Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena met today with senators from the Senate Political Coordination Board and Senate Foreign Relations Committees at the Foreign Ministry to discuss the Mexican government’s foreign policy agenda.
At a cordial and friendly meeting with twenty senators, Foreign Secretary Bárcena invited the Senate to work with the executive branch and to reaffirm the key role played by both in Mexico’s international relations.
“None of what we want to do will be possible without the support of the legislative branch. I believe strongly in this dialogue with the Senate, which has the role of guiding, supporting and accompanying Mexico’s foreign policy,” said the Secretary.
“I see you, the Senate, as friends… And that is why I wanted one of my first activities to be with you. We are going to have a very close relationship. I want you to feel that you can count on me, and that the Foreign Ministry is at the disposal of the Senate. Working with you will be extremely important. We have enormous challenges [ahead of us] in these 15 months,” she added.
Foreign Secretary Bárcena highlighted the importance of the parliamentary diplomacy carried out by the senators with their counterparts around the world, saying that it helps to forge ties of friendship and cooperation with other nations. She invited them to intensify their international work, and even to accompany her on international trips, such as to the United Nations.
In her remarks, the Foreign Secretary mentioned several of the challenges and opportunities she will face at the helm of the Foreign Ministry, including regional integration with Latin America and the Caribbean. Specifically, she will travel to the Celac-European Union Summit in Brussels to help strengthen a common Latin American and Caribbean position vis-à-vis Europe.
She said that specific proposals will be presented at the summit and follow-up given to such issues as health self-sufficiency and the creation of a Latin American Medicines Agency; launching the adaptation fund to assist the Caribbean address natural disasters and climate change; and moving forward with the Latin American Space Agency (ALCE).
The Secretary also said that her other main priority will be North America, the relationship with the United States and Canada, and that she will travel to the 15th High-Level North American Meeting, which will be held in Canada in November.
She said that protecting Mexicans in these neighboring countries would be a challenge due to the political environment that exists ahead of the upcoming elections and the laws being enacted in states such as Florida and Kansas.
“I would call it human mobility, not migration. We have a positive agenda, and more dynamic regions from an economic perspective. Last month we became the United States’ top trading partner,” she said.
In the multilateral arena, she mentioned the importance of the G20 meeting, whose presidency will soon pass from India to Brazil and then to South Africa. “For three years, the G20 will be led by the global south, which will allow us to make important proposals as emerging nations,” she said, stressing the importance of sustainable development.
The Foreign Secretary said she would travel to UN headquarters in New York in September to evaluate and take stock of the 2030 Agenda with various heads of state, and to assess the progress made on climate change issues.
Lastly, among other challenges, she stressed the importance of the Asia-Pacific region and the urgency of strengthening Mexico’s relations and political dialogue with APEC.
The meeting was attended by senators from various political parties, including the Partido Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement, Morena), Partido del Trabajo (Labor Party, PT), Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI), Partido Encuentro Social (Social Encounter Party, PES), Partido Verde (Green Party) and the Partido Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizens’ Movement Party).