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Showing posts from May, 2008

Ecuadorian Foreign Policy 2008

May 28, 2008 (Southern Affairs) -- Ecuadorian foreign policy is caught in a puzzling Catch 22. According to the Constitution of 1998, "The Foreign Service is in charge of conducting the international affairs of the Republic, pursuant to the Political Constitution of the State…"[1] but, as of September 30, 2007 this constitution was dissolved by a plenipotentiary Constitutional Assembly convoked to draft a new national charter. In the mean time the system is run by a popular president and an Assembly dominated by the president's party Acuerdo Pais (AP). This situation makes some aspects of policy analysis difficult, but not impossible. While the institutional structure is not yet codified, it operates on the basic system established under the 1998 Constitution. Accordingly we will focus on those aspects of its policy that have influenced its behavior in the past and continue to generate pressure today. What is Ecuador's current foreign policy? In this section we wil…

Ecuadorian Foreign Policy: Traditions

What are the relevant historic issues in Ecuador's foreign policy? Ecuador's diplomatic history has focused strategically on the preservation of sovereign territory and resources; politically on the amplification of its national prestige and influence through multilateral institutions and economically on the promotion of national trade through close relationships with the United States, the Andean Community, and to a lesser extent with the rest of Latin America. Strategic History Since the formation of the Republic in 1830, Ecuador and Peru have fought over a large portion of the Amazon rainforest. This conflict broke out into open warfare at least five times, once in 1829, 1859, 1941, 1981, and 1995 for an average of once every 41 years. Ecuador lost approximately 200,000 km² in 1942 under the unpopular (in Ecuador) Rio Protocol. Conflict broke out most recently in 1995 during the so called Cenepa War, lasting for a little longer than a month. The conflict reaffirmed the status …

Ecuadorian Foreign Policy: Actors and Institutions

Who are the relevant actors in the creation of Ecuador's national foreign policy and what structures do they operate within? As mentioned, the current foreign policy organization is based on the institutional structure established in the 1998 Constitution. According to Article 2, "The Head of State, as Supreme Representative of the country and its sovereign rights abroad, is in charge of conducting international affairs and the Foreign Service. According to article two of the Ecuadorian National Constitution of 1998, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his capacity as immediate assistant to the Head of State, is in charge of collaborating directly with the President in the formulation and execution of international policy." The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry is divided between two Vice Ministries, the Viceministro de Relaciones Exteriores and the Vice Ministro de Comercio Exterior e IntegraciĆ³n. These two branches report to the Minister who is advised by a Junta Consultiva in t…

South American Regional Integration Institutions: Unasur, ALADI, CAN and Mercosur

There are four regional integration institutions in South America; CAN, MERCOSUR, ALADI, and UNASUR. The first two are subregional blocks representing nine of the 12 South American member countries of Unasur; neither is fully functional. [1]

All the nations of South America, except for Guyana and Surinam, are members of ALADI. Its goals are similar to the Unasur. The only two non-South American members are Mexico and Cuba. [2] Since its inception in 1981, ALADI has achieved very few of its goals and has been eclipsed most recently by the formation of Unasur. This final institution is a specifically South American initiative designed to unite these various processes into one single institution. Unasur Institutional StructurePreviously known as the Comunidad Sudamericana de Naciones (CSN), it was founded in 2004 by the DeclaraciĆ³n del Cusco. It is a 12 nation cooperation treaty designed to propel regional integration efforts forward into the twenty-first century by coordinating disperse…