Minister Dion concludes successful visit to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras

October 15, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday concluded a successful visit to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

In Mexico City, Minister Dion, with his counterpart, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, launched the first High-Level Strategic Dialogue, to follow through on commitments made during this summer’s state visit and to further advance the Canada-Mexico common agenda, which includes cooperation in security and student mobility, best practices in consular management and increasing prosperity for Canadians and Mexicans. The Minister and Secretary also discussed the political situations in Colombia, Venezuela and Haiti, where Canada and Mexico share common concerns and perspectives.

Coming out of the first High-Level Strategic Dialogue, Minister Dion and Secretary Ruiz Massieu announced the creation of an annual bilateral dialogue on human rights and reinitiated an annual dialogue on multilateral and global issues. In order to support Canadian investors active in the extractive sector, the two also announced the establishment of a high-level task force that will bring together various government departments to address challenges within the sector.

In Guatemala, Minister Dion met with President Jimmy Morales and, along with his counterpart, Carlos Raúl Morales, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed a memorandum of understanding to institutionalize a mechanism for regular bilateral consultations. Minister Dion met with Guatemala’s human rights defenders, who actively promote the rights of women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; Indigenous peoples; and youth and victims of the internal armed conflict. He also‎ visited the legal clinic operated by Dr. Edgar Pérez with the support of Lawyers Without Borders Canada.

During his visit to Honduras, Minister Dion met with President Juan Orlando Hernández, several members of the government, including his counterpart, María Dolores Agüero Lara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Jorge Ramón Hernández Alcerro, Minister Coordinator General of the Government of Honduras, to deepen the bilateral dialogue and cooperation on ongoing efforts to address the human rights challenges in Honduras. He also met with several human-rights defenders and visited the Casa Alianza, where dedicated people help marginalized youth in need.

During his visit to Guatemala and Honduras, Minister Dion benefited from the presence and knowledge of Pascal Paradis, Executive ‎Director of Lawyers Without Borders Canada.  Minister Dion met with representatives from the main donor countries and international organizations to discuss the optimal coordination of human rights efforts in both countries.

Quotes

“My visit to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras offered me a unique opportunity to enhance our relations on several critical fronts. I was also fortunate to meet in each country with civil society members and Indigenous communities to discuss access to justice, human rights, and migration, among other subjects. I was happy to be accompanied by Pascal Paradis from Lawyers Without Borders Canada. Human rights defenders need to be protected, and we must support their work.”

- Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Contacts

Chantal Gagnon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
343-203-1851
chantal.gagnon@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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