Argentina aspires to lead the alternative regional organization to the Organization of American States | Everything is ready for Celac Chancellors

On Thursday, Argentina will host the 22nd Summit of Foreign Ministers of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). In a panorama of progressive governments in the region, Alberto Fernandez aspires for Argentina to take a greater leadership role and act as a hinge between the various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. For this reason, as a result of long negotiations and with the main support of Mexico, Argentina agreed to take over the interim presidency of the regional organization. They assert in La Rosada that it is an important foreign policy victory for Fernandez. The foreign ministers will arrive throughout the day and participate, at night, in an event at the Kirchner Cultural Center that will be attended by President and Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero.

The Chancellor’s meeting is the precursor to the CELAC Heads of State Meeting which will also be held in Argentina. The body, which was created in 2010, is made up of all American countries except the US and Canada – and since 2020, there is also Brazil, which has excluded itself – and serves as an alternative regional integration mechanism to the Organization of American States (OEA). Some time ago, Alberto Fernandez, along with his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, sought to re-float the political importance of Célac, especially after the role played by the Organization of American States led by Luis Almagro in the coup against Evo Morales. The goal of both leaders, who are strategic allies in the region, is to relaunch the organization as a specific unit that improves political dialogue among the countries of which it is composed and that avoids “the agenda dictated by Washington and which has little to do with the interests of the region”, as defined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Argentine Foreign Ministry. In this sense, the presence of progressive governments such as Luis Ars in Bolivia, Pedro Castillo in Peru, and Gabriel Borek in Chile, as well as the possible return of Lula in Brazil, reinforce expectations that regional politics will then be able to change. Several years of dominance of right-wing governments.

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Negotiations for Argentina’s survival as the only candidate for the interim presidency of Selac began during the administration of former Foreign Minister Felipe Sulla, who led part of the talks that allowed the application of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (a country south of the Grenadines). Caribbean and Northern Venezuela). After that, it was Santiago Cafiero who took over the negotiations. Today that position is held by AMLO, who had to extend Celac’s presidency for a year due to the pandemic. Argentina currently has the support of 31 of the 32 countries that make up the body. Only Nicaragua, who last year opposed Argentina’s candidacy because of Casa Rosada’s position regarding the arrests of political leaders by the government of Daniel Ortega, remained suspicious. Although the government is confident that Nicaragua will end up escorting it, for the time being it prefers to exercise caution.

Cafiero warned Tellam, saying: “The Argentine proposal has the support of a majority of all countries, and this may cause President Fernandez to chair this mechanism from 2022, but we must wait for the plenary on January 7 and listen to all the votes.” He highlighted the importance of Celac “as a mechanism that does not exclude anyone, where all votes are taken into account”. “For us, the achievement of the summit that was held here in Argentina is indeed an important achievement. Regardless of whether the project that Argentina will present is the project chosen or not, the important thing is to continue to support the integration mechanisms that leave no one behind.”

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Meanwhile, the agenda will begin Thursday evening at CCK, where the President will host a dinner in honor of the 31 foreign ministers. Given the conditions of the pandemic, the summit will be mixed (virtual face-to-face), but the State Department expects the assistance of diplomatic representatives from 30 countries, including Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico’s Foreign Minister and future presidential candidate to succeed AMLO) to Nicaragua Denis Moncada. It will be a high-effort political dinner in which the region’s post-pandemic agenda, as well as various strategies to confront inequality on the continent, will be raised.

The next day, Friday, the plenary session of foreign ministers will be held where the country that will officially take over the presidency will be decided. The meeting will take place at 10 am in Palacio San Martín, and if all goes as the government expects, Alberto Fernandez will be ratified as the new Secretary-General of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Nations, making Argentina a leading voice in this new region.

Freddie Dawson

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