In my view the islanders have used the opportunity given to them and made a real difference to the islands. Partially that opportunity came from financial help after the conflict but also from the judicious use of their natural resources, such as organising the commercial sale of fishing licenses.
As a result the islands are now self-sufficient apart from defence, and they'd like to pay for that too. They have invested heavily in education, in health and in infrastructure. In 1982 the only roads were in Stanley, now there are paved roads in Stanley and gravel roads in many parts of the islands. Pre-82 education often finished at 15, now the offer is there for all young people to continue to degree level with government funding. Large farms have been bought from absentee landlords and divided and sold to local farmers. The islanders show immense gratitude and kindness to those in the armed forces who fought to liberate them in '82.
The islands have changed, there are more people living in Stanley than the countryside now. Tourism has boomed as the pristine nature of the islands and its fantastic wildlife has been recognised, it is now the second largest source of income for the islands. The internet, although it is expensive and slow, means that the islands are connected to the world - fancy dress costumes can be bought on ebay and posted via the twice weekly flight from Brize Norton.
There are challenges. Argentina's sabre rattling unsettles people and takes up a lot of time in terms of communicating the islanders' views to the rest of the world. If oil can be produced in commercial quantities, then there will be big decisions to make about how to spend the money. Various sectors could grow but need the labour to do it, so the islanders need to decide if and how much they want the population to grow.
I hope that the Falkland Islanders make the right decisions about the future for themselves. They have a strong and positive community, which they are justly proud of. They live in a spectacularly beautiful place, which they cherish. I feel very privileged to have been invited to share in their commemoration of the events of 1982 and their celebration of their freedom and I hope that they will be left in peace to continue with their lives as they choose.