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Center for U.S. and Mexican Law seminar discusses international trade, climate change and diversity



July 2, 2021 - Mexican officials, some of whom are graduates from the University of Houston Law Center, discussed a wide range of topics during the "Houston Goes Global: A Profile of Mexican Diplomacy" conference presented by the University of Houston Law Center's Center for U.S. and Mexican Law. Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano, Director for the Center of U.S. and Mexican Law, began the webinar by noting that Mexican diplomacy is among the most active and dynamic in the world.

Among the topics discussed were:

  • USMCA Comparative aspects: challenges and opportunities,
  • International Organizations and Governance: special mention to Climate change and U.S.-Mexican policies
  • Mexican Women in the world: Diplomacy and International Organizations.

María Cristina Oropeza Zorrilla, who works in the Mexican embassy in Ontario, delivered a presentation on the public diplomacy goals of the USMCA from negotiation to implementation.

“We had to keep it trilateral," Zorrilla said. “That was the main message when we started negotiating. Our public diplomacy effort was to underscore the benefits for the three countries - Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.”

In the second panel, Miguel Angel Reyes Moncayo of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs detailed aspects of climate change policy in Mexico, focusing on the guidelines of the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015.

“Mexico is among the top 20 countries with the highest emission rates out of the 159 nations considered by the U.N. Even though the first 10 emitters are responsible for about two-thirds of global emissions, Mexico has also taken its responsibility to reduce carbon emissions and achieve the global goal of zero emissions in the long-term. Mexico is a very active actor in the international leader on the multi-lateral level.”

In the final discussion, Alicia Kerber of the Consul General of Mexico, discussed how women are often relegated to advisory or assistant roles in the diplomacy arena.

"In the field of international relations, we have witnessed big changes and great paradoxes. While are all these changes are happening, there is one issue that does not seem to advance as much as we would like - gender equality in the world of diplomacy and international organization,” Kerber said.

“Seen as a traditionally male domain, existing power structures within the diplomatic infrastructure reinforce gender inequality and discriminatory practices, making it difficult for women to enter diplomacy at the highest position.”

Additional sponsors for the event were the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston and the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.

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