Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (28 April 2019) prior to his departure for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico:
All around the world, values such as democracy, freedom and diversity are coming under pressure. Cooperation, free trade and observance of international law can no longer be taken for granted. We need more allies to stop the advance of populists and authoritarians. Latin America has dropped off our radar for too long. When it comes to promoting an equitable world order, we cannot afford to lose any allies. We need voices to advocate for human rights and multilateralism in the bodies of the United Nations.
Latin America is one of the world's most strongly democratic regions. We share an important foundation of common values with many of its countries. This is why we are seizing the initiative to reinvigorate and inject fresh impetus into our relations. The aim is to strengthen our partnerships and make our cooperation more effective. We want to join forces on the world stage in our efforts to promote democracy, human rights and fair rules. We want to help expand our foundation of shared values.
In the world of tomorrow, strong alliances with Latin America will be far more valuable than most of us can imagine today. We are not the only ones to have recognised this.
This trip is also the launch event for a new Latin America initiative. A conference in Berlin on 28 May 2019 will be attended by numerous Latin American Foreign Ministers and will prepare the ground for a new focal point of German foreign policy. With a view to strengthening a shared foundation of values, the initiative places high priority on cooperation with civil society.
In Brazil, Foreign Minister Maas will launch a new network for strengthening women’s rights and will also hold talks with Foreign Minister Araújo and President Bolsonaro.
In Colombia, the focus will be on joint efforts to promote peace and stability. Foreign Minister Maas will meet with representatives of the Venezuelan opposition and visit a reintegration camp that is run by former FARC fighters. He will also hold bilateral talks with President Duque and Foreign Minister Trujillo.
In Mexico, Foreign Minister Maas will meet bilaterally with his counterpart Ebrard to discuss how the two countries’ successful cooperation in the spheres of business, culture, science, politics, development and the environment can be further deepened.