRY ELSBY
Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable
Members, I will keep my comment brief
and I would really just like to echo the words of yourself and of other
speakers on the impact of public diplomacy over the past 18 months. Many people will be aware that MLAs have
visited many countries, sometimes once, sometimes twice. And we have spoken in parliaments of those
countries, we have spoken in congresses, we have met with ministers at high
levels, we have engaged in university debates with the next generation of
leaders in those countries, often accompanied by the next generation of leaders
from our own countries. And I think that
has made an impression. It certainly
made ministers and the countries and it has made the students of the leaders of
the next generation stop and think.
And I think the visit by so many
journalists and particularly TV crews from South and Central America but also
from all over the world over the last 18 months should not be
underestimated. We meet many of those
people when they come and virtually every journalist and TV crew I speak to say
it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be.
They go away with an entirely different idea of the Falkland Islands and
they write, I think, more informed, more balanced pieces in the future.
It certainly doesn’t apply to all countries
and it certainly doesn’t apply to the Argentine journalists necessarily but I
certainly saw, when I was in Central America, some of the documentaries made by
the South and Central American TV Crews about their visits to the Falkland
Islands and they have been very impressive.
There is nothing like listening to journalists you know speaking in your
own language, showing you the Falkland islands and telling you the reality of
your visit. I think we should not
underestimate the importance of those visits.
But, as many people have said, the
highlight of our year has to be the referendum.
And it was conducted to the highest standard of professional,
international standards. And we’ve not
heard much from Argentina about the referendum itself. I was waiting for huge amounts of criticism
but we have not heard as much as I thought.
And I think that’s because it is difficult for anyone to criticise the
process that we engaged in. It is such a
basic, fundamental right.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.