Minister Tewaney Returns to Washington

Following a trip to India, Minister Tewaney continued a busy beginning to the new year with a visit to Washington. The trip to the U.S. capital, Minister Tewaney’s third since November, offered opportunities to further deepen Panama’s collaboration with its most important geostrategic ally. During her meetings, Minister Tewaney emphasized Panama’s leadership in confronting the migration crisis, building economic resiliency in Latin America, and catalyzing global action on conservation in the lead-up to the Our Ocean conference in Panama City. Through meetings with senior officials in the Biden administration and members of Congress, Minister Tewaney and her delegation laid further foundations for progress on these issues with the U.S. 

The centerpiece of the visit was a panel hosted by the Wilson Center, one of Washington’s premier think tanks. The panel focused on the upcoming Our Ocean Conference, to be hosted in Panama City in March. The discussion, featuring Minister Tewaney and U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, focused on Panama’s goals for the Our Ocean Conference and the role of the United States in supporting global marine protection. Panama’s sustainability achievements took center stage during the panel, along with the potential for greater government-to-government and public-private collaboration to prevent the further destruction of marine environments. 

Panama’s role as host of the Our Ocean conference is just the latest example of its leadership in advocating for protecting marine ecosystems. As a member of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, for instance, Panama has been instrumental in creating the largest protected marine corridor in the world. 

“Panama is no stranger to the importance of ocean conservation. Whether through fishing, trade, or tourism, Panamanians’ livelihoods have always been tied to the sea, and we in turn recognize the importance of protecting the marine environments that provide so much for our people,” said Minister Tewaney.   

While in Washington, Minister Tewaney met with senior U.S. leaders at the State Department including Chris Dodd, Special Advisor to the President on the Americas. During these meetings, Minister Tewaney provided a briefing on the state of the migration crisis and Panama’s role in driving a regional response and discussed ways in which the U.S. can support Panama and others as they seek to address the root causes of migration. She also highlighted Panama’s work as a promotor of democratic values in Latin America as a founding member of the Alliance for Development in Democracy. This initiative has garnered praise from senior U.S. leaders like Vice President Kamala Harris

In addition, Minister Tewaney met with senior U.S. officials to overview actions taken by Panama to improve financial transparency and combat money laundering, discussing ways in which the U.S. and Panama can collaborate towards the country’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list.”  

Following the meetings, Minister Tewaney remarked on the close historic ties between Panama and the U.S.: “In Panama, we’re proud to enjoy a strong relationship with the U.S., grounded in democratic values. We are aligned on some of the most important issues of our time, including sustainability and a commitment to democratic values. My most recent visit to Washington will help us drive forward our joint initiatives on both of these fronts.” 

Panama looks forward to collaborating with the U.S. on these issues and more in the months and years to come.