Speaking at a meeting with the Argentine Council for International Relations (a think tank) yesterday, Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra announced Argentina has been chosen to host the G-20 Summit that will take place in 2018. “This will mean an enormous amount of work, but it will reinforce Argentina’s position before the world,” said Malcorra. The news goes in line with President Mauricio Macri’s strategy of getting Argentina back on the world stage.
The G-20 is an international forum that gathers heads of state and central bank heads from 20 major countries, including Argentina. Founded in 1999, the group aims to “discuss international financial and monetary policies, reform of international financial institutions and world economic development.”
According to Clarín, Argentina got the approval to host the summit for the first time ever largely thanks to Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori’s negotiations at the G-20’s so called “sherpa meeting.” A what now? In the context of the G-20, “sherpas” are not, in fact, guys who guide mountain climbers up the Himalayas, but rather diplomats from every member country chosen to serve as “guides” (hence the name) at the summit. Sherpas get together a of couple months before the big event to o over details. It looks like Foradori also used his time there to do some efficient lobbying.
According to La Nación, Macri has already confirmed his attendance at this year’s summit, which will take place in China in September. Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay will also attend.
This is one of many steps being taken by Argentina to better position itself on the world stage. This week, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) committee paid Argentina a visit to evaluate a request from the Macri administration asking to join the organization, which represents 34 countries and seeks to “promote policies that improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.”
The visit included meetings with high-ranking government officials such as Prat-Gay, Malcorra and Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, and it looks like things went pretty well. In an interview with El País, Marcos Bonturi, director of OECD’s global relations secretariat, emphatically praised the Macri administration’s actions during its first six months in government: “We are very optimistic about the Argentine government’s ambition to reform the country. What it has done in six months is very substantial. The international community was surprised about how quick things have changed in Argentina. We at the OECD fully support the government’s reform program,” he said.
On his end, Marcos Peña told Télam that Argentina had confirmed to the OECD its commitment to “deepen and broaden their joint work.” However, even if the country is accepted into the organization, it would take the country three years to become a full member, so don’t buy that OECD T-shirt yet.