Contenido principal del artículo
Education and culture are both elements of social cohesion and integration, and triggers of scientific and technological progress. Today they are a guiding principle of international cooperation, and it is because of this that cooperation in these areas is acquiring renewed importance in international relations. This essay centers on cultural cooperation, which in the case of Mexico, takes two directions: defense of cultural patrimony, and the dissemination of artistic activities. Art and culture, Jaime Nualart explains, are the best ambassadors of a nation. With this in mind, the Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Educational and Cultural Cooperation Desk of the Mexican Institute of International Cooperation (Imexci), encourages bilateral or multilateral educational and cultural agreements and programs regulated by a program negotiation and/or renewal mechanism established in the 1995- 2000 National Development Plan. In this way, educational cooperation is given a strategic value that focuses on the formation of human resources and on the exchange of experts, as well as on the preparation and execution of joint projects, joint financing of priority actions, specialized advisory activity, and exchange of materials. According to the author, in facing the challenges, the Imexci has to be supported by the work of cooperation functionaries —formerly called cultural attachés—, whose professionalism and experience work together to provide feedback for the Ministry’s decisions in terms of priorities and forms of cultural and educational cooperation. The new view of culture is sustained by significant economic activity, since cultural industries are in the process of global expansion. The State, the author concludes, will have tofind the formulae that allow it to adapt to a process in which culture acts explicitly in the political, social and economic life of peoples.