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Mexican President commits new school in Toledo during visit to Belize Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 October 2017 00:00

A delegation of CARICOM Heads of State along with the President of the United Mexican States, H.E. Enrique Peña Nieto, was hosted at the Best Western Hotel on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 for the 4th Mexico-CARICOM summit.

The relationship between Mexico and CARICOM dates back to July 30, 2017 after the CARICOM-Mexico Cooperation Agreement was signed. Since then, Mexico has been an important partner to CARICOM especially as it pertains to the areas of climate change, disaster management, health, food and security, national security, human resource development, and marine management. Disaster management is of particular relevance as CARICOM countries and Mexico just recently came to terms with one of the most catastrophic periods of natural disasters.

The purpose of the summit was to consider the relationship between CARICOM and Mexico which includes the CARICOM-Mexico programme of technical cooperation, infrastructural development in the region funded through the Mesoamerica Project, Agriculture, and Trade and Investment. Also on the agenda were the areas of mutual concern such as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Non-Communicable Diseases.

Prior to the summit, a meeting of Foreign Ministers took place. That preceding was co-chaired by Hon. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados and Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), and H.E. Luis Alfonso de Alba, Under-Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, of Mexico.

The Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and President Peña Nieto held a bilateral meeting which evaluated their bilateral relations. The discussion focused on the strengthening of cooperation in the areas of education, sports, maritime security, and economic and political cooperation. Mexico is an important south-south development partner for Belize and is amongst our top five development cooperation partners. In the area of maritime security, the Mexican president committed assistance in the construction of two 100 foot patrol boats for the Coast Guard. He also expressed his country’s willingness to continue supporting capacity building programs provided to the Coast Guard by the Mexican Naval Academy.

In the area of education, the Mexican government will assist in the construction of a new technical school modelled after the Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in the Toledo district. Additionally he announced his government’s support of partial scholarships to 25 low-income students to study at the Escuela Secundaria Mexico in their three year program.

Finally President Nieto committed to complete the partial scope agreement with Belize by 2018.