DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS MEXICO-SWEDEN

 

 

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General issues

The diplomatic relations between Mexico and Sweden have been characterized by the sharing of a significant number of common interests, which have been reflected in an active participation in the international arena, with the aim to promote the pacific solution of international tensions and to face, in an effective and timely manner, threats to peace and security, in particular through the promotion of co-operation.

From its beginning on July 29th 1885, the relations between both countries have been developed in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual understanding, with a number of common positions in foreign policy issues of high-priority for Mexico.  For instance, Mexico and Sweden have worked together in multilateral initiatives, such as disarmament (group of eight countries that promotes a world without nuclear weapons); combat to drug trafficking (on Mexico’s initiative, they organized in Stockholm, jointly with Portugal, a preparatory meeting for the special session of the UN General Assembly); UN reforms (Group of Sixteen); and the promotion of development in Central America.  As one of the most significant examples of the successful promotion of joint initiatives, in 1982 the Swedish Alva Myrdal and the Mexican Alfonso García Robles were awarded the Peace Nobel Prize.

There are a number of issues of common interest in which Mexico and Sweden have developed diverse forms of co-operation, such as environment, gender issues, human rights, among others.  Training programmes in different fields, sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), are open to the participation of Mexican representatives.

In the economic field, the relation with Sweden has a long history. Companies like Ericsson, with high international prestige in the area of telecommunications, are present in Mexico since 1904.

As regards the cultural and academic matters there is no a formal agreement.  Nevertheless, important activities and programmes have been developed. Exhibits of famous Mexican artists like Frida Kahlo, and others of pre-Hispanic and contemporary art have been shown to the Swedish public.  A Program of Internships for Artistic Creation and a Program of High Level Lectures have also proved of interest for both, artists and academicians.  Special mention deserves the collaboration with the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT by its name in Swedish), through which three Workshops have been organized (two in Mexico and one in Sweden).  This effort involves a group of more than sixty researchers of higher education institutions of both countries, who have jointly identified –and now are implementing- several projects in diverse scientific areas. On the other hand, in the University of Chalmers, in Gothenburg, Mexican researchers have been studying master degree programs, or have participated in short-term stays or conferences.

The good relation between Mexico and Sweden has also been reflected in high level official visits.  In January 1982 H.M. King Carl XVI Gustav and his wife, H.M. Silvia, payed an official visit to Mexico. The King was received by the then President of Mexico, Jose López Portillo, and the encounter was occasion to approach subjects of international issues of mutual interest, like the North-South Dialogue and disarmament, as well as subjects regarding the bilateral relation, in particular on the economic field. More recently, among the most important official visits the following are to mention: the visit to Sweden of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rosario Green, in November of 1998; the visit to Mexico of members of the Commission for Foreign Affairs of the Swedish Parliament, headed by its President, Viola Furubjelke, in September of 1999; the visit to Sweden of the then Minister of Trade and Industrial Promotion, Herminio Blanco, in October 2000, and the visit to Mexico of the Minister of Defense, Björn von Sydow, as representative of the Swedish government to the sworn in ceremony of Mr. Vicente Fox Quesada as President of Mexico, in December 2000.  At present, a visit of high-level Swedish businessmen with the aim to promote Swedish investments in Mexico is envisaged; in addition, it is foreseen that a Mexican ministerial delegation will visit Sweden in the near future in order to promote the Mexico-European Union Free Trade Agreement and for 2002 contacts among Mexico and Sweden, at the highest level, are also foreseen.

All these contacts have laid the foundations to what the bilateral relation will be during the XXI Century, within the framework of the redefinition of our foreign policy towards Europe and, specifically, towards the EU, where Sweden has played an important role, in particular, during the first semester of 2001, when it hold the presidency of the Council of Ministers of the EU, for which it deserved the acknowledgement of the rest of the EU countries.

The interest of both countries in strengthening the relation was reflected, in addition, by the signature, in November 1998 in Stockholm, of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Mechanism of Bilateral Political Consultations on Matters of Mutual Interest between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries.

Joint initiatives

Most of the common positions and interests between Mexico and Sweden have been reflected in the in the multilateral fora.  Main issues to mention are:

 

a)       Drug trafficking: the Governments of Mexico, Sweden and Portugal, sponsored the international symposium “Global Challenges-Common Solutions” with the participation of international experts on the problem of drugs. The Symposium was held in Stockholm on 13-14 May 1998 and it was meant to serve as a preparatory meeting in support to the XX Special Session of the UN General Assembly aimed at facing common solutions to the world-wide problem of drugs.  The Symposium was an initiative of the President of Mexico and a joint declaration was adopted.

b)       Conventional Disarmament: Convention of Ottawa for the Prohibition of Use, Storage, Production and Transference of Mines Antipersonnel and its Destruction. Sweden and Mexico collaborated in the multilateral fora in order to promote the signature of the Convention in December 1997, which came into effect on March 1st 1999. 

c)       Nuclear disarmament: Mexico and Sweden joined the initiative of Ireland to adopt a declaration on nuclear disarmament, presented in June 1998. In September 1998 both countries signed the draft resolution “Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: The Need for a New Agenda" in which the necessity of having a new agenda on nuclear disarmament to be considered by the UNGA is raised. 

The draft resolution was presented during the 53rd UNGA, was co-sponsored by 32 delegations and was adopted by majority. On November 1st 2000, the UNGA First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) voted with big majority in favour of a resolution supporting the Initiative of the New Agenda, with 146 votes in favour, 3 against and 8 abstentions; the Initiative received the support of three of the five nuclear states; EUA, Great Britain and China voted to favour, whereas France and Russia abstained. Only India, Israel and Pakistan voted against the resolution.

 

Scientific-technological co-operation and academic exchange

In February 2000 the First Workshop of Scientific and Technological Co-operation between Mexico-Sweden was held in the City of Mexico.  It was attended by ten Swedish and approximately 60 Mexican researchers, who presented projects within the following areas: environmental and chemical engineering; mecathronics; telecommunications and information theory; pharmaceutics; biotechnology and food technology and; inter-institutional cooperation. These fields were identified as some of the ones in which the bilateral cooperation could be useful, given the necessities and the relative advances of the disciplines in both countries. 

In the workshop participated, by the Mexican part, the following institutions: UNAM, IPN, CINVESTAV, University of Guanajuato, University of Guadalajara, Iberoamericana University and ITESM. The Swedish part was represented by four universities: Lund, Umeå, Stockholm and the Technological University of Chalmers, Gothenburg.  In addition, the representatives of both countries had opportunity to initiate negotiations towards the subscription of inter-institutional agreements.  

The Second Workshop took place in September 2000, sponsored by the Technological University of Chalmers and was attended by 30 Swedish and 30 Mexican researchers coming from ten Mexican universities and research centres, and eight Swedish institutions. 

The Third Workshop was held in Querétaro on 1st and 2nd  October 2001. It was sponsored by the Council of Science and Technology of Querétaro (CONCYTEQ) in collaboration with the authorities of the University of Querétaro and public institutions of the State. It was an important occasion to analyse the status of the projects and to define the next steps for their follow-up.  It is foreseen that the Fourth Workshop will be held in the city of Umeå, Sweden, in 2002.

 

Treaties and agreements 

-          Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation with Norway and Sweden. - Signed on July 29th 1885. 

-          Agreement for Visa Suppression in Ordinary Passports.- by means of exchange of Notes in Mexico City, on April 21st 1954. It came into effect on May 1st 1954. 

-          Agreement for Coordinated Action to Implement the Alliance for Production Program, signed between the Ministry of Turism of Mexico, Nacional Hotelera, S.A. and the Swedish Maritime Company Torline Aktiebolag. Signed on May 24th 1975 in Stockholm, Sweden. 

-          Protocol for the Cooperation in Industrial Development. Signed in 1979. 

-          Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Joint Commission of Economic and Industrial Cooperation. Signed in 1980. 

-          Memorandum on Industrial and Economic Cooperation. Signed in Stockholm, on May 24th 1980. 

-          Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation. Signed in Stockholm, on May 24th 1980. Approved by the Senate on October 16th 1980, published in the Official Bulletin on October 31st 1980. It came into effect on 4th of December 1980. 

-          Agreement of Technical Cooperation in the fields of Electrical Industry.- between the Swedish State Power Board and the Electicity Federal Commission. Signed in Stockholm, on 6th January 1982. 

-          Program of Cooperation for Training of Mexican Engineers between the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico and the Swedish Commission for the Technical Cooperation. Mexico, January 18th 1982. 

-          Agreement on Cooperation between the State of Yucatan and the City of Malmö, Sweden. Signed in 1987. 

-          Agreement for the Suppression of Diplomatic and Official Visa to Sweden. Celebrated by unilateral decision of the Government of Mexico.  It came into effect by Exchange of Notes on December 6th 1990. 

-          Agreement to Prevent Double Imposition and Fiscal Evasion on Income Taxes. Subscribed in Washington D.C., on September 21st 1992.  It came into effect on January 1st 1993. 

-          Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for the Establishment of a Mechanism of Consultations in Matters of Mutual Interest.  Subscribed in Stockholm, on November 26th 1998. 

-          Agreement between the Government of the Mexican United States and the Government of Sweden for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (APPRI).- it was signed in Stockholm on October 3rd 2000 and it came into effect on July 1st 2001. 

 

List of Heads of the Embassy of Mexico to Sweden  

 

 

Name

Term

1

Francisco Mora

1864-67

2

Rafael Zubarán Capmany

1916-18

3

Fernando Lera 

 1918-19

4

Rodolfo Arturo Nervo

 1919-20*

5

José María de la Garza

1919-20*

6 Balbino Dávalos 

1921 22  

7 Julio Madero  1922-23  
8 Rafael Nieto  1923-25  
9 Vito Alesio Robles 1925-27
10 Leopoldo Ortiz  1928-29  
11 Romero, Ortega  1929-33  
12 Alfonso de Rosenzweig Díaz      1933-35  
13 Carlos Darío Ojeda  1935-36  
14 José Pérez Gil y Ortiz 1936-37  
15 Alfredo Breceda    1937-40  
16 Luciano Joublanc Riva   1941-45  
17 Francisco J. Aquilar  1945-47
18 Salvador R. Guzmán 1948-50  
19 Gilberto Bosques   1950-53  
20 Amalia de Castillo Ledón 1954-58  
21 Víctor Alfonso Maldonado 1958-60  
22 Agustín Leñero  

1961-62  

23 Carlos Gutiérrez Macías  1963-69  
24 Daniel Escalante 1969-71  
25 Guillermo Calderón Martínez 1971-74  
26 Francisco Castillo-Nájera Calvillo 1974-77  
27 Alfonso Castro-Valle  1977-82  
28 Juan José Bremer 1982 (may-dic)  
29 Andrés Rozental 1983-88  
30 Agustín García López Santaolalla 1988-91
31 Jorge Pinto Mazal  1991-94  
32 Lorenzo Vignal 1994-98  
33 Javier Barros Valero 

1998-2001  

34 Jorge Castro-Valle K.

2001-2003

35 Fernando Estrada Sámano ( designated)  

* The fact that two Chiefs of Mission were designated during the same period is explained because of the internal divisions existing during the years after the Revolution, in the term of office between the Presidencies of Venustiano Carranza and Alvaro Obregón.  In April 1920 the Agua Prieta uprising against Carranza and his government took place, concluding with his assassination in May 1920.