Argentine President calls for ‘reformulation’ of UN to restore multilateralism

23 September 2008

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner today called for the reformulation of multilateral organizations, including the United Nations and global financial institutions.

“This is necessary so that we can again reconstitute a multilateralism which has been lost, making the world much more insecure,” she told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate. Such reform was necessary to enable the UN to function properly and achieve concrete results.

The current global financial turmoil was evidence of the need for reforming financial institutions, Ms. Fernández de Kirchner said, citing what she called the “jazz effect” for the present troubles originating from the United States, just as an earlier financial crisis that started in Mexico but affected the world economy was called the “tequila effect.”

She also called on Member States to ratify the global treaty that outlaws enforced disappearances and allows victims’ families the right to learn the truth about what happened. Argentina, where thousands of people are estimated to have disappeared under the military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s, has been a strong advocate of the treaty.

So far, only four of the 74 countries which have signed have also ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, which contains an absolute prohibition on the practice and calls on all States Parties to ensure that it is an offence under their domestic laws.

The treaty will enter into force once 20 countries have ratified it. The treaty’s monitoring body will be entitled to receive requests for urgent action on individual cases, to conduct visits with the agreement of States parties concerned, and, in the situation of suspected widespread or systematic cases being practised in the territory under the jurisdiction of a State party, to urgently bring the matter before the General Assembly.

Turning to another issue, Mr. Fernández de Kirchner called on Iran to hand over Iranians implicated by Argentine judicial authorities in the blowing up of the Israeli embassy and a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 respectively.


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