Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu spoke at the meeting of Ibero-American Conference Foreign Ministers being held in Cartagena, Colombia from December 11-12 in preparation for the 25th Ibero-American Summit that will take place in Colombia in 2016.

At the meeting, there was a progress review of the mandates adopted at the 24th Ibero-american Summit held in Veracruz, Mexico, in December of last year, including the Alliance for Academic Mobility; the launch of the Ibero-American Satellite Channel Television: "The signal that unites us”; and the ongoing restructuring of the subregional offices in Mexico, Lima and Montevideo.

In her remarks, Foreign Secretary Ruiz Massieu acknowledged the work done by the Ibero-American Secretariat (SEGIB) and its head, Rebeca Grynspan, to implement the Veracruz agreements, and she expressed her support for Colombia’s efforts as current Pro Tempore Secretariat, especially in promoting actions and policies for the region’s youths.

The Foreign Secretary stressed how important it is for the member countries to remain committed to the Conference and to make visible the benefits created by the Ibero-American programs that improve social welfare in the areas of culture, knowledge and social cohesion.

After the meeting, the Cartagena Declaration was adopted, in which the ministers welcomed the official slogan of the 25th Ibero-American Conference, to be held in November 2016: "Youth, Entrepreneurship and Education," and approved the 2015-2018 four-year Ibero-American Cooperation Plan and the 2016 annual operating plan.

Foreign Secretary Massieu gave the Ohtli award to Dr. Ramiro Osorio for his outstanding contribution to the bilateral relationship through the promotion of cultural ties. She also met with Argentinian Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, who reaffirmed her commitment to deepening the bilateral relationship.

The Ibero-American Conference brings together 22 countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe with a shared history and vision for the future. Together, the Ibero-American countries account for 9% of the population, 15% of the territory and 10% of global GDP.