ALBERTO FERNÁNDEZ, President of Argentina, pointing out that along with the compounded realities of the post-pandemic era, the climate crises, war in Ukraine and rapid technological advancements in artificial intelligence, the world is experiencing a time of change which requires a rethink of education, production processes and the preservation of work. The world’s issues demand solutions, he said, as “we have spent too much time diagnosing problems”. With only one quarter of the Sustainable Development Goals set to be realized by 2030, it is impossible to achieve an equitable future by continuing the same paradigms that have generated inequality. He bemoaned the international financial engineering system as “abusive and unchanged,” concentrating income in the hands of a few and promotes cheap labour. Spotlighting situations where global interest rates rise whenever the United States increases its domestic rates, he said it is shameful that IMF applies surcharges to countries already burdened by external debt.
Turning to the challenge of feeding the world’s increasing population amid a rise in floods, drought and tornadoes, he noted that Argentina has lost more than 20 per cent of its total agricultural exports due to the worst drought in the last 100 years. A long-term solution to food insecurity requires a fairer and more transparent, equitable and predictable international trade system for agricultural products. “We must eliminate the distortions produced by subsidies and we must prohibit food from being the subject of financial speculation,” he stressed, as both discourage the investments needed to increase production to help meet growing global demand for food. In the light of current catastrophic effects of the Russian war in Ukraine, particularly on global food prices, he said multilateralism is the best tool for cooperation, because hegemonic agendas limit economic and scientific cooperation, besides affecting international peace.
Pointing to Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin corridor and its reported unleashing of military operations to take control of Nagorno-Karabakh, he urged the international community to act to prevent new ethnic, racial or religious persecution and the world’s multilateral organizations to regain their strength to enforce international rules. He highlighted his country’s fortieth year of restored and unbroken democracy, this year, asserting that Argentina has actively “promoted the right to memory, truth and justice”. Having experienced the horror of the disappearance of 30,000 people, Argentina reiterates its appeal to the international community to ensure the protection of persons of forced disappearances, he said, challenging the world to move forward on the rights agenda because “human rights admit no kind of regression”. Stressing the importance of the rule of law, he also called for an intervention on the rights situation in Guatemala.
Further, he reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to gender equality, stating that his Government has developed a framework to promote women’s rights, strengthened dialogue with its Latin American and Caribbean neighbours, as the region faces a historic opportunity to address the world’s energy and food challenges. He however noted that “terrorism must be combatted in the framework of rule of law”. Argentina has ratified commitments to anti-terrorism efforts and will continue in same. He nevertheless decried unilateral coercive measures by any country or power bloc, requesting unequivocally that Cuba be taken off the list of terrorist supporters. He reaffirmed Argentina’s legitimate right to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime spaces. Regretting that the United Kingdom, the occupying power, continues to refuse to resume bilateral talks, he called on the Secretary-General to redouble efforts through his good offices to bring that country to the negotiating table.
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