President Pinera. Good afternoon, everyone. Firstly, I would like to cordially and heartily welcome a friend of Chile and a personal friend like President Obama. I think that your visit, President, is very important and has enormous significance for Chile. It’s the first time in more than 20 years that a President of the United States visits our country.
Of course, we’ve had several multilateral summits of world leaders, and this visit coincides with the celebration of 50 years of the Alliance for Progress that was announced by President Kennedy at the beginning of the sixties.
We have had with President Obama a very open, frank, and fruitful conversation, and we have been able to subscribe many agreements of different nature, but they do have something in common. They all contribute to a better life and better quality of life for our peoples, like trade promotion and to accelerate and perfect the free trade agreement we have with the United States; cooperation in the field of education and English teaching as–in order to make of Chile a bilingual country; collaboration in the developments and efficient use of energies, and cleaner energies in particular, renewable energies, where Chile has enormous potential; and also collaboration in research technologies and training of our engineers and technicians in nuclear energy.
But I want to be very clear and adamant: Chile is not going to build, nor is it planning to build, any nuclear power plants during our government, during our administration. The idea of this agreement is that we may understand much better nuclear technologies, to be able to train our engineers and technicians so that in the future we may make more informed decisions, more intelligent decisions protecting the health and life of our population, the environment, and nature, and also that will allow us to ensure that the operation of our two experimental nuclear power plants be fully, fully safe.
Also, we have signed agreements to collaborate in natural disasters, in early warning mechanisms, and effective aid and rescue of civil populations. We have much to learn from–in situations like FEMA in the United States.
Another agreement is something addressing the only renewable resource of modern times–science, technology and innovation, and entrepreneurship–that we need to strengthen in our countries so as to reach the development stage that we are seeking. And then, finally, the agreements to better protect our nature, our environment.
I want to tell you, President Obama, that when you announced your visit to Chile, Brazil, and El Salvador on the occasion of your State of the Union Address, you said you were coming to forge new partnerships for the progress of the Americas, and you said that throughout all the world, you were committed to those countries that assume their responsibilities. Frankly, I think that Chile has assumed and will continue to assume its responsibility with our fate, with our region, with our country, and to the extent possible, with the rest of the world.
And as we have been able to evidence in our conversations, not only today, but also in your country and in Asia, we have discovered that our two nations have a road of collaboration that can be built on rock and not on sand, because we coincide in that which is key: the values, the principles, the vision. That facilitates the road. And with that we can convincingly embrace this new alliance, this new partnership between the United States of America and the rest of the American countries–we are all Americans–an alliance that should be much deeper and forward looking than the Alliance for Progress. And this partnership, this alliance is one of our times, of our 21st century, of the society of information and technology.
President Obama, Chile has set for itself an ambitious goal before the end of this decade: to leave underdevelopment behind, to defeat poverty and to build a society of opportunities and assurance for all of its sons and daughters, and also to achieve a strong alliance among equals, with the same rights, obligations of Latin America with the United States. And this is going to be very powerful, very useful in many fields: promotion of world peace, perfecting of democracy, rule of law, and defense of human rights, but also in economic integration, where Chile aspires to accelerate, perfect, and deepen our free trade agreement with the United States.
Also, we would like to raise our voice to ask for countries like Colombia and Panama also to have free trade agreements with your country and may join in this Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative. It’s going to be a free trade area on both sides of the Pacific Ocean and where we will find the largest free trade market in the world.
Also, we are concerned about the delays and tensions of the Doha round. I know that the United States is going to make efforts for this to move forward.
And then, on the other hand, I would like to raise to you a much closer collaboration in the field of science, technology, innovation, and undertaking, because in modern times, free trade has to be not only of goods, but of ideas; not only of services, but of knowledge; not only of investments, but also of technology.
And also, Mr. President, we are committed in the struggle against poverty and excessive inequalities in our country and our continent. And we want to keep on collaborating with the U.S. so as to contribute to other Latin American countries. Just like we can learn from them, they can learn from success stories in our country and in combating the evils of modern society: fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, global warming, and the proliferation of massive destruction weapons and nuclear weapons.
I was talking with President Obama insofar as avoiding this nuclear menace. But it’s not only that a few countries in the world will have nuclear weapons and others not, but to have a world without weapons of mass destruction. This is the common goal we share with President Obama and with all the men and women of good will of all of the world.
President Obama, I have read with great attention your words in El Cairo, Egypt, for the Arab world, where you proposed a new beginning in the relations between the United States and the Islam world, and also your words in Accra, Ghana, where you raised a new commitment, a new promise, a new commitment with the sub-Saharan African world. And today, that the winds of freedom, of democracy, of participation, and protection of human rights are stronger than ever, even in those countries that had never–that had not existed for many years. This is a great opportunity to have a new alliance between the United States and the Latin American countries.
That is why I would like to tell you that Latin America is more prepared than ever today so as to leave poverty and underdevelopment behind that have been with us for 200 years of independent life and undertake the adventure of the future of democracy, of freedom, of development, of equality of opportunities. That we may have a continent, as we have dreamt it always–from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean–that will become a land of freedom, of opportunities, of progress, but also a land of fairness and camaraderie as dreamt by the Founding Fathers of that great Nation like great–like the United States, like the case of Jefferson, a great patriot like Lincoln, but also like San Martin and O’Higgins from our continent.
And the question is a very straightforward one, a very simple one: It’s our challenge, it’s our mission, the mission of the generation of the bicentennial. Because if it’s not now, then when? If we are not the ones, then who?
And President Obama, we are–listen with great attention, with great interest, the message you will deliver in a few hours from the Cultural Center of La Moneda to Latin America and to the whole world.
Thank you very much.
Moderator. We thank the words of the President of the Republic of Chile, Mr. Sebastian Pinera Echenique. Now we will hear the President of the United States, His Excellency, Mr. Barack Obama.
President Obama. Thank you very much, President Pinera. Buenas tardes to everyone here.
I want to first of all just extend my greetings to the people of Chile, and I am so grateful for not only the generous words, but also the outstanding hospitality that’s being shown to me as well as my family.
I want to begin today by noting that President Pinera and I discussed some urgent events unfolding around the world. Together with our partners, the United States is taking military action to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 and protect the Libyan people.
And across the region, we believe that the legitimate aspirations of people must be met and that violence against civilians is not the answer. And across the Pacific, both Chile and the United States are supporting the Japanese people as they recover from the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami and address the situation in their damaged nuclear facility.
These events remind us that in our interconnected world, the security and prosperity of nations and peoples are intertwined as never before. And no region is more closely linked than the United States and Latin America. And here in the Americas, one of our closest and strongest partners is Chile.
Chile is one of the great success stories of this region. It’s built a robust democracy. It’s been one of the most open and fastest growing economies in the world. The spirit and resilience of the Chilean people, especially after last year’s earthquake, have inspired people across the globe. And in my speech this afternoon, I look forward to paying tribute to Chile’s progress and the lessons it offers as America forges a new era of partnership across the Americas.
I was proud to welcome President Pinera to Washington last year for our Nuclear Security Summit. Mr. President, I want to commend you on your decisive leadership in these first few months of office and first year of office, a time that’s been obviously very difficult and has tested the people of Chile. I want to thank you for the focus and energy that you’ve brought to the partnership between our two countries, which we have strengthened today.
We’re moving ahead with efforts to expand trade and investment, as the President mentioned. Under our existing trade agreement, trade between the United States and Chile has more than doubled, creating new jobs and opportunities in both our countries. But I believe and President Pinera believes that there’s always more we can do to expand our economic cooperation.
So today we recommitted ourselves to fully implementing our free trade agreement to include protections of intellectual property so our businesses can innovate and stay competitive. We agreed to build on the progress we’re making towards a Trans-Pacific Partnership so we can seize the full potential of trade in the Asia-Pacific, especially for our small and medium businesses.
It’s my hope that, along with our other partners, we can reach an agreement on the framework for the TPP by the end of this year, an agreement that can serve as a model for the 21st century.
We’re expanding the clean energy partnerships that are key to creating green jobs and addressing climate change, which is evident in the glacier melt in this region. As a member of the Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas that I proposed, Chile is already sharing its expertise with solar with the region.
I want to commend President Pinera for agreeing to take another step, hosting a new center to address glacier melt in the Andes. In addition, a new U.S.-Chile Energy Business Council will encourage collaborations between our companies in areas like energy efficiency and renewable technologies.
Our governments have agreed to share our experience in dealing with natural disasters, an area, of course, where Chile has enormous expertise and which is critical to recovery and economic reconstruction.
The President and I discussed our shared commitment to expanding educational exchanges among our students, who can learn from each other and bring our countries even closer together. And in my speech today, I’ll announce an ambitious new initiative to increase student exchanges between the United States and Latin America, including Chile.
Now, even as we deepen cooperation between our two countries, I want to take this opportunity to commend Chile for the leadership role that it’s increasingly playing across the Americas. Chile is a vital contributor to the United Nations mission in Haiti, where we agree that yesterday’s election is an opportunity to accelerate recovery and reconstruction efforts, and the Chilean Legislature recently passed strong legislation to combat the scourge of human trafficking.
Under President Pinera’s leadership, Chile is taking a new step today. Mr. President, I want to thank you for offering to share Chile’s security expertise with Central American nations as they fight back against criminal gangs and narcotraffickers. I’m also pleased that our two governments will be working together to promote development in the Americas.
At the same time, Chile is assuming more of a leadership role beyond the Americas. As part of last year’s Nuclear Security Summit, Chile took the bold step of giving up its stockpile of highly enriched uranium. Chile is the first Latin American nation to join a new international effort to strengthen civil society groups that are under threat. And as a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Chile has joined with us in standing up against human rights abuses in Iran and in Libya.
In short, Mr. President, today we’ve proven again that when the United States and Chile work together in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect, it’s not only good for the peoples of our nations, I believe it’s good for the region, and it’s good for the world. And I’m confident that our partnership will only grow stronger in the years to come. And I’m very much grateful for the wonderful hospitality that you’re showing me and my delegation.
Thank you very much.
Moderator. We thank the words of the President of the United States. Now we will proceed to the questions from the media. We remind you that only three questions will be allowed, and they have been decided on: one from Chile, one from international, and the first question is Rodrigo Vergara on behalf of the Association of Journalists from–[inaudible].
Chile-U.S. Relations/Latin America-U.S. Relations
Q. President Pinera, President Obama, good afternoon. President Obama, you have emphasized and highlighted the economic management of Chile, the leadership in the region–those were your words–and even the successful transitioning to democracy in the difficult years of the nineties. However, in Chile, President Obama, there are some open wounds of the dictatorship of General Pinochet. And so in that sense, leaders, political leaders, leaders of the world, of human rights, even MPs, the son of the murdered Orlando Letelier, Foreign Minister, have said that many of those wounds have to do with the United States. I ask you, Justice is investigating cases of Allende and the death of President Eduardo Frei Montalva. In that new speech that you will announce, is it–do you include that the U.S. is willing to collaborate with those judicial investigations, even that the United States is willing to ask for forgiveness for what it did in those very difficult years in the seventies in Chile?
President Obama. Well, on the specific question of how we can work with the Chilean Government, any requests that are made by Chile to obtain more information about the past is something that we will certainly consider, and we would like to cooperate. I think it’s very important for all of us to know our history. And obviously, the history of relations between the United States and Latin America have at times been extremely rocky and have at times been difficult.
I think it’s important, though, for us, even as we understand our history and gain clarity about our history, that we’re not trapped by our history. And the fact of the matter is, is that over the last two decades, we’ve seen extraordinary progress here in Chile, and that has not been impeded by the United States, but, in fact, has been fully supported by the United States.
So I can’t speak to all of the policies of the past. I can speak certainly to the policies of the present and the future. And as President of the United States, what I know is that our firm commitment to democracy, our firm commitment to eradicating poverty, our full commitment to broad-based and socially inclusive development, our full support of the robust, open markets that have developed here in Chile and the work that President Pinera and his predecessor, President Bachelet, have done in order to transform the economic situation here–those are all things that the United States strongly supports.
And so again, it’s important for us to learn from our history, to understand our history, but not be trapped by it, because we’ve got a lot of challenges now, and even more importantly, we have challenges in the future that we have to attend to.
Moderator. The second question is by Jim Kuhnhenn from the Associated Press.
Situation in Libya
Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Senor Presidente, muchas gracias. Sir, how do you square your position that Colonel Qadhafi has lost legitimacy and must go against the limited objective of this campaign, which does not demand his removal? If Colonel Qadhafi is killing his own people, is it permissible to let him stay in power? And if I may add, do you have any regret, sir, about undertaking this mission while you’re on foreign soil? And do you have the support of the Arab people in this yet?
President Obama. Okay. First of all, I think I’m going to embarrass Jim by letting everyone know that Jim’s mother is Chilean, and so this is a little bit of a homecoming. You were born in Chile, am I right?
Q. Yes, sir. It’s a delight to be here. Thank you.
President Obama. Fantastic. So I thought everybody should know that. And also I think that for all the Chilean press, you don’t need to take Jim’s example by asking three questions, pretending it’s one. [Laughter]
Q. One subject.
President Obama. First of all, I think it’s very easy to square our military actions and our stated policies. Our military action is in support of a international mandate from the Security Council that specifically focuses on the humanitarian threat posed by Colonel Qadhafi to his people. Not only was he carrying out murders of civilians, but he threatened more. He said very specifically, “We will show no mercy” to people who lived in Benghazi.
And in the face of that, the international community rallied and said we have to stop any potential atrocities inside of Libya and provided a broad mandate to accomplish that specific task. As part of that international coalition, I authorized the United States military to work with our international partners to fulfill that mandate.
Now, I also have stated that it is U.S. policy that Qadhafi needs to go. And we’ve got a wide range of tools in addition to our military efforts to support that policy. We were very rapid in initiating unilateral sanctions and then helping to mobilize international sanctions against the Qadhafi regime. We froze assets that Qadhafi might have used to further empower himself and purchase weapons or hire mercenaries that might be directed against the Libyan people.
So there are a whole range of policies that we are putting in place that has created one of the most powerful international consensuses around the isolation of Mr. Qadhafi, and we will continue to pursue those. But when it comes to our military action, we are doing so in support of U.N. Security Resolution 1973 that specifically talks about humanitarian efforts. And we are going to make sure that we stick to that mandate.
I think it’s also important, since we’re on the topic, that I have consistently emphasized that because we’re working with international partners, after the initial thrust that has disabled Qadhafi’s air defenses, limits his ability to threaten large population centers like Benghazi, that there is going to be a transition taking place in which we have a range of coalition partners–the Europeans, members of the Arab League–who will then be participating in establishing a no-fly zone there.
And so there is going to be a transition taking place in which we are one of the partners among many who are going to ensure that that no-fly zone is enforced and that the humanitarian protection that needs to be provided continues to be in place.
With respect to initiating this action while I was abroad, keep in mind that we were working on very short time frames and we had done all the work and it was just a matter of seeing how Qadhafi would react to the warning that I issued on Friday.
He, despite words to the contrary, was continuing to act aggressively towards his civilians. After a consultation with our allies, we decided to move forward. And it was a matter of me directing Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen that the plan that had been developed in great detail extensively prior to my departure was put into place.
Jim, I’ve forgotten if they were any other elements of that question. But I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible.
Support From Arab States/Situation in Libya/U.S. Military Role in Libya
Q. Arab support, sir.
President Obama. Well, look, the Arab League specifically called for a no-fly zone before we went to the United Nations. And that was, I think, an important element in this overall campaign.
Q. But will they be part of the mission?
President Obama. Absolutely. We are in consultations as we speak. As I said, there are different phases to the campaign. The initial campaign, we took a larger role because we’ve got some unique capabilities. Our ability to take out, for example, Qadhafi’s air defense systems are much more significant than some of our other partners. What that does then is it creates the space, it shapes the environment in which a no-fly zone can actually be effective.
It was also important to make sure that we got in there quickly so that whatever advances were being made on Benghazi could be halted and we could send a clear message to Qadhafi that he needed to start pulling his troops back.
Now, keep in mind, we’ve only been in this process for 2 days now, and so we are continuing to evaluate the situation on the ground. I know the Pentagon and our Defense Department will be briefing you extensively as this proceeds. But the core principle that has to be upheld here is that when the entire international community almost unanimously says that there’s a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place, that a leader who has lost his legitimacy decides to turn his military on his own people, that we can’t simply stand by with empty words, that we have to take some sort of action.
I think it’s also important to note that the way that the U.S. took leadership and managed this process ensures international legitimacy and ensures that our partners, members of the international coalition are bearing the burden of following through on the mission as well. Because, as you know, there–in the past, there have been times where the United States acted unilaterally or did not have full international support, and as a consequence, typically it was the United States military that ended up bearing the entire burden.
Now, last point I’ll make on this: I could not be prouder of the manner in which the U.S. military has performed over the last several days. And it’s a testament to the men and women in uniform, who, when they’re given a mission, they execute and do an outstanding job.
But obviously, our military is already very stretched and carries large burdens all around the world. And whenever possible, for us to be able to get international cooperation–not just in terms of words, but also in terms of planes and pilots and resources–that’s something that we should actively seek and embrace, because it relieves the burden on our military and it relieves the burden on U.S. taxpayers to fulfill what is an international mission and not simply a U.S. mission.
Q. Thank you, sir.
Former Regime in Chile/No-Fly Zone in Libya
[At this point, the reporter began to ask a question in Spanish, which was translated by an interpreter.]
Q. Mr. President, can I ask you–I will ask you in English.
[The reporter then spoke in English.]
Q. I’d like you to answer the–to the response that the President gave regarding the wounds that still linger in this country and the needs that some of the people in this country want for an apology from the United States, perhaps, and certainly for assistance in any investigations that are still ongoing here. Thank you.
President Pinera. The coup d’etat was in–existed in Chile 40 years ago. We had a long and profound conversation with President Obama. We didn’t have much time to cover all the issues of the future, so we didn’t go so back into the past.
But I can tell you that Chile, our Government and this President believes, firmly believes in the self-determination of peoples and firmly believes in the rule of law and respect for human rights. For that reason, when we had evidence that in the case of President Frei Montalva, there could have been a homicide, our Government submitted a claim, a complaint, is party to it, and it’s collaborating to find–to investigate those responsible for the death of the former President Frei Montalva. And once the judiciary ascertains those responsibilities, they will have to assume the penalties and punishment according to our rule of law.
In the case of President Allende, we don’t have the same basis. But if we had them, we would act exactly in the same way and–or the same presumptions.
And I would like to say finally that today, the subject of democracy, of human rights has no borders, does not recognize any border, and that is progress of this 21st-century civilization.
And that is why Chile supports the initiative of the United Nations through its Security Council, NATO, and the Arab League to do all that is possible to end a true carnage, killing of civilians in Libya. And I think that is a responsibility of the international community, because as I said a while ago, human rights do not and should not respect borders. The responsibility is of all of us in each and every place of the world, whatever the circumstances involved to violate human rights. And in my view, a person that has bombarded his own people does not deserve to keep on being the ruler of that people.
Moderator. The last question of this conference will be by Macarena Vidal from Spain.
Situation in Libya/U.S. Military Role in Libya/Chile-U.S. Relations
Q. Mr. President, you asked the Chilean press not to take advantage and make a several-part question, but you didn’t mention the international press. [Laughter]
President Obama. Are you a lawyer or a journalist? [Laughter]
Q. Well, we try to be precise. [Laughter] So on Libya, when you say that you will be transferring command, when are you thinking of transferring command? And would NATO be the preferred partner to take over that command? And the second part of the question is that you have said that you want an alliance among equals with the peoples of the Americas. What deliverables are you going to go for after this trip to achieve it?
[The reporter asked a question in Spanish, which was translated by an interpreter as follows.]
Q. —-President Pinera, what is the content of this partnership so as to meet the goals of the region?
President Obama. Well, with respect to Libya, obviously the situation is evolving on the ground. And how quickly this transfer takes place will be determined by the recommendations of our commanding officers that the mission has been completed–the first phase of the mission has been completed.
As I said, our initial focus is taking out Libyan air defenses so that a no-fly zone can operate effectively and aircraft and pilots of the coalition are not threatened when they’re maintaining the no-fly zone. The second aspect of this is making sure that the humanitarian aspects of the mission can be met.
But let me emphasize that we anticipate this transition to take place in a matter of days and not a matter of weeks. And so I would expect that over the next several days, we’ll have more information, and the Pentagon will be fully briefing the American people as well as the press on that issue.
NATO will be involved in a coordinating function because of the extraordinary capacity of that alliance. But I will leave it to Admiral Mullen and those who are directly involved in the operation to describe to you how exactly that transfer might be–might take place.
With respect to this new partnership, I don’t want to give you all my best lines from my speech; otherwise, no one will come. [Laughter] But the thing that I’m most excited about is the fact that in a country like Chile, it’s not just a matter of what we can give to Chile, it’s also a matter of what Chile can offer us.
Chile has done some very interesting work around clean energy, so we set up a clean energy partnership. We think we’re doing terrific work on alternative energy sources, but there may be initiatives that are taking place here in Chile that might be transferrable to the United States.
On education, obviously, we have a long history of public education, and our universities, I think, are second to none. But we want to make sure that in this increasingly integrated world, American students aren’t just looking inwards, we’re also looking outwards. And so the idea of us setting up a broad-based exchange program with the Americas, I think, makes an enormous difference.
Security cooperation: The plague of narcotraffickers in the region is something that we’re all too familiar with. And obviously, we have the example of Colombia that has made great strides in bringing security to a country that had been ravaged by drug wars. What lessons can we take and then apply them to smaller countries in Central America, for example, that are going through some of these same struggles?
For Chile, the United States, Colombia, other countries to work in concert to help to train effective security operations in Central America to deal with narcotraffickers is a kind of collaboration that would not be as effective if the United States were operating on its own.
So I think across the spectrum of issues that we care about deeply and that Chile care about deeply, what will characterize this new partnership is the fact that it’s a two-way street. This is not just a situation where a highly developed country is helping a poor and impoverished country; this is a situation where an up-and-coming regional power that has a strong voice in international affairs is now collaborating with us to, hopefully, help greater peace and prosperity for the region and the world.
President Pinera. No doubt that insofar as integration of the Americas, we are lagging behind. And the best way to illustrate this is to compare what has happened in America with what happened in Europe.
Last century, the Europeans had two World Wars that–with a toll of more than 70 million casualties. But at some point, they had the wisdom, the courage to abandon the rationale of Line Maginot or Siegfried Line and to embrace Maastricht Treaty. With the leadership and the vision of such renowned statesmen like Adenauer, De Gasperi, Haussmann, Schuman, they began to build what today we know of as European Union.
And in America, we are much behind that. In America, 20 years ago, President Bush, father, raised the idea of a free trade area from Alaska to “Fire Land” [Tierra del Fuego]*, generating a lot of enthusiasm in the region, but it never came true, never materialized.
And so the time is right now because Latin America has been for too long the continent of hope or of the future, but a continent cannot be a promise forever. And so we are of age now, and we need to fulfill our mission. Therefore, the main task of Latin America is to recover the lost time and tap all of its potential.
We have lots of things in common with the U.S.: vast, generous territory, homogenous peoples, hard-working people. We don’t have racial problems that affect some African countries or the wars that raged in Europe, nor the religious conflicts of Europe itself. And therefore Latin America is called to compromise, or rather commitment with its own fate.
And therefore, we are looking forward to President Obama’s words. We are all left-handed–we have many coincidences–we studied in Harvard, both of us. We are sportsmen. President Obama continues to be a basketball player; I was in my time as well. I think the First Lady of the U.S. is very good-looking, and President Obama has said the same about the First Lady of Chile. There are plenty of coincidences, but the most important one is the one we’ll find this afternoon.
And modestly, if I could suggest to President Obama, we hope to have a partnership that is 2.0, a one where we have all responsibilities and not an existential alliance, because existentialism has never been enough to face the major problems, but rather, a partnership of collaboration between Latin America and the United States sharing values, principles, and a common vision.
And that alliance should be comprehensive. It should reach out to the fields of democracy, freedom, rule of law, defense of human rights. And I think that we have to improve the democratic charter of OAS. It should also open up the doors to the free trade of goods and services, and faster than what we have done hitherto. And in addition to that, to include those subjects which are the true pillars of the 21st century: quality of education, science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship. Therein lie the pillars for Latin America so as to leave poverty and antidevelopment behind.
And we have so much to learn from a country like the United States that, in its 230 years of independent life, has really gave–has given true evidence of being an innovative country and that has made the largest contribution to progress of mankind.
And thus, Latin America and the United States have a lot to gain from this alliance, but also has to reach out to two of the most important challenges of the 21st century: energy, to have clean, safe renewable energies; and water–if global warming keeps on going, could be the most scarce resource of our century. And also face the major problems of modern society that cannot be faced unilaterally: organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, global warming, the subject of world security. It can no longer be faced individually. We need to work jointly together.
And in our view, that will call for a new international order that will replace that which emerged in Bretton Woods after the Second World War and to be appropriate and adaptive to the needs and challenges of the 21st century, where the only constant thing we have is change.
So the time is right to recover all that lost time. And the time is here so that finally, this relationship of encounters, disencounters–of shaking hands or our backs–for that to be in the past. And let us initiate a new era of collaboration, reencountering frankly, effectively, concretely, that will truly face and solve the major problems; that will also open up the doors to tap the main opportunities. This society of knowledge and information is knocking on our doors.
Latin America was late to the Industrial Revolution. We cannot be late in this tremendous revolution, which is so much deeper, which is that of knowledge and information. And it has been very generous with the countries that want to embrace it, but very cool with those countries that do not tap it.
No child should be left behind; I’ve heard this from President Obama. And here, we say in Latin America, no country should be left behind.