Editor’s note: This commentary was published first in Spanish in “Reforma” newspaper and was made available to Global Atlanta in English by the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta. It was written by Julián Ventura Valero, deputy secretary of foreign affairs, who can be followed on Twitter at @JulianVenturaV.
Mexico is convinced of the irreplaceable value of diplomacy, with an outstanding multilateral tradition and a demonstrated capacity to engage in dialogue and build consensus. It is in this spirit that we participate in MIKTA, an informal consultation space with Australia, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Turkey.
The five countries have our own significant presence in the international stage. We decided to come together, as friends and partners, to promote common priorities and explore innovative strategies to face global challenges.
We are located in different regions, and we possess unique historical identities and cultural richness. We also have shared interests, which motivates us to come closer together, to enhance our mutual understanding, and to expand our economic and social ties.
At the Vice-Ministerial meeting held this week in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, we took over MIKTA’s coordination. The agenda proposed by Mexico was adopted, which seeks to directly address the needs and aspirations of our peoples.
With the theme “Social development, global governance and a sustainable future”, we will seek to increase MIKTA’s collaboration in three main areas. First, economic cooperation for social development. We will promote trade and investment, both among ourselves and in other key markets. We will foster a greater integration of micro, small and medium enterprises into global supply chains. We will also bolster tourism cooperation by sharing best practices and technical expertise to generate greater benefits for the receiving communities.
The second area is the strengthening of multilateralism and collaboration in international organizations. MIKTA will join efforts to increase efficiency, transparency and equality in international organizations, and to mainstream the gender perspective. We will uphold a strong, open and rules-based international system that contributes to economic and social development, the protection of human rights, international peace and security, and cooperation.
We will uphold a strong, open and rules-based international system that contributes to economic and social development, the protection of human rights, international peace and security, and cooperation.
Thirdly, we will promote sustainable development with an emphasis on achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda. Our societies demand greater actions to address climate change and other major global challenges, as well as greater cooperation for the reduction of natural-disaster risks, which we are all exposed to. Furthermore, as maritime countries, we share the interest to protect the oceans and their biodiversity. Social inclusion is also a common goal; we will continue to work in the fields of education and Internet access.
An additional innovation of Mexico’s MIKTA coordination will be to convene the first meeting of our national agencies for development cooperation. In this context, at the meeting in Yogyakarta we shared the ongoing actions to implement the Comprehensive Development Plan launched by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, as an example of human-centered cooperation.
The work of MIKTA expands throughout the world. Our embassies and consulates are in constant communication. This year they will undertake activities of public and cultural diplomacy to disseminate our historical richness and our cultural customs and traditions. We have a MIKTA Academic Network that has organized a number of seminars and scholarly publications. We will incorporate other civil society actors into our joint efforts and actions. We will also work together with them to boost economic and tourism promotion.
No country can effectively address international challenges individually. MIKTA continues to evolve as a multilateral space that aims to play a constructive role in a complex international scenario. During 2019, Mexico will strengthen collaboration among MIKTA’s five countries, with the ultimate goal of making our societies more inclusive and prosperous.