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Argentine President Tells ‘BRICS-Plus’ Summit: ‘Development Must Be the New Name for Peace,’ Once and for All

June 27, 2022 (EIRNS)—In his June 24 virtual address to the “BRICS-Plus” summit—formally the High-Level Dialogue on Global Development— hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Argentine President Alberto Fernández (in Spanish) was unequivocal in asserting the urgent need for a new global financial architecture, based on the understanding that “once and for all, development must be the new name of peace,” and “peace must today be the new name of development.” This was the theme running through his entire speech, as he described what he said were the “tragic consequences” of the military conflict in Ukraine for the nations of the Global South, with “the specter of hunger mercilessly stalking the nations of the Southern Hemisphere.”

Pointing out that he is currently as president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), representing 650 million people, Fernández warned that under the region’s current desperate conditions, and those of the Southern Hemisphere more broadly, there is no chance that the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals can possibly be reached unless there is peace and “adequate public policies” to address urgent needs. He called for a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, a return to dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Argentina, he said, wants to “be part of the search for a solution that brings all parties together to achieve a lasting peace.”

And, he said, while “we work to silence the thunder of weapons, we must concentrate our efforts on the design of a global financial architecture which takes into account the needs of growth, trade, investment and, fundamentally, the welfare which humanity demands.” While the war is being waged in Europe, he warned, “its tragic consequences have repercussions in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the entire Southern hemisphere. We are the periphery that is suffering.”

The Argentine President said he was honored to have been invited to attend the BRICS-Plus summit and that his nation very much wanted to become a full member of the BRICS. He spoke of how Argentina, with its enormous food and energy production potential and its technological expertise, can most certainly help other nations increase their food production and improve their quality of life. Fernández said he recalled Xi Jinping’s proud 2021 announcement that China had eliminated extreme poverty, and that he wanted to do the same for his country, but that sadly, Argentina belongs to a continent that “is the most unequal in the world.”

The BRICS “economic and institutional weight can become a factor of financial stability,” and the expansion of the BRICS New Development Bank can help strengthen nations’ infrastructure, he emphasized. He called for expanding currency swap arrangements such as the one Argentina has with China, and for creating a new international (BRICS) rating agency, to replace those run by private financier interests. The BRICS “constitute a platform with tremendous capacities to discuss and implement an agenda for the future that can bring us to a better and more just era.”

“No one has ever convinced me,” Fernández said in conclusion, “that all past history has been the best; the best is in the approaching tomorrow, a tomorrow that we can build. The time is now, history is now—we are writing it. We must understand, once and for all, that development must be the new name of peace and that peace must today be the new name of development.”

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