The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 9, 2006

Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Chile

     Fact sheet President Bush Welcomes President Bachelet of Chile to the White House

June 8, 2006

Presidents George W. Bush and Michelle Bachelet underscored the increasingly strong and close ties that Chile and the United States enjoy, based on common values and objectives, including the promotion of democracy, development, economic growth, hemispheric integration, trade liberalization, international security, and combating terrorism. They recognized the link among development, peace, security, human rights, and social justice. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the bilateral relationship based on these principles and to deepen the two nations' ongoing strategic dialogue on democracy and regional development, and other key shared priorities.

They agreed that Chile and the United States, like all the peoples of the Americas, are united by ties, and by common aspirations, expressed in the founding Charter of the Organization of American States, which says: "The historic mission of America is to offer man a land of liberty and a favorable environment for the development of his personality and the realization of his just aspirations."

They agreed that the important measure of governments is whether they are committed in principle and in practice to the core conditions of democracy: to govern justly, to advance economic freedom, and to invest in their people. They agreed that a consensus in support of democratic governance unites our hemisphere and is enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which declares that the people of our hemisphere have a right to democracy and that their governments have a responsibility to protect and promote that right, and that democracy is essential for the social, political, and economic development of the people of the Americas.

They agreed that the success of democracy in the Americas has produced increased expectations, and that in free societies citizens rightly insist that people should not go hungry, that every child deserves the opportunity for a decent education, and that hard work and initiative should be rewarded. The Presidents agreed that if democracy is to answer popular demands for development, if it is to help reduce poverty and inequality, then democratic institutions must be effective and responsive; that institutions like political parties, the police, and an independent judiciary must be representative of and accountable to the people; that institutions must be reformed to fight corruption and to function transparently; and that every democracy must have the strength to create opportunities for improved health and education for all of its citizens. For men and women who are committed to freedom, who work hard and play by the rules, democratic governments must eliminate policies and practices that interfere with opportunities to rise as high as their talents will take them. That is how we define social justice.

The Presidents recognized that the democracies of the Americas have now forged a consensus on the vital link between security and prosperity as well as democracy and prosperity. They agreed that in a hemisphere that is becoming more democratic, the central security issue in the Americas is no longer one of state-to-state or military-to-military security, but how we face nontraditional threats such as organized crime, terrorism, delinquency, gangs, natural disasters, pandemics, weapons proliferation, and drug trafficking.

The Presidents agreed to work to make democracy a force for inclusion and empowerment, for effective institutions that will better people's lives in real ways, especially for the most disadvantaged and marginalized, while also recognizing that political and economic freedoms are not quick fixes, but are in fact lasting fixes.

They agreed to partner globally through the U.N. Democracy Fund and the Community of Democracies to support specific democracy promotion initiatives, particularly those aimed at improving democratic governance and strengthening institutions, promoting civil society participation, and sharing regional and trans-regional best practices and experiences. They further agreed to work together to support efforts to strengthen the capacity of the OAS and the Secretary-General to respond effectively to threats to democracy in the region and to help countries implement the provisions of the Charter.

The Presidents also reaffirmed their commitment to working to ensure a successful and ambitious conclusion of the Doha Round in the near future. In this context, President Bachelet welcomed President Bush's reaffirmation that the United States is ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies, and other barriers to the free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same.

Reaffirming the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), they acknowledged that the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare. The leaders agreed to promote innovation and technological advancement by providing strong intellectual property protection and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The Presidents acknowledged that economic growth and job creation are vital to reducing poverty and inequality and advancing human development, and that free trade is the key and their vision remains a Free Trade Area of the Americas, in the world's largest free trade community. The Presidents noted the importance of continuing efforts to promote trade liberalization and reaffirmed their commitment to the FTAA. They also observed that efforts toward economic and trade integration in the Americas are important tools for the promotion of prosperity, stability, and democracy in the region. They welcomed agreement by the IMF and World Bank to provide 100 percent debt relief for the poorest countries in our hemisphere. In addition, they agreed that the Inter-American Development Bank also should act to reduce the debt burden on the poorest countries. Collectively, these actions will ensure that more resources are available to invest in health and education.

The Presidents expressed their commitment to ensure that political stability, democracy, and development take firm root in Haiti. They welcomed, as hemispheric partners in this effort to support democracy, the successful outcome of presidential and legislative elections held in February and April and expressed support for the new Government's efforts to respond to urgent social needs while aiming to achieve sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

The Presidents noted with satisfaction the activities of our continuing cooperation in the areas of economic growth, trade, cultural, people-to-people, and military exchanges. The Presidents agreed to intensively explore opportunities for people-to-people exchanges, including graduate doctoral education and English language education.

The Presidents reaffirmed their friendship and their commitment to further strengthening ties between the two nations to foster freedom, democracy, security, and prosperity.

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