Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Mexican States

02/08/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/08/2023 17:04

Foreign Secretary Ebrard inaugurates the first Oslo Forum Latin America and Caribbean Mediation Retreat

Foreign Secretary Ebrard inaugurates the first Oslo Forum Latin America and Caribbean Mediation Retreat

Press Release 40

Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores | February 08, 2023 | Press Release

Foreign Secretary Ebrard inaugurates the first Oslo Forum Latin America and Caribbean Mediation Retreat

Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard today inaugurated the first Oslo Forum Latin America and Caribbean Mediation Retreat, organized by the Mexican Foreign Ministry, the Norwegian government and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).

Also present at the opening ceremony were Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Carmen Moreno; Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean Maximiliano Reyes; Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN, Juan Ramón de la Fuente; Norwegian Ambassador to Mexico, Ragnhild Imerslund; Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, Mona Juul; and HD Regional Director for Latin America Katia Papagianni.

The Retreat will take place from February 8-9 in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Morelos. Over 50 specialists in mediation, conflict prevention and peace-building from about 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries will discuss the lessons learned from the peace processes in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as ongoing processes, such as: peace in Colombia, the Venezuelan dialogue, security and stability in Haiti, the social protests and political mobilization in the region, and the role of women in mediation.

In his remarks, Foreign Secretary Ebrard said, "In Mexico, mediation is almost a Constitutional mandate because our foreign policy has the peaceful resolution of disputes as its Constitutional intent [...] Every time we have a conflict with its different variants, the mandate is for us to seek a negotiation. In other words, we have to negotiate, because of our mandate and our conviction…One of the most reliable partners we have found […] is Norway."

He said that the Retreat "is going to be a very good opportunity to analyze what we have to correct structurally, what our biggest obstacle is to successful mediations [...] and, lastly, what the region's countries can do together in the region."

In his remarks, Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente, Mexico's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said that the Retreat is to "think together about actions and proposals to help make Latin America and the the Caribbean a more stable, more egalitarian, more peaceful region." He said the retreat participants agreed with the idea that both the UN and the international community can "do more to address the structural causes that are behind a good part of the conflicts that put international peace and security at risk, and that it is possible to make better use of the tools at our disposal, in particular, Article 6 of the UN Charter."

The Norwegian Ambassador to Mexico, Ragnhild Imerslund, stressed that "today's world is more polarized than ever. The number of conflicts has increased and these conflicts cannot be resolved solely by military means. The need for negotiation and mediation is big and conflict resolution has become more complex."

She said that the Forum is an "exchange and discussion to identify ways to move towards more peaceful societies [...] to think together, exchange, and try to solve dilemmas and challenges."

The retreat also promotes collaboration and a discussion of mediation and preventive diplomacy to promote Latin America and the Caribbean as a more stable, egalitarian and peaceful region.

The Latin American and Caribbean Mediation Retreat is part of the Oslo Forum series of meetings that have been held since 2003. It has become one of the leading forums in mediation and conflict resolution.

The retreat is being held in Mexico due to the excellent relationship between Mexico and Norway, which was strengthened when both countries were elected to the UN Security Council in 2021-2022.