Argentine President Alberto Fernandez criticized the “toxic and irresponsible loan” that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted to his predecessor’s government in a pre-recorded speech to the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
During the speech, which lasted around 20 minutes, Fernandez also called for “a reconfiguration of the global financial architecture”, addressed the issue of the sovereignty of the Malvinas / Falkland Islands and pledged to fight change climate.
The president noted that “Latin America and the Caribbean allocate 57% of their exports to the payment of external debt services”.
He argued that Argentina “has been subjected to toxic and irresponsible debt” to the IMF, which approved a $ 57 billion loan to the government of former President Mauricio Macri.
Fernandez described the 2018 IMF loan to Argentina as the equivalent of “everything the agency paid out in the year of the pandemic to 85 countries around the world.”
He stressed the absence of a multilateral framework for debt restructuring, which continues to be a “void in international financial governance”.
He noted, however, that “change, while difficult, is not impossible. We celebrate the expansion and distribution of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights, an initiative that has opened the door to hope. What was unthinkable a year ago, today is a reality “
Fernandez proposed that “risk scoring” be part of the “reform agenda of the international financial architecture”, describing it as “the key to saving the principles of debt sustainability that have been discussed at the United Nations”.
He also called for “a pact” to extend repayment terms with lower interest rates “to countries under financial, health and ecological stress”.
“We must promote sustainable financing systems that promote payment mechanisms for ecosystem services and the concept of environmental debt. Debt-for-climate swap is another virtuous step that we must take,” he added.
Fernandez also pledged his country’s “full commitment” to the Paris Agreement, stressing the need to switch to renewable energies and adapt clean technologies, prevent illegal deforestation and restore ecosystems.
“All these commitments are one more step that our country is taking towards a coherent trajectory with the [global temperature] target of 1.5 ° C and carbon neutrality by 2050 ”, he declared.
He added that this would not be possible without addressing “global inequalities” and “the reconfiguration of the international financial architecture”.
He noted that the $ 100 billion to help developing countries tackle climate change had not materialized.
“Climate justice will be a pipe dream without global financial justice that contributes to social justice,” Fernandez said, as he called for “environmental social justice”.
The president also spoke about human rights for different sectors of society, noting that the coronavirus pandemic has led to increased violence against women, increased stigma against migrants, LGBTQ people, older people and people with disabilities and has had great impacts on indigenous peoples.
“We are challenged to build more just, inclusive and egalitarian societies,” he added.
Fernandez also called for the reconstruction of the post-pandemic world “under the rule of solidarity and equity” and said that “COVID-19 vaccines must be global public goods. Argentina welcomes the patent proposal. From our country, we are involved in the production of two vaccines.
He also called for international collaboration to resolve the circumstances of the 1994 suicide bombing attack on a Jewish community center in the capital Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured in what is the world’s most terrorist attack. murderous in Argentina to date.
Falklands / Malvinas
Fernandez reaffirmed Argentina’s sovereignty and “legitimate and inalienable” rights over the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
“These territories have been illegally occupied by the UK for over 188 years,” he said.
“There is no other reason than the intention of the United Kingdom to keep the colonial situation manifest and illegitimate so that the bilateral dialogue does not resume now on the question of the Malvinas”, he added. .