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23/09/2008 | Financial crisis, Iran and Falklands in Cristina’s UN bag

Mercopress Staff

In her first speech before the United Nations General Assembly Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner mocked United States policies, reiterated Iran should extradite officials allegedly involved in terrorist actions in Argentine territory and insisted on claiming sovereignty over the Malvinas/Falklands.

 

“South American countries were insistently told that the market solves everything; that the state was no longer needed; that government intervention in the economy belonged to nostalgia. However we are witnessing the most formidable government intervention in recent memory, precisely from where we were told that the state was no longer needed”, underlined Mrs. Kirchner in her Tuesday speech in direct reference to the global financial crisis.

The Argentine president suggested the current financial crisis should be called the “jazz effect”, and “it’s not the caipirinha, tequila or rice effects of the emerging countries towards the center, but rather the jazz effect which from the heart of the world’s leading economy is expanding to the rest of the world”.

Mrs. Kirchner went on to argue that it has been precisely this model of government intervention which has helped Argentina recover the economy and pay its dues to the multilateral financial organizations. She mentioned Argentina had cancelled all debts with the International Monetary Fund, was in the process of doing something similar with the Paris Club and was considering a proposal to cancel defaulted sovereign bonds hold outs.

“Here in New York I’ve announced that three first line banks that represent hold outs that did not join the 2005 swap have made a very favorable proposal involving better conditions for Argentina than in 2005”, she said emphasizing that “not only do we believe that the strategy has been the correct one, but that it has become essential a review by all of us, with the utmost intellectual humbleness of what is happening today and what are the solutions to overcome such a situation”.

However in this case (US) “we have a great advantage which we don’t have in emerging countries, that no risk assessment agency will come around, nor the IMF to tell this great country what to do, a country which has grown historically based on a real economy and which now has grave problems because of the casino or fiction economy where apparently the belief is that only capitalism can generate money”.

As was anticipated Mrs. Kirchner also called on Iran to extradite five former officials to stand trial for a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and injured 150. Former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian, four other Iranians and one Lebanese member of Hezbollah are wanted by Argentina for the attack on the AMIA Jewish center.

“I ask Iran to please allow Argentine justice to judge, in public and transparent trials with all the guarantees of a democratic system, those citizens who stand accused'' underlined Mrs. Kirchner.

She added that accepting the request will contribute to the truth not only for Argentina but for all the international community, “at times when truth and justice” are scarce.

The Argentine president then moved on to the Falklands/Malvinas issue and renewed the Argentine sovereignty claim over the Islands insisting that “this colonial enclave” is “an embarrassment for the XXI century”.

In direct reference to the UK, Mrs. Kirchner said that “the country which is a member of the Security Council, which is one of the leading world nations in the defense of freedom, human rights and democracy must give effective proof that it’s not only words, but rather essentially convinced that it’s necessary to end with this shameful situation which is a colonial enclave in the XXI century”.

“It's time to end the embarrassment of this colonial enclave” said the Argentine president citing previous resolutions of support for negotiations from the UN General Assembly. “I call once again on the United Kingdom to fulfill its obligations under international law”.

For the Argentine people Malvinas is “state policy” and “we call once again upon this honorable chamber to press on the United Kingdom to comply with the rules on international law”.

Finally Mrs. Kirchner called on UN country members to ratify the persons forced disappearance treaty sponsored by Argentina and France, and recalled that human rights has also become a “state policy” for the Argentines.

On the first day of speeches, besides the Argentine leader, US president George Bush, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, French president Nicholas Sarkozy and Brazil´s Lula da Silva addressed the General Assembly.

Mercopress (Uruguay)

 


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