CHILE'S FOREIGN POLICY

INTRODUCTION

Throughout its history, Chile’s foreign policy has been based on respect for international law, the inviolability of treaties, the juridical and peaceful resolution of controversies, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States and the search for peace and international security.
In the present international context, characterized by the advances of democratic processes throughout the world and the irreversible trend toward full economic and commercial integration, Chile has carried out an active international agenda based on the traditional principles outlined above, focused in such a way as to become tools to promote the country’s overall development.

OBJECTIVES

To accomplish the goal of development, the government of Chile has pursued the following foreign policy objectives:

• The internationalization of the Chilean economy through the creation of a network of agreements and alliances, so as to ensure the adequate presence of our products and services in the world’s markets and continued foreign investment into Chile. Both of these elements are key contributors to Chile’s economic growth and development. Internationalization sets high quality and competition standards, which must be met through increased productivity, the adjustment of environmental standards to international norms, higher quality jobs and better labor conditions.

• The promotion of relations based on mutual cooperation and confidence creating a foreign climate receptive to the development of our nations, international peace, the protection of human rights and democratic stability, particularly in the Latin American region.

• Active participation in the international scene so as to contribute, to the extent of the country’s ability, to the construction of a world agenda for the next century. That effort is reflected in Chilean participation in United Nations summits on Social Development, Women, and the Environment, and in regional summits. Chilean membership in Tlatelolco and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are also worth noting, as is its role as guarantor in the resolution of the conflict between Peru and Ecuador. Furthermore, Chile participated as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the terms 1996-1997 and 2003-2004. More recently, Chile’s presence in Haiti has helped the stabilization and reconstruction of that nation.

Chile’s foreign policy objectives lead it to seek a multiple, balanced presence in the world. Chile’s principal economic and political ties extend, in an evenhanded manner, to Latin America, North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific area.

To that end, Chilean foreign policy fully adheres to the principle of open regionalism, which considers trade agreements as mechanisms for the expansion of commerce and investment, all within the context of increasingly liberalized world trade. In that context, Chile promotes free trade at every level, through the elimination of tariff and non-tariff measures. Fundamental in this context is the implementation and compliance with Uruguay Round multilateral trade agreements. Proof of Chile’s commitment to the achievement of free trade is the unanimous approval given by the Chilean Congress to the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

THE PRINCIPLE OF OPEN REGIONALISM

Relations with Latin America occupy a preeminent place in Chilean foreign policy. Latin America has become an area of great economic dynamism. Chile’s principal aim in this region is the promotion of integration and the consolidation of an environment conducive to peace, dialogue, solidarity and mutual confidence within the region. Chile is convinced that the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas will foster new levels of political cooperation and cultural integration, physical integration, and increased energy, transportation and telecommunication links in the Americas.

Chile has a special interest in its relationship with MERCOSUR, the Southern Cone Common Market, which includes its two leading Latin American trading partners, Argentina and Brazil. In 1996, Chile partially joined MERCOSUR through a partnership agreement. That has given the country the possibility to strengthen its economic ties with its neighbors, but at the same time, keep its independence in the economic arena.

This policy toward Latin America is fully compatible with a deeper penetration of world markets. A priority task for the government of Chile is the negotiation of agreements allowing the achievement of that goal, whether in a bilateral, a regional or a multilateral framework. Within that context, Chile is interested in broadening the bilateral agenda with the nations of North America, with special emphasis on crucial matters such as the defense of democracy, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the protection of the environment, sustainable development, the struggle against drug trafficking, the war on poverty and increased presence in the Pacific Rim.
Europe constitutes another relevant area for Chilean foreign policy. Strong political ties have always existed. The European Union, the world’s largest integrated market, continues to be one of Chile’s most important trading partners. In 1996, a framework agreement was signed by Chile and the European Union, strengthening the existing trade and cooperation ties.
Greater presence in the Asia-Pacific area is yet another central objective of Chilean foreign policy. The Pacific Rim will undoubtedly be one of the principal international scenarios of the 21st century. As an APEC member, Chile has worked intensively in the Asia-Pacific area to create effective political and economic ties. In 2004, Chile was the host country for APEC, gathering in Santiago all the leaders of the APEC’s economies.

As a result of the abovementioned policy, Chile signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union in early 2003. That same year, a Free Trade Agreement was signed with the United States of America. Meanwhile, in Asia, a Free Trade Agreement was signed with the Republic of Korea.
For more details, please visit our economic section.

CHILE, NOW

Current changes in the world are creating new demands on international organizations. Chile considers that these organizations have a crucial role to play in a variety of issues, particularly in this era in which international regimes in areas such as security, human rights, trade, protection of the environment, the exploitation of natural resources and international cooperation are in a state of flux.

Chile, which was a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for the 2003-2004 term, defined its multilateral agenda as based on the following principles:

• Promotion of preventive diplomacy and the peaceful settlement of controversies so as to attain maximum reduction in the use of force.

• The search for regional solutions to regional conflicts.

• The promotion of greater transparency and equanimity in Security Council procedures and decisions.

• The maintenance of special concern for the victims of conflicts.

• The favoring of consensus solutions.

• The promotion of confidence-building measures.

In principle, Chile is against the application of sanctions. Nonetheless, when sanctions are necessary, the most vulnerable sectors of the countries to which they are applied must be protected.

The evolution of international conditions, the growing multiplicity of topics and number of international actors make the process of reform of the United Nations even more urgent. The government of Chile assigns top priority to the reform of the United Nations system in the short term. It is of utmost importance that the United Nations be capable of reacting effectively and efficiently to the challenges the international community must confront in the 21st century.
As a country open to the world, Chile has demonstrated its willingness to fully assume appropriate international responsibilities in the common task of attaining peace, security and development. Chile is convinced that the organization born 60 years ago will continue to be the principal multilateral vehicle for the projection of our proposals, our contributions and our dreams.

Copyright © 2005- Embassy of Chile, Washington, DC and GlobeScope, Inc.