Summary

  • Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken traveled to Panama April 19-20 to co-host a Ministerial Conference on Migration and Protection with the Government of Panama.  Following the commitments expressed at the Regional Migration Ministerial in Colombia in October 2021, Secretary Blinken and representatives of regional governments participating in the Ministerial discussed collaboration on safe, orderly, and humane migration throughout our hemisphere.  Bringing together leaders from twenty Western Hemisphere nations, this Ministerial represented an important step forward in developing a migration management and protection framework for the Americas.

  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas joined Secretary Blinken in Panama.  The United States was also  represented by State Department Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian A. Nichols and Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Noyes, DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Serena Hoy, DHS Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy Blas Nunez Neto, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean Marcela Escobari, and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Transborder Security Catherine Tobin.

  • While in Panama, Secretary Blinken met with President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, international organizations, and NGOs to discuss economic recovery; migration; protection for refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable migrants; anti-corruption efforts; and support for civil society, in addition to other regional and bilateral issues of importance to the United States and Panama.  The Secretary also toured the Panama Canal to review this vital component of regional and international trade and hosted a roundtable discussion with regional civil society leaders focused on transparency and anti-corruption efforts, a growing challenge for democracy and economic stability in the hemisphere.

  • Through this visit, the Secretary drew further attention and excitement in the region towards the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California on June 6-10, 2022, where Western Hemisphere leaders will expand on efforts to address our hemisphere’s most pressing issues with the aim of building a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future.

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