Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spent the first of his five-day visit to Latin America in Peru on Saturday 19 May. In the first visit of a British Foreign Secretary to Peru in over 50 years, Mr. Johnson joined Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and other high level Peruvian officials on a visit to Iquitos, located in the Amazon.
The Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio accompanied Mr Johnson to an animal rescue centre to see animals rescued as part of crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade. The two foreign ministers also signed a treaty on the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications, facilitating greater exchange of people and opportunities for students from both the UK and Peru.
The Foreign Secretary invited Peru to become a partner at the London 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London taking place in October this year.
Speaking ahead of his visit Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was delighted to be the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Peru in over 50 years.
I look forward to meeting President Vizcarra to strengthen our relationship and discuss areas that we both care passionately about, such as protecting the biodiversity of the Amazon, as well as underlining the opportunities for British business in South America.
Peru is already taking important steps on tackling the illegal wildlife trade and I look forward to building on this work together at the summit in London in October this year”.
The Foreign Secretary also visited a remote community on an island in the Amazon River to see first-hand the education challenges in Peru, where 34% of rural girls are illiterate and will also launch a UK-funded solar energy project that is providing energy for the school and its 140 pupils using British lithium battery technology.
The Foreign Secretary also travelled to Peru’s capital Lima, to visit the site of the Lima 2019 Pan American and ParaPan American Games, the world’s fourth largest sporting event in the world.
The UK is already providing Peru with technical support and knowledge sharing to help deliver the Pan Am and Para Pan American Games, the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics is widely recognized as an example of international best practice.
The UK will be providing £177 million for a Sustainable Infrastructure Program, developed by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) and delivered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to encourage further carbon reduction in Peru and three other Latin American countries.
During the visit the Foreign Secretary and President Vizcarra discussed how to build on the success of this partnership and make the UK’s world class expertise available to accelerate a much wider range of infrastructure projects in Peru.
From Peru the Foreign Secretary flew to Buenos Aires for a G20 foreign ministers meeting, and following will fly to Chile.