The Latin American region has an “excellent window of opportunity to partner with Europe on industrial platforms to create value and jobs with rights and environmental sustainability,” said Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena on Tuesday in her speech that closed the third EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels, Belgium.
On behalf of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Foreign Secretary Bárcena told European and Latin American leaders that the center-periphery paradigm cannot and should not be maintained, so that a new model of relations between the two regions can be achieved.
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs emphasized that Mexico is “committed to its transformation, to replacing privileges with rights, and to fighting corruption and inequality.” She welcomed “the dialogue between our regions, which share important areas of agreement, such as the defense of international law and respect for the United Nations Charter,” and she noted that Mexico “will continue working to bring the negotiations of the Global Agreement with the European Union to a satisfactory conclusion in the near future.”
She stressed that one of the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic was “that there was a lack of international solidarity, and we confirmed the urgent need to overcome our enormous dependence on extra-regional partners.” In this regard, she said that the region, through the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has been able to move forward and speak with one voice by unanimously creating three initiatives:
- A Health Self-Sufficiency Plan, which includes a platform of regulatory agencies to achieve a Latin American and Caribbean Medicines Agency.
- A Climate Adaptation Fund that has 3.8 million dollars and is expected to grow with European and green fund contributions.
- The Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE), which already has a virtual geospatial observation center in Trinidad and Tobago.
She also welcomed European investment for the Mexican government’s strategic projects. “In particular, to promote projects under the Sonora Sustainable Energy Plan, in the Trans-Isthmus Corridor, which will connect the Pacific Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico, and in the southeast, to address the structural causes of migration from the South to the North, such as poverty, unemployment and violence.”
“We want to find reliable partners in Europe for this urgent journey, with creative financial mechanisms that do not create more debt, and that stimulate the private sector through technology transfer and knowledge,” she said.
Lastly, the Mexican Foreign Secretary highlighted “Mexico’s tradition of advocating for the peaceful settlement of conflicts and for deepening cooperation based on mediation, reciprocity and respect.”
“We are facing an epochal change and, if we do not take the appropriate measures, the consequences of climate change, irregular migration, illicit arms and drug trafficking will shake the very foundations of human civilization,” she said.