In a moving ceremony that gathered numerous authorities from UNAM and other universities in the U.S, among them the universities of Chicago, Loyola, UIC, DePaul, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Indiana, California State and Arizona State, the series organized by UNAM Chicago and the Center for Research on North America (CISAN), was formally inaugurated.
Attending the event were directors of institutes and centers of the humanities, their respective professors and researchers, as well as directors from representations of UNAM abroad as well as a substantial number of diplomats from Mexico, the U.S, Canada, Central and South America.
The keynote remarks were given by Guadalupe Valencia García, Coordinator of the Humanities at UNAM, who mentioned that almost half of the representations from our university abroad are located in North America which is a testament of the importance that the university places in the diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States and the academic, scientific and cultural interactions that have contributed to improved diplomatic exchanges between the two.
The Coordinator for International Relations (CRAI), Francisco Trigo Tavera, addressed the audience and referred to this series of dialogues as an effort that contributes to the academic analysis and reflections worthy of the importance of the relationship between two countries, that not only share a great neighborhood, but more importantly, are inhabited by millions of Mexicans and Americans that interact in both sides of the border. He underscored that this series of roundtables are the university´s contribution to the bilateral relationship, hence his gratitude towards all the academics and diplomats from North America taking part in the series.
The inauguration included remarks from representatives from both embassies. From the U.S William Ostick, Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy and from the Mexican Embassy, Ix-Nic Iruegas director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C.
Mr. Ostick referred to the efforts by the current U.S ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, to find innovative mechanisms that will allow an increase in student and academic exchanges between both countries, which he recognized, are well below what one would expect from two neighbors and friends. Meanwhile, Ix-Nic Iruegas considered this to be a pertinent moment to celebrate, evaluate and promote the diverse episodes in both country´s shared history as well as the need to reflect and advance solutions to mutual challenges.
The director of CISAN, Graciela Martínez-Zalce, considered that it would not be exagerated to state that in our university the study of the United States has been prevalent in multiple areas therefore the importance of these dialogues that aim to articulate aspects about the many complex dimensions of our shared history. The director of UNAM Chicago, Guillermo Pulido, underscored that in a polarized world in which extremes threaten nature, peaceful coexistence and the development of societies, scientific knowledge and the will to advance in conflict resolution become opportunities where universities and diplomats play a fundamental role in the study of U.S-Mexico relations.