Quito, 15 September 2022 (TDI): The South American Defense Conference 2022 was conducted in Ecuador and hosted by the Ecuadorian Defense Ministry. The senior official of the Ecuadorian Defense Ministry presided over the conference.

The military officials of Ecuador along with Ambassadors and civil-military officials from other South American states were also present at the conference.

There was also participation by General Laura Richardson, Commander of the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

The discussion pointed out the important aspects of cooperation. The US and Ecuador along with other partner American states acknowledged strengthening the collective defense of the region.

There was also a discussion on the fight against numerous traditional and non-traditional threats at the conference.

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The officials of the Special Forces of Ecuador stressed strengthening the capacities of fighting cyber threats. The discussion also focused on combatting drugs, arms, and human trafficking.

Participation of US SOUTHCOM

The Commander of the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), General Laura Richardson also took part in the conference and stressed continuous support to South America. She was accompanied by General Daniel Hokanson.

General Richardson discussed the priorities of cybersecurity along with the focus on environmental security and sharing of information among the South American states.

She also stressed the collaboration with Ecuador as well as other partners in the field of Space Security.

The Commander of the US SOUTHCOM met the military officials of other South American states. The officials of the Armed Forces of Guyana discussed important affairs with the American General.

Guyana’s Military Chief Godfrey Bess, who participated in the South American Defense Conference 2022, was appreciated by General Richardson for sustaining the partnership. The two sides also talked about important developments in South America.

US officials held bilateral talks with the Commander of the Suriname Armed Forces, Lt. Colonel Werner Kioe Sen. The talks included the strengthening of partnership on a multilateral and bilateral basis.

US Ambassador to Ecuador’s Remarks

The US Ambassador to Ecuador, Mike Fitzpatrick added that participation in this conference was important.

He also assured diplomatic support by the US for strengthening the multilateral partnerships between the states of the region.