“Decentralized cooperation, as a foreign policy tool for Argentina, is an engine for development at all levels, in order to enhance every local government, region and municipality,” Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie stated today at the Palacio San Martín, during the opening of the “Argentina-France Meeting on decentralized cooperation: a look at new challenges for local governments in the 21st century”.
Joined by the French Ambassador to Argentina, Pierre Henri Guignard, the Mayor of Vicente López, Jorge Macri, and the Mayor of Tres de Febrero, Diego Valenzuela, Faurie stated that: “French decentralized cooperation is highly renowned and is a reference point not only for Cachi, Salta, but also for the city of Santa Fe or within the province of Buenos Aires.” The Foreign Minister explained that the meeting will seek to “exchange experiences with French specialists in the fields of territorial planning, new urbanism areas, smart cities, mobility and transport, among others.”
At the meeting, which was attended by 11 provinces and 20 municipalities, as well as by over 100 provincial officials from across the country, Minister Faurie noted that: “Argentina and France have a long history of shared ideals and a common global perspective. In 1964, General De Gaulle embarked on an extensive tour of Latin America, during which he visited Argentina. On the occasion, General De Gaulle and Argentine President Illia signed a cooperation agreement which gave rise to all this joint work, leading to advances in technical, cultural, scientific, technological, educational and inter-university cooperation throughout over 50 years.
Minister Faurie highlighted the work being carried out by the General Directorate for International Cooperation, headed by Ana Ciuti, adding that “South-South cooperation in the context of the United Nations, for which Argentina will host an international summit in March 2019, and triangular cooperation, play a major role in our foreign policy.”
“President Macri has introduced the idea of constant reform in order to improve practices at all levels of Government. No one must be left behind in this transformation process being carried out by Argentina; these meetings are another way to strengthen our ties with the world, in the context of what we call a smart insertion,” he noted.
Jorge Macri, in turn, stated that: “We have a major challenge ahead of us. At the global level, expectations for local governments are greater, and the international community is increasingly aware that people’s daily experiences have a lot to do with a close, accessible and efficient local government.”
In addition, Mayor Valenzuela expressed his gratitude for “launching a forum which showcases local governments, the first display window of democracy, there being approximately 2,300 across the country, in their various forms.”
The French Ambassador reaffirmed his country’s policy to work with local governments —both within and beyond its territory—, and noted “the need for the private sector to participate in decentralized cooperation efforts”, as well as the need for “experts, civil society, researchers, tourism entities and sports clubs, among others, to become involved in order to create an environment of exchanges where one opportunity leads to another.”
Towards the end of the meeting, Ana Ciuti stressed that “decentralized cooperation with France is Argentina’s most important one. 38 joint projects have already been funded and agreements have been reached in the fields of economic development, competitiveness, professional training, restoration of historical heritage, religious tourism, viticulture, environmental management and health.”
The meeting included plenary sessions and workshops which addressed issues pertaining to territorial planning, new urbanism areas, smart cities, mobility, transport, public spaces, culture and governance, among others. The meeting also addressed the guidelines and instruments of Argentina-France Cooperation.
The meeting was attended by six French specialists from the Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, Environment, Mobility and Urban and Country Planning (CEREMA), the Research Institute for Development, the Paris Institute of Political Studies, the Institute for the City in Motion and the Urban Arts Centre, as well as by a representative from the French Development Agency.
*PHOTO (from left to right): The Mayor of Tres de Febrero, Diego Valenzuela; the French Ambassador, Pierre Henri Guignard; Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie; the Mayor of Vicente López, Jorge Macri; and the Director General for International Cooperation, Ana Ciuti.
Press release No. 544/17
Press Office: 4819-7375 / 8296 / 7388
Originally published at https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/en/news/releases/argentina-and-france-advance-decentralized-cooperation