Wednesday 1 November, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Mexico City for the meeting of the French-Mexican Strategic Committee (CSFM). Co-chaired by Pierre-André de Chalendar and Fernando Chico-Pardo, the CSFM was set up to nurture proposals and projects aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation between the two nations. Comprising 50 French and Mexican dignitaries, the committee met on the occasion of the visit of Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the signature of a joint statement cementing the French-Mexican strategic partnership. After their meeting, the CSFM members were received by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Mexico is a key player in space that first started launching its SatMex commercial telecommunications satellites with Ariane in the mid-1980s. It has also been using imagery from the French SPOT and Pleaides satellites for nearly 30 years, in particular for land planning and natural resource management applications. With its extensive coastal regions, Mexico’s needs in the domain of oceanography are considerable and space technologies supplied by CNES and its subsidiary CLS have gone a long way towards meeting them. Today, it is pursuing new ambitions through its MexSat government telecommunications programme and in the field of Earth observation.
Since the signature in 2014 of a framework agreement in Mexico City, CNES and the Mexican space agency AEM have engaged in very fruitful cooperation, combining their efforts to curb climate change. This cooperation led to them organizing the meeting of heads of space agencies from around the world, also in Mexico City, in September 2015 and to the adoption of the Mexico Declaration that was instrumental in putting the role of satellites high on the agenda in the run-up to the COP21 conference.
After this visit, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “Once more, this meeting of the CSFM illustrated the rich and close partnership that France and Mexico have forged, as President Peña Nieto underlined when he received the committee’s members. Our cooperation in space is continuing as we prepare for the meeting of space agencies in Paris on 11 December. The vital role of satellites was again fully apparent in the response to the earthquakes that recently hit Mexico, for which the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters was activated to help coordinate relief efforts.”
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