Thursday, November 30, 2023

ARGENTINA | 03-12-2019 07:00

Pino Solanas: 'None of Argentina's biggest problems will be fixed in four years'

Newly confirmed ambassador to UNESCO speaks about his new role, the Frente de Todos coalition and the most urgent needs of Argentina.

Next year, you won't find Fernando 'Pino' Solanas in the Senate. Instead, you'll find him in Paris, where he'll serve as Argentina's ambassador to UNESCO, the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

His appointment marks the first confirmed ambassador for the incoming Frente de Todos administration.

Perfil spoke with Solanas about his next move this weekend. 


How did president-elect Alberto Fernández ask you to give up your seat? 

From the start, when we began to build this great coalition, I wanted to stay in the Senate. At 83 years old, I couldn't think of another move in my life, and that's not even talking about moving to another country, even for office. The only thing  that could have attracted me was UNESCO because culture has played a large role in my life for so long. I am the author of the only cultural provision within the National Constitution – Section 19 of Article 75 – that highlights plurality as part of our identity.

Have you been in touch with your predecessor, Rodolfo Terragno? 

Yes, he's an old friend, coincidentally. I spoke with him and we're going to have dinner together December 16 in the Paris apartment that I'm going to inherit from him. He will do an inspection to see if there are rats or cockroaches [Laughs]. Then, I have to wait for the approval of the Senate in Buenos Aires. As well as arrange all my domestic items.

How would you evaluate your predecessor's time? 

Here, there's not a lot of information about what has happened in UNESCO and there are dozens of commissions about the diverse problems that span education, science, culture and peace. Since its inception, UNESCO was created to work for world peace.

Given we are currently in a Latin America with regular social outbursts, could expectations turn against Fernández if the desired results aren't achieved quickly? 

None of the major problems of this Argentina will be fixed in four years – hunger, lower life expectancy, health or lower education levels can't be solved in one presidential term. All that demands constructing consensus.

Seeing as many had to cede at least something to join this coalition, what did you sacrifice? 

The best way to describe it would be to leave it for another time. In politics, all the battles can't be resolved at once. It's one at a time. And here there are many topics that Argentina has to face and that deserve more time, like climate change, transport issues and energy. We can debate many things, but there are children that don't eat and others dying of thirst.

How to you avoid friction on these issues? 

They all require planning without curbing production. It's impossible that one can propose to resolve all these problems at the same time. There are debates that Argentina hasn't resolved nor are they within the framework of this coalition. They will take time.

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Mariano Beldyk

Mariano Beldyk

Subeditor de Política de Diario Perfil.


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