By Alberto Fernández, President of the Republic of Argentina and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Republic of Brazil
Brazil’s recently elected President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, has returned his country to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, from which his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro had withdrawn. Lula has made his first trip abroad to neighboring Argentina to attend the organization’s VII. Summit.
Ahead of his trip, he published an article in the newspaper Perfil together with Argentine President Alberto Fernández that indicated some of the topics the two countries will pursue in bilateral, continental and global level.
Below we present the article in English translation. For better readability, UWI has set the subheadings.
Two sister nations meet again. Tomorrow [22.jan] we will meet in Buenos Aires for the 1st presidential meeting between Brazil and Argentina in over 3 years. Then, the 7th CELAC Summit will take place, a forum that brings together the 33 countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region and which, since last year, has been under the presidency of Argentina. The event will mark Brazil’s return to this regional dialogue and consultation mechanism. A relationship that should never have been interrupted and that the history of the Latin American brotherhood manages to resume.
“History will be written by our peoples”
Both meetings mark a new beginning, precisely in the year in which we will celebrate the bicentennial of our diplomatic relations. In Buenos Aires, we will relaunch the bilateral strategic alliance with the reactivation of various cooperation and dialogue spaces. There are multiple areas in which we will work together again on important issues for the quality of life of our populations, such as the fight against hunger and poverty, health, education, sustainable development, climate change and the reduction of all forms of inequality. Once and for all, history will be written by our peoples.
We are going to strengthen the role of civil society, state and municipal governments and parliaments as actors in this approximation. We know that the dream of being united is now a possible reality.
The ties between Argentina and Brazil are based on the consolidation of peace and democracy. We want democracy forever. Dictatorship no more.
“Reindustralization deserves special attention”
The reindustrialization of our economies will deserve special attention, with the generation of quality jobs and investment in innovation. Trade between Argentina and Brazil already has a high share of industrialized products in strategic sectors. Integration between our production chains helps mitigate external shocks, such as those that occurred during the pandemic. We cannot depend on external suppliers in order to have access to essential inputs and goods for the well-being of our populations.
We have a dynamic and enterprising private sector, whose contribution to the bilateral integration process is increasingly necessary. We share the firm intention of strengthening the already solid trade and investment ties between our countries and we will promote a business seminar as part of the presidential visit.
Our countries will continue to play a critical role for food security in a world plagued by geopolitical risks and severe supply chain disruptions. We are committed to providing our agriculture and livestock with high standards of sustainability and maintaining high levels of productivity.
We want to promote projects in the area of infrastructure. A central theme of this new moment is energy integration. The electrical interconnection between our countries is already a reality and the integration of gas has the potential to become one of the strategic projects of the bilateral relationship, with lasting benefits in terms of attracting investment, job creation and in terms of our security.
We will consolidate our position as holders of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, strengthening the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials and giving continuity to ambitious projects such as the multipurpose reactor. With the reactivation of the Space Cooperation Joint Working Group, we will put satellites into orbit to carry out coastal and oceanographic studies.
The fluid and dynamic relationship between Brazil and Argentina is essential for advancing regional integration. Together with our partners, we want Mercosur to constitute a platform for our effective integration with the world, through the joint negotiation of balanced trade agreements that respond to our strategic development objectives.
“Decided to advance discussion on a common South American currency”
We intend to break down the barriers in our exchanges, simplify and modernize the rules and encourage the use of local currencies. We also decided to advance discussions on a common South American currency that can be used for both financial and commercial flows, reducing operating costs and our external vulnerability.
We will work together to rescue and update Unasur, based on its undeniable legacy of achievements. Argentina and Brazil are firmly committed to building a strong, democratic, stable and peaceful South America.
We need to face an increasingly complex and challenging world and we have broad convergence in the multilateral agenda. There is a lack of effective political will to face the current dilemmas and major crises: climate change, pandemics, wars, hunger and immigration. The UN and the G20 must help fill this leadership gap to bring about change. Both forums can promote inclusive agendas, clearly signaling the actions of organizations such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. We will work together for peace and development.
“Nothing is more emancipating than the brotherhood of peoples”
The more just and supportive world we aspire to will only be viable if we have the courage to build our future together. This is the strategic significance of bilateral integration.
There is nothing more emancipating than the brotherhood of peoples who come from the dawn of our history to take possession of their future.