24 June 2003

President of National Assembly of Chile Calls on UNOV Director-General

VIENNA, 24 June (UN Information Service) -- The President of the National Assembly of Chile, Senator Andrés Zaldivar, paid a courtesy visit today on Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV).

Senator Andrés Zaldivar is currently on a two-day visit to Austria from 23 to 25 June.

Senator Zaldivar has been President of the Chilean Senate since 11 March 1998. He was first elected as a Senator for the Seventh Constituency of the Republic of Santiago in the December 1989 parliamentary elections for the period 1990-1998. During the 1997 parliamentary elections, he was re-elected by a majority to the same constituency for the period 1998-2006.

From 1973 to 1981, Senator Zaldivar served as a Senator of the Republic of Atacama and Coquimbo, which was interrupted by a military coup d'état.

After his return from exile (1980-1983), Mr. Zaldivar served as Vice-National Chairman to the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) (1983-1985); National Counsellor (1985-1987); First National Vice-President (1987-1989); and National President (1989-1990), a position to which he was re-elected for 1990-1991. Prior to his exile, Senator Zaldivar had also held positions in the CDP, including serving as National Counsellor (1970-1973) and National President (1976-1982).

Senator Zaldivar's international political positions include his presidency of the Christian Democrat International (CDI), an organization grouping 54 countries (1982-1986); Advisory Counsellor of the CDI (1986-1989); and he was a  CDI Political Bureau member (1989-present).

Among public positions held, Senator Zaldivar was Minister of Finance (1968-1979); Minister of the Economy (1969); and Under-Secretary of Finance (1964-1967).

Senator Zaldivar has also participated in other institutions.  He was Governor of the Inter-American Development Bank (1968-1970); Representative to the Inter-American Committee of the Alliance for Progress, Washington D.C. (1968-1969); Representative to the Economic and Social Committee, CIES, Caracas (1970); and President of the Centre of Investigation for Latin America and Spain" (CIPIE), Spain (1981 to date).  In 1987, CIPIE, which he founded, won the UN special Peace Messenger Award for its activities and social development projects in Latin America and Africa.

His political career began in 1952 when he was an active member of the Conservative Social Christian Party.  In 1956, he was a representative of Chilean students to the International Student Congress (Chicago, 1956), and was also appointed Secretary of the Union of University Federations.  In 1957, he was a co-founder of the Christian Democratic Party.  Between 1959 and 1963 he served as a secretary-lawyer of the Municipality of Colina, and in 1962 he was appointed a judge of the local police district of La Cisterna.

Senator Zaldivar´s publications, which include political and legal themes, count "La Democracia Ahora y Siempre" (Democracy Now and Always), "Estudio Comparado sobre Contrato de Arrendamiento entre Francia y Chile" (Comparative Study on Lease Agreements between France and Chile) (University of Paris); and "La Transicion Inconclusa" (The Unfinished Transition).

Senator Zaldivar is the recipient of two awards: the King Olaf Decoration from Sweden, and the Merit Order Decoration from the Italian Government.  In January 1977, he was elected Best Senator by his Senate counterparts.

Born in Santiago, Chile, on 18 March 1936, Senator Zaldivar received a law degree from the University of Chile Law School.

He is married and has four daughters.

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