For three days, the government representatives of 23 countries of Latin America, the Caribbean region and the Holy See met at the International Conference of States convened by UNESCO in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the final revision of the proposed text of the new Convention for the recognition of studies, diplomas and higher education qualifications in Latin America and the Caribbean region, called the “Mexico City Convention”.
The Mexico City Convention is a regional convention on the recognition of studies, diplomas and degrees of higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was adopted in Mexico City on 19 July 1974 and entered into force on 14 June 1975. It was ratified by 17 countries (two of which later withdrew). 12 of the 38 possible member countries belong to the Latin American region of UNESCO. Given the 45 years since its adoption, and the subsequent Lisbon Convention, and more recently, the Conventions of Tokyo and Addis Ababa, its due update had been a cause for discussion in recent years. The Holy See, which has always been active through its institutions of higher education and ecclesiastical studies in various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, was also involved as an expert in the preparatory work and committed itself to promoting mutual recognition also in the Latin American continent.
In addition to the Holy See, the 23 delegates were from Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The new regional Convention was adopted unanimously and was then signed by those 13 representatives who acted at this meeting as plenipotentiary representatives, namely: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Holy See and Venezuela.
It is open to the accession of all the States of Latin America and the Caribbean region, the other Member States of UNESCO and the Holy See, and will enter into force after the ratification of four States in the Latin American region.
This tool commits the member States to adopt all necessary measures to recognize the studies, the degrees and diplomas of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean according to the terms established in the new Convention and according to the specific norms that discipline them.
With this legal and political commitment, the academic mobility of the region will be favoured, with its positive effects both in intra-regional cooperation and in the long-awaited regional integration.