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How To Overcome British Bad Faith On Falklands Diplomacy

Argentina must boost its scientific activities in the South Atlantic and maintain diplomatic pressures on Great Britain as part of its efforts to recover the Falklands.

Malvinas Monument in Rio Grande, Argentina
Malvinas Monument in Rio Grande, Argentina
Roberto Garcia Moritan


BUENOS AIRES — The United Kingdom's intransigence over diplomatic negotiations regarding the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas, is blocking the United Nations' repeated efforts to conclude this dispute over sovereignty.

The UN's Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24), which includes 29 states, has passed a resolution (proposed by all Latin American Committee members), which alongside more than 40 similar UN decisions, urges Argentina and Britain to conclude a decolonization process pending since 1833. The Special Committee has helped resolve 80 cases involving ex-colonies and 11 dependencies, and has 17 colonial questions left on its agenda.

This year, for the pandemic, the president of the C-24 replaced its meeting with a written resolution, with no objections or requests for a physical meeting —not even the United Kingdom, an observer at the Committee, or members from the British Commonwealth, voiced objection. There were no negative reactions or alternative texts to the one adopted unanimously. Yet in spite of the apparent consensus, London keeps ignoring the UN's mandate, as happens with other decolonization dossiers like the Chagos Islands or Gibraltar.

Britain's attitude exposes the limitations of multilateral diplomacy.

The United Kingdom's inaction shows disdain for the UN, which is disconcerting given its permanent membership on the Security Council. It conveys an attitude of abuse of power, and subjects UN resolutions to the dictates of politics and force. It is the type of conduct that hurts the principle of equality among nations and jeopardizes peace and international security.

More broadly, Britain's attitude exposes the limitations of multilateral diplomacy, and reveals the C-24's resolution of political support to be insufficient.

One should consider the question from a wider, strategic and geopolitical perspective, and measures being approved by the Argentine Congress are a good step in that direction. The country must also boost its presence across the continental platform and maritime areas of the South Atlantic, in particular with regards fishing and oceanographic research into the Atlantic ecosystem.

Argentina should come to see scientific knowledge as a pillar and instrument of power, and especially amplify its effective capacity to administer the 1.7 million square kilometers now added to the existing Exclusive Economic Zone. Sovereignty in knowledge must become another standard of our diplomacy to recover the Falklands and affirm our presence.

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Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGO — TikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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