Sir Anthony Parsons

Sir Anthony Parsons' quick diplomatic response allowed Britain to gain the legal right to self-defence and allow it to receive the support from many countries and allies around the world with the passing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 502. This was adopted on 3 April 1982, only the day after the invasion and was achieved largely thanks to the skill of Sir Anthony in mobilising support and neutralising potential blockers. The resolution was adopted by 10 votes to 1 against (Panama) with four abstentions (China, Poland, Spain and the Soviet Union). Crucially, no veto was issued and this was the despite the fact that 1982 was at the height of the Second Cold War period and Britain's relations with the USSR were very frosty. Resolution 502 also gave the UK the option to invoke Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, allowing it to claim the right of self-defence.

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by Stephen Luscombe