In the year 2000, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) lost the Mexican presidential election for the first time in 70 years. After 12 years of PAN (National Action Party) ruling, Enrique Peña Nieto, from PRI, was sworn as President of Mexico last December.
After the 100 days in power, the Peña Nieto government just launched a series of public consultations on the five axes of the National Development Plan 2013-2018: 1) Mexico in peace; 2) social inclusion; 3) education with quality; 4) economic prosperity; and 5) Mexico as a responsible global actor.
The first forum to take place was on Mexico as a global actor. It was held earlier this week at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had the participation of diplomats, academics, civil society and business representatives. President Peña Nieto outlined the main objectives of the foreign policy of the country for the following years: to strengthen the presence of Mexico in the World, to increase the international cooperation, to promote the values, heritage, history and culture of Mexico and to protect the interest of Mexican citizens overseas.
President Peña Nieto highlighted the large potential of Mexico to contribute in favour of global peace and prosperity. “There should not be distant countries for Mexico, we have to interact with all, we have so much to offer to them and we can also learn a lot from their experiences… We must build a model of international cooperation. This is the moment for our country to become a responsible global actor”, indicated the Mexican President.
Traditionally, Mexico has been a very active country in multilateral fora and also has a reputation of mediator and conciliator, for instance in the Central America peace process and Grupo Contadora. Despite the fact that international cooperation is one of the nine constitutional principles of foreign policy, the size and potential of the country is not fully reflected in its international cooperation policy.
Since the 70s Mexico has participated in several projects of international cooperation, both as a donor and a recipient. In 1998 the Mexican Institute for International Cooperation (IMEXCI, Instituto Mexicano de Cooperación Internacional) was established, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. IMEXCI had a very short life, in 2000 it was dissolved and its functions were absorbed by other divisions within the Ministry. But it was until 2011 that the Mexican Congress approved the International Cooperation Law which ordered the creation of AMEXCID (Mexican Agency for International Cooperation) and the establishment of an international cooperation program, database and fund.