Mercosur Solution to Falklands/Malvinas Dilemma - courtesy of MercoPress


MercoPress - United Nations - New York, March 29:

During a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Argentina reiterated its claim over the Falkland Islands and called for sovereignty negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Taiana, during his visit to New York to preside over a Security Council debate, held a private meeting with Mr. Annan on Monday afternoon.

According to the Argentine minister Mr. Annan replied that “he observes positively the UN support for Argentina’s request to begin negotiations with the United Kingdom regarding Argentine sovereignty of the islands.”

A principal step towards a “diplomatic” solution to the dilemma, which would simultaneously secure a peaceful “economic” remedy and dispel any future thoughts of provocative acts, is to invite the Islands to become a member of MERCOSUR, the South American common market.

All economic claims by the Falklands/Malvinas and Argentina could be irrevocably vested with a “Falkland Islands/Malvinas Development Fund”, created to finance exploitation of its natural resources. The Islanders would be the principal partner of the “Falklands/Malvinas Islands Development Fund” but like any corporation or government that requires investment capital, utilization of the international capital markets to fund the development of its resources, would be a normal course of action. The central banks of the Mercosur members could be invited to subscribe to a minority percentage of the fund; the majority percentage being globally marketed by a consortium of Anglo-Argentine investment brokers.

In yesterday’s world, power was principally in the hands of the politicians of the nation-states. However, in today's world, power is vested and balanced within, not only the nation-states, but also with the global markets and, more significantly, individuals. Globalization has wired the world into networks, giving more power to individuals to influence both markets and nation-states.

This era of globalization will shape the domestic politics and foreign relations of practically every country. The more that market forces govern and economies are opened to free trade and competition, the more efficient and prosperous economies will be. Globalization will be the prime mover in converting the myopic mindsets and reactive nature of many politicians to be proactive leaders and solution seekers.

This initiative for resolution of the Falklands/Malvinas controversy is exactly the kind of “out of the box” thinking that is needed for such awkward conflicts. Adding the Islands to Mercosur and setting up an investment fund is exactly the kind of thing that could provide all interested parties with a win-win situation and permit everyone not only to save face but to begin a long and fruitful collaboration.

Since sovereignty is becoming less important in a global economy, the differences over the Falkland's/Malvinas sovereignty can be mitigated by including the islands into a regional trading block. In time, the Falklands/Malvinas will be considered politically aligned with the Mercosur countries, while maintaining its traditional ties with Britain. With its rich natural resources, it will be an economic benefit for the entire region and the friction over their sovereignty will be reduced.

David P. Michaels
Tel:  212-722-6587
Fax: 212-996-2580


The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Uruguayan-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA.

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