by Cecilia María Minaverry, 2012-2013 President Néstor Kirchner Fellow
My experience as a PNK 2012-2013 Fellow was completely satisfactory. Since I found out about the Fellowship, I felt that it would be a great opportunity to stimulate and reward young people who are interested in academic improvement to the benefit of their home countries.
For my application to the Fellowship, I submitted a paper on international arbitration between State and investors within the scope of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), with special reference to the case of Argentina.
From the moment that it was announced that I was the winner of the PNK 2012-2013 Fellowship, I began to deepen and improve my research in order to express my ideas in the various venues offered by the city of New York and The New School University. I considered it was vital to strengthen my arguments, since the Argentine cases in ICSID constitute a heavy legacy for my country and still threaten its economic stability.
Since this is a very controversial topic - one in which the opinions of experts and their proposed solutions are often radically opposed to one another - I was very interested in meeting people who were studying the issue from an engaged and active vantage point as professionals or advanced academics in the field of international relations and arbitration.
Leading up to my arrival in New York, the staff of the OLA organized all kinds of interviews to compliment my Fellowship. This allowed for the opportunity to meet with leading experts in the field: professors, arbitrators, lawyers and students. I also had the opportunity to attend arbitration courses and seminars at Columbia University and New York University. All this enriched my research with different ideological approaches.
I also had the chance to present a preview of my Public Lecture in two Seminars at the New School, before different kinds of audiences interested in knowing more about my work.
Then came the most important moment of the Fellowship: presenting the dissertation in a Public Lecture at The New School University. While one believes that after this task is accomplished the Fellowship is complete, the concerns and the desire to further deepen the research continues even now that I am back home.
All this was achieved in less than two weeks and that was what impressed me the most about this Fellowship; and it is the result of the hard work of all the people of the New School University that serves the Fellow before, during and after the stay in New York. The main objective of this effort is to help the Fellow accomplish as much as possible during the trip and gather information for the research. With the work of the two parties involved (the Fellow and the organizers) this is achieved successfully.
Once back in Argentina, I could see that in just a few days of intense academic activity in New York, this exchange broadened the horizon for my research and that many of the views I held before had changed, while others were strengthened. Moreover, I feel obligated to find a space in my country to apply everything I learned and thus repay the confidence and the resources invested in me.
So I think the President Nestor Kirchner Fellowship is a recommended experience for all young people in the region who are interested in the issues that concern our countries. The study and exchange with such prestigious institutions can help us find solutions to improve the chances of progress in South America.
Buenos Aires, December, 2012