• He said that, given the clear deterioration of citizen support for democracy, the world cannot fall into the trap of demagoguery and authoritarianism; the only real answer to a demanding citizenship is democracy itself.
  • Looking ahead, we have a roadmap defined precisely by the Sustainable Development Goals, he said.

When he participated in the General Debate of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), in its 71st Session, President Enrique Peña Nieto said that, “Mexico reiterates its firm commitment to democratic principles as the only way to achieve the goals of sustainable development”.

He said that, “In recent decades, there have been great advances in the world, including major improvements in the quality of life of millions of people, yet it is also true that many societies are openly dissatisfied with their present condition”.

He said that, “This situation alienates citizens from their authorities, creates distrust in institutions and accentuates uncertainty about the future”.

“In Latin America, for example, the Latinobarómetro survey shows a clear deterioration in citizen support for democracy. This is extremely serious,” he said.

President Peña Nieto  said that, “In the face of this challenge, the world cannot fall into the trap of demagoguery and authoritarianism. The only viable way, the only real answer to a demanding citizenship is democracy itself. The answer must be more openness, more transparency and better accountability”.

He added that governments, “Must be able to listen and respond to an increasingly informed citizenship, with more spaces for commenting and participating in public affairs”.

He explained that, “Social networks are allowing greater citizen participation, making each person a potential agent of change. He said that, in this context, “Governments must do more to communicate better with the society we serve, communicate to disseminate achievements, to recognize and explain mistakes, but above all, to jointly define the path forward”.

The Mexican president said: “The answer to disillusionment with democracy is democracy itself”.

“It is necessary,” he said, “To promote public debate, contrast ideas and assume joint commitments by using new communication technologies that are increasingly close and accessible to the whole population.

Let's make the acknowledgment of our plurality and ongoing dialogue the best way to build a better future in a democracy,” he said.

"Governments should encourage increasingly inclusive and participatory societies, where all citizens enjoy the benefits of development. For the future, we have a roadmap defined precisely by the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

He said that, “There are very clear targets for poverty reduction, equal opportunity, gender equality, environmental protection, justice and peace, which all countries must concentrate our efforts on”.

MEXICO HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FIRM ALLY OF THE UN AND A NATION CONVINCED OF ITS POWER TO TRANSFORM

Addressing the heads of state and government gathered in the Plenary Hall of the United Nations General Assembly, President Peña Nieto said that "Mexico has always been a staunch ally of the United Nations and a nation convinced of its power to transform”.

He said that, “The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda is the boldest, noblest and most demanding action plan the international community has adopted in recent history. It is a roadmap for national and sub-national governments, as well as for all actors in society, which has the mission to improve the lives of billions of people without leaving anyone behind”.

NATIONAL EFFORTS IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE PEACE

The Mexican president declared that because of its scope and objectives, the 2030 Agenda  is the framework that harmonizes the agreements reached last year on human rights, environment and sustainable peace.

The president of Mexico mentioned national efforts in these areas:

First. “We have assumed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as a state commitment”. Accordingly, a high-level Council for implementing it, headed by the president, is being formed.

Its goal, he said, “Will be to coordinate the work of various stakeholders, including local authorities, parliamentarians, representatives of civil society, academia and the private sector”. He added that Mexico already has a specialized technical committee comprising the main federal institutions dedicated to measuring and monitoring the indicators in the Agenda.

“We are also building a public monitoring board to disseminate among the entire population, in a transparent manner, the progress made and the challenges ahead. As part of this commitment to openness and accountability, Mexico was one of the 22 countries which submitted its voluntary national review to the High Level Political Forum on July 19,” he explained.

The president explained that since Mexico is committed to promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at a regional level, it will chair the Forum of Latin American and the Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development in April.

Since human rights are already a transversal part of the 2030 Agenda, Mexico has launched a National Strategy for Social Inclusion, focused on achieving the full exercise of social rights in order to reduce poverty and increase equality.

He hailed the fact that the 2030 Agenda,  “Recognizes migrants as subjects of rights and indispensable allies for the development of the countries of destination and origin. He recalled that yesterday, at the Plenary Session on the subject, he said that Mexico will actively work on building agreements on migration and refugees and offered to host a Preparatory International Meeting to advance the definition of the Global Pact on Safe, Regulated and Orderly Migration.

“Faced with these challenges, we must leave behind indifference and promote co-responsible action and solidarity with migrants and refugees by the international community,” he declared.

He declared that in the issue of gender and women's empowerment, in compliance with the commitments made at the Meeting of Global Leaders for Equality, held last year, “Mexico already has a strengthened institutional framework: the National System for Equality between Women and Men,” led by the president himself, “thereby ensuring that equality policy is maintained at the highest level and reflected in the various actions of the national government”.

Second. Mexico has urgently adopted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

He said that the Mexican Senate has ratified this international treaty, which will be deposited tomorrow during the high-level meeting for its entry into force. “Going forward, the priority is to have national mechanisms to coordinate, verify and report compliance with the commitments made in this Agreement”.

Today, he noted, “We are obliged to transform the way we live, produce and consume. We must harmonize economic development with social inclusion and environmental protection”.

He explained that Energy Reform includes a Law on Energy Transition, so that by 2018, 25 percent of electricity will be generated from clean sources, reaching 60 percent in 2040. He added that, “At the regional level, the three nations of North America undertook to reduce our methane emissions in the oil and gas sectors by between 40 and 45 percent by 2025”.

President Peña Nieto said that as part of Mexico’s overall responsibility to the environment, our country will host the COP13 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in December, a forum that, “Seeks to align the actions to protect and preserve our natural wealth through the Aichi Goals and the 2030 Agenda”.

He added that next year Mexico will host the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, at which the first two years of the Sendai Framework will be evaluated, and risk reduction and mitigation targets for development will be defined.

Third. Mexico has reaffirmed its commitment to peace and to achieving sustainable peace in the world.

He said that the international community has confirmed that the stability of countries affected by armed conflict not only depends on security conditions but also on respect for human rights, the validity of institutions and the rule of law, and their capacity to promote inclusive development.

He explained that this transversal vision fully coincides with the Sustainable Development Goals. “In this respect, the objectives are key to preventing or averting social and political crises, and will also be essential to finding peaceful solutions to the armed conflicts experienced by various countries”.

He said the most recent example of this is the peace agreement reached in Colombia, whose achievement Mexico celebrates and whose ends it will contribute to attain. He also stressed that, “To contribute to the atmosphere of distension and understanding in our region, Mexico reiterates its call to lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba”.

“In order to be lasting, peace must be sustainable. The new paradigm therefore consists of focusing our efforts on conflict prevention, with a proactive, strategic, long-range approach”. On this point, he acknowledged that one of the most important risks is the existence of nuclear weapons, and recalled that Mexico has historically advocated disarmament and strongly condemned nuclear tests.

“We will continue working to achieve a world free of this global threat,” he added.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BAN KI-moon

President Peña Nieto acknowledged Ban Ki-moon’s positive work as head of the General Secretariat of the United Nations Organization. “Mexico values your dedication, performance and commitment. Through your vision and leadership, in recent years, important agreements for the future of the planet have been achieved”.

“This is no minor achievement, given the volatile, complex international context you have faced during the fulfillment of your responsibility,”  he declared.

At the end of his participation in the General Debate, the president was taken to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to begin his return to Mexico.