The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), a key partner for the growth of the MVCH
When the Virtual Museum of Sister Cities (MVCH) was launched in August 2020 (with very few resources along its four different exhibition halls) it was hard to imagine which could be the overall patterns for its growth, positioning, and consolidation.
As it was originally conceived, we thought that the collaboration with municipalities and/or cities both within Mexico and abroad would guarantee the growth of the MVCH; however, as the geographical realities (access locations of the website’s visits showed towards November 2020, it was increasingly obvious that some partnerships aiming at accomplishing greater visibility and geographical breadth was “a must” for reaching the present (and future) audiences.
Fortunately for the MVCH, we found great echo, enthusiasm, and leadership at Dirección General de Coordinación Política at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE). Since our very first virtual meeting with Francisco R. Chacón Vidales (The Chair of the Department for the Follow-up of Interinstitutional Agreements), it became clear that the MVCH could team up with SRE as a powerful outlet for the strengthening, visibility and the rational and meaningful conduction of paradiplomatic activity in Mexico, in this case for the promotion and diffusion of an innovative tool for (re)launching sisterhood agreements, many of which have been dormant for years if not decades.
Later on, at the dawn of 2021, Monserrat Iglesias Servin, Joint General Director of Political Coordination within SRE wrote a relevant blog for the MVCH in which she explained how the interinstititional agreements may (and oftentimes do) promote local development, not limited to economic growth.
As 2021 is expected to be the year when the local, state, and federal locations, activities, and economic activities re-open and/or blossom again, the MVCH vows to become a small part of the relaunching efforts of cities to (re)position concrete, local territories. Certainly, the contents could not be gathered and displayed without the city’s and/or municipalities’ commitments and efforts. However, even when these materials may be gathered and displayed within the webiste of MVCH, the contents themselves are far from reaching the large audiences we aim to reach. This is where Embamex and Consulmex, with its considerable geographical reach comes into play.
As of March 24, 2021, the MVCH has been promoted by the following Mexican embassies abroad: The Mexican Embassy in Colombia, the Mexican Embassy in Panama, and the Mexican Embassy in Israel. Additionally, The Mexican Consulate in Douglas (Arizona, United States), The Mexican Consulate in Yuma (Arizona, United States), as well as the Mexican Consulate in Guangzhou, China have kindly shared our website within their websites and/or social networks. This would have been unthinkable without the MVCH’s primary appearance within the webiste of Dirección General de Coordinación Política and without the will, enthusiasm, and leadership of Francisco R. Chacón Vidales.
The collaboration between the MVCH and SRE is far from over. In past weeks we have been making inroads with Cultural Diplomacy, headed by Dr. Enrique Márquez. We want to thank Dr. Márquez and his assistant, Teresa Espinasa for allowing us to explore further collaboration. We are sure that this collaboration is key for the MVCH’s further positioning and most of all, that it will pave the way for a national strategy for relaunching the hundreds of sisterhood agreements that over 100 Mexican cities have signed over the years.
Dr. Daniel Añorve Añorve
Profesor del Departamento de Estudios Políticos y de Gobierno
Universidad de Guanajuato