Peru and Colombia Cabinets meet in historic binational meeting
The Presidents of Peru and Colombia met in the Amazon city of Iquitos in Peru along with their Cabinets in what was described as a “momentous and historic” step toward binational integration. The meeting on 29th September led to the signing of 11 accords between the two countries.
Here is the summary of the documents signed at the joint meeting, according to Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as published on the ANDINA website:
1. The Interagency Agreement between Peru’s Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations and Colombia’s Administrative Department for Social Prosperity targets the exchange of best practices regarding protection of the elderly, as well as care for children and adolescents working in mining and those under risk and vulnerability.
2. The Cooperative Framework Agreement between Colombia’s Science, Technology and Innovation Administrative Department (COLCIENCIAS) and Peru’s National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC) covers bilateral cooperation in fields of agriculture, biodiversity, biotechnology and social appropriation of knowledge.
3. The Bilateral Commitment between Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications of and Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies seeks to reduce theft of mobile devices and the illegal market in both countries by taking action to ensure progress is made.
4. The Interagency Cooperation Agreement between the Supervisory Body for Forestry Resources and Wildlife (OSINFOR) and Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development ensures the conservation, prevention and monitoring of forest resources and wildlife, through the exchange of experiences in both countries.
5. Likewise, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been inked between Colombia’s National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD), Peru’s National Center for Estimation, Prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction (CENEPRED) and the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI).
Its purpose is to strengthen Disaster Risk Management Systems in both countries through the exchange of knowledge and experience, particularly in issues related to forecast, prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
6. Peru’s Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation and Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, City and Territory, in turn, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding concerning technical cooperation in the field of water and sanitation.
7. Another MoU was signed between Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and its Colombian equivalent to provide the basis for cooperation in the field of mining and sustainable development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
8. On the other hand, Peru’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) and Colombia’s Civil Service Administrative Department (DAFP) also engaged through a MoU aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation relations through good practices in the field of modernization of the State, administrative simplification, citizen services and good governance.
9. Peru’s Ministry of Labour and Employment Promotion and its Colombian equivalent have signed the Roadmap for implementing the Cooperation Agreement that will help the two neighboring nations exchange the best practices in employment.
10. The Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD) and Colombia’s Administrative Department of Sport, Recreation, Physical Activity and the Use of Free Time (COLDEPORTES) signed a calendar of sports cooperation seeking to establish a interagency schedule of activities and, therefore, strengthen ties of cooperation between the two sectors.
11. Finally, Peruvian and Colombian Ministries of Education signed a Letter of Intent expressing their mutual commitment to strengthening bonds of cooperation in the field of higher education, based on the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees, signed on 23 April 1994.
Below is the Joint Statement as published by the two leaders at the end of the Binational Cabinet Meeting on the Peruvian Ministry of External Affairs website:
“Joint Statement of the Presidential Binational Cabinet Meeting and I Peru – Colombia
DC – 15 – 30/09/2014
Declaration of Iquitos
On the occasion of the President’s Meeting and First meeting of the Binational Cabinet Peru – Colombia
The Presidents of the Republic of Peru, Ollanta Humala Tasso, and the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, gathered in the city of Iquitos on September 30, 2014, inaugurated a new era in bilateral relations between the two countries, with the occasion of the President’s Meeting and First Binational Cabinet of Ministers of Peru and Colombia.
In this context, they stressed the ties from their origins in both countries, their cultural identities, visions and shared values and common historical facts of great importance, as well as the bi-oceanic projection of their economies and belonging to the Andean and Amazon regions considered among the most bio diverse on the planet.
The meeting highlighted the breadth and convergence achieved in relations between the two countries, who made the decision contained in the Joint Declaration, signed in the city of Cartagena, on 11 February this year, to institutionalize the Binational Cabinet as the highest forum for political bilateral dialogue, aiming to strengthen the bilateral cooperation and integration.
They expressed their determination to fulfil the commitments of this Declaration of Iquitos, as well as projects and actions contained in the attached documents structured in four themes that constitute the binational roadmap whose progress and compliance will be evaluated at the next Presidential Binational Cabinet Meeting.
They instructed their Ministers, under the coordination of the foreign ministries, to monitor and check the progress of commitments and actions for agreed projects.
Governance Hub, Social Affairs and Sustainable Development
1 Reiterated the common interest of carrying out effective development policies for social inclusion, decent work and the fight against poverty and extreme poverty, with an emphasis on reducing inequality and measures that benefit the most excluded , early childhood development, economic and financial inclusion, gender equality and equal opportunities for women, children and the elderly.
2 Highlighted the importance of good governance and public management oriented to serve the public, needed to achieve economic and social sustainable and equitable development, as well as a relationship between governments and societies aimed at building a shared vision that encourages participation and the full exercise of citizenship. In this regard they stressed the willingness of strategic planning bodies of the two countries to strengthen their ties and establish processes for exchange and cooperation in these matters.
3 Also felt to be of the greatest importance was agreed commitments for cooperation on scientific and technical matters, health, water and sanitation, education, sports, culture, and immigration matters, including activities that are part of Annex I, while contributing to capacity building in public administration in both countries and promote development with social inclusion. They also expressed their belief that the cooperation on modernization, strategic planning and training of civil servants will positively influence governance and efficient public administration.
4 They instructed the relevant government agencies in monitoring of forest and wildlife resources of both countries to agree and sign a cooperation agreement and encouraged to comply as quickly as the other commitments included in Annex I concerning preservation of the environment, particularly in the management of forest resources and the legal timber trade.
5. They reaffirmed the commitment of the two countries in Disaster Risk Management, to reduce the vulnerability of communities and contribute to the safety and welfare of people and sustainable development, through joint activities for exchange of knowledge and experience in the art.
6 They instructed the relevant authorities to structure a program that promotes the exchange of students and teachers through scholarships for each country.
Axis of Commerce, Economic Development and Tourism
7 They emphasized the complementarity of the economies and development models of both countries and the need to facilitate trade and investment, harmonization and simplification of procedures and promote healthy productive linkages for exploiting opportunities for exports to third markets and strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises.
8 They emphasized the desirability of cooperation in the exchange of information technologies and share experiences of innovation development in strategic sectors such as mining, agriculture and fisheries and aquaculture production development.
9 They agreed on the importance of tourism in generating resources and employment of high social impact, and agreed to promote exchanges of information and experiences, capacity building, and identifying opportunities for joint development and promotion.
10 They expressed the greatest willingness of both governments to maintain permanent channels of political and technical dialogue to address the issues and trade concerns and reiterated respect for existing commitments under the CAN and the WTO, in order to consolidate a wider economic space with unrestricted trade.
11 They instructed the relevant bodies in both countries to promote the realization of a binational meeting of business on a date prior to the next Binational Cabinet, in order to identify trade and investment opportunities and to propose initiatives to strengthen business linkages.
Axis Security and Defence
12 They arranged for the relevant sectors of the two States to implement the agreements reached at the second meeting for High Level Security and Judicial Cooperation (MAN), on September 15 in Lima, whose priorities have been included in Annex III of the present Joint Declaration.
13 They considered it a priority to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, corruption, human trafficking, arms trafficking, illegal logging and illegal mining, among other forms of transnational organized crime affecting both countries, particularly in the area of the common border.
14 They emphasized the importance of the fight against illegal mining and decided to take joint and coordinated mechanisms for the protection and defense of natural resources and biodiversity in the border area in the terms contained in Annex III.
15 Recognizing that the World Drug Problem jointly affects both states they agreed to continue and strengthen mechanisms to combat this scourge to regional and multilateral levels.
16 They emphasized the positive results of the Bilateral Working Group Police, held on September 16 in Lima, Peru, and instructed the relevant sectors and law enforcement agencies of the two countries to intensify their cooperation in the fight against crime and organizations that attempt against public safety and welfare of their peoples.
Axis Border Affairs
17 They noted the importance of the commitments agreed in Annex IV, to strengthen bilateral cooperation and integration as well as the development and welfare of the people of the border, in areas such as infrastructure, sustainable production, attention native communities, environmental sanitation, connectivity and capacity building, considering the common belonging to the Amazon region which makes them natural allies in the defense of the environment and biodiversity, as well as the rational use of natural resources.
18 They emphasized the contribution to the development of the common border that meet Binational Civic Days Support Development Peru-Colombia carried out through the Putumayo and Amazon rivers, whose eighth edition took place between May and July last, fulfilling in order to bring basic public health services, and other identity, to 117 people, with 23,266 inhabitants in both countries, who live in remote border riparian areas, contributing to their development and wellbeing. Similarly, they instructed their Ministerial Cabinets to decisively support in the future an increase in both the supply of services to the communities, as the number of people served. Further, they directed the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with the Navy of Colombia and Peru Navy, to continue to coordinate these efforts.
19 Charged their Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the agreements reached by the Standing Joint Committee for the Inspection of the Peruvian-Colombian border (COMPERIF) and its technical agencies, providing top priority to the fulfilment of the Comprehensive Work Plan adopted in 2013 to advance the joint treatment of the issues linked to the Amazon River.
20 They instructed the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for completion in the first quarter of 2015, the negotiating process to sign the memorandum of understanding whereby the Neighbourhood and Integration Commission Colombo-Peruvian restructuring, including new joint binational proposals.
21 The leaders stressed the importance of the actions taken to promote the development and integration into the common border, as the signing of the “Agreement for the implementation of the Development Plan of the Border Integration”, the creation of the Binational Commission for Border Integration and preparation of the first phase of the implementation of the Plan.
22 They instructed in this regard the relevant sectors fulfilling the commitments agreed in Annex IV and prioritize investments for the implementation of projects in the axes of equity, social and cultural cohesion; connectivity and infrastructure; joint production and trade; and strengthening the state. Also instructed the sectors to work on the creation of a funding scheme, including a Binational Fund for the implementation of projects aimed at improving the living conditions of border populations, reduce poverty and promote sustainable socio-economic development of the border.
In other topics, the Heads of State:
23 Emphasized the importance of the 20th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 20) to be held in Lima on days 1 to 12 next December, to which the Government of the Republic of Colombia sent a delegation at the highest level and undertake all their support, including the Independent Association of Latin American and Caribbean (AILAC), convinced of its meaning and significance, which should lead to a greater global alliance for climate and development, with concrete results that deliver solid commitments and actions.
24 Highlighted the commitment of the two countries, along with others in the region, in the conservation of the extensive network of Inca Trail Qhapac Nan, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which denotes the historical connection of both nations.
25 Reiterated the importance of the Pacific Alliance as a deep integration mechanism that seeks to improve the competitiveness of its members with greater projection into the Asia-Pacific, and agreed to make the greatest efforts to strengthen the legal framework of the Alliance and promote actions necessary to achieve its objectives and pillars for the free movement of goods, services, capital and people.
26 They noted the progress made in implementing the reengineering of the Andean Integration System, under Decision 792, aimed at increasing the operational updates and modernising the institutions of the General Secretariat and the working mechanisms of the CAN and the Andean System of Dispute Resolution in accordance with the needs and possibilities of the Member Countries.
27 President Humala reiterated his support for progress in the peace process in Colombia led by President Santos and his expectation of a successful conclusion of this process.
28 President Santos thanked President Humala and hospitality of the Peruvian people for the warm welcome in the city of Iquitos.
In witness whereof this Joint Declaration signed in the city of Iquitos, Peru, in duplicate, on the thirtieth day of September two thousand and fourteen.
Ollanta Humala Tasso
President of the Republic of Peru
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón
President of the Republic of Colombia”