September 10, 2003
Translation: FTAA Secretariat
COMMITTEE OF GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES ON THE PARTICIPATION OF
CONTRIBUTION IN RESPONSE TO THE OPEN AND ONGOING INVITATION - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Ana Lisitsa Aguila Gómez
Free trade agreements are seen as the most objective manifestation of
life, in relation to the citizens of the international community.
Therefore, it is appropriate for us to ask ourselves, “Are the
principles that govern Public International Law applicable and have they
been set forth in the free trade agreements that have been signed since
2002 and the ones that are currently being negotiated?” This question
led to my interest in analyzing the principles set forth in the Free
Trade Agreement of the Americas (ALCA), established at the Fourth
Ministerial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade, held in San
Jose, Costa Rica, in 1998, and to compare it to the principles of
international law enshrined in Article 2 of the San Francisco Charter,
signed in 1945.
Deductive and historical methods were used in this comparative legal
analysis, in which the United Nations (UN) is viewed as responsible for
the creation of the principles that govern international law, as well as
for the creation of its competent bodies and functions, and the rights
and obligations of its Member States.
We explain the legal bases and elements that underlie the establishment
of international treaties, in general, and the rights and obligations
thereof established in accordance with the Vienna Convention on the Law
of Treaties, of 1969.
Subsequently, the process of economic integration in the Americas is
addressed, starting with a definition thereof, the classification and
analysis of the importance of free trade agreements in the Americas,
particularly the Latin American Trade Association (ALALC) and the Latin
American Integration Association (ALADI), established by the Treaty of
Montevideo of 1960 and 1980, respectively.
This analysis concludes with an historical-descriptive explanation of
the FTAA negotiation process since the First Summit of the Americas in
1994 up to the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec in 2001, and
the Meetings of Ministers Responsible for Trade. Thanks to the FTAA
official website, we were able to access all of this information.
We describe the internal structure of the FTAA and analyze the
principles set forth in the FTAA negotiations, comparing them to those
contained in the San Francisco Charter, the topic which gave rise to
this professional thesis.
We support the hypothesis that the principles enshrined in the San
Francisco Charter are being applied within the principles set forth in
the FTAA negotiations. Therefore, they are the guidelines to follow and
thus will be more easily accepted by the negotiating countries. We
underscore the need for those responsible for foreign trade not to
ignore such an important base of knowledge as offered to us by these
principles that govern international relations.