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PACE President: 'Though an ocean away, Mexico belongs to Europe’s political neighbourhood'

PACE President Tiny Kox, in an address to the Mexican Senate, has hailed Mexico as part of “Europe’s political neighbourhood” despite its geographical distance, and underlined its commitment to democratic values as the only Council of Europe observer state in Latin America for the last quarter of a century.

The President was speaking during a two-day official visit to the country, during which he meets the Speakers of both Chambers of the Mexican Congress, leading government officials and members of the Parlatino, the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament.

In an address to the Senate, the upper chamber of the Mexican Congress, Mr Kox invited President López Obrador to address PACE next year, on the 25th anniversary of Mexico’s official observer status with the Council of Europe. He recalled President López Obrador’s recent statement – to Council of Europe leaders gathered in Reykjavik – on the need to strengthen democracy, human rights and the rule of law in complex times.

The PACE President noted Mexico’s participation in several Council of Europe bodies and conventions, and encouraged the country’s authorities to go further and to ratify the Istanbul Convention against domestic violence: “You would surely make my day – and that of millions of women, in Europe and Mexico, who seek better legal protection against widespread violence – if I could convey [that] message.”

He thanked Mexico for its “outspoken condemnation” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and for underlining, time and again, the need for peace through diplomacy, as well as its intention to join the agreement setting up a Register of Damage for Ukraine. He also welcomed Mexico’s support for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East, and for a two-state solution.

Finally, the President offered dialogue to share knowledge and experience on the “enormous challenges” of dealing with large-scale refugee and migrant movements.