View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Bariloche, Argentina)
For Immediate Release                                   October 18, 1997
                      REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON
                          AND PRESIDENT MENEM 
                          AT ENVIRONMENT EVENT
                             Llao Llao Hotel
                           Bariloche, Argentina 

11:05 A.M. (L)

PRESIDENT CLINTON: President Menem, distinguished members of the Argentine government, Governor Verani, Mayor Miguel, Dr. Varotta, Director Suarez, and Colonel Cabana, thank you very much.

Mr. President, let me begin by thanking you for your wonderful hospitality to Hillary, to me, to all of our team from the Cabinet and the American administration.

We're very grateful to you. We are also grateful for our broad and deep partnership with Argentina. From peacekeeping missions around the globe to our cooperation in the far reaches of outer space; from expanding trade to extending its benefits to all our people; from the peaceful use of nuclear power to the fight against terrorism, over the last two days we have worked hard to deepen our cooperation to benefit all of our people.

For the children in this audience, our partnership to protect the environment of our nations and the entire globe is perhaps the most important part of what we must do together.

Eighty-four years ago this month, two visionaries of the Americas arrived together in this place where nature and civilization meet. One was Theodore Roosevelt. No American President had spent more time thinking about the New World as a community of democracies; no American President had done more to preserve and protect our natural environment. His traveling companion was Perito Moreno, the man who founded this magnificent domain, Nahuel Huapi National Park, a remarkable gift to future generations.

Mr. President, it is up to us now to act with the foresight and in the spirit of Roosevelt and Moreno in dealing with today's great environmental challenges -- how to bring the blessings of global growth to all nations and still protect not just our national environments, but the planet itself.

One of our severest challenges clearly is climate change. The evidence is compelling that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are leading to the warming of our planet and that global warming could lead to profound and destructive changes in the way we lead our lives. Among the consequences will be the more rapid spread of diseases, the rising of the oceans, flooding lowlands on various continents and islands in the oceans, and more frequent and severe weather events in all continents, including more severe droughts and floods.

Five years ago, the nations of the world began to address this challenge at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This December, when more than 150 nations gather in Kyoto, Japan, we can make, and we must make more progress toward a solution.

Our goal must be to set realistic and binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and then to create a blueprint to guide us for the future. In meeting the challenge of climate change, clearly the United States and the rest of the developed world must lead. For today industrialized nations produce most of the greenhouse gases that go into our atmosphere. But emissions from the developing world are expected to grow dramatically. Forty years from now, they will exceed those of developed countries. Since the issue is how to stabilize and reduce greenhouse gases in the entire atmosphere, this is clearly a global problem in which we must all do our share.

I applaud the leadership of President Menem in Argentina in affirming today that developing, as well as developed, nations should have emissions targets. And we have agreed to pursue joint implementation, an important tool that will allow the United States and Argentine businesses to adopt the most cost-effective emissions reductions. We have seen clearly in the United States over and over again that we solve our environmental problems more quickly when we work together with technology and markets through the private sector.

I want to make it clear that the strategy we embrace today does not ask developing nations to sacrifice the legitimate aspirations of their people for economic growth. Instead, it offers an important opening to chart a new energy course that is consistent with growth, but makes sure that today's progress does not come at tomorrow's expense.

This endeavor will require sustained, committed partnership. The United States is committed to providing a billion dollars to help developing nations find alternative energy sources and use them more efficiently. Next year at the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, we hope to make sustainable development a cornerstone of a new era in inter-American cooperation.

As you have heard from the previous speakers, technology, science and education are important allies in preserving the environment. Here in Bariloche, Argentina is building satellites that NASA will launch. And then from high above the Earth's atmosphere, they will help us to keep an eye on our planet's changing contours, including surveying the forest in Chaco in the Mesopotamia, predicting agricultural patterns in La Pampa, monitoring the deserts in Patagonia, even tracking endangered whales in the south Atlantic.

And the GLOBE program is using the Internet to teach students here and in over 50 other countries that a solid grasp of science and ecology is indeed the first step toward a cleaner world. Today I am pleased to announce that working with Argentina, we're establishing a new GLOBE program at a school in a very special place -- Antarctica, a treasure held in trust for every person on Earth. I'm also pleased that the United States National Park Service and the Argentine National Parks Administration has signed an agreement for a five-year program of cooperation.

If you look at the national park around us here, and its power to renew the soul, it certainly gives evidence to the truth of what the Argentine writer Victoria Ocampo wrote, when she said, we possess only what we really love. Well, this land belongs to everyone. It is protected by the government, but we must all love it.

Yesterday, Mr. President, Hillary and I had a chance to walk through the magical Arrayanes Forest. It was an experience we will never forget. And it gave us a renewed dedication to work with you to preserve our planet for these children and those whom they represent the world over.

At the dawn of a new century, let us resolve not only to give our children remarkable new economic and educational opportunities, but to preserve our hemisphere and our Earth, and to give new meaning to the words "Nuevo Mundo."

Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT MENEM: My dear friend the President of the United States, members of the distinguished U.S. delegation, Governor Verani, Argentine authorities, Mayor Cesar Miguel, Bishop Monsignor Ruben Frazia, teachers, students, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the press.

It would have been, I believe, extremely difficult to find a better landscape, a better scenery to refer to the environment when compared to this magnificent place, surrounded by these forests, lakes, mountains, the breath-taking splendor of nature that we have in beauty, harmony and color.

One of the pillars of our foreign policy is undoubtedly the commitment we have taken through our government on the subject of the preservation of the environment. Reference was clearly made also to this commitment by the U.S. President. A clear indication of this agreement has been the fact that we have signed an agreement between the National Park Service of the United States and the Administration of National Parks in Argentina.

We trust this agreement will be the adequate instrument to ensure the protection of these resources. We have to create awareness as to the vital importance of maintaining ecological balance and to protect the environment that should be an unavoidable commitment that should not be delayed any further. The destruction of non-renewable natural resources will be one of the most serious and most difficult to solve problems that future generations will have to face. Argentina has committed, is committing, and will commit to fulfill all the efforts necessary and to dedicate itself in the search of solutions in environmental issues.

Last night we shared dinner with the President of the United States. We shared our bread, our wine, our home, and we discussed at length with my friend the President and the members of the U.S. delegation this same topic. And we have fully agreed that it is our duty to custody, to protect, to take care of this world given to us by God and that we should be able to transmit to the future generations.

And my friend the President of the United States has just quoted very eloquently one Argentine writer, Victoria Ocampo. And I would like to advantage of this occasion to now quote another Latin American writer of great importance, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I remember that Gabi, as his friends call him, once said, we have received as a creation from God this world we live in. We must not forget that it takes a butterfly 300 years to learn to fly, that it takes a rose 150 years to give out its wonderful smell. We have to commit ourselves to protect this great gift we have received so that we will give the world and mankind a more happy life.

God has told us in the Bible that we could use and take advantage of all creatures, birds, and fish on Earth, but He has never allowed us to destroy them, that we must protect them and help them develop and grow.

So then, my dear friend, Mr. President, my country will collaborate with its presence and its participation in the drafting of the agenda for the next conference in Kyoto on climate change. And the successful results that those important topics to be discussed really deserve we will continue to struggle to fulfill, so as to limit and reduce the greenhouse effect of gas emissions.

We agree with the United States when you say that a global problem such as climate change requires a global answer coming from all countries. But any achievement arrived at will be of short duration or not deep enough if we do not have the committed leadership and the participation with the greatest of responsibilities taken on by the United States.

But our coincidence with the United States do not come to an end after the conference in Kyoto, since they include many other different conferences, such as international forestry forum, discussions on the control of hazardous chemical products, the conference on biodiversity, and the convention on decertification.

With the Declaration of Bariloche, I believe we come to a very worthy closing of this institutional stage in the historical and welcome presence of our friend to Argentina, the President of the United States. As from that point of view, we will continue our conversations informally, taking also advantage of the possibility of enjoying and relaxing together as this important visit is coming to an end.

Of course, a highlight of our bilateral relations has been the signature by our Foreign Minister and your Secretary of State of the memorandum of understanding for the creation of high-level political consultations. I have considered it adequate to explain to President Clinton the need of arriving at a peaceful solution on our claim to follow the Malvinas Islands through negotiations with the United Kingdom.

I have not asked for any mediation. I have only asked the United States to give their support to the decisions taken by the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations. It is with great satisfaction and gratitude that I would like to stress the fact that the White House has sent to Congress the request of conferring upon our country a category of special ally, non-NATO.

We have analyzed in detail economic and trade relations with the aim of coming to a better balance in our trade balance, and we have also underlined the important participation of United Nations companies as foreign investors. I have stressed our deep satisfaction that after 65 years of being banned, now Argentine beets are occupying their place in the competitive market of the North, thanks to the success we have achieved in controlling foot-and-mouth disease.

I am making now a very brief summary of this historic and important visit and the agreements we have arrived at with the President of the United States. Among the many issues that we have discussed I would like to stress the importance I give to the exchange of diplomatic notes on an agreement for cooperation and peaceful use of nuclear energy, a topic that was also discussed here by our scientists and by our friends, the astronauts. In space activities, NASA and CONAE have signed two memorandums of understanding through which the United States will cooperate in the launching of satellites for scientific use, SAC-A and SAC-C.

And we have also stressed the fact of the importance of having greater cooperation and exchange in education, and the fact that we will also discuss these same issues during the second summit to be held in Santiago, Chile.

I believe that the achievements already arrived at and the great success of this visit is absolutely evident. And in many ways, this is strengthening the fact that bilateral relations are built on a solidly firm reality, based on expectations and values that will allow us to see into the future, how different instances of cooperation can be consolidated in different areas.

Before coming to this place, our people in protocol told us we should be very careful, because there is a nest of some birds called teros down there. These kind of birds called teros are strong defenders and can be very aggressive when defending their little recently-born birds in their nests, waiting to give them a good future.

So, dear friends, with the same tenacity, with the same strength, let us defend and protect. As these birds defend what they have created, we should defend what God has created.

Thank you. (Applause.)

END 11:40 A.M. (L)