South America deserves bigger say on international stage, says Foreign Secretary

The Foreign Secretary will tell young leaders in Chile that South America deserves a bigger say on the international stage, as part of a keynote speech on Monday.

James Cleverly will tell crowds at Santiago’s Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre that the “tectonic plates of world politics are shifting once again”.

The politician is visiting the region as part of the first visit by a foreign secretary to South America since 2018.

Mr Cleverly will visit Chile, Colombia and Brazil as part of his visit to the continent.

In a keynote speech celebrating 200 years of UK-South America relations, Mr Cleverly will set out the UK’s future relationship with South America.

The Foreign Secretary will call for South American countries to be given a louder voice in multinational organisations like the UN, including a permanent Security Council seat for Brazil, according to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Mr Cleverly will tell crowds: “[Latin America’s] demographic and economic weight gives you a pivotal role in determining whether the international order will endure… But our world’s multilateral institutions need reform, in particular to give more voice and more influence to Latin America.”

The Foreign Secretary will also use his address in Santiago to describe Britain as the region’s “oldest friend” and will highlight how Britain and South America are partners on issues such as climate change, protecting democracy and human rights, and securing free and open supply chains of critical minerals.

The Foreign Secretary will also use the visit to try and boost Britain’s jobs, growth and influence.

The UK will be joining Mexico, Chile and Peru in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trading bloc.

Britain joined the CPTPP, a major Indo-Pacific trade bloc, earlier in the year.

Mr Cleverly will highlight how South America only represents 2% of British imports and 2.5% of British exports worldwide.

He will also highlight how “there is much more to do on trade and investment” going forward.

British embassies across the continent are preparing celebrate 200 years of UK-South America relations.