At the National Congress of Chile
21 October 2008
Thank you. It is an honour to have this opportunity to speak with you today. I am deeply aware that, to you and through you, I speak to the great Chilean people. Your nation has put itself on a path to the future, a path guided by a vision of opportunity, peace, and social justice. What you have achieved has impressed the world.
We gather at a time of extreme global uncertainties -- coming from the economies of the developed world. But for developing countries, ours is also a time of huge potential. For the first time in history, developing countries are setting the economic pace with unprecedented growth in trade, capital, and economic output. More people around the world are being included in the political process, free to vote and participate. There is a new recognition that our countries have solutions to offer and ideas that count.
These realities are putting the developing world in a powerful position to meet the goals we share: to replace the world's huge wealth gap, with a truly win-win global economy; to liberate our people from poverty and hardship; to secure our countries from threats, whether terrorism or disease or environmental disaster; and -- to me, the highest priority -- to give our young people the opportunities they deserve, to achieve, prosper, and lead fulfilling lives.
These are global needs, and meeting them will take a global effort. And South America -- and Chile -- have a central contribution to make. In the modern age, this region has been asserting its identity: as a place of proud cultures, rapid economic growth, and a political will to move forward. Here in Chile, the world has seen a transformative national reconciliation and an impressive economic model. In your region, and around the world, your country has led a new era of cooperation -- to share strengths, meet challenges, and create new opportunities.
My friends, I am here to say that Jordan seeks to be your partner. Our countries and regions share trade links, diplomatic ties, cultural exchanges, and much more. The Arab Chilean community has been an integral part of your country's history and growth. I am proud that citizens of Jordanian heritage have contributed to this great country. And today, your country's Palestinian community is the largest outside my region.
Many Chileans share another heritage, a spiritual heritage, in my region -- the birthplace of the Abrahamic faiths. You will find historic holy sites in Jordan today, honoured by both Christian and Muslim. And our people, like yours, desire a world of peace. Jordan is proud to be the home of the Amman Message, with Islam's call for tolerance, moderation, and respect for human dignity worldwide.
Today, our two peoples have another special bond, a bond of hope for the 21st century. As developing countries, we seek not only a positive future, but a new role in shaping that future, for the entire world. Jordan, in particular, shares important purposes with Chile. We, like you, are committed to good governance and positive socio -- economic change. At home, we have taken specific steps for structural reform, fiscal discipline, private-sector-led growth, and targeted public investment for development.
In our region, we have worked for reform, including economic integration. Worldwide, we have stood for moderation, peace, and progress. My highest priority has been to involve and support Jordan's young people -- the largest youth generation in history. They are very much like their peers here in Chile and around the world: Aware connected oriented toward the future and eager to share in the world's promise. All of them -- Jordanian youth, Chilean youth -- need us to help them succeed.
It is my hope that our countries, and regions, can work together to advance our common causes. That means cooperation at every level -- government-to- government, private sector to private sector and between the institutions of civil society. I hope that our cooperation through MERCOSUR will be a catalyst for other effective cross-border partnerships.
Now is the time to reach out in respect and partnership, to discover solutions and create opportunities. And no where is this more important, than in meeting the challenges of global security and peace. Today, conflict remains an ongoing threat to the Middle East. The core of that threat is the unresolved conflict at the heart of the region. Until there is peace, until there is justice, the region cannot meet its full potential and the forces of extremism will find more fuel for their agenda of conflict.
It is urgent that the international community stand together, to assert our commitment to justice and law. There must be a comprehensive agreement: a two-state settlement, bringing an end to the conflict bringing security and acceptance for Israel -- lasting security, which walls and weapons can never bring -- and at long last, bringing justice for Palestinians with an independent, viable, and sovereign Palestinian state.
It has been a privilege to speak with you today. I hope that it is only the beginning of a long and fruitful dialogue between the people of Jordan and the people of Chile.
I believe in the future. I believe in what our people can achieve. We have the talent. We have the knowledge. We have the courage. And I believe, we have the friends. Let us go forward together.