25-years partnership dialogue
On the 7 of April there was a concert of the Argentine and Ukrainian music in the Kyiv Municipal Academic Puppet Theater in honor of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Argentina and Ukraine. Mr. Alberto Jose Alonso, an Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Argentina, turned to the honor guests with a solemn speech.
The Sixth of January is a memorable date in the history of the relations between our countries. That very same day, exactly 25 years ago (on the Sixth of January, 1992) the Permanent Representatives of Ukraine and Argentina to the United Nations, Hennadiy Udovenko and Jorge Vázquez signed in New York an historical document: The Protocol for the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Ukraine and the Argentine Republic.
Therefore, Argentina became the first Latin American country that not only recognized the independence of Ukraine, but also established official diplomatic relations between both countries. Argentina recognized the independence of Ukraine in two opportunities, first, in 1921 and 70 years later, in December 1991. This year, as well, we commemorate 120 years since the first Ukrainian migration to the Argentine Republic took place, to which I will refer later.
Today, exactly three months after this momentous date of the Sixth of January, I would like to say a few words in order to highlight the deep bonds of friendship between Argentina and Ukraine.
Through a quarter century since that historic date, the bilateral relationship between Argentina and Ukraine has always developed in a framework of cordiality and mutual respect, and has been institutionalized with the signature of numerous treaties, agreements and bilateral conventions, which have created a legal framework that constitutes the foundation of our mutual cooperation.
This treaties encompass such diverse areas as economy and trade, investment protection, culture, education, science, technology, agricultural industry, customs, investments, research and pacific use of the ultra terrestrial space, Antarctic logistics, environmental protection, diplomatic academies, international legal assistance, fiscal offences prevention, visa waivers and mutual recognition of higher education diplomas, among other topics. And if you allow me, I would like to dedicate some words to these last two items.
The abolition of visa requirements for travel among the citizens of both countries has given a strong momentum to the enhancement of mutual links in the economic, cultural, and tourism areas.
The last item, of special interest of Ukrainian citizens, is the entry into force of the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Diplomas, as well as the establishment and first meeting of the Bilateral Commission of Experts on Higher Education. These achievements will provide new educational and professional opportunities, and renewed hopes to Ukrainians and Argentines.
But the strongest ties that bind us are not written in the letter of the treaties. Instead, they live in the hearts, spirits, and activities of our citizens.
Family ties link Ukrainians and Argentines. The Ukrainian diaspora that inhabits our country constitutes the seventh in the world. More than two hundred thousand Ukrainians immigrated to Argentina, and today more than half a million Argentines have Ukrainian roots.
The Ukrainian diaspora in Argentina is completely integrated, and has made significant contributions in the spheres of economy, agriculture, industry, science, medicine, politics, music, art and culture.
As regards our political relationship, through these 25 years Ukraine and Argentina have gone through a great path. Relations between both countries in this period have acquired a high level of maturity, respect and understanding. The development of the political dialog has strengthened the traditionally friendly relations between our nations.
Among the high level visit exchange and meetings, there are a few that I would like to highlight, which I believe will positively display the relaunch of bilateral relations agreed upon after the inauguration of a new Administration in Argentina on December 2015.
In August 2016, on the occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine, a parliamentary delegation from Argentina visited Ukraine and held a meeting with the President of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament. Authorities of the Argentinian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representatives from the Ukrainian community in Argentina were present as well.
The Presidents of Ukraine and Argentina, Petro Poroshenko and Mauricio Macri, met personally at the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York on September 2016, and discussed cooperation issues on the subjects of agriculture, technology, culture, energy and humanitarian aid.
On November 2016, a meeting of Political Consultations was held in Kyiv, headed by Vice-Ministers of Foreign Affairs. On that occasion, the Vice-Ministers made a comprehensive and fruitful review of numerous aspects of the bilateral relationship.
A few days later, a Parliamentary Friendship Group with Ukraine was formally created in the Honorable Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Republic, including a large number of Deputies hailing from many Provinces and from all major political parties in Argentina.
On February 2017, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Argentina, Pavlo Klimkin and Susana Malcorra, held a meeting at the Munich International Security Conference.
Just last week, a delegation from the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with the Argentine Republic of the Parliament of Ukraine made a visit to Argentina and met Argentine Deputies and Senators. Delegations from the defense and business sectors were present in this visit as well.
Our countries have frequently held similar views in the Committees of the United Nations, and we have often supported each other’s candidates in the U.N.
Argentina and Ukraine have respected and closely followed the founding principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as the high principles of international law, human rights and international humanitarian law.
In addition to that, Ambassadors of both countries maintain regular contacts with the Ministries, Parliaments, and Municipal authorities of Ukraine and Argentina.
Our ties are also alive in business. Bilateral trade has highly increased in 2016, showcasing the remarkable dynamism in this field. But is our shared hope that we will surpass last year´s figures and reach once again the highest historical level of trade in the upcoming years. And this is just the beginning.
At the same time, we need to increase the proportion of goods and services with higher added value, and the cooperation in joint projects with higher levels of technology.
Although our economies are both known for their potential in agriculture, there are a lot of opportunities for complementarities and cooperation.
Today Ukraine as well as Argentina are making a series of very complicated but extremely necessary socioeconomic reforms. In spite of the crisis effects on the global economy, we can testify to the enhancement of links between business sectors of both countries.
But it is not only politics or economics. In 2015 we opened the “Argentine House” in Ukraine, one of the few institutions of this kind that we have in the world. In its premises, we have already developed different activities such as investment and trade promotion seminars, tango and folkloric dances lessons, a school of tourism for tour operators, literary workshops, projection of Argentine films, cooking workshops, book presentations, a painting contest for children, and painting and photography exhibitions, among many others.
These facts that I just reviewed clearly demonstrate that our bilateral relation is thriving and that we can expect a greater mutual benefit in the forthcoming years. We have worked closely in the past, and we will continue working together in the future.
In this year, it is very likely that the President of Ukraine, Mr. Petro Poroshenko, will make an official visit to Argentina.
Also in 2017 it is expected that, after many years, there will be a new meeting of the Argentine-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation.
Throughout the year, the Embassies in Kyiv and Buenos Aires will organize a diverse set of commemorative and cultural activities, of which today’s event is but an example.
For all these reasons, we are optimists regarding the future of our bilateral relations, which today celebrate just the first 25 years of existence.
We share the same values and aspirations to become more open and democratic societies. We have gone through several political or economic crises. This common experience has enabled our nations to have a better understanding of our problems, giving us greater strength to overcome together numerous challenges through mutual cooperation.
Thank you all very much for being present in this special date.
Muchas gracias. Щиро дякую!