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.
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
• 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
• 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.
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
• 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
• 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.