President Higgins makes Official Visits to Mexico, El Salvador And Costa Rica
Published: Fri 18th Oct, 2013 | 12:46
President Higgins Makes Three Country Official Visit To Mexico, El Salvador And Costa Rica
President Higgins departs on Saturday (19th October) on a three-country official visit to Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica. He will be accompanied by Mrs Sabina Higgins and Mr Joe Costello, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Trade and Development.
On arrival in Mexico City, President Higgins will be met by Ireland’s Ambassador to Mexico, Ms Sonja Hyland.
On Sunday, (20 October) the President will visit the Memorial to the Batallón de San Patricio in Plaza San Ángel, where he will lay a wreath and make a brief address. Later in the day, he will visit the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
On Monday (21 October) President Higgins will lay a wreath at an official ceremony at the Altar of the Nation in Chapultepec Park. The President and Mrs Higgins will then travel to the National Palace, where they will be greeted by the President of Mexico, Sr. Enrique Peña Nieto and Sra Angelica Rivera de Peña. Following their meeting, both Presidents will witness the signing of a Joint Statement by Ministers. The President, Mrs Higgins and delegation will then attend an official lunch hosted by President Peña Nieto, with Mexican and Irish business and academic representatives also in attendance.
Later on Monday the President and Mrs Higgins will attend a reception in their honour hosted by Ambassador Hyland for the local Irish business cultural and academic community.
On Tuesday (22 October) the President will attend and address a business breakfast hosted by Enterprise Ireland. Afterwards he will travel to Guadalajara to attend and make a keynote address at the Mexico Business Summit. The Summit will also be addressed by President Peña Nieto in the same session. President Higgins will be the first Head of State or Head of Government to address this important Business Summit. President Higgins will also have an opportunity to meet representatives of Guadalajara-based Irish companies.
The President will return to Mexico City later on Tuesday and will attend the Camerata Ireland Concert at the Centro Nacional de las Artes.
On Wednesday (23 October) President Higgins will deliver an address at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the subject of ‘Ireland and Mexico in the 21st Century: a legacy of friendship and a shared future’. The President will later meet the Mayor of Mexico City, Sr. Miguel Angel Mancera and will be honoured at a Distinguished Guest of Mexico City ceremony. Later in the afternoon, the President will depart Mexico City for El Salvador.
On arrival in El Salvador, the President will be greeted by representatives of the Government and presented with the Keys of the City by the acting Mayor of San Salvador, Ms Gloria Calderón Sol de Oñate.
On Thursday (24 October) the President and Mrs Higgins will visit the Casa Presidencial where they will be greeted by the President of El Salvador, Sr. Mauricio Funes and his wife Dr. Vanda Pignato. Following the bilateral meeting between the Presidents and their delegations, there will be a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral consultations by Irish and Salvadoran Ministers, which will be witnessed by both Presidents. President Higgins will be presented with the Salvadoran ‘José Matias Delgado’ State Award. President Higgins and Mrs Higgins will then attend a lunch hosted by President Funes.
In the afternoon, President Higgins will pay a formal visit to and address the Salvadoran National Assembly. In the evening he will visit the Universidad Centroaméricana and will visit the chapel in which the six Jesuits (murdered in the University in November 1989 along with two female co-workers) are interred. The President will then deliver a keynote address in the University auditorium entitled: “Of Memory and Testimony: The Importance of Paying Tribute to Those Who Were Emancipatory”. The President will also be presented with an award by the Rector of Universidad Centroamericana in recognition of his work for human rights from the 1980s.
On Friday (25 October) President Higgins will visit the Cuscatlán Park to view the Monument to Memory and Truth commemorating all those who lost their lives during the Salvadoran conflict of the 1980s. As part of this visit, the President will have an opportunity to meet with representatives of Salvadoran civil society organisations whose work on issues such as reconciliation, social inclusion and development has been support by Trócaire and by the Government of Ireland’s development assistance programme.
Later in the day, the President will visit the tomb of Archbishop Romero in San Salvador Cathedral. The President will also attend a lunch hosted by the Irish Honorary Consul in El Salvador, Sr. Roberto Murray Meza, which will focus on trade and economic development.
In the afternoon, the President will meet the Secretary General of SICA (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana), Mr Hugo Martínez Bonilla. SICA is the organisation for regional integration in Central America and is headquartered in San Salvador.
On Saturday (26 October) the President and Mrs Higgins depart El Salvador for San Jose, Costa Rica.
On Monday (28 October) the President and Mrs Higgins will be received by the President of Costa Rica, Sra. Laura Chinchilla. After the Presidents’ meeting, President Chinchilla will host a lunch in honour of President and Mrs Higgins.
Later in the afternoon, the President will attend a roundtable meeting with El Estado de la Nacion, a think tank supported by the Universities in Costa Rica that focuses on themes related to sustainable development and which produces indicators of economic and social development for Costa Rica and the Central American region.
On Tuesday (29 October) the President will meet the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judge Diego García-Sayan and deliver a key note address entitled “Human Rights in the 21st Century, Reasons for Hope” in the Public Hearings Chamber. Later in the afternoon, the President will visit the National Theatre and attend a recital by Costa Rican pianist Jorge Briceño.
On Wednesday (30 October) the President will meet the Minister of Environment, Sr. René Castro to discuss sustainable development and biodiversity in Costa Rica and visit part of the Costa Rican rainforest. Later in the day, the President and Mrs Higgins will depart Costa Rica returning to Dublin on Thursday 31st October.