Thank you all for joining us tonight for this very special event. It’s a great pleasure for me to be here, and to be surrounded by the special energy of Mr. Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the exquisite architecture of the Franz Mayer museum.
On Monday, March 9, the U.S. Department of State in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. non-profit organization Concordia will kick-off its annual Global Partnerships Week (GPW). The celebration this week is in recognition of the critical role public-private partnerships play in promoting U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Tonight we want to honor our partners and celebrate the new environment that we have created for collaboration across diverse sectors here in Mexico. Thanks to your generosity and support, we are improving our programs by pooling the skills, knowledge, and expertise of both the public and private sectors. In doing so, we are producing outcomes with greater impact than any one partner could achieve on its own.
Somebody once defined jazz as “ music that includes qualities such as swing, improvising, group interaction, developing an ‘individual voice’, and to be open to different musical possibilities.” That is what we do through our public private partnerships – using our individual voices to create new harmonies and rhythms through group interaction. These kinds of partnerships are more important than ever in order for us to keep up in this changing world; they help us to adapt and succeed in our individual and collective goals — building on our common values and shared interests and uniting us as we build a better future for ourselves and our children. I’m not just talking about the government and the private sector working together; it’s much broader than that. I am referring to how we — all of us working together — can harness the energy of our entrepreneurs, our scientists, our students, our women and children to meet the great challenges of our time.
I am very proud of the work we have been doing together. Mission Mexico has actively and creatively cultivated a number of public-private partnerships on a wide range of topics. I am particularly proud to say that, thanks to all of you, last year we were named the “Embassy to Watch” in the State Department´s Global Partnership Report in 2014. This year we will continue to expand existing public private partnerships such as the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC), the Clean Tech Challenge, our Jóvenes en Acción program, the Music Committee, and the Feria de las Culturas Amigas.
We also started new partnerships such as the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research. Also with the Young Women’s Empowerment Program “Miss CEO” in Ciudad Juarez, which empowers at-risk young women by encouraging them to continue their education and become leaders; the Sports Committee, a program which uses sports and athletics to provide positive visions to Mexican youth as we encourage fair play and teamwork. We also have a partnership with Discovery Channel to promote STEM education.
In an effort to increase sustainable and replicable collaboration with Mexican public and private organizations, USAID recently launched its Mexican Partnership Program. USAID works together with private sector companies like CISCO and CEMEX, non-profit organizations like Youth Build International, foundations like the Carlos Slim Foundation, and education and research institutions like the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, to name only a few, to address key challenges in crime and violence prevention, rule of law, human rights, global climate change, economic competitiveness and workforce development.
I am convinced that together, we are uniquely positioned and equipped to take on the toughest challenges of our time. We are absolutely committed to continue working with all of you.
Thank you for what you have brought to our initiatives and programs: essential financial and in-kind resources, vital know-how, new perspectives and approaches, technology, key expertise and invaluable networks of people and organizations.
This is a memorable night; we have Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as the guests of honor. Most of you know of my passion for music. I´m convinced it´s not the genre of music that is important, what is important is the attitude, the goals and the dreams that can be achieved through talent, commitment and creativity. Thank you Mr. Marsalis and the Orchestra for letting us be part of the jam session, for sharing interest in improvisation with Mexican musicians, for showing us a different way of listening, of communicating musically, of understanding music, and for creating this magical environment.
Again, thank you to all our partners. My staff and I look forward to working with you in perfect harmony over the years to come.