Welcome to the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in South Africa!
Since the beginning of their diplomatic relations in 1991, Argentina and South Africa have developed a solid bilateral relationship characterized by a varied and multiple agenda. It is my aspiration to continue with the work of my predecessors and strengthen and deepen the links between our two nations in the coming years.
In the course of 2019 the meeting of the Binational Commission Argentina-South Africa (BICSAA) will take place in Pretoria, which involves all the topics of its bilateral relationship: Human Rights, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology, Agriculture, Art and Culture, Sports and Tourism. It is an opportunity to evaluate the current state of the relationship and analyse with our South African colleagues the possibilities of deepening the relationship in each of the aforementioned topics.
We firmly believe in the extraordinary potential of the relationship. Argentina and South Africa share fundamental principles and values in their respective foreign policies such as the defense of multilateralism, adherence to the fundamental norms of international law, the promotion and protection of human rights, respect for global institutions in trade matters and international security among others. We are both members of the G20, members of the Cairns Group and the Agricultural G20 in International Trade Negotiations. As members of the G20, our countries share their integration to the Global South, and as President Mauricio Macri said on July 27, 2018 in Johannesburg, during his visit to participate in the 10th BRICS Plus Summit "It is time to show that the Global cooperation can lead us to a better future and that the Global South can engage as a constructive actor of consensus for equitable and sustainable development.”
In this regard, the United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation will be held in Buenos Aires and organized by our country in March, and South Africa has been invited to participate as an outstanding member.
We are young countries that project their promising future on the basis of their own identity and their own past. There are common coincidences in the field of human rights and during the last years we have established important projects of joint cooperation, such as the creation of the African School of Forensic Anthropology, in charge of the outstanding Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), with the support of this Embassy, the International Red Cross and the University of Pretoria, among other joint initiatives. This year, I am pleased to announce that with the Department of Arts and Culture of South Africa and the ESMA Museum, we will open in March in Cape Town a joint exhibition between the Museum of ESMA and Robben Island, as testimony again, of our coincidences in the importance of the constitution of memory sites.
The cooperation agenda between Argentina and South Africa has a varied theme that includes cooperation in science and technology, in oceanic issues: continental shelf and ocean floor, Antarctica, seabirds and whales; as well as trade in agro-industry, defence cooperation; in sports, in art, culture and the teaching of Spanish. Our economies are complementary and Argentina offers excellent investment and export opportunities together with training in agricultural matters.
Sport, as Madiba pointed out, "has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that few other things do”, and in this sense a tangible achievement is the participation of the Jaguars in the Super Rugby and the Pumas in the Rugby Championship, as well as the participation in the Curry Cup. We also want to stimulate and expand this synergy to other sports disciplines such as the soccer, a sport that fascinates Argentines and South Africans and where wide possibilities of cooperation and exchange also open up.
I also celebrate the remarkable increase of tourism among our countries. Every day, more Argentines travel to South Africa to enjoy the unique adventure that offers the Kruger Park, the city of Johannesburg and its impressive museums and the beautiful Cape Town, whose Table Mountain was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. South Africans who visit Argentina enjoy the hospitality of our country, our cuisine and cultural offer, and marvel at the richness of our natural landscapes that range from the Quiaca to Ushuaia, and also include another site declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO such as the Iguazu Falls.
Finally, I want to greet all the Argentine compatriots residing in South Africa who contribute daily to the well-being of this great nation and to cement solid relations between our societies. Have the assurances that the Argentine Embassy and its Consulate constitute "your home" and your officials will always be open to your needs and the protection of our fellow citizens.
Alberto Pedro D'Alotto