Mexico's attorney general addresses Chevening Scholars at FCO reception

12 Feb 2016
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Over a hundred Chevening Scholars from North and Central America attended a reception hosted by the Americas Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Chevening Scholars were joined by ambassadors and senior diplomats from the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.

Hugo Swire, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, opened the networking event with a speech in which he emphasised his pride in the Chevening Scholarships programme, which over the last 33 years has produced over 44,000 alumni, many of whom have become ‘movers and shakers’ in their respective countries. He encouraged the scholars present to utilise the global network to sustain strong bonds with other members of the Chevening community and with the UK.

‘Whether you’re in Beijing or Singapore, Buenos Aires, New York or Trinidad, you can tap into the Chevening network and become part of a group who may not have had the same experience as you in the United Kingdom, but at least they would have had the same opportunity that you have had to study here’.

The guest of honour was Arely Gómez González, the Director of Public Prosecutions of Mexico, who herself studied in the UK and was back in the UK to deepen cooperation between the two countries in areas pertaining to justice and human rights. Addressing the scholars, she spoke about the power of collaboration, and how educational exchange can help solve global issues:

‘The training that you are acquiring and the expertise that you are growing shall be the grounds for building solutions to the problems that we face in this ever globalising world. Take good advantage of this opportunity.’

Mexico boasts the largest number of Chevening Scholars in 2015/2016, with 101 currently on award at various universities across the UK. The Mexican Embassy in London’s delegation was led by Ambassador Diego Gómez Pickering, with the embassies of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Cuba also represented. Baroness Hooper, who is president of the UK parliamentary committee on Latin America and also had a distinguished legal career, was also present.

Summarising the event, Nicaraguan Chevening Scholar, Sara Ivette Poveda, who is studying at St Andrew’s said of the evening:

‘I was inspired by Mr Swire’s speech and extremely humbled by the time he dedicated to us all. I was really touched that Chevening is equally committed to providing scholars with access to the world’s best universities, and to encouraging us to develop new friendships inside an influential global network.’

Prior to the reception, scholars were given a tour of the King Charles Street building, which made an impression on them.

Sara concluded: ‘I will always cherish the memories of this night, as it reminded us of the great blessing we have upon us, and, as such, the great responsibilities we also have towards our countries and the United Kingdom. I feel motivated to become one of the future leaders that we are called to be.’