Mexico Proposes Optimistic CELAC Agenda, Especially in Space and Science-Technology Cooperation
Jan. 9, 2020 (EIRNS)—At today’s Mexico City summit of the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Mexico assumed leadership of the group for the next year as president pro-tempore, and presented an ambitious and future-oriented 14-point agenda for that period, based, as Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard put it, on the interests these nations share in common, putting aside political differences.
“We’re not going to be discussing the same issues discussed in other forums,” he said, as the goal is to make CELAC “the most powerful instrument for cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean,” RT quoted him as saying. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO as he is known, presided over the opening ceremony in which his government officially assumed the president pro-tempore position, previously held by Bolivia. That nation’s illegitimate government didn’t attend the summit; nor did Brazil. Later, AMLO tweeted “we seek cooperation for the development of our nations.”
Of the 14-point agenda Ebrard presented, priorities for this year include expanded cooperation in space and aeronautics, something he said is feasible, despite the complexity of the issue, because there are nine nations in the region with space agencies and six that have their own satellites. The goal, according to El Financiero, will be to hold a meeting of those 15 countries, and any others that wish to attend, to announce the Latin American-Caribbean Space Program, beginning 2020-2021. The hope is to launch a Latin American-Caribbean satellite in 2020.
Cooperation in science and technology is another top priority, Ebrard said. This will include initiatives such as creating specialized teams to address issues such as natural disasters, and heightened monitoring to combat infectious disease and the danger of epidemics, Excélsior reported. In March, Mexico will host the Science and Technology in Society forum being held for the first time in Latin America.
In addition to promoting greater economic integration and coordination as a bloc, another priority, Ebrard emphasized, is to strengthen and “reactivate” CELAC through frequent meetings. A China-CELAC Ministerial Forum is scheduled to meet in Shanghai in the second half of 2020, he announced. “We are beginning a new decade and there also has to be a new decade for the Community of Latin American and Community States,” the Foreign Ministe