On February 20th, 2013, the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena-Nieto attended the First Summit between Mexico and member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA), held in San Jose, Costa Rica. It was the second international tour of his presidency and which he dedicated to approach visit a region that binds us like no other: geographical closeness or proximity, history, sisterhood and culture.
At that time, the Government leaders instructed the Foreign Ministers to convene to, “explore new formulas aimed at deepening and strengthening the ties between Mexico and Central America.”
The foreign ministers of the Central American region, as well as Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico will meet on Friday, June 21st at San Cristobal de las Casas, state of Chiapas, an emblematic city of southern Mexico and meeting place with Central America. We will hold, as always, a frank political dialogue based on our solid democratic culture, sustained on common values.
We will analyze ways to promote and strengthen our economic ties that last year reflected a trade exchange between our countries to a value of 10 billion US dollars and accumulated Mexican investments of a similar amount.
Nevertheless, we know that the trade volume is below its true potential. It is evident that modernization and simplification of the movement of goods through borders is an essential element to increase the exchange and enhance competitiveness. Therefore, we will explore alternatives to achieve that objective, including the development of the Pacific Corridor and the Mexican funding of regional projects through the “Trust for the Infrastructure of countries in Central America and the Caribbean”.
We shall exchange views on migration flows prevailing in the region. On this topic we must start from the fact that the economic slowdown in the countries of final destination of migrants has had a significant impact on the number of people migrating from Central America as well as the amount of remittances to their countries of origin.
The participating governments share the concern about the increased risks and threats to the safety of people in their transit through the countries of the region. Mexico has offered to intensify preventive and social measures.
We cannot set aside the issue of regional security. Based on a common diagnosis of the situation and the priorities established by the Central American countries in the document
entitled Security Strategy of Central America, we will intensify cooperation to address transnational organized crime. In this global outreach effort, which began in June 2011 during the Conference of Guatemala, the experience and programs developed by Colombia are of great value. Mexico will focus on the strengthening of institutions, the prevention of crime and the essential contribution of social policies to shape a prosperous, secure and peaceful region.
Mexican President Enrique Pena-Nieto has determined that Mexico will commit itself to act with global responsibility. This means having as a starting point, a strategic partnership with our immediate neighbors, in which Mexico is a source of initiatives and is at the forefront of joint projects.
We have convened this meeting at San Cristobal de las Casas, with a spirit of openness, which will be critical in the relationship as we forge the integration process of our nations.
Jose Antonio Meade-Kuribreña
Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister.