- Capital - Buenos Aires
- Population – 40,677,348 (July 2008 est.)
- Government – Federal Presidential Republic
- President - Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (since December 2007)
Argentina Public Diplomacy
Argentina strictly adheres to the UN Charter. Argentina participates in UN peacekeeping missions and abides by decisions of the UN General Assembly. Recently Argentina celebrated 40 years of participation in UN peacekeeping missions. In addition, Argentina participated in the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Argentina is also a fervent supporter of the UN’s Arms Register and regularly updates its weapons with the committee and is active in the fight to prohibit anti-personnel mines, commonly called land mines. Argentina believes the UN Security council needs reform. It supports new permanent members based on rotation.
The main thrust of Argentina’s public diplomacy is focused on it regional neighbors in Latin America. MERCOSUR is a common trading bloc between Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay based upon creating a fair, democratic common market among the member nations and the region. Other Latin American countries are associate members. Through Mercosur, treaties have been established creating “peace zones” in Bolivia and Chile. Argentina focuses heavily on negotiation and mediation before conflict and utilizes Mercosur to this end in Latin American. MERCOSUR functions under the motto, “Our North is the South.”
Mar del Plata Summit of the Americas
Argentina hosted the Fourth Summit of the Americas on November 4 and 5, 2005. Attending the summit were all heads (excluding Cuba) of states from the American Continent. The summit was themed “Creating Jobs to Fight Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance.” While the meeting was meant to address such issues as job creation and poverty reduction, much of the event focused on issues surrounding FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas).
Mar del Plata Film Festival
Mar del Plata, Argentina has hosted an International film festival, off and on again, since 1954. The festival, is a showcase of international film and not a film competition. In its early years, the festival drew international Hollywood favorites like Errol Flynn and others. During a revitalization of the festival in the 60’s it again drew international favorites including Paul Newman, Catherine Deneuve, Toshiro Mifune, Francois Truffaut and other film giants. Recently the festival was awarded “Category A” by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations). Argentineans are hoping to leverage this rating for increased global presence and prestige of the festival.
The White Helmet Commission (Comisión Cascos Blancos)
In 1993, Agrentina proposed The White Helmets Commission as an organization to address “The Struggle Against Hunger and Poverty.” The UN incorporated the proposal into its organizational framework at the 1994 General Assembly. The UN renamed the organization “White Helmets” and expanded their doctrine to expand beyond the stuggle against hunger and poverty to include aiding in humanitarian crisis in response to natural or man-made catasrophes and all types of conflicts and emergencies. Supported by the Argentine Foreign Ministry, “The White Helmets Commission works closely with the United Nations, together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Volunteers. On a continental level, the White Helmets initiative was included in the Summit of the Americas first Plan of Action. Additionally, the Organization of American States (OAS) promoted a joint international effort to contribute to the eradication of poverty in the hemisphere, and to strengthen the humanitarian response capabilty to emergency humanitarian, social, and developmental emergency needs.” Recently the White Helmets have participated in missions involving earthquake disaster in India, forest fires in Brasil, flood control in Uruguay and humanitarian assistance to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Peru and Bolivia.
The Issue of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Although Argentina and the United Kingdom have formed a functional relationship that allows political, trade and cultural issue exchange, the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands is still in dispute. The Falklands are currently viewed as a self governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Argentina contends that under UN resolution 1514, which enforced de-colonization of foreign held territories, the British claim to the islands was in violation. England contends that the inhabitants of the island, population 3000+, are required to vote on British withdraw. In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falklands in an attempt to establish (or re-establish) it ownership of the area. Argentina believed that the UK was occupying one of its territories while the UK held that Argentina invaded a British territory. After two months of bloody fighting, death and casualties, Argentina surrendered the battle in the undeclared war to the UK, although still maintains its claims to the region.
Tourism & Country Branding
In 2006, The Argentine President sent out a request for proposals to all of the countries marketers and design firms for a “Contest for the Visual Identity of the Brand of Argentina.” The winning logo was adopted in 2007 along with the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Commission of the Strategy Country Argentina – Brand. “The Strategy Country Brand represents different Issues (characters, places, products, sub brands, activities and others) aiming to promote tourism and new investments, to spread scientific and technological abilities and the Argentine culture with its creative industries and to appreciate and make Argentine talent known abroad as an added value in itself.” The new official Promotion Portal for Argentina has web sections emphasizing a wide array of tourist opportunities, Argentine biotechnology, wines and wineries, student higher education exchange programs, business and sports. The countries Official Promotion Portal, has been named the second best website in the world among country portal websites.