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DEC. 3, 2021

President Piñera and Minister Allamand highlight Chile’s vocation for international engagement in commemoration marking the 150th anniversary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry

Chile’s President, Sebastián Piñera, and Foreign Affairs Minister, Andrés Allamand, led a ceremony that also featured the participation of former Foreign Affairs Ministers Hernán Felipe Errázuriz, José Miguel Insulza, Ignacio Walker, Mariano Fernández, Alfredo Moreno, Heraldo Muñoz and Teodoro Ribera.

Chile’s President, Sebastián Piñera, and Foreign Affairs Minister, Andrés Allamand, led the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry today in a ceremony held at La Moneda Palace. In attendance were former Foreign Affairs Ministers Hernán Felipe Errázuriz, José Miguel Insulza, Ignacio Walker, Mariano Fernández, Alfredo Moreno, Heraldo Muñoz and Teodoro Ribera. 

President Piñera highlighted key examples of the progress made by the ministry in recent years and referred to the pillars of Chilean foreign policy: the defense of peace, freedom, human rights, democracy and the promotion of regional integration. 

“Our foreign policy says as much about how we see ourselves as it does about our vision of the world that we are helping to build and the role that we want to play in that challenge,” he said. The President also mentioned the efforts that Chile has made to be one of the most inclusive countries, by reaching trade agreements that include nearly 90% of the world’s population. 

The President noted the progress that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has made in order to protect the country’s territorial sovereignty and integrity, such as “the categorial triumph of Chile before the International Court of Justice in October 2018, when they dismissed all of Bolivia’s claims and reaffirmed the validity of international law and treaties, and confirmed Chile’s sovereign decrees over its territory and sea.” 

Minister Allamand noted the importance of the “international vocation” that characterizes Chile’s foreign policy. “It is the will to engage with the world, not only in an effort to seek out what the country might receive from that effort, but with the idea of considering what the country has to give others; that is, the international community.” 

In this regard, the minister highlighted some of the milestones that exemplify this “international vocation”, such as Chile’s contribution in the area of human rights, respect for and protection of democracy, as well as the “Escudero Clause”, named after the Chilean diplomat whose “freezing” of claims made the Antarctic Treaty viable, and which stands as one of the greatest feats of multilateralism and international law. 

Minister Allamand noted that 43% of Chile’s maritime surface area is a Marine Protected Area and that the country is home to 70% of the world’s astronomical capacity. Furthermore, Chile’s commitment to combating climate change and its initiative to consecrate the 200 miles of Exclusive Economic Zone – finally achieved through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – are evidence of the country’s ability to build an international agenda. 

The minister concluded his remarks by describing the recent approval in Geneva of the Chilean initiative to promote a binding international agreement so that the world can better respond to future pandemics. 

These contributions by Chile are just some of the elements addressed in the book about the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s 150-year history. The text was written by ministry officials and a renowned group of diplomats. It will be drafted by National Journalism Prize recipient Ascanio Cavallo and reviewed by historian Joaquín Fermandois. 

To conclude the commemoration, the President and Foreign Affairs Minister unveiled the new “150 Years of the Foreign Affairs Ministry” postage stamp. Carol Pacheco, the Corporate Affairs Officer for Correos de Chile (Chile’s postal service), also participated in the ceremony. 

Minister Allamand recognizes officials 

During a ceremony held on Thursday, Minister Andrés Allamand led the traditional granting of medals to recognize 35, 30 and 20 years of service to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, including those of officials from Carabineros de Chile (Chile’s uniformed police service) and the Policía de Investigaciones (investigative police service) who work in the ministry. 

“There is no question that what sets apart the way that Chile performs its role in foreign affairs is the tremendous quality of the people that we have here,” Minister Allamand noted. He stated that this year’s event is even more special, because the institution is celebrating its 150th anniversary.