Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group on September 18, 2012. The United States and Mexico established the High-Level Group as a Cabinet-level forum to provide strategic guidance and to review progress under our bilateral Merida partnership. This fourth meeting of the High-Level Group follows earlier meetings held in November 2008 in Washington, D.C., March 2010 in Mexico City, and April 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Secretary of State Clinton and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa will co-chair the September 18 meeting. Participants will include Cabinet secretaries and other officials from each government engaged on issues related to security and the rule of law. The agenda of the High-Level Consultative Group will center on the four broad areas of cooperation that President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa identified following their meetings in August 2009, May 2010, and March 2011:
The Merida Initiative is built on mutual trust, shared responsibility, respect for sovereignty, and recognition that our common interests require strong cooperation and long-term commitment to meet the challenges transnational organized crime poses.