eso9636 — Organisation Release
Chilean Senate Ratifies Agreement With ESO
5 September 1996
On 5 September 1996, the Senate of the Republic of Chile (Second Chamber of the Parliament) has ratified the Interpretative, Supplementary and Modifying Agreement to the Convention of 1963, which regulates the relations between the European Southern Observatory and its host country, the Republic of Chile.
In a subsequent statement, the Director General of ESO, Professor Riccardo Giacconi, has expressed that this important event is a reason for great mutual satisfaction, as the new Agreement not only consolidates the already existing good relationship between ESO and the Government of Chile, but also heralds a new era of cooperation with wide-ranging benefits for both parties.
The ratification of this Agreement by the Chilean Parliament is of particular value for ESO, now engaged at Cerro Paranal in the construction of the largest telescope of the world, because it signifies a pillar of stability for the future activities of this Organisation in Chile and thus for the development and operation of the VLT observatory into the next century. The European astronomical community now has full security that it can continue to pursue its front-line scientific investigations in Chile and at the same time the Chilean astronomers, by means of guaranteed observing time, will have direct access to this new and exceedingly important window to the Universe, soon to open via the privileged skies of their country.
The General Manager of the ESO operations in Chile, Mr. Daniel Hofstadt, also welcomed this positive development. He is convinced that it will further promote the existing close relationship between ESO and Chilean research institutions and also provide new incentives for ESO's continued interaction with the local communities in the area of the La Silla and Paranal observatories.
ESO is indebted to the Government of Chile and especially to the Minister of Foreign Relations, Don Jose Miguel Insulza, and all those who have worked towards this Agreement and its ratification by the Chilean Parliament. Together with them, and with all its partners in Europe and in Chile, the Organisation now enthusiastically embarks upon this new and exciting scientific adventure from which humanity will benefit and in which all astronomers will have part, without regard to their nationality.