SPEECH BY AMB MABEL GÓMEZ OLIVER DURING THE MEXICO-UNITED STATES FOUNDATION FOR SCIENCE (FUMEC) ANNUAL MEETING
- It is a great honor and pleasure to once again welcome the Board of Governors of the Mexico-United States Foundation for Science, FUMEC, to the Mexican Cultural Institute. I would like to welcome the Foundation’s Vice Chairman, Juan López de Silanes, and the other members of the Board, from both Mexico and the US; FUMEC Executive Director Guillermo Fernández de la Garza, and all the distinguished guests from the scientific community, government, business and academia.
- Last year we had the honor to host FUMEC’s 20th anniversary here at the Mexican Cultural Institute. On that occasion, we celebrated the work of Congressman George E. Brown and his clarity of vision to push for stronger Mexico-US ties on science and technology when the bilateral agenda and many leaders in both countries were overwhelmingly focused on trade and investment. As most of you know, the Foundation was established in 1992 as a non-profit organization in the US, at a time when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations were at a high point.
- In 1997, with the support of FUMEC’s Board, Congressman Brown worked with both governments to provide for the Foundation’s endowment (11 million USD from each country). Ever since its creation, the Foundation has been one of the most solid pillars of the bilateral relationship. FUMEC has been visionary and steadfast, providing the impetus and financial support to facilitate the creation of innovative programs in key competitive sectors for both Mexico and the US.
- Throughout these 21 years, the work of FUMEC has fostered cooperation in science and technology between Mexico and the US, and has helped maintain a strategic and long-term view of the bilateral relationship, which is sometimes a challenge given the myriad issues that what we have to address on a day-to-day basis.
- Building on a long history of educational collaboration between the Mexico and the United States, President Peña Nieto and President Obama announced, on May the 2nd, the establishment of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research. This Forum is intended to expand economic opportunities for citizens of both countries, develop a shared vision on educational cooperation, and share best practices on higher education and innovation.
- I want to underscore the significance of this Forum, which will bring together government, academia, and civil society to develop a shared vision on educational cooperation and propose concrete short-term and mid-term initiatives to promote bilateral collaboration and policy coordination.
- The work of FUMEC is of unique value as it helps to place the bilateral relationship between our two nations on the type of solid ground that only the hard sciences can provide. I am sure that it will be a key player in spurring the work of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education on issues such as broader access to quality education on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and issues in which FUMEC has already been intimately involved.
- The Mexican Embassy in Washington is delighted to host FUMEC Board of Governors, and looks forward to an even deeper and more intense engagement with FUMEC, now that we have our work cut out under the Bilateral Forum.
- Thank you very much and, once again, welcome all to the Mexican Cultural Institute.