Addressing heads of state and foreign dignitaries present at the 73rd United Nation’s General Assembly on Tuesday, President Mauricio Macri admitted that Argentina is going through an economic crisis but repeated that his administration is going down the right path.
“We are going through a period of deep changes and we decided to do so with humility,” said Macri, who thanked the Argentine people because he was aware that the effort they are doing “is big.” Still, he warned that “the road is not going to be easy” and that his administration was already “implementing changes without jeopardizing the future.”
Mainly focused on foreign policy in this speech, Macri went on to confirm the country’s intention to report Venezuela to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and repeated the claims that all Argentine heads of state make once a year in New York: the country’s unrelenting will to find the perpetrators of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center attack and the claim for sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands.
Before, however, he highlighted Argentina’s bet on multilateralism, saying that the country provides “an optimistic standpoint aimed at overcoming the challenges of globalization” from the south.
Regarding the Venezuelan crisis, Macri called on the Maduro regime to accept the humanitarian aid offered by other countries: “We are part of a regional and widespread answer which seeks to mitigate the difficulties millions of Venezuelans are going through given the exodus taking place in the country, welcoming and integrating them,” said Macri, who highlighted that in the past years Argentina has welcomed 130,000 Venezuelan migrants.
Focusing on the actions of the Maduro regime, Macri confirmed Argentina’s intention to report Venezuela to the ICC so the court looks into the “crimes against humanity committed by the Venezuelan dictatorship.”
Macri had warned of his intention of doing so in late August in an interview with CNN’s Andrés Oppenheimer, saying that “in Venezuela, human rights are systematically violated by steamrolling the opposition and everyone.” He had also indicated he had the support of his counterparts from Colombia, Chile and Paraguay, as well as from the Organization of American States.
Remembering the 1994 AMIA attack, Macri stressed that Argentina “will not cease in its goal of getting all people involved to appear before an Argentine court, be questioned and eventually sentenced.”
He called on the Iranian state – as several of its then-senior officials are suspected of having been involved in the planning of the attack – to “cooperate with Argentine authorities to move forward with the investigation” and the international community to “join us by avoiding receiving or hosting under diplomatic immunity any accused who have Interpol red notices on them.”
The President could have been making reference to the fact that in July, the Chinese and Russian governments avoided responding to an Argentine request to extradite Ali Akbar Velayati, a high-ranking Iranian official who visited both countries in official capacity, as he stands accused of being involved in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing, in which 85 people died and hundreds were injured.
Macri also made the annual claim regarding Argentina’s sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, saying “I want to reaffirm, once more, the legitimate and endless rights Argentina holds” over the islands. This was Macri’s seconds speech at the UN’s General Assembly, as he was replaced by Vice President Gabriela Michetti last year.