Meridian Reads: Mexican diplomacy, Davos and Baghdad



Hey there, Meridian Readers! We know it feels like January 74th, and the current news cycle doesn’t always help. We’re here to deliver the top points you’ll need to get through your week, let’s dive in.

Mexican diplomacy has gone feminist

Publication: Foreign Policy | By Lyric Thompson

  • Here’s the deal: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has boldly reoriented the country’s foreign policy toward gender equality, and last week Mexico became the first global south country— and only the third country worldwide— to launch an explicitly feminist foreign policy.
  • “The government of Mexico is feminist, and our foreign policy should be, too,” said Foreign Secretary Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón.
    • Starting now, the new policy mandates that gender equality be core to all aspects of Mexican foreign policy.
  • The Mexican policy is already setting the tone for other countries that want to follow suit as they grapple with how best to take on the most pressing issues facing the world today: violence and war, climate change, and structural and social inequality.
  • Wondering what exactly is a ‘feminist’ foreign policy?
    • You’re not alone.
    • The feminist foreign policy is based on five principles that rule all foreign-policy activities:
      • Conducting all aspects of foreign policy with the intent to advance gender equality and a feminist agenda
      • Achieving gender parity at all levels of staff in the foreign ministry
      • Combatting all forms of gender-based violence
      • Making equality visible
      • Practicing intersectional feminism, which is to say, an approach that values not only women’s rights but also other intersecting social, economic, and environmental justice issues.
  • So… when will all this take off?
    • Trainings, workshops, working groups, and manuals are to be developed and deployed within the first year.
    • By 2024, the government is aiming for full employment parity, equal pay, and the application of a gender lens to every foreign-policy position, resolution, and mandate

Davos ends with disagreement on climate and Greta Thunberg on the march

Publication: CNN Business | By Julia Horowitz and Hadas Gold Related image

  • The annual meeting of the world’s business and political leaders in Davos wrapped up Friday with two of the world’s most powerful people disagreeing over how to address the climate crisis and youth activists excoriating the global elite for not doing enough to prevent global warming. Big yikes.
  • After a week of discussions at the World Economic Forum that were dominated by how to tackle the biggest problem the planet faces, the last big event of the conference produced a tense exchange between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank.
    • Mnuchin, who earlier this week questioned the credentials of climate activist Greta Thunberg, told panelists that long-term planning is futile when it comes to analyzing and containing climate change.
    • Lagarde disagreed. It was crucial to assess the risk that climate change poses to financial markets and the economy, she said, so it can be “anticipated, measured” and “hopefully mitigated.”
  • Where does this take us?
    • Not far. The summit broke up with most delegates agreeing there’s a big problem but little consensus on what should happen next.
    • However, some commitments from the conference could come to light in coming days. World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab kicked off the week with a letter asking that companies in attendance commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The conference has not yet disclosed how many firms signed on.

Thousands in Bagdhad protest U.S. troops: