Minister of Foreign Affairs

for the Republic of the Ecuador

Maria Fernanda Espinosa has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador on two occasions. The first in 2007 and the second in 2017.

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND HUMAN MOBILITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR AND COORDINATOR OF THE SECTORAL CABINET FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS (5/2017 - 6/2018)

As Ecuadorian Chancellor in the period 2017 – 2018, her most noteworthy achievements were: 

  • Presided over the G77 + China group
  • chaired the Andean Community (CAN)
  • chaired the bi-national coordination cabinets between Ecuador and the governments of Colombia and Peru.
  • Designed and launched the initiative for the Amazonia as a mechanism to strengthen the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization.
  • Served as mediator for the peace dialogues between the government of Colombia and the ELN (National Liberation Army) armed group.
  • Provided greater consular assistance for Ecuadorians living abroad by strengthening the “mobile consulate” system and providing additional personnel for migrant’s attention.

In addition to her role as Foreign Minister, the President of Ecuador entrusted Maria Fernanda Espinosa with the supervision and coordination of the policies related to the foreign sector and the international promotion of the country, which encompassed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Commerce Ministry, the Tourism Ministry and the Heritage and Culture Ministry. Espinosa led this sector, building policies and sectoral plans to strengthen the country’s external management, bilateral trade relations, international image, tourism, trade and investment. Noteworthy Achievements:

Oversaw the creation/implementation of the gender equality policy within the foreign service.
Held role as chairwoman of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) between May 2017 and May 2018; prioritized coordinated actions between its members (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) that focused on and prevented natural disasters, as well as created the Andean Committee of Cultural Affairs.Proposed a work plan aimed at the border development of the 4-member countries that included electrical power interconnection, tourism and the environment and the institutional reengineering of the Community.
Succeeded in including Ecuador in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in September 2017.
Chaired the G77+China group that was taken on by Ecuador; as chairperson, promoted advocacy for multilateralism as a work axis for the Group and played an active role in the deliberations and the agreements for financing of the development. Held a high-level event with prominent southern dignitaries called “Por un Planeta Sostenible” (“For a Sustainable Planet”) that addressed topics of the international sustainability agenda and defended multilateralism.
Led the drafting and officialized the Human Mobility National Plan that served as the national policy on migration.
Consolidated the role of Ecuador as a hosting and guarantor country for the peace dialogues between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, developed the III and IV cycles of negotiations between the two parties. With the presence and auspices of Espinosa, the chief negotiators of both parties signed the “Quito Agreement on a Temporary and Bilateral Cease-Fire”, which was in force from October 1, 2017 to January 9, 2018.
Coordinated the XIII Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) which was held in the city of Tena (Ecuadorian Amazonia), on December 2017. Meeting served to relaunch ACTO as the quintessential space for the preservation and the development of Amazonia.

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR (1/2007 - 12/2007)

Assumed role of Foreign Affairs Minister when new government started in Ecuador (2007) along with the commitment towards a profound transformation of the State by means of a Constitution process, building a new development model, and a new approach to foreign affairs, commerce and economic integration. Within this framework, María Fernanda Espinosa is appointed by the President as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration. Noteworthy Achievements:

  • Established the New Ecuadorian Foreign Policy for the 2007-2010 period
  • Organized new responsibilities of foreign policy that were aimed at foreign commerce and promoting regional initiatives for political and commercial integration.

During her time as Foreign Minister, Espinosa played an active role, with wide regional and international recognition, in the creation and strengthening of regional instances of political and economic integration. Among the most relevant achievements of her administration as Chancellor during that period, the following stand out:

Created and negotiated the constitutional treaty; organized the offices and operational mechanisms of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) that was officially created on May 23, 2008.
Organized a new assistance policy for Ecuadorian migrants abroad with an integral reform to the consular service that improved/broadened services while guaranteeing assistance and protection policy for the rights of Ecuadorians living abroad.
Set-up the first policies with affirmative action to ensure recruitment and professional development in the careers of women, indigenous people and people of African descent. Authorized couples within the Foreign Service to serve together abroad, among other affirmative measures aimed at benefiting diplomatic women.
Developed and implemented a new commerce and investment policy; established a new model for the international commerce agenda of Ecuador and notably secured new diplomatic and commercial relationships with nontraditional partners.

Initiated bi-national coordination cabinets between the governments of Ecuador and Peru that addressed issues related to border development, security and defense, and economic/commercial cooperation.

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