Città del Messico - National Palace, 04/07/2016
(National Palace, Monday 4 July 2016)
Representatives of the powers of State,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with feelings of the greatest respect that I would like to thank you for your kind words and for your warm welcome over the course of this State Visit to the United Mexican States.
I am particularly honoured to be here today in the Palacio Nacional, at the very heart of this wonderful city, next to the site of the Templo Mayor with its vestiges of an extraordinary empire, whose pride and strength still today permeate this extraordinary country.
Twenty years on from the last visit by a President of the Italian Republic, I am happy to renew Italy's friendship with Mexico and give further vigour to a bilateral relationship that is solid, particularly dynamic and packed with opportunities.
There is a convergence of interests and increasing collaboration between Mexico City and Rome. From multilateral issues within the United Nations and the G20 to collaboration on legal matters and the fight against corruption, as well as cultural, scientific and economic collaboration, there is no area in which cooperation between our two countries does not bring excellent results. The agreements signed in our presence bear witness to this.
It is only natural that from these premises a strong strategic partnership has developed, which benefits from the powerful ties binding Mexico City with the European Union.
A few days ago Italy and the Netherlands decided to share the responsibility of sitting on the United Nations Security Council for the next two years. I am certain that these two years will clearly show how two founding countries of the Union can work together to develop ever stronger relations within the international community.
We are aware of the scale of our undertaking and we firmly believe that we can carry it out all the more effectively if we can count on your cooperation, that of a country with which we share the same vision of the international order based on ideals of democracy, peace, freedom and justice.
A condition currently threatened by blood-shedding terrorism which only few days ago hit the capital city of Bangladesh, taking the lives of nine Italian nationals among many others. The very same ruthless violence that caused the death of two Mexican citizens, in the month of November last.
Starting with barbaric terrorism, the breadth of the contemporary world's challenges, such as migration, environmental protection, the need for fair and sustainable development, require a concerted effort.
Building a widely shared response is a goal that unites us and that - I am certain - will continue to characterise our countries' actions in all the international assemblies they operate in.
Estamos juntos, we stand united in this battle of civilizations.
Our economic and trade relations are broad and diversified.
There are over 1,600 Italian businesses in Mexico, both great and small, working in the most varied sectors. It is proof of our economic bilateral partnership's vitality that, even in difficult times, Italian businesses continued to bank on your country's strength and dynamism.
I am certain that over the next few years, thanks also to the ambitious reform programme pursued by the Mexican Government, trade and investment opportunities will increase, further benefiting the growth of our economies.
Italian businesses, world leaders in many sectors from energy to mechanics, from the automotive industry to defence, display an ever increasing interest in the Mexican market due to its openness, as proven by Mexico's long-standing NAFTA membership and the dynamism of the Pacific Alliance.
However, the economic prism is by no means the only one through which to look at our relations with Mexico.
With their ancient civilisations, Mexico and Italy's intense and fruitful dialogue can be traced back to their cultural roots. The sector of cultural cooperation has significantly gained in momentum and still has great strategic potential.
Mexico and Italy can contribute to a more just and civil international order through continued stable collaboration on justice and security, the fight against organised crime, drugs trafficking and corruption. These are scourges that claim victims, endanger social cohesion and drain away precious resources for the development and growth of our countries.
The friendly relations between Mexico and Italy have strong and deep roots. Giuseppe Garibaldi, grandson of the hero of the Italian Risorgimento, bravely fought in the Mexican Revolution. Boari's Palacio de Bellas Artes and the University of Mexico's Torre de Rectoría by Pani, a Mexican architect of Italian descent, are tangible signs of Italy's presence in the heart of this country, while Tina Modotti's unforgettable photographs helped spread the image of Mexico and the splendid works of the great muralist Diego Rivera.
Land of freedom, during the dark days of Nazism and Fascism in Europe, Mexico hosted important Italian anti-fascist figures, such as Leo Valiani.
Cradle of magnificent civilisations still shrouded in mystery, Mexico continues to be irresistibly appealing to Italy and the thousands of Italians who decide to visit it every year. Thousands of years of history combine with the fame of Mexican artists appreciated throughout the world: I think here of Jorge Ibargüengoitia's biting prose, as well as more recent Mexican authors who are proving increasingly successful in Italy, and the provocative genius of Oscar Winner Alejandro González Iñárritu.
I would like to conclude by quoting the words of the great Mexican poet and Nobel Prize winner, Octavio Paz : "Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two". Mexico and Italy are not stuck in the past, but they conserve its memory, ready to defend their traditions and cultures, their values, but at the same time open to change.
It is the unique ability to engage in dialogue between the past and the future that makes our countries extraordinary and ready to look ahead with serenity.
I invite you all to raise your glasses to the prosperity of the Mexican and Italian people, to your good health and to the friendship between Mexico and Italy.
LONG LIVE MEXICO!
LONG LIVE ITALY!