Lord Ramsbotham – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Ramsbotham on 2016-10-03.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the discussions with the government of the US over the extension of the 1966 agreement concerning the British Indian Ocean Territory will be followed by discussions with Mauritius over the future sovereignty of the Chagos Islands.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

The Government is disappointed at recent action by Mauritius in seeking a UN General Assembly resolution requesting “an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965”. We believe this is an inappropriate use of the International Court of Justice advisory opinion mechanism and sets an unwelcome precedent for other bilateral disputes. Whilst we are disappointed that this item has been added to the UNGA agenda, we are pleased that discussions at UNGA will be deferred until at least June 2017 in order to allow for bilateral discussions with Mauritius. We are hopeful that we can reach an agreed way forward through such bilateral discussions.