Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and U.S. Secretary Blinken.

Minister Mouynes meets with U.S. Secretary of State and Congressmen about migration and the state of democracy in Latin America

Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erika Mouynes, concluded a two-day visit to Washington, D.C. which included meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and senior members of Congress on the state of democracy in Latin America, migration, and other issues of mutual interest for Panama and the United States. Minister Mouynes also communicated to Secretary Blinken that Panama will send a delegation to participate in the IX Summit of the Americas, to be hosted by the United States in Los Angeles this June.  

Minister Mouynes highlighted Panama’s leadership in the Alliance for Development in Democracy – a trilateral partnership between Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic, three of the region’s most stable and open democracies – to strengthen democratic institutions and promote prosperity, economic revival, and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Together, these countries represent the third most important trading partner for the United States in Latin America, only surpassed by Mexico and Brazil. The Minister was joined in this meeting by her counterparts Rodolfo Solano and Roberto Álvarez, from Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, respectively. The Alliance will host its fourth presidential summit on March 21 in Costa Rica and has invited the United States to attend the event.  

“In these difficult times, cross-border challenges from migration to climate change are straining democratic institutions”, Minister Mouynes said. “International problems demand multilateral solutions. Rather than turning inward, the Alliance for Development in Democracy reflects Panama’s decision – and that of our partners – to double down on multilateral cooperation to show that democracy can deliver results on the critical issues facing our countries today.” 

“Coordinating with strategic partners like the United States is an important part of this effort, and I am grateful for the support President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and members of Congress have expressed for the Alliance”, the Minister added.  

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic also reiterated the Alliance’s position in condemning the use of force by the Russian Federation to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In a joint statement to the United Nations on behalf of the three countries, Panama emphasized that all efforts must be made to enable the rapid, safe and unhindered distribution of humanitarian assistance to those in need in Ukraine, especially children. The members of the Alliance, united in their respect for democratic values, international law, and the Charter of the United Nations, affirmed their conviction that multilateral dialogue constitutes the only guarantee for a lasting solution to this conflict. 

Minister Mouynes and her counterparts conveyed this information to Secretary Blinken and provided him with an update on how their countries are collaborating to manage other pressing challenges, including irregular migration. As a result of coordinated efforts to dismantle criminal smuggling networks and address other root causes of migration through Central America, the average daily number of migrants passing through Panama fell from 2,461 in August to 140 today. The three countries continue to work closely with the United States and international relief organizations to stabilize the political and economic situation in Haiti, which will be vital to reducing irregular migration numbers in the region long-term.  

Also during her visit to Washington, Foreign Minister Mouynes met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Juan Gonzalez, as well as members of Congress including Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) about the state of bilateral ties and opportunities for future collaboration in areas such as sustainable development, environmental conservation, and gender equality. This builds on the more than 60 meetings the Foreign Minister has held with senior members of Congress and the Biden administration, reflecting the strong state of the U.S.-Panama partnership.