MPs welcome UN resolution referring issue of Chagos sovereignty to International Court of Justice
Two weeks ago the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favour of seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with regards to the UK's sovereignty over the Chagos Islands. The motion was proposed by Mauritius and passed with 94 votes in favour. Fifteen countries voted against, while sixty five abstained.
Since the vote, a cross-section of MPs from the SNP, the DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Labour Party, have submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM) to the House of Commons, in favour of the UNGA decision. The motion has attracted supported from 22 MPs (at the time of writing).
The motion, submitted by Patrick Grady, SNP MP for Glasgow North, begins:
"That this House welcomes the adoption by the UN General Assembly of Resolution 71/292 which requests an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 including the consequences in international law for the resettlement of the Chagos Islanders [and] notes that the Chagos Archipelago was excised from Mauritius in 1965 prior to independence in 1968".
It goes on to call the vote in the UNGA a "diplomatic failure for the Government".
EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. Very few are actually debated but an EDM allows MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.
It is important to say that the UK Chagos Support Association does not take any position on the future sovereignty of the Chagos Islands. We only emphasise that Chagossians must be the key decision makers in any decision about their homeland, sovereignty included.