By Enrique Peña Nieto,
President of Mexico
Mexico has close historical and cultural ties with the Caribbean nations, bonds that fill us with pride. The Caribbean Sea is our common heritage and holds a strategic value of the utmost importance to Mexico. It is our gateway to other regions of the world, and a vital space for our daily interactions with sister nations. This is why the Mexican Government’s foreign policy on the Greater Caribbean promotes an agenda of cooperation in various issues of common interest, including environmental protection, health, education, integrated disaster risk management, and the eradication of poverty, to mention a few.
Over the last 10 years, the nations in the Caribbean have made significant progress in building up their economic growth and development. The opportunities to multiply and strengthen our political and economic ties are enormous and will allow us to work together in creating better conditions for our societies.
It is with this conviction that my Government is promoting both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the Greater Caribbean. We would like your countries to receive resources from the Infrastructure Fund for Mesoamerican and Caribbean Countries established in the Yucatán Agreement.
In addition to infrastructure support, technical and scientific cooperation between Mexico and the Caribbean countries continues to be wide-ranging and diverse, and includes initiatives to promote agricultural and social development, energy, mining, the environment and small, and medium enterprises.
This year, the Association of Caribbean States is celebrating its 20th anniversary, providing an opportune moment to further strengthen its position. This fact, coupled with the need for more flexible and effective collaboration mechanisms to help us respond to our current challenges, is what led Mexico to be the host of two meetings that are relevant to our relationship with the Caribbean: the Third Mexico-Caricom Summit and the Sixth Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Mérida, Yucatán on April 29 and 30, respectively.
During the Third Summit, we will assess compliance with the actions established in the 2012-2013 Scientific-Technical Cooperation Programme, and propose mechanisms to encourage dialogue and strengthen our joint efforts in this area, as part of the 2014-2015 Programme.
Mexico has worked on revitalising the Association of Caribbean States to provide the Greater Caribbean with a space to solve common problems, such as comprehensive disaster risk management, including weather events associated with climate change, improving interconnectivity in the region, facilitating trade, and creating synergies for sustainable tourism.
I trust the Mérida Summits will help the Caribbean further strengthen its integration process, under a clear vision for development and unity. As President of Mexico, I pledge to continue to work with my peers in the Greater Caribbean, to make sure this vision leads to greater economic and social prosperity for all of our nations.