Foreign Minister Ampuero speaks at the Wilson Center in Washington DC
As part of his working visit to the United States, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, gave a presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center on "Chile's Foreign Policy: Principles and Challenges in the Current Global and Regional Setting".
During his speech, the Secretary of State stressed that Chile's foreign policy is conceived as a State policy, based on a broad consensus on what national interests mean. "The pillar of continuity is rooted in our diplomatic tradition and institutional order."
He recalled that the cornerstone of our country's foreign policy is respect for international law, which includes the defence of the validity of treaties, the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for national sovereignty.
In addition, he noted that the second principle is the promotion of peace, democracy and respect for human rights. In this sense, he affirmed that "there are no good dictatorships. Democracy cannot be compared in terms of results to authoritarian regimes". The third principle, he added, is the willingness to cooperate with other nations. "We also say it is a duty, not just our will," he added.
He stressed that, in addition to these three broad guidelines, "we have added our firm conviction to bring diplomacy and foreign policy issues closer to the common citizen".
He then referred to the integration of the region, noting that "we will continue to make progress on our objectives of improving the quality of integration, in close coordination with other countries in the region. Mainly because we forge our foreign policy from our Latin American cultural identity and that is how Chile presents itself to the international community."
The Foreign Minister also said that "we are designing a foreign policy that is somehow disconnected from political contingency. A foreign policy with a more visible perspective, aimed at anticipating risks and seizing opportunities".
In addition, the Minister added that "the future of free trade is by far one of the most important issues" and recalled that Chile is one of the most open economies in the world, with 26 trade agreements with 64 economies. "The recent signing ceremony in Chile of the TPP-11, an ambitious, high-level agreement with 10 other partners, is a sign of our decisive commitment to trade liberalization, regional integration, inclusive growth and job creation," he said.
At the end of his speech, the Minister said that "we are aware that international relations are an environment in which, if you want to go fast, you can go alone; but if you want to go far, then you have to meet with partners and allies, on the basis of affinities and not convenience. For Chile, a country that is distant but open to the world, it is essential to maintain a vision based on the principle of cooperation among nations."