Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Wednesday that he decided to cancel the organization of the summit of the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation (APEC) and the UN conference on climate because of the situation with mass protests in the country.
“It hurt me to do it, but I decided not to hold the APEC summit and the UN Conference on climate change,” he said in his address, which was broadcast on channel 24 Horas.
“When a father faces challenges, it needs to give priority to the family, the President also needs to always put the interests of fellow citizens above everything else,” the President added. According to him, the Republic of Chile “regrets any problems and inconveniences that had been caused by his decision of APEC.”
Chilean President assured that the country government is interested in cooperation with other 20 members of APEC. “73% of our exports go to APEC countries. In this forum the interest of all Chileans,” – said Sebastian Pinera.
The Secretariat of the APEC summit endorsed the decision of the authorities of Chile to abandon the organization of the forum. This is stated in the message of the official representative of the Secretariat said Wednesday on Twitter. It is noted that the APEC summit in 2020 will be Malaysia.
Sebastian Pinera added that Chile will continue to participate in conferences on climate and fight global warming.
According to the President, he’s already discussed the situation with UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who respected the decision to cancel the conference.
The APEC summit was held in Santiago, from 16 to 17 November, the UN Conference on climate change – from 2 to 13 December. The first meeting of the heads of APEC held in 1993 in Seattle, and since then has been held annually. In 2004, the summit is held in Santiago, and was accompanied by protests of anti-globalization activists, reports TASS.
The protests that escalated into riots and clashes with police began in Santiago on October 14 after the cost of the subway fare rose by an average of 30 peso (0.04 USD or 2.6 rubles), up to a maximum of 850 pesos ($1.2). Later, the unrest has spread to other cities. The demonstrators expressed their dissatisfaction with low salaries and high cost of educational and medical services.
In connection with this situation, President Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency and a curfew in the capital and several other cities and also took the decision to cancel rise in prices for journey in public transport. According to authorities, during the riots killed at least 19 people. The President of Chile called on all the Ministers to resign, reports “Interfax”.
Last week piñera announced a series of measures of social support of the population, including the increase in pensions and the reduction in electricity tariffs. On 27 October, three weeks before the Santiago APEC summit, the President signed a decree about cancellation of state of emergency in all regions. On Monday in the capital and other cities in renewed unrest.