Ignored by the United Nations, says SDGG

*ADDRESS to the UN 4th committee by DENNIS MATTHEWS, Deputy Chairman of the SDGG:

I must regretfully tell you that amongst the people of Gibraltar there is a growing resentment towards this Committee.

Such strong feeling stems from the fact that we feel disrespected and ignored. 

Disrespected because it beggars belief that more than 30 years into the so called ‘last decade of decolonisation’ proclaimed by the United Nations, Gibraltar still finds itself having to appear before forums such as this one to advocate its right to self-determination and to seek its removal from the United Nations’ list of colonies.

Ignored because Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and my own organisation, have repeatedly asked this Committee what else Gibraltar needs to do in order to meet the United Nations’ criteria for removal from the list of colonies. Yet you have not even deigned to acknowledge our request, much less provide an answer upon which we can progress.

Why have you not sent a visiting mission to our country despite the many invitations extended to you?

I can only imagine that you do not want to offend third parties, but the visit is important. It would allow you to see what Gibraltar is about and would, I am sure, convince you that Gibraltar has done more than enough to be delisted. If we are wrong in our assertion you would at least be able to tell us so.

The Kingdom of Spain appears before this Committee and spews lies about Gibraltar, yet you do not take any action to investigate what they claim.


One would think that a visiting mission would have followed almost as a matter of course after hearing some of the things Spain has said, especially if Spain’s assertions are taken to be an impediment to the exercise of the right of self determination by the people of Gibraltar (a contention which we obviously do not accept).

Yet no such visit has ever taken place, thereby leading the Gibraltarians to think the United Nations shirks from its responsibilities and duties.

Mr Chairman, the people of Gibraltar have been born, have lived and have died in our land for over three hundred years, longer than people in the United States of America, Australia and many other countries which sit here today.

During that time, Mr Chairman, in 1969, General Franco unilaterally and maliciously closed the border between Gibraltar and Spain. A callous act without justification which divided families, destroyed businesses and only served to cause resentment and mistrust.

Franco thought that his cruel actions would result in the people of Gibraltar surrendering to his fascist ideals. But he misjudged us because, united, we rose against the tyrant and became a stronger and more cohesive community.

The political right in Spain thinks that Brexit is another opportunity to make us succumb to their dictatorial desire to impose Spanish sovereignty over Gibraltar. They could not be more wrong.

No amount of pressure or coercion is going to bend the will of the people of Gibraltar. Come what may, we shall stand strong against any attacks on our sovereignty and our way of life.

But, Mr Chairman, as the arbitrators of the right of self-determination of a people, it is a disgrace that this Committee should stand by idly watching the bully pursue its outdated irredentist claim.


I therefore ask this Committee, once again, to take decisive and firm action which shows the people of Gibraltar, and indeed the whole world, that the United Nations still matters and still cares. That it will stand up for the rights of a people however small they may be.

Meanwhile, whatever happens, the people of Gibraltar will never ever give up their right to self-determination. We will never cease in the defence of our Nation. We will forever stand up to the bully.

Thank you for your time.