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argentina UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Macri takes aim at Venezuela in UN General Assembly address

President reiterates Argentina's sovereignty claim over disputed Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, during speech before world leaders.

Wednesday 26 September, 2018
President Mauricio Macri addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
President Mauricio Macri addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. Foto:NA

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While domestic eyes were focused on the general strike in Argentina and the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Mauricio Macri travelled to New York this week to attend the United Nations General Assembly and take in a number of bilateral meetings. 

Addressing world leaders at the assembly at UN headquarters, Macri confirmed that his government would present a claim against Venezuela at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for human rights violations, while reaffirming Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands.

"Argentina will bring to the International Criminal Court the crimes against humanity of the Venezuelan dictatorship," Macri said during his speech in New York, asking Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to accept the humanitarian help offered by the rest of the region.

“We are part of a regional response that seeks to mitigate the difficulties of millions of Venezuelan citizens,” he added, adding Argentina has already received 130.000 Venezuelan migrants.

Macri also mentioned the international fight against the drug-trade in his speech, as well as organised crime and terrorism, again calling on Iran to cooperate with Argentine courts in taking to justice those responsible for two major attacks in Buenos Aires than killed over 100 people and injured hundreds more, in 1992 and 1994.

“We call on friendly countries to accompany us and deny shelter to those indicted in the AMIA case and who have red warrant orders from Interpol. We will not cease in our efforts until all those involved are taken to court,” he claimed.

The president then reaffirmed his country’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands, asking for the “legitimate and imprescriptible rights of Argentina.”

At the same time, he highlighted his administration’s commitment on a “new phase” of the relationship with the United Kingdom, based on “mutual trust and a positive and wide dialogue.”

‘LARGE EFFORT’

Macri also made a reference to the country’s economic crisis and thanked the citizens for the “large effort they are making”, claiming he had anticipated that “the road ahead was not going to be easy.” He praised his administration and that the policies taken.

“Argentina is betting on a smart relationship with the rest of the world. We are a peace zone, with a young population full of talent and vitality. We have plenty of natural resources,” he said. “We are providing an optimistic point of view that exceeds the challenges of globalisation.”

On the same day that US President Donald Trump indicated he was in favour of unilateralism and putting the United States first in his own speech, the Argentine leader in contrast described multilateralism as “fundamental” and highlighted his commitment to the Paris climate change agreement and the UN 2030 agenda toward sustainable development.

“We are working to be more integrated, both ourselves and with the rest of the world. We want to have a positive impact on the world order during the 21st century,” he added.

This was the second time Macri had addressed the UN, after Vice-President Gabriela Michetti had replaced him last year. His speech came right after he had met with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde for negotiations over a new agreement with Argentina.

No mention was made on his speech to the general strike that happened in Argentina on the same day he was in New York, the fourth one carried out under his administration. The speech also came on the same day as the resignation of the now former Central Bank head Luis Caputo, who has been replaced by Guido Sandleris.

Macri spoke after his Paraguayan counterpart Mario Abdo Benítez and his Swiss counterpart Alain Berset.

The Argentine President had a full agenda throughout the day, meeting with several other presidents such as Spain’s Pedro Sánchez, Italy’s Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and Cuba’s head of the State Council Miguel Díaz Canel on the sidelines of the flagship UN event.

- TIMES

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