Foreign Minister Felipe Solá attended the Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Ibero-American Conference, whose presidency pro tempore is currently held by the Principality of Andorra. Solá outlined the achievements and challenges faced by our countries in the context of the pandemic and the need to foster innovations for sustainable development, in line with the meeting's theme.
Addressing his counterparts and the Ibero-American Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan, Solá stated in the virtual meeting that “Argentina considers that innovating is, above all, about embracing technological innovation with one goal: the people in, leaving no one behind. Inclusion is creating more jobs, modernizing the production of goods and services. Including is enhancing personal human capacity and institutional capacity and having a public service infrastructure that improves the quality of health and education.
The Ibero-American Conference is an opportunity to discuss, build consensus and share, comprising 22 countries (19 from Latin America plus Spain, Portugal and Andorra). In addition to Argentina, participating countries from our region are Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Chile, Nicaragua, Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay. They meet for an Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government held every two years to issue lines of action for the next summit. The Foreign Ministers’ meeting is a preliminary event for the 27th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held next 21 April.
Accompanied by, among others, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Pablo Tettamanti; the Chief of the Private Office of the Foreign Ministry, Guillermo Justo Chaves, and the Undersecretary for Issues of the Americas, Juan Valle Raleigh, Argentina's coordinator for the Ibero-American conference, Solá stated that “the negative effect of the pandemic, in addition to the grief for the million victims, has been inequitable access to the technological innovation swiftly generated due to the pandemic. Equal access, what some have linked to the waiver of patents and supplies, has been unequal.
“There are countries with extremely low levels of vaccinated people or of access to the first dose. COVAX has not been the solution we expected. We must be self-critical and commit to improving this situation; if we see vaccine concentration, we will see great injustice, and consequences related to poverty and an increase in the number of infections and deaths,” he added and stressed that “if there are no international technological and economic transfers to help both poor and middle-income countries, it will be very difficult to move forward. We are united by the sorrow caused by the pandemic and the need to end it; this is more important than any differences between us.”
Felipe Solá also thanked for the support for the resumption of negotiations between the Argentine Government and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to promptly resolve the sovereignty dispute regarding the Malvinas, South Georgia, and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, in line with the resolutions adopted by the UN and the OAS, and UN Charter provisions and aims. This includes the request for the Secretary-General to carry out a good offices mission between the parties.