Chilean Minister of Foreign Relations (Acting) Ximena Fuentes and US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian A. Nichols co-chaired the high-level bilateral political advisory mechanism on November 17 in Santiago, Chile. The high-level dialogue included senior US officials from the State Department and the National Security Council and senior Chilean officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior and Public Security.
The dialogue reflected the dynamism and strong partnership between Chile and the United States, which was also expressed during the meeting between Presidents Boric and Biden within the framework of the IX Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles and Secretary of State Antony Blinken October 4-5 visit to Chile.
The meeting focused on designing a roadmap reaffirming countries’ commitment to promoting democratic governance, human rights, diversity and equity; promote sustainable and inclusive growth; strengthen security cooperation and fight against transnational organized crime, cybercrime and emerging threats; and deepening collaboration on environmental conservation and health, science, technology and innovation.
Both sides stressed their strong support for bilateral and multilateral coordination to uphold human rights, maintain international peace and security, combat climate change, support regular and humane migration and promote sustainable development.
Acting Minister Fuentes and Assistant Secretary Nichols signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility – in the presence of Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Head of Diversity and the inclusion of the US State Department, and Verónica Rocha, Feminist Foreign Policy Coordinator of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs – to facilitate bilateral cooperation and the exchange of information on promoting equality and combating discrimination.
Under Secretary of the Interior Manuel Monsalve and U.S. Ambassador to Chile Bernadette Meehan signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Chile and the United States that grants Chilean law enforcement access to the eTrace program, that traces the origin and purchase of firearms used in violent crimes to support criminal prosecutions.
Both governments applauded the launch of a Women, Peace and Security sub-committee as part of the annual meetings of the Defense Advisory Committee on September 13, 2022, between the US Department of Defense and the Chilean Ministry of Defense.
The two governments noted that the 2020 Cultural Property Agreement between the United States and Chile allowed U.S. and Chilean law enforcement, as well as the Chilean Ministry of Cultures, Arts, and Heritage and to the US State Department, to collaborate in the return of five objects of Chilean cultural heritage in 2022.
Acting Minister Fuentes announced that Chile will subscribe to the Declaration for the Future of the Internet, which aims to revitalize a common democratic vision of an “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure” Internet that respects human rights ; reinforces a common and democratic vision of an open digital future; and enables economic opportunities. Chile joins the United States and approximately 60 governments and partners who have endorsed the Declaration.
The United States Department of State and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that in 2023 they will relaunch the political-military dialogue and organize the next space security dialogue to address the challenges and seize the opportunities related to security and defense.
The two governments have agreed to cooperate and exchange experiences in strategic planning processes between the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department.
The United States and Chile have agreed to relaunch the Chilean-American Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation in 2023 to deepen public-private partnership in science and technology. The two governments have committed to sign a memorandum of understanding in 2023 on energy cooperation. The agreement will support the development of the green hydrogen industry.
Assistant Secretary Nichols and Acting Minister Fuentes highlighted a number of activities and initiatives to be developed in 2023, as part of the roadmap:
- In 2023, the United States-Chile Fulbright Commission will bring together ten American Fulbright scholars from American universities to partner with scholars from Chilean universities to fight climate change together. They will work on cutting-edge research and curriculum design in environmental science, geology, natural and marine resource management, food and energy security, among other subjects.
- In 2023, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Chile, Partners of the Americas, and private sector partners will launch a new 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant competition. They will award at least $166,000 in grants on a competitive basis to innovative U.S.-Chile higher education partnerships to implement inclusive exchange and training programs focused on climate action.
- To share best practices in water resources management, the U.S. Embassy in Chile is hosting a special International Visitor Leadership Program on “Climate Change and Environmental Resilience” for nine Chilean representatives from the civil society, academia and local and national government. Participants from the Santiago, Los Lagos, Los Rios and Antofagasta regions will visit the states of Maryland, Oregon, Washington and California. With local organizations and government agencies, they will examine water and waste management practices as well as US models for citizen consultation, state and local regulation, and civil society advocacy.
- The U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research have awarded more than $900,000 in grants to Chilean researchers working on quantum computing, energy efficiency, and climate change projects.
- A new $1 million program from the U.S. Department of State’s International Narcotics Bureau and Law Enforcement “Combating Cybercrime in the Southern Cone” will build the capacity of Chilean police and prosecutors.
Chile and the United States will commemorate 200 years of official relations and the 20e anniversary of our free trade agreement in 2023. The two governments have agreed to work closely together to develop programs, tours, and activities that showcase the breadth and depth of the Chile-U.S. partnership.
Chilean Minister of Foreign Relations (a) Fuentes and Assistant Secretary Nichols have agreed to hold the next meeting of the Bilateral High-Level Political Consultative Mechanism in 2023 in Washington, D.C.