• .He urged the Ibero-American General Secretariat to follow up on the “Education Cup”.
  • 80 percent of these young people are the first generation of their families to receive higher education, he said.
  • In Mexico, we are determined to form part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We welcome the fact that in this Latin American Summit, entrepreneurship is one of the main issues, he said.
  • He participated in the first working session of the 25th Ibero-American Summit.

As he participated in the first working session of the 25th Ibero-American Summit, President Enrique Peña Nieto urged Latin American countries to take on the challenge for better education in the region, and called for the Ibero-American General Secretariat to design a novel way to keep score, “and follow up on the education cup”.

He recalled that yesterday President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said his country aims to win two races in 2019: the Copa America and to be ranked first in educational improvement.

”Here I propose that we all take up the second challenge and we ask the Ibero-American General Secretariat and its director, whom I congratulate on the preparatory work for this meeting, to design a new way to keep score and follow up on the education cup”, he said.

The Mexican president said that education is a great social equalizer that not only improves the lives of individuals and their families but also triggers the development of communities and countries”.

He said Mexico is already doing its part: “At the beginning of my administration, we implemented Education Reform to make the right to quality education a reality for all Mexicans”. He said that the goal is, “To professionalize teaching through evaluation, training and refresher courses”.

He declared that in Mexico, “We are also investing in educational infrastructure and revising curriculums so that our children learn to learn”.

The Mexican president said that in higher education, “We have placed special emphasis on technological education: a total of 870,000 students are currently enrolled in our technological and polytechnic universities, 25 percent more than in 2012”.

He said that it is important to note that 80 percent of these young people are the first generation of their families to receive higher education”.

He added that in order to enhance these efforts, “We are adopting new linkage mechanisms with businesses so that young people complement their education with a professional, practical component.

He noted that, “The growth registered in youth employment in the formal sector of the economy is encouraging: in four years, 2.3 million formal jobs have been created, of which a quarter have been for young people between the ages of 15 and 29.

President Peña Nieto said that, “Ibero-American youth today feel just as at home in Madrid as in Montevideo, and in Lima as in Lisbon. Thanks to technology, we are now more connected than ever. Taking risks, breaking paradigms and pursuing dreams is part of our nature”.

He added that for many young people, “Being an entrepreneur is almost a way of being. We therefore welcome the fact that in this Latin American Summit, entrepreneurship is one of the main issues”.

He noted that In Mexico, “We are determined to form part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. “Nearly four years ago, we created the National Institute of Entrepreneurship, and during this administration, it has spent $1.5 billion USD on supporting just over a million entrepreneurs.

“We also launched a credit program to provide initial financing, particularly for young people who have no credit history,” he explained.

Mexico is also undertaking actions, “To promote entrepreneurship globally, as well as the internationalization of small and medium enterprises”. For example, he said, “Within the framework of the Pacific Alliance, we created the Venture Capital Fund, which, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, provides funding and promotes new entrepreneurs with a high growth potential”.

The Mexican president said that, “Latin America's greatest asset is  undoubtedly its youth, and governments should therefore continue to promote public policies that harness their capacity and build more inclusive, better qualified societies”.

He mentioned a quote from the great writer Gabriel García Márquez, who always saw education as an engine of social change:  “Education from cradle to grave, discontented and reflective, that inspires us to adopt a new way of thinking and encourages us to discover who we are, in a society that loves itself more”.

"That is precisely what we should be looking for at this Latin American Summit: a new way of doing things, strongly promoting education and realizing the aspirations of our people, especially our children and youth”:

He recalled that in the last edition of the Summit in Mexico, “Latin American countries agreed on the importance of the education of our youth. In the Declaration of Veracruz, we agreed to work on innovative strategies to ensure universal quality education, and confirmed the importance of supporting the new generations”.

President Peña Nieto added that in the last week of last September, “The world was touched by two extraordinary events: first, the signing of a historic peace agreement in this very place, to end an armed conflict that had lasted over half a century. And two days later, by the death in Israel of Nobel Prize Laureate Shimon Peres, who dedicated his life to re-building peace in the Middle East”.

He said that, like the President of Colombia, “Shimon Peres knew that achieving peace entails great challenges and often high costs”.

"The path of change, peace and reconciliation you have chosen is well worth the effort. This has been recognized by the world, which has celebrated the fact that you have received the Nobel Peace Prize,” he said to President Santos, to whom he reiterated his congratulations.

He also congratulated Antonio Guterres, “For having been elected Secretary General of the United Nations Organization and would like to express Mexico’s full support, precisely to achieve a more inclusive, equitable world and a world of peace”.