Nicolás Aguiar, a 24-year International Relations student at the University of Rosario in central Argentina will be spending a week next February in the Falkland Islands, with a local family, following his successful video presentation replying to the competition question, “Why I would like to meet my neighbors in the Falkland Islands?”
The competition sponsored and financed by the Falkland Islands government through the UK embassy in Buenos Aires is the first time it includes Argentina since for several years it has been inviting successful student candidates from Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
I'm currently in my last year of International Relations and have read much about the Malvinas from the Argentine perspective and I think the moment has arrived to talk with the people of the Falklands said Nicolás interviewed by Clarin.
I'm very much interested in diplomacy and cultural exchanges, I have been able to travel to United States and Europe, where I was hosted by different families and it was an incredible experience, adding that another reason for travelling is that he likes photography and to share pictures in social networks. I plan to take pictures of the wildlife, but also of the people living in the Islands, their traditions and style of life.
Nicolas loves playing volley ball, works as a photographer and was one of the ten Argentine finalists, out of 300 registered, in the competition.
Malvinas is probably the most important foreign affairs issue of Argentina, I have always been aware of this, and wanted to travel to the Islands. I love traveling whenever I can but a trip to the Islands seemed something hard to achieve given the high hosts, but I have been lucky.
The Argentine student anticipates he wants to speak to the Islanders, how they arrived and how they feel about the dispute. I'm going with an open mind and willing to dialogue and I believe I will find the same attitude from Islanders.
As to the sovereignty conflict Nicolas argues that the Argentine claim must be accompanied by a willingness to dialogue without giving up pretensions as indicated in the Argentine Constitution in its transitory articles, and following International Law, it's time to build bridges, not walls.
My interest in diplomacy was born in high school where I participated in several United Nations models. Since then I knew international relations was my goal. Having to defend the position of a country with which many do not agree, made me understand the importance of cultural dialogue, to learn to listen, and to search for peaceful solutions to conflicts, underlined Nicolas.
In 2016 Nicolas was one of students that listened to a chat from then US president Barack Obama at a students' gathering, as part of his official visit to Argentina. He took the time to greet all of us, one by one, and he was the US president