ALICIA BÀRCENA IBARRA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, highlighted the many formidable challenges facing the world, including 50 armed conflicts, the climate crisis, the forced migration of millions of people and a spike in poverty, with 165 million people falling into poverty in the past three years. Thus, a growing number of people are questioning the relevance of multilateralism and its institutions. International action loses legitimacy when resolutions do not translate into concrete benefits for the people and the planet, she noted, calling for urgent efforts to be undertaken to rescue the 2030 Agenda. While the COVID-19 pandemic impeded progress towards its achievement, the world was not on an encouraging trajectory before it, she observed, underlining the need for a major shift in action in the development paradigm to reduce the gaps between the rich and the poor in and between countries.
Against this backdrop, she said Mexico is implementing transformational structural policies to benefit all people, especially the poor. It has succeeded in lifting 5 million people out of poverty over the past few years, with the help of a sharp increase in minimum wage and other social programmes. Underscoring the need to move towards green and blue policies and to reduce the environmental footprint, she noted that her country has signed the Escazú Agreement, among other instruments. On climate change, which she described as the greatest market failure, as well as the greatest global risk, she underlined the need for financing to be put in place to help vulnerable countries carry out adaptation measures. She also called for a wholesale reform of the international financial architecture, including the redistribution of special drawing rights and for “debt-for-climate” swaps. To this end, she voiced support for the Bridgetown 2.0 initiative put forth by Barbados.
Turning to international security, she said Mexico, in support of the peaceful resolution of disputes, has acted as the guarantor country between Colombia and the National Liberation Army. On Ukraine, Mexico’s position is “unambiguous”: it condemns the invasion of that country by the Russian Federation, which violated the Charter. Underscoring the need for nuclear non-proliferation and for steps to be taken to combat the illicit trafficking in firearms, particularly by manufacturing countries, she pointed out that 200,000 firearms are trafficked into her country annually from its neighbour in the north. On migration, she called for more humanizing policies to address this “unprecedented phenomenon that concerns everyone”. She also called for greater investment in tackling structural causes and for countries to ensure to adopt policies that protect their human rights and facilitate their integration into the labour market. In this context, she noted that migrants from Mexico in the United States contributed $5 million in taxes annually.
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