International IDEA´s Secretary-General, Mr Yves Leterme, went on a working mission to Chile from April 13 to April 15. The Secretary-General was accompanied by International IDEA´s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Mr Daniel Zovatto. Chile is one of the founding members of the Institute and has been a strong advocate for more and better democracy the past two decades, not only in its country and region, but also worldwide.
The Secretary-General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Mr Heraldo Munoz, signed the Host Country Agreement for International IDEA´s Regional Office for LAC. In a conversation with Ms Ximena Rincon, former Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency and just recently appointed as the new Minister of Labour, the Government of Chile confirmed the provision of the office space for the Regional Office.
The Secretary-General met President Michelle Bachelet. They discussed efforts of International IDEA in the past in Chile and in the region and the possible expansion of the areas International IDEA has been engaged in.
Meetings with former Presidents Sebastian Piñera and Ricardo Lagos were also held. They talked about the political, economic, and social situation in Chile and the work of International IDEA in Chile and in the LAC region. They expressed their appreciation for the forthcoming publication ´Democratic Transitions: Conversations with World Leaders´, initiated by International IDEA. The book, set to be released in September, will contain interviews with 13 national leaders around the world, who played key roles in transitions to democratic governance in their country.