2023 - Interviews, Speeches, Talks, Podcasts, Panels, and similar items

Interview: Yellen heads to Mexico to boost cooperation on fentanyl, supply chains

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during an interview in New York City, U.S., September 18, 2023. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to Mexico City this week to boost cooperation with Mexican counterparts on combating illicit finance and the trafficking of fentanyl, and work to strengthen Mexico's role in U.S. supply chains, Treasury officials said on Monday.

Yellen's Dec. 5-7 tr

Event: Mexico’s Next President: Challenges and Recommendations

The 2024 presidential elections will mark a milestone in Mexico’s history and will test the nation’s democratic system. Millions of Mexican citizens will go to the polls on June 2 to elect a new president, all members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic, as well as eight governors, Mexico City’s Head of Government, 31 local congresses, and other representatives around the country. These elections will be the largest in Mexico’s history and for the first time, a woman could be selected to lead the country for the next six years.

These elections are significant not solely due to their size nor the gender of possible victors but also a result of the breadth and depth of the issues that will confront whoever takes office on October 1, 2024. All new leaders take office facing challenges and opportunities and Mexico’s next president will be no different. It is worth noting, however, that this presidential transition is a full two months shorter as inauguration day was moved forward from the traditional December 1 date.

Given the panoply of issues that will face the new president and the limited time available to develop strategies to address them, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute prepared this booklet of recommendations on six (energy, migration, nearshoring, security, USMCA and North America, and water) of the most salient issues for consideration by the presidential candidates and their campaign teams. Each of these issues is relevant in Mexico, to the Mexico – US bilateral relationship, and to citizens on both sides of the border.

Panel: 3rd Transatlantic Panel Discussion: Can the West win over the rest?

Against the backdrop of a fragmenting world, what should the western liberal democracies do in the face of increasingly tough competition to retain – and in some cases recover – influence in the global south versus China and Russia?

There will be three distinguished panellists:

From Canada:

Guillermo E. Rishchynski

Guillermo E. Rishchynski was Regional Marketing Manager, Latin America, for Interimco International before joining the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1983 as an Assistant Trade Commissioner. He served abroad in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Amman, Melbourne, Jakarta and Chicago and, from 1999 to 2002, was Ambassador to Colombia.

In Ottawa, he served the department as Deputy Director, Latin America and Caribbean Trade Division, and Director, Team Canada Task Force and Inspector-General. He joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2003, serving as Vice-President of the Americas Branch until his appointment as Ambassador to Brazil in 2005. In 2007, he was appointed Ambassador to Mexico and in 2011 became Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Guillermo Rishchynski retired from the Government of Canada on September 1, 2019. Mr Rishchynski was appointed Executive Director for Canada at the Inter-American Development Bank in January 2016.

From the United Kingdom:

Sir Myles Wickstead

Professor Sir Myles Wickstead has a long history of working in international development and diplomacy, particularly linked to Africa. He has run British Government international development programmes in East Africa; was British Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union; and represented the UK on the Board of the World Bank.  He was Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa chaired by Tony Blair in 2004/5.

Having left Government service in 2005 he has chaired and been on the Boards of a number of INGOs, and is a Visiting Professor (International Relations) at King's College London and the University of Exeter.  He has written extensively on Africa and development; his book Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

From the United States:

Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne

Earl Anthony Wayne – ‘Tony’ to his colleagues in the Foreign Service – served as the US ambassador to Argentina and Mexico, deputy ambassador to Afghanistan, and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. A former national security correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, he now focuses on Latin America, teaching classes at American University in Washington and co-chairing the board of the Wilson Centre’s Mexico Institute.


Alex Bugailiskis

Alexandra retired from Global Affairs Canada in 2022 after a 39-year career that included postings to Ghana and Guatemala, and four Head of Mission appointments: Syria, Cuba, Poland and Italy. In Canada, she served as the Assistant Deputy Minister for Latin America and as ADM for Europe, the Middle East and the Arctic. She was the Chief Negotiator for the Canada-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2016.

Alexandra has received awards and citations for her contributions to the Namibian independence process; the 2010 Haitian earthquake recovery effort; the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec; and the Syrian resettlement process in Canada. In 2023 she was appointed as Chair of the International Advisory Committee for the UNU Institute on Water, Environment and Health located in her hometown Hamilton.

The event was organized by The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Association, The Canadian Ambassadors Alumni Association, and DACOR: an association of foreign affairs professionals.

Letter: 304 Nonpartisan National Security Leaders Urge Congress to Send Aid to Ukraine — Foreign Policy for America

Washington, DC – Today, 304 national security professionals sent a letter to House and Senate leadership calling on Congress to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Ukraine, and democracy around the world, by appropriating supplemental aid to Ukraine.

The letter, signed by former secretaries, ambassadors, and senior diplomats and military leaders – who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations – was organized by Foreign Policy for America and specifically calls on House an

Letter: Former US officials ask Pakistan not to deport Afghans seeking relocation to the United States

ISLAMABAD -- A group of former U.S. diplomats and representatives of resettlement organizations asked Pakistan not to deport thousands of Afghans who have been waiting for U.S. visas under an American program that relocates at-risk Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule.

The appeal in an open letter on Wednesday signed by 80 former U.S. officials, dignitaries and resettlement groups came weeks after Pakistan announced a crackdown on migrants living in the country illegally, including 1.7 million

Panel: Davis Fellowship on Leadership And Management

Ambassador Brian Carlson and I discussed the roles of Ambasadors and Public Diplomacy sections at US Embassies for a group of more junior public diplomacy officers participating in the Davis Fellowship sponsored by the Council of American Ambassadors. The session was both live and recorded for future listening.Here is the recording of the session: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/LJD-EdNJ70ZDDbY00rafaWjFYYPwApzOrdF-iD6Fc3NBhdl71gK0ltDEZCS_1dWu.ApAnujLP3XWu2yl_
Passcode: Lt#8Rs=G

Interview: Mexico president knocks Biden’s border wall expansion

Both nations claim to oppose more border wall, but the Biden administration may have accepted more physical barriers as part of what one expert called a “multi-pronged strategy” to dealing with illegal border crossings.

MEXICO CITY (CN) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday criticized the Biden administration’s expansion of the border wall and expressed his doubt that it will even be built.

“Instead of trying to solve the problem by building walls … what we must do is build
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