Foreign Minister's complaint to Canadian ambassador violates diplomatic principles, experts say

Foreign Minister’s complaint to Canadian ambassador violates diplomatic principles, experts say

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Javier González Olaechea, has been questioned by different social sectors after having made the claim to the ambassador of Canada, Louis Marcotteafter it was revealed that the diplomat signed the letter together with 16 nations expressing their concern about the initiative approved by the Legislative Assembly that threatens the autonomy of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

On the day of the celebration of the 80 years of relations between Peru and Canada, the foreign minister had no better idea than to confront the Canadian official and even told him to shut up.

Thus, in his attempt to defend the autonomy of the Peruvian State, Javier González Olaechea had no better idea than to disrespect a diplomatic headquarters by making an unnecessary comment.

Experts comment on Javier González Olaechea’s statements

Internationalist Oscar Vidarte described the statements as Gonzalez Olaechea as something “inappropriate” and stressed that, if there was something to claim, it should be done through the appropriate diplomatic channels, such as a statement or a communiqué.

“What the foreign minister did was to use a non-diplomatic channel, at a completely inappropriate time. Because we were talking about Canada’s National Day, at the home of the Canadian ambassador, and I think the foreign minister used quite strong words, because he questioned, I think harshly, this communiqué signed by several countries, including Canada,” he said.

Along these lines, he stated that the behavior of the chancellordespite his words intended to sound friendly, was “very undiplomatic.” In addition, it opens a moment of unnecessary confrontation with Canada, an important country in the development of Peru.

Especially if one takes into account that the letter signed by the 16 countries is a valid message used by the States to show genuine concern for what is happening in the country. Vidarte points out that this cannot be considered as “interference”.

“It seems to me to be very undiplomatic behavior on the part of our chancellorr express their annoyance at an event for Canada’s national day. Very undiplomatic and totally inappropriate. Secondly, it seems unnecessary to me to start a space of confrontation with Canada. What Canada has done, together with other countries, is to express its concern about a norm of the Congress which in some way restricts people’s rights. (…) What I am saying does not constitute interference, it is concern for democracy,” he added.

The expert also draws special attention to a statement made by the foreign minister that went unnoticed, which is that he minimized the reports of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru from Canada.

“The foreign minister referred in a completely inappropriate way to the Truth Commission that was created in Canada to look into the situation of indigenous peoples. And he referred to and questioned those results. This is incredible, because he not only questioned the Truth Commission in Peru, but he also questioned the Truth Commission in Canada that has been accepted by the State,” he concluded.

“It was a blunder by the chancellor”

Former Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Mackay described Javier González Olaechea’s claim as “nonsense” since it breaks with the Peruvian Foreign Ministry’s tradition of maintaining respect.

“A foreign minister can never fall into the breach of the principle of courtesy of diplomatic law. And much less do so in the diplomatic headquarters of a mission accredited to the government of Peru. That is an absolutely degrading act in diplomatic terms,” ​​he warned.

Along those lines, he indicated that the correct thing to do would have been to call each of the representatives of the sixteen countries that signed the letter to the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry for a stern warning.

“What I find striking is that this was done at the ambassador’s residence. This reveals the absolute lack of knowledge of the current foreign minister,” he added.

The importance of NGOs as a voice of civil society

Internationalist Ramiro Escobar agreed with the above, indicating that the foreign minister’s statements were unnecessary in creating a bitter moment.

“I don’t think it will cause much acrimony between Peru and Canada, but it is a very bitter moment. An unnecessary moment. I think that type of statement could have been published in a statement from the Foreign Ministry. But, speaking like that in the embassy itself seems unnecessary to me,” he commented.

Especially remembering that during his speech, Ambassador Louis Marcotte had some generous words towards Peru.

“The Canadian ambassador was diplomatic, respectful, decorous and complimentary of the relations between Peru and Canada. For this reason, I believe that it was inappropriate for the foreign minister to take advantage of that moment to say words that have left a bad taste in the mouth, not only for the Canadian ambassador, but for the other ambassadors,” he said.

Ramiro Escobar recalled that sixteen embassies signed the letter expressing their concern about Congress’s intention to exercise a certain political control over NGOs.

“Of course, the foreign minister said it was a project. Yes, it is indeed a project, but it reveals a certain intention of political control of the NGOs that work and have links with several countries that are listed in that statement,” he added.

Along these lines, he stressed the importance of NGOs as representatives of civil society and the danger of an attempt to control the way in which they invest their resources. “This is something that is seen in authoritarian countries, such as Russia and Venezuela,” he stressed.