From New York
In his third participation as president before the United Nations General Assembly, Alberto Fernández dedicated a large part of his speech to repudiate the “prophets of hate” that generate an anti-political sentiment that, in the case of Argentina, escalated to the attempted assassination of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. To the classic claims for the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands and the cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the investigation of the attack against the AMIA, the President called for peace while reviewing the potential of the country as a supplier of food and energy worldwide after the war between Russia and Ukraine.
assassination It was one of the first words that Fernández spoke before the more than 130 presidents of the General Assembly. “In Argentina,” declared the President, “the attempt to assassinate the Vice President not only affected public tranquility. It also sought to alter a virtuous collective construction that will be four decades old next year. In 1983 we recovered democracy and began a long historical cycle in which different political forces alternated in government”.
In all the public participations that the President has had since he arrived in the United States – there are now four – he expressed his concern regarding the growth of hate speech in the framework of the attempted assassination of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner: “Let us not resignedly accept that We will generate an energetic global rejection of those who promote division in our communities,” he determined in the Assembly.
It is the first time that Fernández has participated in person at the UN General Assembly, a space that is held annually in New York – except for the last two years due to Covid-19 – since 1946 and which constitutes a historical archive of speeches by world leaders.
It was there that Fidel Castro spent four and a half hours defending the Cuban revolution that had just defeated Fulgencio Batista in 1960. The speech was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest in UN history. His first words were: “Although we have been known to talk extensively, you should not worry. We will do our best to be brief.” It was also the stage in which, four years later, Ernesto Che Guevara reinforced that speech by closing with a Fatherland or Death that is still valid to this day. Where Hugo Chávez, the then president of Venezuela, treated George Bush as a devil: “Yesterday the Devil came here, yesterday the Devil was here, in this same place. This table where I have had to speak still smells of sulfur.”
Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, Ambassador Jorge Argüello, Secretary General of the Presidency Julio Vitobello, Ambassador to UNESCO Marcela Losardo, spokesperson Gabriela Cerruti and First Lady Fabiola Yáñez listened to him on the premises.
The impacts of war between russia and ukraine naturally took on relevance at the 77th UN General Assembly, and Fernández was no exception: “We need to work together to impose dialogue and restore peace in the dispute that began with the military advance of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.”
The president made special emphasis on how the increase in the price of food and the alteration of the markets for inputs for production have an important effect on world inflation, which is “to the detriment of the most neglected.” In line with the speech that he made in the last world forums in which he participated, he highlighted the role that Argentina can occupy on the world stage that unleashed the war, especially with regard to the food and energy crisis due to the shortage of supply. “Argentina will fulfill its role as a reliable producer and exporter of nutritious and quality food. Also as a provider of technologies applied to food production to improve its performance.”
“The indebted nations suffer much more from the effects of the established system. Argentina is among them. That is why I want to thank all the States that supported us and continue to support us in the complex process of renegotiating our foreign debt,” said the President.
The foreign debt took on a special role in the presidential tour: for the relevance and responsibility that the United States has in granting the largest loan that the IMF gave in its history, and for the meeting between Kristalina Georgieva and Alberto Fernández after the technical approval of the second review of goals with the IMF. “It is a debt that my government did not generate but that it faces with all seriousness,” said the President.
He then made a mention of the responsibility of the countries in the climate crisisin which neither Latin America and the Caribbean nor Africa are in the first line of carbon emission: “Responsibilities must definitely be differentiated and this requires alleviating the efforts of those who were not guilty in the emergency.”
A classic: AMIA and Malvinas
The President closed his fifteen-minute speech with two classic claims in the participation of Argentine Presidents before the UN: he asked for the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands and the cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the investigation of the attack against the AMIA.
“The United Kingdom persists in its attitude of ignoring the call to resume negotiations regarding the territorial dispute. Even more: it aggravated the controversy by its calls for the illegal exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources in the area,” he explained before an audience in which there was a seat for the Prime Minister of Great Britain Liz Truss, who traveled to New York after attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Regarding Malvinas, he requested that “once again, the Islamic Republic of Iran cooperate with the Argentine judicial authorities to advance in the investigation of the attack against the AMIA.” He also asked the international community to join in the fight by avoiding receiving or sheltering any of the accused, even when they enjoy diplomatic immunity: “We must remember that international arrest requests and Interpol red alerts weigh on them,” the president explained.
Alberto Fernández chose in detail each word of the speech that will be archived in the United Nations. He designed it together with Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and adviser Alejandro Grimson, but he finished polishing it between Sunday and Tuesday morning. After his presentation, the President will participate in a working dinner with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, which will be attended by seven other heads of state. The theme of war and its consequences is present in all meetings, and this is not going to be the exception. He talked to Macron a lot these weeks about this issue and they agreed to follow him in the face-to-face meeting.
Tomorrow it’s the turn of the houston oil family, in Texas, the epicenter of business and energy. Fernández will speak to 80 US companies about the potential of the world’s second largest gas reservoir and fourth unconventional oil reservoir. “Many of them already invest in Argentina, others are evaluating investing and there are others that we want to convince them to do so,” says Argüello. Houston has the particularity of having unconventional resources, like Vaca Muerta. It is for this reason that Argentina looks particularly for a place where the learning curve and the equipment for the extraction of unconventional oil and gas reserves (that is, from a deeper and less porous rock that needs special treatment) They make the business more attractive.