Common Foreign Policy Guidelines



Article 16 a) of the Cartagena Agreement and General Secretariat Proposal 27;


Integration constitutes a historical, political, economic, social and cultural mandate handed down by their countries in order to safeguard their sovereignty and independence;

The Cartagena Agreement is based on principles of equality, justice, peace, solidarity and democracy;

One of the objectives of the Cartagena Agreement is to reduce the countries' external vulnerability and improve their position in the international economy;

The formulation of a Common Foreign Policy represents a high degree of political cooperation and marks the beginning of a new stage in the Andean integration process;

The Common Foreign Policy will help to strengthen the identity and unity of the Andean community, will give it a larger international presence and influence, and will contribute to its coordination and convergence with the other integration efforts underway in Latin America and the Caribbean;


Article 1. - To approve the following Common Foreign Policy Guidelines:


The Common Foreign Policy is based on the juridical instruments that comprise the Andean legal system and on the common acceptance of the following shared values:

a) Respect for the principles and standards of international law enshrined in the Charters of the United Nations and of the Organization of American States;

b) The common Andean identity;

c) Subregional and international peace and security and the peaceful settlement of disputes;

d) The effectiveness of the democratic order based on the participation of the citizens and social justice;

e) The defense and promotion of human rights;

f) Solidarity and cooperation among the Andean countries;

g) The social and economic development of the Member Countries;

h) The consolidation of Latin American integration.


The objectives of the Common Foreign Policy are the following:

a) To defend and promote the common identity, values, rights and interests;

b) To strengthen peace and security in the Andean Community; c) To enhance the capacity of the Member Countries and of the Andean Community for international negotiation ; d) To consolidate and accelerate subregional integration and reinforce the identity, solidarity, and unity of the Andean Community; e) To have the Andean Community participate actively in the process of Latin American integration and in promoting the region's stability, peace, and solidarity. f) To fortify multilateralism and democratize international relations; g) To develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, as well as to promote and respect human rights and the basic freedoms; h) To do away with extreme poverty and promote citizen participation and the continuing improvement of the standard of living of the Andean people; i) To promote the sustainable development of the subregion and international environmental conservation; j) To take joint action in fighting the worldwide drug problem; and k) To combine efforts in a crucial war on corruption and to collaborate in the struggle against terrorism and other forms of organized crime.


The Common Foreign Policy is guided by the following basic criteria:

1. It is in consonance with common Andean interests, rescues past experiences and is coherent with the national foreign policies of the Member Countries.
2. It encompasses political, economic, trade, social, and cultural aspects and is the expression of an increasingly intensive integration process that is projecting itself internationally.
3. Its formulation and execution are governed by:

a) Gradualism, which consists of progressively addressing the issues on the international agenda in keeping with priorities that will be established after common interests have been identified;

b) Integrality, which implies an overall view of the common foreign policy that heeds the multidisciplinary nature of the international political and economic agenda and the growing interrelationship of domestic and foreign issues as a result of globalization, which is construed in terms that are positive and that show respect for national and subregional features and specific characteristics; and

c) Flexibility, which permits both the common foreign policy and its mechanisms to adjust to the dynamics of the regional and world context, while maintaining the coherence of its objectives and actions.


The Common Foreign Policy is formulated and executed through the following mechanisms:

a) Andean Presidential Council
b) Andean Council of Foreign Ministers
c) Meeting of Vice-Ministers of Foreign Affairs or of High-Level Officials

The Andean Community Commission will carry out Community foreign policy actions within its sphere of competence, in coordination with the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers.


a) The adoption of common positions, joint actions and single spokesmanships, including the harmonizing of votes and of nominations.

b) Regular coordination among the Diplomatic Missions and Representative Offices of the Member Countries to third countries and in international organizations; and

c) Ad-hoc joint diplomatic representatives


1. Political Area

a) Regional Unity Contributing to regional unity by strengthening political consultation and coordination with the Latin American countries, starting with the consolidation and intensification of the subregional integration process.

b) Extraregional relations
Establishing and developing mechanisms for dialogue and consultation with other countries and regions in order to reinforce the international influence of the Andean Community.

c) Democracy and human rights
Affirming the existence of a democratic order as a prerequisite for the consolidation of the subregional integration process. Contributing to the strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights through the international dialogue and cooperation carried out by the Andean Community.

d) Reinforcement of multilateralism
Promoting the reinforcement of multilateral spaces as a mechanism for fomenting international dialogue, coordination and cooperation with regard to the issues on the multilateral agenda, ensuring strict respect for international law, and neutralizing unilateral and extraterritorial actions.

e) Security and confidence-building
Adopting joint measures to promote a culture of peace and of the peaceful settlement of disputes, to foster confidence, especially in border zones, to limit arms, and to develop new regional conceptions of democratic security.

f) Sustainable development
Adopting joint positions that will make it possible to further sustainable development policies in the regional and international spheres that take into consideration subregional interests and the follow-up of commitments incurred internationally, especially with regard to environmental conservation and the defense of biodiversity.

g) Drugs
Coordinating a joint position that, under the principle of shared responsibility, will become the Andean Community's contribution to the world drug problem. In this context, carrying out joint actions that, starting from a multilateral approach, will promote international cooperation on all aspects of the problem and particularly the development of alternative crops.

h) Corruption
Advancing joint actions that will make it possible to expedite the adoption at the regional and international level, of mechanisms for cooperation and social control aimed at fighting and stamping out corruption in all forms and eliminating impunity.

i) Terrorism
Furthering subregional consensuses in order to generate common initiatives geared toward preventing, fighting and effectively eliminating terrorism, as well as to reach a stage of closer international cooperation on the subject.

j) Illegal arms trafficking
Taking a common Andean stand and carrying out joint actions that will contribute to the prevention, suppression and control of illegal arms trafficking.

2. Economic area

a) Regional integration
Furthering the coordination and convergence of the integration efforts existing in the region, with a view toward forming a Latin American common market.

b) Promotion of free trade
Carrying out joint actions in order to promote free international trade, by ensuring transparent conditions and striving to eliminate obstacles to and restrictions on trade. In this context, undertaking joint actions for defining conceptual bases for the treatment of imbalances in the external economic relations of the Andean Community.

c) Preferential access
Carrying out joint actions intended to safeguard and intensify mechanisms for preferential access established in favor of the Andean Community countries.

d) International cooperation
Intensifying international cooperation with other countries, integration groups, international organizations, and private institutions, to which end a joint effort will be made to define and finance subregion-wide economic cooperation programs, as well as to present and offer technical cooperation and assistance in support of friendly countries.

e) Trade and investment promotion
Disseminating opportunities for trade and services, as well as encouraging the attraction of foreign investment. For that purpose, the Andean countries will carry out programs, projects and actions geared toward attaining a better economic and commercial position in the international flows of goods, services, investments, and knowledge.

f) Trade in goods and services
Based on Community provisions, promoting joint action in forums for multilateral action and in other integration efforts in the region.

g) Foreign investment
Establishing a joint position for dealing with this issue in the regional, hemispheric and multilateral spheres, while bearing in mind the need to implement effective policies for attracting capital and developing Andean Community provisions.

h) International financing
Establishing a common position on the negotiations underway with regard to the new architecture of the international financial and monetary system, in order to reinforce the stability and growth of financial flows and to reduce the vulnerability to external imbalances of the region's economies.

i) Intellectual property
Maintaining a common position based on Andean Community provisions and bearing in mind the commitments assumed internationally.

j) Agriculture
Establishing a joint position in keeping with long-term objectives that are consistent with a Community agricultural policy.

k) Energy
Undertaking joint actions aimed at boosting the development of subregional energy resources through programs of energy cooperation and integration with other countries of the region.

l) Transport
Promoting, as a Community, the reinforcement and diversification of transport services in order to strengthen relations with other subregional and regional integration efforts, as well as international economic links, with the aim of broadening the markets and enhancing the international economic competitiveness of the Andean countries.

3. Social and cultural area

a) Andean identity
Adopting joint actions to strengthen and promote the Andean identity internationally and to contribute toward consolidating a Latin American identity. Establishing closer cultural links with Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as with other countries and regions.

b) Social development
Adopting joint actions for the purpose of backing participation in and the fulfillment of action programs adopted at the World Summits on Social Development, Habit, Population, and Rights of women and children, among others. Promoting international measured designed to reinforce respect for the rights of native populations.

c) Cultural heritage
To perform joint actions geared toward preventing and fighting the international smuggling and selling of articles and goods belonging to the historical, cultural and archeological heritage of the Andean countries, as well as toward promoting a knowledge and the dissemination of the Andean cultural heritage among other countries and in other spheres.

Article 2.- It is the responsibility of the governments of the member Countries to execute the Common Foreign Policy. The Andean Council of Foreign Ministers shall establish the Common Foreign Policy priorities and shall coordinate their implementation through the Council's Pro-Tempore Secretariat, with the technical assistance of the General Secretariat.

Issued in the city of Cartagena de Indas, Colombia on the twenty-fifth of May of nineteen ninety-nine.