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Cablegate: Argentina: Oecd National Contact Point

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1718/01 2421326
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301326Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9081
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6502
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6705
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1313
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0726
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6359
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP CARACAS 1456

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001718

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

EMBASSY PARIS PASS USOECD PAUL REID
EEB/EPPD JONATHON MUDGE, BRIAN GUSS
EEB/IFD/OIA WES SCHOLZ
PASS NSC FOR MICHAEL SMART
PASS FED BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR PATRICE ROBITAILLE
PASS USTR FOR KATHERINE DUCKWORTH AND MARY SULLIVAN
TREASURY FOR ROSELLEN ALBANO
USDOC FOR 4322/ITA/MAC/OLAC/PEACHER
US SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EINV ECON PREL PGOV OECD AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: OECD NATIONAL CONTACT POINT

Ref: 06 Buenos Aires 1905

1. (U) SUMMARY. On August 8, Argentina MFA official Ambassador
Enrique Julio De La Torre briefed Economic Counselor and Investment
Officer on recent GOA efforts involving its National Contact Point
(NCP) office. The GoA's NCP seeks to raise awareness of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
non-binding Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. De La Torre
and his staff updated EmbOffs on the GOA's recent NCP efforts, and
requested Post support for Argentine-based NGOs involved with this
effort. This GOA NCP effort appears part of a wider GOA
multilateral re-engagement effort, and to demonstrate that Argentina
is a responsible player on the world stage. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ----
GOA indicates interest in renewed multilateral engagement
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (SBU) Ambassador Enrique De La Torre and his staff opened the
meeting with the frank acknowledgment that after Argentina's 2001-02
economic crisis, it let its OECD relations deteriorate - "not paying
dues, and not attending meetings." Recently, his office had "more
activity," and was paying its bills. He said that in light of Chile
and Brazil's activities and their apparent movement towards full
membership, "Argentina should not be far behind them." He said that
Argentina "has a crucial role in the new world, and so a wise
country should have close relations with the OECD."

3. (U) De La Torre said that he was recently designated the head of
a new MFA OECD unit, under the MFA's Economics Secretariat, and this
is the designated NCP for the OECD. De La Torre indicated that,
although the GOA has had a NCP for a few years, this new unit, and
his own recent appointment, signaled a strengthened GOA interest in
this process. De La Torre said that the United States should be
aware of the "good news" involving the NCP's recent efforts, given
that the "United States is the largest foreign investor in
Argentina." He said that the NCP should be a place for "win-win
solutions," and for the "assurance of foreign investors."

---------------------------------------------
NCP seeks U.S. help with Argentina-based NGOs
---------------------------------------------

4. (U) Ambassador De La Torre said he was pleased with NCP's efforts
in bringing together government, labor, business and NGOs. He said
that representatives from the GOA (foreign affairs, labor, human
rights, environment and investment development), business (the
umbrella group Argentine Industrial Union), labor (Argentine
Workers' Central) and NGOs had been meeting on a regular basis, and
with good initial results.

5. (U) De La Torre also said that NCP and two Argentine NGOs were
working with OECD Watch, which, according to its website, is the
international network of NGOS promoting corporate accountability,
informing the wider NGO community about policies and activities of
the OECD's Investment Committee, and testing the effectiveness of
the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises process. De La
Torre said that so far, two local NGOs were members of the OECD
Watch-NCP process, FARN and SES. (Note: FARN stands for Foundation
for the Environment and Natural Resources, or Fundacion Ambiente y
Recursos Naturales, www.farn.org.ar; SES stands for the Foundation
for Sustainability, Education and Solidarity, or Sustentabilidad,
Educacion, Solidaridad, www.fundses.org.ar. End note.)

6. (U) Ambassador De La Torre specifically requested any assistance,
resources or information that might assist these two Argentine NGOs
work with the NCP and OECD Watch. Emboffs suggested he contact the
American Chamber of Commerce, as well as several other local NGOs
with whom we have relations.

---------------------------------------
Recent GOA NCP facilitation involving U.S.-based Cargill
---------------------------------------

7. (U) Ambassador De La Torre briefed EmbOffs on what he said was a
recent and successful example of his office's facilitation efforts,
involving U.S.-based Cargill and the labor union UOMA. Such
facilitation is a proscribed process in the OECD's NCP guidelines.
According to De La Torre, these two parties used GOA's NCP's "good
offices" to reach an agreement, via meetings and consultations
dating from November 2006 to June 2007. EmbOff later verified this
fact with Cargill in Argentina.

----------------
Biographical Note
-----------------

8. (U) De La Torre was previously Argentina's Ambassador to New
Zealand, and also held senior posts at the GOA's United Nations
mission in New York.

-------
Comment
-------

9. (SBU) Argentina's Foreign Ministry last year sought USG support
for its bid to have the OECD undertake an economic review of
Argentina, and to be named as a observer nation candidate for full
OECD membership (Reftel). The U.S. declined to support Argentina on
either initiative. Now the GOA appears to see the NCP as a vehicle
to demonstrate its willingness and ability to play a responsible
role implementing OECD initiatives. Post will stay in contact with
the GOA OECD/NCP Unit, and report as appropriate.

WAYNE

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