Paradoxically, the consequences of the approval of the Transpacific Partnership Treaty (Transpacific Partnership or TPP11, by the number of member countries) did not turn out to be peaceful.
The statements made this Wednesday by the minister spokeswoman for La Moneda, Camila Vallejoinflamed the atmosphere in Congress, to the point that senators from Chile Vamos announced that they could paralyze the talks for a new constitutional agreement if the President Gabriel Boric delays the ratification of the TPP11. A warning that, in that sector, they have made on more than one occasion, but that in recent hours has become more acute after the Executive’s decision regarding the international treaty.
In diplomatic parlance, this procedure is called a “deposit” and, in this case, it must be done with New Zealand, the country that acts as the secretariat (“depositary”) of this nascent association.
In the usual spokesperson, Vallejo defended the strategy of the President of take time before ratifying the treaty while waiting to negotiate bilateral agreements with the other 10 member countries to create dispute resolution mechanisms.
“Some who have referred critically to this decision by the President, which just as the government respected and has respected the decision of the Senate, now it’s up to the Senate to respect the President’s decision. This is how democracies operate, this is how the division of powers operates from the State, each one with its faculties and tools and constitutional attributions,” Vallejo said.
However, right-wing legislators issued a stern warning based on the minister’s statements.
“It is a mockery of this Parliament”, said the head of the UDI senators, Ivan Moreira. “We are saying it very seriously, it is not a tantrum. If this is going to be the relationship with the government, do not expect agreements, neither legislative nor constitutional. Because what the government does is shake the waters and the tension.”
In addition, Moreira described Vallejo’s attitude as arrogant. “The more the spokesperson for lies, Mrs. Vallejo, speaks, the more things complicate, because she systematically lies (…). (She) puts the will of President Boric above popular sovereignty. She is going beyond the basic rules of democracy, and that is unacceptable. That is moral superiority, that is arrogance.”
The head of the Evópoli caucus, the senator Luciano Cruz Coke, He said that “the government spokeswomanhas notified you that the Senate is a mailbox. As opposition senators, we cannot accept that a treaty is not going to be enacted within the legal term… We hope that in less than 10 days this project can be enacted and sent to New Zealand (….). You cannot do as Pinochet did. to save a project because you don’t like it,” he added.
Last Tuesday, in the middle of the debate in the Senate room, where Chile’s adherence to TPP11 was approved, the DC Matthias Walker raised the sternest warning.
The Falangist senator mentioned the case of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which took 17 years to be ratified. was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966 and was approved by Congress in 1972. However, due to the military coup and the years of dictatorship, its international ratification only culminated in April 29, 1989months after Augusto Pinochet would leave power.
Although the decé legislator only alluded to that case, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (adopted by the United Nations and approved by the Chilean Parliament on the same dates) also took 17 years to enter into force.
“I hope that President Boric respects the democratic will of the National Congress, publishing it in the Official Gazette, that he does not do like Pinochet, who hid the Pact on Civil and Political Rights in a drawer,” he said. Walker.
His message wasn’t just a personal outburst. It was a fact that circulated among parliamentarians of Democratic Socialism who had been critical of the “delaying maneuvers” of their peers from the PC and Broad Front who opposed this trade agreement.
Given the division that existed within the ruling party and within the government itself (where ministers such as Carolina Toha, Mario Marcel and Antonia Urrejola prompt approval of the TPP11), the President Gabriel Boric adopted an intermediate strategy of not putting obstacles to the legislative discussion, but specifying that it would take a while to ratify the treaty, once it is dispatched by Congress.
For this reason, the words of the DC legislator caused annoyance in a sector of the ruling party. His statements were rejected by the communist senator Daniel Nunez and they were indirectly answered by Foreign Minister Urrejola, who commented that there have been other cases, in democracy, in which ratification before international organizations has been delayed for more than a year.
Government sources point out that the idea is not to incur an indefinite postponement. Therefore, in no case would they come close to Pinochet’s bad precedent. Thus, it is likely that the Executive only expects to finalize around five bilateral agreementswhich are being traded through side cards (side letters) with the other member countries of the TPP11. That would give Boric at least a floor to ratify the treaty and “deposit” it with New Zealand.
The former foreign minister and former president of the PPD, Herald Munoz, He said that it is “understandable that the government wants to wait for answers to the side letters to proceed with the ratification and deposit of the treaty, exclusive faculty of the President”.
However, Muñoz specified that “We assume that we are talking about a reasonable period of time so as not to delay. I am left with Minister Urrejola’s affirmation that the ratification of the treaty is a priority. The question is whether to wait until all the answers are received or a majority. New Zealand only got five positive letters out of ten to her request to be exempted from the same mechanism. Will the government’s criterion be to receive a certain number of positive responses to ratify? We do not know, because the issue of side letters It has been handled with a lot of opacity.”
Now how much is a term “reasonable”?, a concept that was used at the time by the Minister General Secretary of the Presidency, Ana Lya Uriarteto appease criticism. Recent experience indicates that it is basically months and not years.
According to the official registry of the United Nations (Treaty Collection or Collection of Treatiesthe secretariat that usually acts as the depositary of international treaties and agreements), the latest ratifications or accessions by Chile have taken between one week and four months.
The Escazú Environmental Treaty (Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean) was approved in its last step by the Senate on June 1 of this year, on the 6th sent the official letter to the Executive and the Foreign Ministry deposited its adherence to the treaty with the UN on June 13. The entire process was sealed on June 20.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons the approval letter from Congress was sent to the government on August 31, 2021 and RR.EE. He made his ratification process on September 23 of that year.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women It took a little over three months. The Legislature sent its approval document on December 4, 1999 and the ratification before the UN was dated March 12, 2020.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change completed its processing in Parliament on January 26, 2017 and on February 10 it was already listed as ratified before the United Nations.
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