Page 1 Ӏ. General Statement As an honored, founding member of the Organization of American States, The Argentine Republic understands the importance of the OAS in the international system, and more so, the impact it has on Western Hemispheric nations. As mentioned in the founding of the OAS in 1948, The Argentine Republic with collaborative efforts, strives to achieve and uphold a secure and prosperous region with “individual liberty, and social justice, based on respect for essential human rights, within the framework of democratic institutions.”1 Furthermore, this delegation is pleased with efforts made by all members, in the continuation to combat poverty, human rights violations, to improve economic, social, and political infrastructure, and to diminish the influence of drug trafficking. It is this delegations interest to eradicate poverty by means of improving educational, economic, and security infrastructures throughout the OAS, and encourages all member states to participate, as well.
The Argentine Republic flourishes with rich natural resource reserves, a highly literate population of 98.1%, an export-oriented agricultural sector, a diversified industrial base for 100 years, and a 26th worldwide ranking in GDP. The Argentine Republic exports soybeans, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, and wheat with industries in food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, and steel. In 2014, the Delegation of Argentina restored relations with the International Financial Community, by making its first payment to the Paris Club, and served as a non-permanent member of the UNSC from 2013 to 2014. However, The Argentine Republic understands the need to further improve upon the policies and structures already established in order to bring about a more prosperous Hemisphere. Furthermore, The Argentine Republic strives for the eradication of poverty by means of improving the economy, enhancing industry exports, restoring the environmental needs, respecting individual rights, and increasing security transparency.2
With the re-election of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, The Argentine Republic has experienced positive changes, and hopes to continue aligning itself with the goals of the OAS. As a representative of Latin America in United Nations G-20, The Argentine Republic has sought to grow the economy in recent years by, nationalizing the formerly private Spanish Oil Company YPF, aimed at restoring the economic sector. As stated by CEO Miguel Galuccio of YPF, “Fifteen percent of our gas production comes from tight and shale. We have a goal of getting fifty percent of our gas production from these formations by 2020.”3 From 2003 to 2009, 45% of the population, primarily from the middle class, doubled in size due to the steadily rising economy. In the past year, President Kirchner approved to raise the minimum wage to 6,060 pesos or $662 for workers employed full-time. Kirchner expressed,
“Tomorrow Argentines will wake up and see that government worked in their favor, that we passed a 28.5% minimum wage increase, raising the salary from 200 pesos from what it was in 2003, across the sliding wage scale, to 6,060 pesos.”4
With wealth distribution and poverty a main concern, The Argentine Republic strives to diminish the inequality through means such as this, and believes in a prosperous future for the OAS.
The Argentine Republic seeks to expand the industrial sector, seeing as only 1/3rd of the labor force works in this sector. From 2002 to 2007, the Argentine industrial sector increased production by 52% through the enlargement of exports, consistent with lowered unemployment levels and a GDP growth of 9.2%. In order to bring more manufacturing to the local level
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Page 2 President Kirchner added agricultural exports and constricted regulations on imports.5 As expressed under the OAS’s sustainable development objectives, The Argentine Republic continues to implement policies of water resource management and sanitary conditions, resulting in improved drinking water sources available to 99% of the population and enhanced access to sanitation facility for 96.2% of the population.6 The Argentine Republic firmly believes access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities is necessary for the safety and well-being of all citizens within the OAS.
The Argentine Republic advocates for human rights, equality, and education for all. The Argentine Republic’s population is composed of ¾ being immigrants or regional migrants coming from European and/or Latin American decent, fleeing from political, economic, and/or social prosecution. The Delegation of Argentina continues to abide to the Declaration and Plan Action Cartagena +30s policies for refugees and asylum seekers, by allowing Syrian refuges into the country without discrimination based on sex, gender, religion, or national origin. The Argentine Republic is a leader in individual rights through the legalization of same-sex marriage in July of 2010, and two years later, a law allowing citizens to have their names and sexes legally changed without undergoing transgender surgery.7 Senator Osvaldo Lopez of Tierra del Fuego said, “This law is going to enable many of us to have light, to come out of the darkness, to appear. There are many people in our country who also deserve the power to exist.”8 As expressed in the OAS Charter, the individual rights and social justices are an important part of a democratic institution, thus, prompting this Delegation to continue pushing individual rights legislation for those subject to discrimination and inequality.
The Argentine Republic seeks to educate all citizens because an educated society is a strong, capable society. In 2009, President Cristina Kirchner introduced the Asignacíon Universal por Hijo (AUH) for the purpose of incentivizing education to the poorer communities. “The AUH grants 220 pesos ($53) a month for each child under 18, up to a maximum of five, to parents who are unemployed or work in the informal sector of the economy.”9 The program helps 3.6 million children and adolescents, abiding to conditions of attendance and health check-ups. Not only has it increased the school lifetime to 18 years, but also, has contributed to a 55% to 70% reduction in extreme poverty.10 The AUH is called the “most transcendent social policy decision in a long time.”11 The educational system is important to the Delegation of Argentina not only for our youth, but also for those needing to be reintegrated into society once again. The Argentine Republic works with The Training and Certification Program for Drug and Violence Prevention (PROCCER) and The Partnership for Opportunities in Employment through Technology in the Americas (POETA) with the goals to educate and provide employment for first time offenders. The Delegation of Argentina believes providing a second chance for inmates to turn their lives around, is most effective in preventing second-time offenders.12
The Argentine Republic perceives the upcoming Summit of the Americas, as another opportunity to collectively address concerns expressed by member states, as well as, provide solutions aligned with the goals and objectives set forth by the OAS charter. The Argentine Republic firmly believes a collaborated effort by all member states, is necessary in order to rebuild security and economic infrastructures corresponding with efforts to continually educate citizens by means of affordable education, clean resources, and respecting individual rights; ultimately allowing for the eradication of poverty to further ensure a secure and prosperous future.
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Page 3 ӀӀ. Particular Statements A. Committee: General Committee (GC)
Topic One: Programs to Address Disparities in Wealth Distribution
The Argentine Republic recognizes the concerns for wealth disparities within nations throughout the Organization of American States. It is this Delegation’s interest to improve upon the overall wealth of nations and to marginalize the distribution of wealth within nations, in a collaborative effort with other member states. The Argentine Republic believes member states’ governments can play a strong role by providing education, job-training and resources, and re-posturing the economic infrastructure itself.
The “Government estimates 11 percent of the population cannot meet their basic food needs. Poverty rates are approximately 20 percent higher in the rural areas than they are in the urban areas. In the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area the poverty rate is 29.8 percent, while in the subtropical jungle areas of the Northeast, the rate is 60 percent.”13 Since the depression in 2001- the worst in the country’s history; Argentina has been trying to get itself back on track. Throughout 2012, the government increased state intervention through resuscitation of the economy. In May 2012, “Congress approved the nationalization of the oil company YPF.”14 The government continued to tighten currency controls to attempt to bring up capital revenue and fix the terrible aftermath of the 2001 crisis. After making a currency swap with China half way through the 2014 year, “the Argentine Central Bank has received the equivalent of $3.2 billion in Chinese yuan, which it counts as international reserves.”15
The Argentine Republic has not been in deficit with GDP of $947.6 billion (2014 est.), however, the GDP real growth rate is barely retaining weight with a 0.5% growth rate (2014 est.). The current account balance is in deficit of $4.68 billion (2014 est.) making its comparison to the world ranked 167, one of the lowest rankings. Argentina has understood the problems of a failing economy and has been taking measures to act against it before the wealth distribution becomes too much to handle.
Understanding that wealth distribution is a problem that surfaces, it is important to modern day economies, such as this Delegation who wants to tackle the problem at the source. Throughout history, evidence has shown that with education and knowledge brings wealth and power. With a total of 18 years school life in Argentina and a literacy rate of 98.1% (2015 est.), many Argentines have up to a tertiary education. The problem arises when they move past that to university where Argentina holds a terrible record for an immense number of drop outs. In Argentina, for every 100 students who enroll each year at public and private universities, only 27 end up graduating, “making the drop-out rate about 73%.”16 This may seem insane to a country that used to be on the forefront during the 20th century, yet it is something the country has to take very seriously seeing as it is one of the highest in the world.
Acknowledging history shows wealth rises when education rises, and a component contributing to that is when women birth later or less. As education is more accessible, men and women are able to higher themselves to the utmost knowledge and empower themselves equally, as seen by trends in major civilizations wanting to reproduce later in life. The Argentine Republic’s goal is to empower women of the region and level the wealth disparity. It is in this Delegations hope that result from equality between men and women will aid in increased education and wealth standards incentivized for new generations to continue the cycle. This empowerment will start at a young age seeing as tuition is already free in Argentina at publicly financed universities. By starting to focus on higher abilities of education in the younger years of children’s lives, the rest of the system will start to change from the bottom up. The need for a stable base is prevalent in the current schooling system. Believing that other countries could The Argentine Republic
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Page 4 adopt a similar idea to invest in the younger generations will help the hemisphere as a whole. The goal is to not worry about the short term aspects that can wear off within a few years, but by starting at the bottom, looking to the future and focusing on the long term effects. B. Committee: Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (ESID)
Topic One: Eradication of Poverty within the Context of Sustainable Development
The Argentine Republic understands the effects of an unstable economy and believes increases in trade and exports is an efficient alternative to the problem. The Delegation of Argentina aims to collaborate with OAS members to eradicate poverty by stabilizing the industrial sectors of the economy. With a seemingly ever-booming population, a key to this success is expanding industrial ventures and securing the economic future of the people, as well as the country itself.
After struggling with an unstable economy for decades, The Argentine Republic increased trade and exports, stabilizing the economy. However, in more recent years another export slump has developed in combination with severe droughts, diminishing the agricultural industries throughout.17Unfortunately, Argentina’s current agricultural industries have proved to lack sustainability due to severe drought, affecting the country’s overall welfare. Argentina is the second largest corn exporter in the world after the United States,18 and the third largest soybean exporter19. The absence of rain during the past decade has greatly affecting such significant industries like these, as well as other essential economic facets. The Ministry of Agriculture has earmarked nearly 120 million dollars for an emergency fund to provide financial aid to small farmers who have suffered great loss due to these failing industries.20 Nearly 48 % of the total area in Argentina is agricultural land but as of now, only 11% of the land is arable and can sustain crops21. With these numbers, it is impossible to be confident that all those suffering from these losses are being reimbursed by the government’s plan of action alone.
Drought has been a chronic threat for Argentina and for the agricultural industry across the Western Hemisphere. Constantly losing harvests ensues losses for both the producers and their governments. Although Argentina is beginning to recover from this economic crisis, there are still huge risks when it comes to production, exports and revenue collection22.
It is imperative that action is taken in order to secure future economic prosperity within the Western Hemisphere. The Argentine Republic encourages securing economic recovery by providing all knowledge and resources available in an effort to maintain established industries, expand upon new industries, and provide more jobs in the hopes of eradicating poverty through sustainable development programs. The Argentine Republic emphasizes the need to make up for what is being lost through collective iniative.
Topic Two: Sharing and Allocation of Water Resources
The Argentine Republic recognizes that the Organization of American States (OAS) has brought to the forefront concerns over water allocation and resources. Noting that the Americas hold some of the largest fresh water resources in the world, it is of the upmost importance that the OAS concentrated on how water is allocated and used. Argentina applauds the ongoing efforts of the OAS to work on improving water governance issues as well as begin to address the fact that Latin America is struggling to improve water conditions that are polluted, trans- boundary water issues, water pricing inequality, and financial restraints in terms of managing
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Page 5 and proving water resources. 23
Recently, the United Nations (UN) and World Bank have made great efforts to combat lack of access to water and water resources across the world. In a recent publication from the World Bank, it was stated the Latin America contains “nearly 31% of the world’s resources” and is the “riches region in the world in terms of freshwater availability in person” but yet “at a regional level 100 million Latin Americans lack access to sanitation” in water and that “with over 80% of Latin Americans living in clean cities” with improving water resources, some areas are being left behind. Specifically, the rural areas where “access to water and sanitation is underdeveloped” causing a “split down the rural/urban divide” that can sometimes have effects on “health, education, tourism, and more” that can at times “reduce a country’s annual GDP by 2-3%”. With all of the available water resources in the Americas, there is no reason that member states should be allowing an available resource to have a negative impact on GDP’s within member states themselves. 24 Noting the observations from the World Bank, there is a need to insure that rural areas within the Americas are able to gain access to viable water resources to help lessen the gap between rural and urban areas. Already, the OAS has begun to implement policies and ways to focus on how water resources are allocated in programs like World Water Day25 and water aquifer and/or basin usage agreements such as the Guarani Aquifer Agreement between the member states of the Republic of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. 26
With small baby steps, the OAS efforts will pay off to close the gap of water resources and allocation to cities and rural areas. With special focus on the rural areas, the World Bank states that these issues will be a “key challenge for many Latin American countries to further improve” in order “to enable economic growth to be maintained in an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive manner27.” The delegation of Argentina proposes that water programs be implemented within member states with the intention of providing water sanitation centers, improved access to water pipes and latrines, followed by loans from the World Bank and other organizations that will help provide funding for member states to implement water sanitation and infrastructure systems in rural area of Latin America. Already, Argentina has begun to seek ways to resolve lack of water access in rural areas by improving education on water use and practices that promote water conservation. With implementation of water sanitation centers and community involvement, lack of clean and viable water resources will slowly diminish and in effect have a lasting positive impact on sustainable development of member states.
C. Committee: Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS)
Topic Two: Updating the Rio Treaty to Meet New Hemispheric Security Challenges
As a signatory to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) in 1947, The Argentine Republic understands the importance of this document to “the strengthening of peace and security of the continent.”28 With the basic tenet being “an armed attack by any State against an American State shall be considered as an attack against all the American States,”29 is recognized as one of foremost important issues in today’s world. It is this understanding that the Delegation of Argentina feels that it is important to strengthen the Rio Treaty by adding an additional article that allows for the assistance of fellow Member States in combating inter-state conflict when requested. As told by Global Security “The most serious threats to national stability, even in the U.S. and Canada, are generated by domestic violence and common crime, which are increasingly intertwined with international drug trafficking, ethnic divisions, and unresponsive political systems.”30
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Page 6 The Argentine Republic experienced inter-state conflict, during the 1930’s, at which the country began to “decline and the emergence of political tension as new social and political forces were seeking political power, including the military and labor movements that emerged from the growing urban working class.”31 By 1955 Juan Domingo Peron, the leader of the Nationalist and Populist Party, had been ousted. “Which reached a level of a minor intra-state conflict, led by Eduardo A. Lonardi Doucet.”32
During the early 1960s, there was a rise in the Peronistas and Anti- Peronistas, who largely impacted the political field in Argentina. “The military was also partly divided along that schism. The Colorados (“Reds”) sought a military dictatorship that would deal strongly with the Peronistats and extreme leftists.”33 “The Azules (“Blues”) favored a constitutional coalition government that included the Peronistas.”34 In 1963, a revolt was led by Colorados anti-Peronists Generals, Benjamin Menendez and Federico Toranzo, resulting in more inter-state conflict. In more recent years, drug violence is affecting regional stability with threats from cartels and traffickers moving through The Argentine Republic, thus, allowing for conflict to arise within its borders.
Inter-State conflict does not only affect The Argentine Republic, but other member states as well. The Delegation of Argentina feels it is important to improve the Rio Treaty, “in the name of their Peoples, the Governments represented at the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security, desirous of consolidating and strengthening, their relations of friendship and good neighborliness.”35 This Delegation hopes nations can come together by providing assistance and support in times of great disruption, continuing to strengthen the overall relationships and trust of those who support and stand with the Treaty.
D. Committee: Secretariat for Political Affairs (SPA)
Topic One: Protection of Political Refugees and Asylum Seekers
The Argentine Republic explicitly understands the struggles that have faced the Organization of American States in recent years in response to properly caring for Political Refugees and Asylum Seekers. The Argentine Republic, being a nation born from immigrants reaching all around the globe, is deeply concerned by the conditions which many asylum seekers and refugees are faced with upon after arriving at many of our borders. With civil wars and terrorist groups ruling over nations throughout the world, the OAS should be a beacon of hope and safety in which ostracized, hunted, and discriminated against peoples, can seek refuge. This
was one of the founding conditions of the OAS; to “recognize the fundamental rights of the individual without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or sex.”36
Recently, the global system has seen increases in immigrants from regions of the Middle East, who have been persecuted for their sexual orientation and religious practices. In response to this, Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernandez has announced that the Argentine Republic is more than willing to welcome refugees fleeing from persecution, namely from Syria, and has enacted actions to quicken the process of refugee claims.37
In 2014, 59.9 million people world wide, were forcibly displaced. Out of the 59.9 million displaced persons, only fifteen percent of refugee claims were accepted by nations. Resulting in 50.57 million people were rejected from being able to seek refuge in nations, many of which had sufficient resources to do so.38 These people are running for their lives. On the 3rd of December 2014, the Declaration and Plan of Action Cartagena +30, collaboratively agreed to the harmonization of policies in dealing with refugees and asylum seekers as a pertinent factor to success in our goals as the OAS. This includes the sensitization of campaigns addressed at local authorities and communities39. The Argentine Republic sees this as essential to keeping peace
worldwide and following the mission of the OAS.
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Page 7 It is because of these goals which we have agreed upon, as well as the astonishing amount of rejection of refugees and asylum seekers, that the Republic of Argentina is proposing a plan to reduce the discrimination which people face in applying for entry into our nation states. This includes a plan to focus on the LGBT communities as well as incorporating an acceptance without regard to nation of origin or religious background. These factors have been a seemingly more important aspect of refugee claims, especially when claiming persecution from a country of origin. The UNHCR, which all member states are a part of, specifically stated that “an applicant’s sexual orientation can be relevant to a refugee claim where he or she fears persecutory harm on account of his or her perceived sexual orientation.”40
In July of 2010, Argentina legalized gay marriage and has been attempting to open up its community even more since then. With the presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, we have been furthering advances in inclusiveness as well. It was a great relief at the acceptance of gay marriage by Pope Francis41. The delegation of Argentina would be greatly saddened if its acceptance of others was perceived as clashing with the views of Catholicism.
In the end, the delegation hopes that by participating in the model, refugees and asylum seekers will benefit overall. The delegation’s main goal is the betterment of conditions and availability of safe havens for refugees fleeing civil war and persecution.
Topic Two: Establishing Hemispheric Standards for Prisoner Rights and Prison Reform
The Argentine Republic firmly believes that a major underlying problem within member states is the dire need for increasing liberty of prisoners as well as an improvement in prison conditions. The Argentine Republic believes the solution to unfavorable prison conditions can be achieved by providing educational opportunities to prisoners.
Furthermore the Organization of American States has called for comprehensive prison reform within their Department of Public Security Strategic Plan for 2013-2018. This comprehensive plan contained four pillars. The first pillar was providing alternatives to imprisonment that aims to prevent a prisoner from being isolated from their family, workplace, and social environment. Secondly, the plan calls for registry and classification systems to help ensure inmates are being placed in the appropriate facility and determine an individual’s needs for proper reintegration after their release. The third pillar calls for corrections personnel being held to a more stringent standard. Lastly, the fourth pillar promotes reintegration into society.
This calls for a punishment that helps the prisoner to set them up for success with reentry into society and to avoid recidivism.42
In a comprehensive study done by universities in the Americas, an achievement of more education directly correlates to a decrease in criminal behavior.43 By providing opportunities for nonviolent inmates, member states can decrease prison overcrowding and provide employment to more citizens. Without a doubt the Argentine Republic recognizes the need for an innovative solution to address deplorable prison conditions throughout member states. Within the Argentine Republic, a progressive prison policy has been implemented. The Argentine progressive prison regime aims to limit inmates stay in confinement, promote transfer to open or semi open institutions, and aim to get parole days, work release, and conditional release or parole.44 The
Argentine Republic has a prison population of 64,288 spread out across 228 institutions. Within the Argentine Republic, prisons are at 99.5% of their max capacity.45 This overflow in prison capacity has created many problems, such as five prisoners being forced to sleep on the floor without a mattress in a small cell.46 These accommodations provide unlivable conditions for prisoners.
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Page 8 There are two programs already in place within the OAS that can offer an innovative solution to ameliorate the deplorable prison conditions. Starting in 2006, the OAS developed a program called The Training and Certification Program for Drug and Violence Prevention (PROCCER). The PROCCER may be altered for each member state’s needs, however it has several broad goals. These goals include developing effective assessment tools and to develop societal reentry programs that begin in prisons. These programs launched have a wide scope covering mentoring, employment training, job placement, counseling, and various support services. This initiative has already proven to be cost effective by reducing crime and prison population while helping citizens reintegrate effectively and efficiently into society.47
The Partnership for Opportunities in Employment through Technology in the Americas (POETA) was launched in 2004 with partnership from the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program as an OAS affiliated non-profit. This program started in Guatemala with the goal of providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. POETA provides relevant job training as well as job placement assistance. This program has rapidly expanded and is now located within twelve Latin American states.48
The Argentine Republic aims to expand the PROCCER and POETA policies to all inmates throughout member states provided they are nonviolent, first time offenders. Inmates would be offered optional vocational training through POETA and receive aid with reintegration services provided by PROCCER.
23 Comision Nacional Del Agua. “Water Problems in Latin America.” http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/fileadmin/wwc/News/WWC_News/water_problems_22.03.04.pdf
24 “Latin America: Bridging the gap in water access,” The World Bank, last modified August 30, 2012, accessed October 1, 2015, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/08/30/agua-saneamiento-america-latina .
25 “World Water Day: Latin America leads in water management but inequalities in access remain,” The World Bank, last modified March 22, 2013, accessed October 1, 2015, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/03/22/world-water-day-latin-america-achievements-challenges