Alberto Fernández arrived at the Convention Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 10:42 a.m. from Argentina after having a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sanchez and the High Representative of the European Union, Joseph Borrell. From the Dominican Republic, the President spoke of “an inexplicable war” unleashed by the Russian invasion and called for regional unity at a time when “creaks” the financial system to whom he asked not to “help more”, but to change it.
In the seven minute speech, the Head of State explained that “Humanity is still recovering from the effects of a pandemic, in which the central world is entangled in an inexplicable war like the Russian invasion against Ukraine that alters the global economy, in which the foundations of the international financial system creak and in which that the climate observes changes that flood or dry vital territories for humanity” to announce that “Globalization is in crisis” and “it appears fragile”. Like the other heads of state, Alberto Fernández For this Summit, he wore a typical tacky white shirt that the government of the Dominican Republic gave them as a gift.
The mention of Russia’s attack on Ukraine goes beyond the final document of the Summit in which it was discussed to talk about armed conflicts in general without mentioning the war unleashed a year ago.
Regarding the economic context, the Argentine president explained that “financial capitalism makes the economy tremble when another of its bubbles loaded with speculation bursts unexpectedly. The central world, which passively allows these bubbles to inflate, runs to the aid of the “system” in the face of the explosion so that the domino effect that we have already experienced fifteen years ago does not appear again. At this point in time, with so much concentration, with so much speculative play, we should already understand that the current financial system no longer needs to be helped. We must drastically change it.”
While awaiting confirmation from the White House for the bilateral meeting with Joe Biden, the head of state winked at the United States by criticizing the former president. “Our America, in the years in which Donald Trump ruled the United States, suffered a process of tremendous regional disintegration. UNASUR gradually faded away as its members disassociated themselves by fulfilling mandates imposed by that republican government. Even the OAS remained at the service of that disintegrating objective, validating a coup d’état in Bolivia.” said.
And, as if he were talking about internal politics, he called for unity. “If we want a fair and sustainable Ibero-America, the first step we must take is to restore unity. A unit that does not allow the economic blockades that affect the peoples of the region to be prolonged. A necessary unity to preserve common interests in which we must respect ideological diversity in strong democracies where human rights are respected”, he detailed.
He also spoke about hate speech and, as he does in every international presentation, he quoted the Pope. “In a time as difficult as the one we are going through, marked by social discontent in which hate speech that punishes democracies finds an echo, we are morally obliged to join forces. We are all passengers on the same ship. So we have a common destiny that summons us. ´No one can be saved alone´, Francisco would tell us”.
“We are integrationists by identity”, insisted Fernández and recalled: “In 1991 we founded MERCOSUR, which is still in force despite the problems it faces. It has endured due to the coexistence between governments of different political persuasions. Today we exercise his presidency pro tempore”.
He also brought the food security agenda and developments such as lithium that Argentina is committed to. “In terms of food security and energy transition, the improvement of productivity levels, as well as the integration of logistics and value chains, must incorporate the discussion on investment and technology transfer as levers for strengthening the food system and global energy,” he said. And he maintained: “Projects such as the development of lithium, green hydrogen, family farming and advances in science, technology and innovation require a significant cooperation effort. The desired destination is not a return to the past. We have raw materials that we must be able to industrialize so that our exports are boosted”.
In one of the most important passages of the message, he spoke again about the conditions of the International Monetary Fund on indebted countries like ours. “We are witnessing an international scenario characterized by high and unsustainable levels of indebtedness that condition the growth of our countries. The fees and surcharges that the International Monetary Fund imposes on indebted countries are abusive. That reality collides with that international financial architecture that I questioned before.”
Under this scenario, the Head of State called for “increasing the transparency of international financial institutions and advocating for greater access to credit facilities, in order to promote growth and development before speculation.”
The drought also had an international chapter. “We are also witnessing a growing threat. The climate crisis puts the lives of our peoples and the development of our economies in crisis,” said Fernández to say that “today Argentina is hit by a historic drought that compromises producers, impacts on the value of food and restricts essential financial resources for the economic recovery and income of our people”.
In this sense, he said that “Argentina is deeply committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We are advancing in the transition towards renewable energies, the adoption of clean energies to reduce emissions, as well as the eradication of illegal deforestation and the restoration of ecosystems”.
At the end, Fernández thanked the presidents for the statement on the Malvinas Islands. “I wish to thank the Heads of State and Government of the Ibero-American countries and the Representatives of the Member States for the Special Communiqué on the Question of the Malvinas Islands. We deeply appreciate the permanent support for the call for the resumption of bilateral negotiations with the United Kingdom in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations and other international forums”. It was a text that was unanimously supported by the member countries of the Summit made up of 19 Latin American countries and two from Europe, such as Spain and Portugal. The country governed by Pedro Sanchez contributes 60% of the resources of the summit. In financing it is followed by Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and in fifth place is Portugal.
Regarding the closure, Fernández asked: “Today, sitting around this table, let us make the decision to unite our peoples in pursuit of their legitimate rights. When we celebrate forty years of uninterrupted democracy in Argentina, let us not open the doors to detractors of the Rule of Law who exude hate from their mouths seeking to discourage our peoples. In this time that has touched us, the most difficult without a doubt, let’s make it possible. Let us unite to be the architects of our future and so that the central world never again postpones us in the peripheries of decadence”.
Alberto Fernández spoke after his partner from Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso. There was no mention of either of the two of the recent conflict that led the ambassadors of both countries to lift their protocol activity.
He insisted on the “abusive” overcharges from the International Monetary Fund and spoke of the drought affecting Argentina.
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