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IV Meeting of the Italy-Mexico Bi-National Commission – Joint Communiqué

Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade co-chaired the sessions of the IV Meeting of the Italy-Mexico Bi-National Commission today in Mexico City.

Both ministers acknowledged the importance of the Bi-National Commission as the foremost institutional bilateral relations instrument. A tool by which to reflect on, assess, guide and stimulate government actions in the various fields that exemplify the strategic relationship between Italy and Mexico, aimed at the launch and completion of concrete projects capable of progressively strengthening the bonds between the two nations and their citizens’ development.  

The sessions concluded with a plenary meeting whose participants included the representatives of the subcommittees that make up the dialogue forum: Policy, Economy-Finance, Law-Security, Education-Culture and Science-Technology. Each subcommittee presented its findings, in which they identified those areas of cooperation that will contribute to strengthening and expanding bilateral relations through specific accords, as well as plans of action for achieving those ends.

The following are the conclusions divided by subcommittee:

–      In the Policy sector both parties recognised the importance of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s upcoming State visit to Italy, in acceptance of the Italian invitation, ahead of which it was agreed to work jointly to achieve concrete results capable of identifying the new direction in bilateral relations.

Furthermore, it was acknowledged that the stimulus provided by the Strategic Association has raised those relations to a new level marked by more concerted efforts, new economic projects, additional cultural, educational and cooperation activities and, in particular, the greater involvement of actors capable of reducing distances and producing new opportunities in the pursuit of improving the bilateral agenda.

–      As regards Law-Security, and the legal framework that regulates relations between Mexico and the European Union, the parties declared their agreement on the advisability of updating it as rapidly as possible. On this point, Italy offered to help achieve the European Council’s issuance of a European Commission mandate to negotiate with Mexico in the near future.

The parties agreed to give new impetus to bilateral cooperation in countering organised crime, and underscored their interest in regional collaboration with Central America through the Group of Friends of the Central American Security Strategy.

Regarding regional initiatives, it was agreed that the activities of the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA) had resulted in bringing Italy and Latin America closer. It was also decided that collaboration in multilateral forums, such as the Pacific Alliance, would be reinforced.

Also with regard to multinational considerations, it was agreed to strengthen collaboration in areas in which the parties share positions, such as the UN Security Council reform, human rights promotion and defence, climate change and the struggle against organised crime. 

The parties’ interest in and commitment to strengthening bilateral legal cooperation was cited, and they agreed on the need to pursue collaboration in combating organised crime in all its various aspects by strengthening the technical capabilities of the institutions concerned with security.

For the purposes of further developing bilateral cooperation in the sectors of security and justice, it was decided to continue basic and specialised training programmes in which both countries participate with the goal of sharing technical know-how and nest practices.

Both delegations expressed appreciation for the progress achieved in negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding in matters of police cooperation between the Department of Public Security of the Italian Interior Ministry and the Procuraduría General de la República of the United Mexican States. The Memorandum would allow both parties to develop cooperation activities aimed at confronting all forms of transnational organised crime.

The Mexican delegation thanked the Italian delegation for interest demonstrated and aid offered in the recovery of various Mexican archaeological treasures.

–      In the Economy-Finance sector, the parties agreed to continue to stimulate and increase cooperation aimed at expanding trade and investments in both directions, in consideration of the potential offered by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, technology and innovation centres, energy, ports, maritime transport and tourism, as well as in the metal-working, automotive, aerospace, energy and infrastructure industries. Italy is Mexico’s third European partner and Mexico is Italy’s second Latin American partner. Also underscored was the broad potential for economic growth.

In particular, it was agreed that the Italy-Mexico Business Council was the appropriate mechanism for developing bilateral private sector dialogue. For that reason, the delegations expressed their satisfaction with the fact that the second Business Council meeting would be held during the Mexican President’s visit to Italy. 

The parties also expressed appreciation of the advancement of negotiations on various bilateral accords in the sectors of energy, tourism and infrastructure.

–      Regarding Education-Culture, a series of joint initiatives were outlined in a multitude of areas of activity, along with collaboration between universities and training centres in the sectors of art, music and filmmaking, as well as in the organisation of exhibitions, exchanges of information, publications and restoration experts, with the aim of disseminating and promoting knowledge of the Italian and Mexican languages, cultures and artistic patrimony.

The parties expressed their appreciation for the 2015-2018 Executive Educational and Cultural Cooperation Programme signed by Italy and Mexico, which will encourage exchanges at university and scholastic levels and lay the groundwork for a forum for dialogue between Italian and Mexican university deans.

Furthermore, the parties expressed their appreciation for the conclusion of negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in matters of Physical Education and Sport between the Department of Regional Affairs, Autonomies and Sport of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Mexican National Commission on Physical Education and Sport. The aim is to encourage the exchange of athletes, trainers, technicians and sports medicine specialists.

–      With regard to Science-Technology, both delegations expressed interest in developing joint short-, medium- and long-term cooperative activities in the following areas of mutual interest: health, medicine, food security, biotechnology and bioinformatics, aerospace, volcanology, the environment, applied technologies in the conservation and restoration of cultural and artistic treasures and energy efficiency.

The parties welcomed the renewal of the 2014-2016 Executive Science and Technology Cooperation Programme, which will contribute to supporting the aerospace sector, among others.

A General Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation Accord was signed between the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and the Technology and Design Research and Assistance Centre of the State of Jalisco (CIATEJ), and interest was indicated in renewing the CNR-CONACyT (Mexico’s National Science and Technology Council) accord signed in 2012.

The Space Agencies of both countries confirmed their intention to implement a Memorandum of Understanding on space cooperation for peaceful purposes signed in 2012, with the aim of promoting exchanges of information on topics of interest and of developing activities in the sector through aerospace industry collaboration and training projects.

The delegations also expressed the shared hope that EXPO Milano 2015 would contribute to further reinforcing bilateral cooperation in the agri-alimentary, energy and tourism sectors.

The IV Meeting of the Bi-National Commission offered an excellent opportunity to continue to strengthen the historic and cultural ties the two nations enjoy, and a framework for reasserting the political will, at the highest level, to develop new strategies and actions aimed at expanding the Strategic Association between Italy and Mexico.

At the end of the sessions, the two ministers signed the Final Act of the IV Bi-National Commission and witnessed the signing of the 2015-2018 Executive Educational and Cultural Cooperation Programme and the General Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation Accord between the CNR and CIATEJ.

This dialogue forum was instituted in 1991 for the primary purpose of creating an institutional political dialogue mechanism by which to outline the general approach to bilateral cooperation as well as other specific actions aimed at strengthening and expanding bilateral relations.

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