Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Dr Luis Videgaray Caso, and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson, held High Level Political Talks between Mexico and the United Kingdom on 19 October 2017. The Talks were an opportunity to discuss co-operation in areas of mutual interest including foreign policy priorities, multilateral issues, education, culture, innovation, human rights and the rule of law, science and technology, and trade and investment.
Both sides noted that strong progress had been made since the last round of High Level Political Talks in Mexico City on 2 May 2016. They agreed that the momentum generated by the 2015 ‘Dual Year’ and State Visit by President Peña Nieto had been sustained. The Foreign Ministers underlined their commitment to strengthen relations further and emphasised the continued importance of political dialogue and reciprocal high-level visits. They recognised the importance of furthering the legacy of the Dual Year by continuing to engage in a cultural dialogue, exchanging knowledge and increasing links between both countries.
Secretary of State Johnson expressed the UK’s sincere condolences for the loss of life and damage caused by the earthquakes in Mexico in September 2017, and noted that the UK stood in solidarity with Mexico at this difficult time. Secretary Videgaray commended the remarkable resilience shown by the Mexican people and thanked the UK for its messages of solidarity and support for Mexico’s recovery efforts. Both sides also expressed their condolences and support for the people affected by Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Nate, and agreed on the need to support those affected using all available resources.
The Foreign Ministers discussed a range of foreign policy priorities in the Americas, Europe and in multilateral fora such as the United Nations and the G20.
Mexico highlighted the UK’s role as an observer of the Pacific Alliance and welcomed its attendance at the XII Pacific Alliance Summit in Colombia in June 2017. The two sides also noted that they looked forward to future discussions in the framework of the EU-CELAC relationship.
Both sides expressed deep concern about the situation in Venezuela and called on all parties involved to pursue credible negotiation efforts made in good faith aimed at achieving the peaceful restoration of democracy in the country with full respect to human rights, the constitution and democratic institutions, and the legitimate aspirations of the Venezuelan people.
Both Foreign Ministers agreed that global challenges can be solved through multilateral solutions, and reiterated their support for the United Nations and other multilateral fora.
On international security, both countries condemned the multiple missile launches and nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and urged the DPRK to immediately and fully comply with all its international obligations, including by implementing all relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
The UK recognised the participation of Mexico at the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London in September 2016 as a sign of its commitment to playing a greater role in global UN peacekeeping operations.
Both sides expressed their support for the global efforts to tackle the scourge of Modern Slavery. Mexico agreed to support the UK’s Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking endorsed at the 72nd Meeting of the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2017.
Secretary of State Johnson welcomed the UN General Assembly Resolution of 11 September 2017, co-sponsored by the UK and Mexico, which highlighted the Illegal Wildlife Trade as a transnational crime. Both countries agreed to work more closely in the global efforts to tackle the trade, including through high-level attendance from Mexico at the international Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in London in 2018.
The UK highlighted plans for new prosperity programming in Mexico to boost the UK’s longstanding partnership with Mexico and work towards increased shared prosperity. The programme will help to increase productivity, including through technology and innovation, strengthen the economy and expand markets in Mexico with a focus on four strategic strands: energy, future cities, financial services and the business environment. Some of the objectives, such as increased access to financial products and better infrastructure projects, will help increase Mexican earthquake recovery and resilience efforts. The programme, which will also expand the potential for trade and investment with Mexico, will be worth around £60 million over four years.
Both sides committed to strengthen bilateral economic relations further and looked forward to High Level Economic Talks due in Mexico City in 2018 as well as to the third meeting of the Senior Business Leaders Group, which held its first meeting during President Peña Nieto’s State Visit in March 2015, and its second meeting in Mexico City in April 2016. The UK and Mexico expressed their strong commitment to champion free trade and open markets within a global economic system that works for everyone, including through active engagement in the G20, WTO and OECD.
They welcomed the strong collaboration between the UK and Mexico on Climate Change and reiterated their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement. The UK also congratulated Mexico on its progress towards formal membership of the International Energy Agency.
Both countries expressed support for the existing dialogue regarding the threat posed to global economies and societies by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and stressed the need urgently to implement the 2016 UN agreement on tackling AMR.
The UK underlined its support for the ongoing negotiations to modernise the EU-Mexico Global Agreement, including an ambitious trade pillar. Both sides welcomed the visit to the UK by Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo in April 2017 and the visit to Mexico of the Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, in July 2017 as a sign of commitment to the bilateral trade and investment relationship. Looking ahead, both sides reiterated their shared objective of ensuring continuity for British and Mexican businesses and to strengthen bilateral trade and investment once the UK has left the EU.
Discussions were conducted in a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. Secretary Videgaray expressed his gratitude to Secretary of State Johnson for his kind hospitality and that of all the high level officials he met during his official visit. The two countries looked forward to the continued strengthening of bilateral relations in 2017 and beyond.