Argentine President Alberto Fernández Friday made a virtual appearance at this week's BRICS Summit, during which he asked that his country be admitted into the bloc alongside Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
We are enthusiastic about the prospect of coordinating policies that enhance the agenda of the countries of the global South, the Argentine leader said. We aspire to be full members of this group of nations, added Fernández, who also called for peace in Ukraine, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was watching from his own end of the closed-circuit streaming. As Pope Francis has pointed out, neither wheat nor food can become a weapon of war, nor can the human person become a bargaining chip, he added.
It is imperative that hostilities cease in Ukraine. We want to be part of the search for a solution that brings all those involved closer together, he insisted, in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also called for world peace. Argentina's participation was due to a personal invitation by the Chinese President to Fernández during a trip to Beijing in February.
Fernández stressed it was necessary to achieve a lasting peace that definitively leaves behind the dynamics unleashed by the escalation of war and called on leaders to put an end to violence, resuming dialogue and reestablishing the value of solidarity are ethical imperatives that this time imposes on us. Fernández, who holds this year the pro-tempore presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), proposed his country as a bridge to find a solution.
The Argentine leader asked to explore cooperation mechanisms, such as the currency swap that Argentina signed with China and thanked Xi for the invitation and all the countries of the bloc for the demand to peacefully negotiate the Malvinas issue with the United Kingdom.
Fernández also pointed out that the expansion of the New Development Bank -of BRICS- can be a useful instrument to strengthen national infrastructures. He also called to promote the creation of an International Risk Rating Agency, which puts in public hands what today is in the hands of private interests.
The Argentine head of state also underlined that BRICS accounted for 42% of the world's population and 24% of the global gross product. We are safe and responsible food suppliers, recognized in the field of biotechnology and applied logistics technology. This means that we are not only capable of producing and exporting food. We also know how to provide services and train specialists so that other countries can increase their productive efficiency and thus improve the quality of life of their inhabitants, Fernández elaborated
He also recalled that Vaca Muerta in the province of Neuquén was the second-largest unconventional gas reserve and the fourth-largest oil reserve. Argentine and foreign companies are not only exploiting fossil fuels in an unconventional way, but they are also venturing into the exploitation of lithium, green hydrogen, and other renewable energies.
BRICS leaders have also called for “a world free of nuclear weapons” in a joint declaration adopted Thursday: “We reaffirm our commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and stress our strong commitment to nuclear disarmament and our support to the work on this subject during the session of 2022 of the Conference on Disarmament,” the declaration reads.
The BRICS resolution also called for “negotiations in bilateral and multilateral formats to resolve all issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula, including its complete denuclearization” and highlighted the need to “resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through peaceful and diplomatic means.”