OAS Approves Declaration on the Defense of Democracy and Social Peace in Ecuador

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno speaks during negotiations with protesters in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Remarks by
Ambassador Carlos Trujillo
October 15, 2019

Madam Chair, thank you for convening today’s Special Session of the Permanent Council. We also warmly welcome Minister Valencia back to the OAS, and for describing in detail recent developments in his country. We listened with great interest to his presentation.

Let me respond by first reiterating that the United States is closely monitoring the developments in Ecuador. We firmly reject violence as a form of political protest. We also condemn any attempt to destabilize the democratically elected government in Ecuador.

Dialogue and respect for the rule of law are not only consistent with our region’s shared democratic values, but are also the best way for the people of Ecuador to enjoy greater economic prosperity.

This is because an environment that encourages inclusion and open debate is vital to any successful national strengthening process, whether it be political or economic in nature.

My delegation would like to stress this point in particular, since a key mission of the OAS is to foster stable and responsive democratic institutions throughout the Americas.

Let me also highlight that the restraint demonstrated by Ecuador’s security forces serves as an important sign of the government’s respect for democracy and human rights, including the rights to peacefully assemble and freedom of expression. This is fully consistent with our collective commitment, as expressed in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, to protect the right to freedoms of assembly and expression.

To this end, we urge all parties to resolve outstanding issues through dialogue — peacefully and democratically. We support the efforts of the international community and the Catholic Church to facilitate meaningful dialogue.

At this time, the United States recognizes the difficult decision that the Government of Ecuador has taken to advance good governance and establish the basis for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Our view is that on issues as critical as broad economic reform, all political and social stakeholders must strive for national consensus as much as possible — to avoid any sense of exclusion.

As we well know at the OAS, achieving consensus can be difficult, but it also strengthens the achievements that emerge from the negotiation.

Across our region, governments from left to right are implementing pragmatic policies designed to help their citizens prosper in a globalized economy — an objective favored by the vast majority of people in the hemisphere.

Simply put, those who shout the loudest are not making the real news in the Americas. The real story of our time is the quiet, evolutionary change promoted by governments and constituencies who want to improve the lives of their citizens, pursuant to the rule of law.

Those changes will not occur overnight, and we still have work to do. They require give and take on many sides, and patience from all, in order to bring about positive changes that will better the lives of our citizens.

But we are on the right path, and will continue to work with democratic partners, including Ecuador, to better the lives of our citizens.

In closing, let me reaffirm that the United States looks forward to working in partnership with the people of Ecuador to support democracy, prosperity, and security. We remain proud to be a partner in Ecuador’s journey to a democratic, prosperous and inclusive future. Thank you.