Pressenza Buenos Aires, 2009-12-29 The meeting was held today, Tuesday, December 29th in Buenos Aires, in the Government House, marking the passage of the World March for Peace and Non-Violence through that city. The team of activists, who have now been through more than 90 countries, met with Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. “There is a lot of talk about security, but not about peace. To attain security there has to be peace. In war there are economic interests by the arms industry”, Fernandez pointed out. The first lady was accompanied by the National Senator, Daniel Filmus, who helped greatly in arranging the meeting.
Representatives for the World March who participated in the meeting were: Silva Garcia, from Spain; Bahiravi Sagar, from India; Juha Uski, from Finland; Angelika Klatte, from Germany; Leonardo Salazar White, from Colombia; Tony Robinson, from the United Kingdom; Sara Elkassar, from Egypt; Gemma Szusara, from the Philippines. Also participating as part of the national delegation from the Humanist Movement, which is a driving force behind the World March, were: Javier Zaldarriaga, from Mundo Sin Guerras [World Without War], Guillermo Sullings, spokesperson for New Humanism in Latin America and Lía Mendez and Jorge Pardes for the Humanist Party.
“The meeting surpassed our expectations; the president agreed with us 100% in our discussion on Peace and Non-Violence. This has not happened for us in other countries, with other presidents”, declared Sullings. The spokesperson stressed that the president “speaks without hypocrisy”, because she referred to the most powerful countries, members of the Security Council of the UN, who do not fulfill the resolutions of the international body. With regards to the agreements of the future, Guillermo Sullings commented that Cristina Fernandez proposed that they explain a peace agreement between Argentina and Chile to various parts of the world. The border between Argentina and Chile is one of the longest in the world, and there have been several conflicts there throughout history.
Tony Robinson, with respect to the meeting with the president, said: “she is a woman who feels very much as we do. She spoke a lot about her efforts towards peace, of agreements reached with the Chilean president. She spoke very highly about the World March.”
Previously, the activists were received by the head of government of the city of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri. On this meeting Robinson commented: “It was a very different meeting from that with the president; he said that he was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, but in the end he seemed very bored with what we were telling him about the World March and he didn’t pay much attention to what we were telling him. That meeting was completely opposite to what we had with the Head of State.”
Lía Mendez emphasized the clarity with which Cristina Fernandez spoke about violence and the wars happening in the world. “We have all been left pleasantly surprised; we have noted that she is very sensitive on this topic”. She added that they are very satisfied with the support of the Argentine government towards the humanist movement. Various parts of the government gave support so that the finale of the World March for Peace and Non-Violence could take place in Argentina. This will happen on January 2nd in Punta de Vacas, Mendoza. The director also commented that they would give to the Argentine president as a gift the complete works of Silo, who is an inspiration to the international campaign and founder of the Universalist Humanism.
*(translation: meghan storey)*