In response to an invitation from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto paid a state visit to Colombia on October 26 and 27, 2016.
The presidents stressed the importance of ensuring that Colombia and Mexico regard their strategic relationship as a privileged axis for their political, economic, social and cultural ties.
The two presidents discussed the range of issues on the bilateral, regional and global agenda, and noted the progress achieved in the various bilateral mechanisms.
In this regard:
1. President Enrique Peña Nieto stressed the importance of the Colombian peace process, not only for its people but also for the region and encouraged Colombia to achieve conflict termination and build a stable, lasting peace.
2. The two leaders confirmed their support and recognition of the work of the United Nations Special Political Mission in Colombia to coordinate the Tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, particularly compliance with the Protocol Established to Maintain the Ceasefire and Bilateral, Definitive End to Hostilities.
3. President Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated President Juan Manuel Santos on the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his tireless efforts to achieve peace in Colombia.
4. President Juan Manuel Santos thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Mexican government for its generous support and contribution to the peace process and post-conflict in Colombia, through their participation in the United Nations Special Political Mission in Colombia and the Global Demining Initiative.
5. The two presidents agreed that the strategic relationship, consolidated through President Juan Manuel Santos’s visit to Mexico on May 8, 2015, has strengthened political dialogue, trade and investment as well as the cooperation framework between the two countries.
6. They welcomed the formation of the Colombian-Mexican Strategic Committee comprising businessmen, academics and other personalities, with the mandate to identify areas and sectors that offer new opportunities, from a perspective of long-term collaboration. They also expressed their desire for an initial meeting to be held during the first quarter of 2017.
7. They noted the progress in productive linkages between the two countries and asked trade ministers to continue advancing the incorporation of Colombia and Mexico into global value chains in order to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs and increase trade.
8. They emphasized the interest of both countries in holding a meeting of the Administrative Commission of the Free Trade Agreement in the near future in order to advance the strengthening of trade and investment between the two countries and to further define schemes to eliminate technical barriers to trade, increase collaboration in health measures, promote trade facilitation and strengthen the bonds of mutual cooperation.
9. They also urged the customs authorities of the two countries to continue advancing to establish a framework that will enable them to mutually provide cooperation on administrative assistance, information exchange and combating customs offenses.
10. They recalled that bilateral air transport encourages trade, tourism and integration between the two countries and, in that regard, urged the aeronautical authorities to conclude the Air Transport agreement as soon as possible.
11. They welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the National Planning Department of Colombia and the Economy Secretariat of Mexico to strengthen the regulatory reform policy that will permit the generation of clear rules, procedures and simplified services and effective institutions for their creation and implementation.
12. They highlighted the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Bancóldex and Bancomext to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the two institutions to promote the flow of bilateral trade and investment.
13. Likewise, they highlighted the cooperation in consumer protection and defense between the Mexican Federal Consumer Protection Office and the Colombian Superintendency of Industry and Trade and hailed the signing of a new memorandum of understanding on this matter.
14. Both leaders stressed the effectiveness of South-South cooperation as a tool for overcoming the challenges of development, since it consolidates bilateral relations, encourages the construction of joint solutions and strengthens human and institutional capacities through the exchange of experiences, knowledge and best practices. The evaluation of the 2014-2016 Cooperation Program is an example of this potential, under which 11 projects were implemented in the fields of science and technology, environment, agricultural development and health.
15. They welcomed the organization of Eighth Meeting of the Joint Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation, on October 19, 2016, and noted that the 2016-2018 Cooperation Program comprises four projects in the health, agricultural development and science and technology sectors, which are in harmony with the challenges of the 2030 Agenda, specifically the Sustainable Development Goals.
16. They welcomed the strong relationship in the field of Technical and Scientific Cooperation dating back to 1979 with the signing of the Basic Agreement on this issue, which has permitted the development of eight two-year programs. In order to strengthen this bilateral relationship in the field of cooperation, both countries will study the feasibility of establishing a Joint Cooperation Fund in the future, which will depend on the availability of financial resources in both countries.
17. They highlighted the importance of environmental cooperation with the common goal of ensuring that environmental goods are efficiently handled and that sustainable development is promoted in light of the interests of present and future generations. In this regard, they welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation between the Mexican Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat and the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in Colombia.
18. They also hailed the rapprochement between the Colombian National Land Agency and the Mexican Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU) Secretariat, resulting in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to improve access to information, knowledge and experiences about the social management of property.
19. They hailed the signing on December 11, 2015 of the Convention between Mexico and Colombia on the Measures to be Adopted to Prohibit and Preventing the Burglary and/or Theft, Import, Export and Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property, which is expected to enter into force this year. Through its implementation, both governments will strengthen the mechanisms and procedures for the protection and restoration of cultural heritage that has been illegally removed or inserted.
20. They highlighted the importance of the two instruments for strengthening the national systems of culture and the protection, preservation, promotion and management of cultural heritage signed by the Colombian Ministry of Culture and the Mexican Culture Secretariat on October 27, 2016.
21. They highlighted the significant achievements in the various academic mobility programs being undertaken between Colombia and Mexico. They proposed the creation of an agency in order to register and highlight various initiatives to facilitate coordination and synergies between them.
22. They welcomed the signing of the Agreement between Coldeportes-Colombia and Conade-Mexico to establish the bases for strengthening exchanges as regards development and excellence in physical culture and sport.
23. They highlighted the importance of security cooperation, particularly to combat transnational organized crime and its various expressions. In this regard, they welcomed the negotiations for the adoption of a framework of cooperation through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Mexican Interior Secretariat and the Colombian National Police.
24. They repeated their commitment to strengthening cooperation and joint efforts in the integral fight against corruption.
25. They highlighted the adoption of cooperation measures through the Declaration of Intention to Reduce the Theft of Mobile Devices between the Mexican Communications and Transport Secretariat and the Colombian Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications.
26. Aware of the opportunities they create, as well as the security challenges posed by the use of new information and communications technologies, they identified interest in beginning a dialogue on issues relating to digital security and cybersecurity in order to harmonize and strengthen regulatory and technological developments in this field.
27. Recognizing the current relevance of international roaming service to promote the integration of Pacific Alliance member countries, they pledged to jointly evaluate actions related to the promotion of the transparency of information in this service and the reduction of tariffs, while ensuring that information on these and other conditions of use of mobile international roaming services are easily accessible to the public in each country with a view to achieving greater affordability of the latter for the benefit of users.
28. They agreed to reactivate the work of the Bilateral Committee for Cooperation against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and to organize the Vth Meeting of the Committee to advance cooperation against this scourge.
29. They also highlighted the Memorandum of Understanding on Air Interdiction/Interception, signed by the Air Force commanders of the two countries on September 27, 2015.
30. They also confirmed the decision to work together to advance sharing experiences in financing, technology and the physical integration through highways of our countries.
31. They highlighted the results of the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Migration and Consular Affairs on October 17 and 18 and instructed the competent authorities to implement the measures and recommendations adopted therein, including legal cooperation, and consular notification and assistance, for the benefit of nationals of both countries.
32. Mexico acknowledged the work undertaken by Colombia as pro tempore Secretariat of the Ibero-American Conference for a period of two years for the first time and in hosting the XXV Summit of Heads of State and Government, on the issue of “Youth, Entrepreneurship and Education,” which will foster creative synergies to promote policies and concrete actions.
33. The leaders highlighted the progress of the process to renew Latin American cooperation and the approval and start of the implementation of the four-year Ibero-American Cooperation Action Plan, which will increase the effectiveness and impact of its actions in the region for the benefit of Ibero-American youth.
34. They confirmed that regional economic integration is the best means of strengthening the growth and development of peoples and reiterated their firm commitment to the Pacific Alliance, a leading-edge initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean, which seeks deeper integration through the free movement of goods, services, capital and people and the cross-cutting axis of cooperation.
35. They particularly emphasized the entry into force of the Additional Protocol to the Framework Agreement, on May 1, whereby tariffs were immediately reduced on 92% of goods and services traded among the four countries, which will boost their integration, improve intra-Alliance trade and promote better regional participation in world trade by encouraging value chains between small and medium enterprises.
36. They hailed the organization in Bogota of the XXXIII Meeting of the Board of Directors of Highways of Iberia and Latin America, an organization comprising 22 countries, currently chaired by Mexico.
37. Encouraged by the successful bilateral coordination and joint work achieved in the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the world drug problem, held in April 2016, they repeated their conviction of the need to continue to promote a substantive multilateral, plural and inclusive dialogue in favor of a more comprehensive and balanced international drug control strategy, to place people at the center of decisions and to promote a public health, integral prevention, justice and human rights approach.
38. They repeated their commitment to the fight against illicit trafficking of small and light weapons, as well as compliance with and promotion of the international regime on this matter. They also highlighted the efforts being undertaken in the multilateral context to identify effective measures to enable the fulfillment of commitments on disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
39. As States Party to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, better known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the two countries welcomed the upcoming celebration on February 14, 2017 of the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty and the establishment of the first nuclear weapons-free zone in a densely populated area, and expressed their desire to continue working together in order to achieve and maintain a nuclear weapons-free world.
President Enrique Peña Nieto thanked the people and government of Colombia for their hospitality to himself and his delegation during his state visit to Colombia.