Nation Report P3
Contemporary Issues in Argentina
• Argentina has since been enjoying economic growth, though with high in ation. Néstor Kirchner forfeited the 2007 campaign
in favor of his wife Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Winning by a landslide that October, she became the rst woman
elected President of Argentina and in a disputed result, Fabiana Ríos, a center-le (ARI) candidate in Tierra del Fuego Province
became the rst woman in Argentine history to be elected governor. President Cristina Kirchner, despite carrying large
majorities in Congress, saw controversial plans for higher agricultural export taxes defeated by Vice President Julio Cobos'
surprise tie-breaking vote against them on 16 July 2008, following massive agrarian protests and lockouts from March to July.
e global nancial crisis has since prompted Mrs. Kirchner to step up her husband's policy of state intervention in troubled
sectors of the economy. A halt in growth and political missteps helped lead Kirchnerism and its allies to lose their absolute
majority in Congress, following the 2009 mid-term elections.
• Argentina has abundant natural resources, a well-educated population, an export-oriented agricultural sector and a relatively
diversi ed industrial base.
• e Buenos Aires waterfront and three sectors leading the recent economic recovery:
construction, foreign trade and tourism
• Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, president since December 2007
• Néstor Kirchner (second from right) hosts Raúl Alfonsín (right), the Brazilian President Lula da Silva and
former Brazilian President José Sarney to commemorate 20 years of productive trade talks
• Argentina claims part of Antarctica as Argentine Antarctica, an area delimited by the 25° West and
74° West meridians and the 60° South parallel. is claim overlaps the British and Chilean claims,
though all territorial claims in Antarctica are currently suspended (although not abandoned) under
the Antarctic Treaty System. Argentina also claims the British overseas territories of the Falkland
Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. In addition a 50 kilometres (31 mi)
long border with Chile in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is awaiting demarcation as required
under a 1998 treaty.
• On 22 April 2009, the Argentine government submi ed a claim to the United Nations (UN) for
1,700,000 square kilometres (660,000 sq mi) of ocean territory to be recognised as Argentina's
continental shelf as governed by the Convention on the Continental Shelf and Convention on the
Law of the Sea. Argentina claims to have spent 11 years investigating the ma er and submi ed 800
kilograms (1,800 lb) of documents in support of the claim. If the claim is recognised by the UN
then Argentina will gain the rights to the commercial exploitation of the sea bed (which includes
mining and oil drilling). e new claim will add to the existing 4,800,000 square kilometres
(1,850,000 sq mi) of commercial shelf already managed by Argentina and includes the disputed
British overseas territories of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and
parts of Antarctica disputed with Chile and the United Kingdom.
• Argentina has a dispute with neighboring Uruguay about two pulp mills on the Uruguay side of the
shared Uruguay River near the Argentine city of Gualeguaychú. Residents of Gualeguaychú,
concerned about pollution from the mills, blockaded bridges across the river in 2006. e case was
brought before the International Court of Justice which ruled in Uruguay's favour in July 2006 and
allowed the mills to remain..
• Early on in the administration of President Carlos Menem (1989–1999), Argentina restored diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom and
developed a strong partnership with the United States. It was at this time that Argentina le the Non-Aligned Movement and adopted a policy of
"automatic alignment" with the United States. In 1990, Menem's Foreign Minister, Guido di Tella, memorably pronounced the U.S.–Argentine
alliance to be a "carnal relationship."
• Within the term of President Néstor Kirchner, from 2003 onwards, Argentina suspended its policy of automatic alignment with the United States
and moved closer to other Latin American countries. Argentina no longer supports the UN Commission on Human Rights resolution criticizing the
"human rights situation in Cuba" and calling upon the Government of Cuba to "adhere to international human rights norms", but has chosen instead
to abstain. In the 2006 United Nations Security Council election, Argentina supported, like all Mercosur countries, the candidacy of Venezuela (a
Mercosur member) over Guatemala for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council.
• e Mercosur has become a central part of the Argentine foreign policy, with the goal of forming a Latin American trade block. Argentina has
chosen to form a block with Brazil when it comes to external negotiations, though the economic asymmetries between South America's two largest
countries have produced tension at times.
• e United States has a positive bilateral relationship with Argentina based on many common strategic interests, including non-proliferation,
counternarcotics, counterterrorism, the ght against human tra cking, and issues of regional stability, as well as the strength of commercial ties.
Argentina is a participant in the ree-Plus-One regional mechanism (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and the U.S.), which focuses on coordination of
counter-terrorism policies in the tri-border region.
• Argentina is a full member of the Mercosur block together with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela; and ve associate members: Bolivia, Chile,
Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. From 2006 Argentina has emphasised Mercosur, which has some supranational legislative functions, as its rst
international priority; by contrast, during the 1990s, it relied more heavily on its relationship with the United States. Argentina is a founding
signatory and permanent consulting member of the Antarctic Treaty System and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is based in Buenos Aires.