Report on an Official visit to Mexico regarding the IIAS 2006 by armedman1


									 Report on an Official visit to Mexico regarding the IIAS 2006 Third
                Regional International Conference

                         November 30th –6th December 2004

                                    Michael Duggett
                                    Director General
                   International Institute of Administrative Sciences

The Governor of the State of Nuevo León invited the Institute, by a letter delivered in
Seoul, to come to Monterrey for its 2006 Conference. The Executive Committee
instructed the Director General to make an exploratory visit, which he did in
November 2004. The Director General reports that Mexico’s government will support
the conference in principle and that the INAP, the national school of administration
will assist. The host state, Nuevo León, is well organised and there is commitment
from the Governor who is well known to us and has a high national reputation
(though he is from the opposition party to the Fox Government in Mexico City).
Monterrey is in an attractive location with good transport links to the capital, close to
the US border, and with a suitable site for our conference. The universities there
would be a strong addition to the event and the themes that the Institute has at various
times suggested could be acceptable to them, especially “Transparency”. Finally,
with the experience of 1993 and the Toluca event and the support of Past President
Pichardo Pagaza, very widely respected in Mexico, the Director General is sure that
Mexico would not let the Institute down and that we can entrust them with organising
our 2006 Conference in July in Monterrey.

The Context I

   1. On the 14th of June 2004, in time for our 26 th Congress in Seoul, the Governor
      of the State of Nuevo León, Mr José Natividad Gonzalez Paras, a former
      Vice-President of the IIAS for Latin America wrote to me as Director General
      of the Institute to invite us to hold our third Regional International Conference
      in Monterrey in 2006. The Executive Committee of the Institute discussed this
      letter on 14th July. Minutes record “The Executive Committee accepted the
      invitation subject to the Director General’s report on his official visit. The
      Conference would be held in July 2006.” This note constitutes my report as so

   2. The Institute agreed to cover travel costs to Mexico; it was also agreed that my
      travel and hotel costs within Mexico itself would be covered by the Mexican
      authorities. The direct cost to the Institute was 521,60€ (Economy Flight
      Continental Airlines via new York to Mexico and back) plus some other
      internal charges (per diems, taxi…) making a total of around 600€. I made the
      journey on the dates agreed, as above, at the end of November and beginning
      of December 2004. This report will describe the visit and conclude with my
      Recommendations to the Institute Executive Committee on page 6.

   The Context II

3. The Institute has not held a conference on the American continent since 1997
   – Quebec in Canada – and not held one in Latin America since 1993 –Toluca
   in Mexico. The nearest we have come to it was in 2003 when our association
   of schools, IASIA, held a conference in Miami. The sequence of IIAS
   conferences held and planned in this century have been:
   2000 – Europe (Italy, Bologna)
   2001 - Europe (Greece, Athens)
   2002 - Asia South (India, New Delhi)
   2003 - Africa (Cameroon, Yaoundé)
   2004 - Asia East (Republic of Korea, Seoul)
   2005 - Europe (Germany, Berlin).
   It is certainly therefore appropriate for us as an International Institute to hold
   soon an event outside Europe and in the Americas.

4. The Institute is represented in Mexico by its National Section, the Instituto
   Nacional de Administracion Publica (INAP) whose President is Mr
   Alejandro Carrillo Castro, currently also our VP for Latin America (in
   succession to Mr José Natividad Gonzalez Paras in both positions). The INAP
   has been a member of the Institute since the 1950s and in recent years, as the
   Member State membership ceased, they have carried national responsibility
   within the IIAS for Mexico, and paid the membership fees. They of course
   have given us a distinguished former President in the form of Mr Ignacio
   Pichardo Pagaza, IIAS President 1998-2001. It was he, then Governor of the
   State of Mexico, that presided over our 1993 Toluca Conference, universally
   agreed to have been a great success.

The Official Visit – Chronology

5. I departed Brussels Airport at 0935 on the morning of Tuesday 30 th
   November, Continental Airlines, and arrived in Newark Airport at 1150 local
   time (a 7-hour flight). My flight by the same airline to Mexico City departed at
   1740 and arrived at 2200 local time. Mexico is 7 hours behind Brussels time.
   The total journey was around 19 hours, or 12 hours flying. Direct flights are
   available from London or Paris (or of course other major hub airports), with a
   saving in this case of about two hour’s flying time. The INAP representative,
   Dr María Eugenia Ramos-Francia (Maru) met me at the airport with a car
   and driver from INAP and drove me to the Intercontinental Presidente Hotel, a
   very comfortable hotel in a quiet part of Mexico City. Jet-lag imposed sleep.

Mexico City- Government
6. On the morning of Wednesday 1 st December I met over breakfast Mr Ignacio
   Pichardo Pagaza in company with his INAP colleague Maru. He described to
   me the current budget crisis in Mexico, with the President Mr. Vicente Fox in
   dispute with the Congress. President Fox is from the PAN party, which had
   won the Presidency through him in 2000 for the first time, after Mexico had
   been ruled by the PRI party almost continuously since the 1920s. It is no
   secret that both Mr. Pichardo and Mr. Carrillo Castro are distinguished figures
   from the PRI. My first meeting that day (with the two INAP colleagues

           mentioned above) was with Mrs Guadalupe Chequer Mencarini, Sub-
           Secretary at the ministry for the Control and Audit of Public Management 1.
           She explained to me that the Fox Government (for whom she worked and who
           had appointed her) placed great importance on the theme of good government,
           as had been seen at the 2002 Global Forum of the UN held in Mexico. She
           listed the principles the Government stood for in public administration, which
           included e-government, professionalism, transparency, innovation and quality.
           She added that the Ministry and the Government would give their general
           support to our conference and saw it as “of interest to this ministry”, and that
           if we could let them have an early date there was a good chance Mr. Fox could
           open the event. (2006 is election year in Mexico, but Mr. Fox, under the
           constitution, is forbidden from standing again.) She herself committed to
           working with us, with a small group of colleagues, and of course they would
           cooperate closely with the INAP and with Governor José Natividad Gonzalez
           Paras. (I should add that she stated she had been a middle-level official earlier
           in her career under Mr. Pichardo and was honoured to have this renewed
           connection with him.)

       Mexico City- INAP
       7. In the afternoon I visited the INAP itself, a most impressive building with a
          superb library and good facilities, where we had lunch. Unfortunately, Mr
          Pichardo explained to me, our colleague and their President Mr. Alejandro
          Carrillo Castro was in Argentina, but I was able to meet many of the key
          INAP staff. Since 2001 the INAP – which ran courses and trained officials -
          had not been in receipt of Government funding, and had needed to concentrate
          hard on its core tasks, reduce staff and so on, but there was a hope that for
          2005 this position might change. They gave their full support to the 2006
          Conference being held in Mexico and in Monterrey. One of the INAP
          colleagues, Professor Elena Jeannetti Davila, I had met earlier in the month
          at the Ankara meeting of the Board of IASIA where she had represented Mr.
          Alejandro Carrillo Castro. In the late afternoon I bought myself a new suitcase
          after the airline had destroyed the one I had left Brussels with, at a huge new
          shopping mall including one of the trademark “Liverpool” department stores. I
          dined in an excellent Italian restaurant within the hotel

       Mexico City-Monterrey
       8. On Thursday 2nd December after Maru and her driver took me to Mexico
          City’s very busy and thriving (many porters - few trolleys) Benito Juarez
          Airport I flew in a modern Aeromexico Airbus 330 north to Monterrey, the
          flight lasting one hour. Both are modern international airports, Monterrey
          serving a number of US partners but with few direct international flights.
          Monterrey is a business city of over one million people, many endlessly busy
          roads. It is surrounded by mountains. A two-hour drive will get you to the
          southern borders of Texas, and with NAFTA that has made Monterrey hum. I
          was met by a member of the Governor’s staff, Mr Raymundo Rodriguez
          Diego and a driver, who took me to another Intercontinental Presidente Hotel.
          The weather was cool but not cold for November. In the afternoon we visited
          the IAP, a unit of the INAP, which trains officials from the Nuevo León

    Subsecretaria de control y auditoria de la gestion publica

   province, especially focussing on leadership. Mr José Cardenas Cavazos and
   his colleagues entertained me to lunch. I was able to eat for the first time a
   “cabrito” or leg of young goat, a meat dish for which Nuevo León is justly
   famous, though I confess the chillies were too much for me. Monterrey is the
   home of the Mexican world-famous beer industry (Sol being the best-known
   although everyone there drinks Dos Esquis - two stars).

Monterrey - University
9. After lunch I was taken to see the Tecnologico de Monterrey, technical
   university of Monterrey, which has 100,000 students and a high reputation. On
   the way it was explained to me that President Fox was in Monterrey that day,
   speaking alongside the Governor Mr Gonzales Paras. At the university I met
   several of the teaching staff in the EGAP, the school of public administration.
   Much of their teaching is done in association with the Kennedy and other
   international Schools, and they carry out consultancy work and much training.
   Mr Vidal Garza Cantu is the leading figure I met. They offered to play a key
   role in organising the conference and giving an intellectual back-up.

Monterrey - Governor’s House
10. After the EGAP Raymondo and his driver took me to meet the Governor’s
    chief of staff for a preparatory meeting. Mr Gonzalez Paras has an official
    residence as well as the historic palace in the heart of the city. The residence is
    a European-architect-designed modern house, mindful of security but calm
    and well-organised. Mr Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal is a multi-lingual and
    cool official who has worked in Washington at the World Bank and is the
    closest adviser to the Governor. We established some logistical matters about
    the conference, so that when I met the Governor on the next day we could
    focus on scientific matters. After the meeting Raymond and I shared an
    excellent draught beer in one of the many mini-breweries around Monterrey. I
    was able to pay in dollars.

Monterrey – Fundidora Park
11. On the morning of Friday December 3 rd I was able, with Raymundo and with
    another colleague from the Governor’s office Roberto Moyar, to visit a
    proposed site for our conference. Fundidora Park was the area of Monterrey
    where in the early and middle 20th century there was a large iron and steel-
    works. This has long since closed down but the Government of the state has
    chosen to turn the area concerned into an attractive park and museum of
    industrial history. The landscaped park has a small road-train that takes its
    victors round the Boulevard Acero (“Steel Boulevard”) to see the different
    sites. My guide was Sara Quiroga Rodriguez. She showed me the old
    smelting towers and other equipment, beautifully preserved and rather
    impressive. There is an “Engine Room” they use for functions which is
    dominated by a huge American-built piece of equipment, whose solidity
    reminds one of the meaning of the word “heavy industry”. With glass and
    modern lighting it is worth seeing, and one can climb all over it without the
    need of hard hats nowadays. The park contains a race-track for cars and a
    theme-park (Sesame Street) for children. In its centre are two well-equipped
    buildings (one of which was an Administration centre once shelled by Pancho
    Villa) for the holding of medium-sized meetings, entitled “Cineteca” and

   “Fototeca”. Each has a large 300-seating chamber on the ground floor and
   five or six smaller 100-seating rooms. Obviously, the one holds a cinema and
   the other a photographic exhibition. Both are air-conditioned, new, and
   designed for medium-sized events, and they are one-minute apart and five-ten
   minutes from the Holiday Inn hotel in the park on foot. The building are old
   but renovated tastefully and have a sense of the place and the history

12. The Holiday Inn is a four-star hotel that serves the park. It has 250 rooms of
    good quality; I visited one shown by its manager Mr Alvaro Lopez. Rooms
    are available at around 150$ per night. It has a pool and a health centre and
    good air-conditioning. Opposite it, just outside the Park is the Hotel
    AntariSuite. From the Holiday inn there is a Corredor de las Naciones which
    walks one down, through trees, as I mentioned, to the Cineteca/Fototeca.
    There is also a covered way connection to the enormous Cintermex, a custom-
    built conference centre able to take gatherings of several thousand. Its sales
    director Mr Gerardo Lozano Lopez showed me this international centre,
    which has the large open rooms that can be split into smaller ones that are
    state-of-the-art for conferences today. The Cintermex also has a selection of
    fast-food restaurants. Behind it is a huge Coca-Cola Auditorium for pop
    concerts and other large events. Personally I found the style of the larger
    centre efficiently international.

Monterrey – Governor’s House
13. I was driven back to the Governor’s residence for the formal meeting with Mr
    José Natividad Gonzalez Paras. (Much of the meeting was conducted in
    French. A language he learned while studying in Paris). He wishes the
    Institute and his former colleagues on its Executive Committee well; and after
    his election in 2004 he will remain Governor for one fixed term for five years,
    so he will remain Governor during the period of the conference in 2006. I have
    a general sense that, although he is PRI and therefore of a different party to the
    central Government (PAN), he is well-respected in Mexico City as well as
    being highly esteemed for his administrative abilities. We agreed a number of
    points that are shown below and that I make as Recommendations to the
    Executive Committee.

Monterrey – Santiago and Cola de Caballo Waterfalls
14. In the afternoon I was taken for lunch to a very charming old-style Mexican
    town, Santiago, now a smart commuter-village for the businessmen of
    Monterrey, where the Las Palomas restaurant serves superb traditional food.
    Raymundo left me at this point and I was for the rest of my time looked after
    by Mr Roberto Moyar. We drove out to see a delightful waterfall – Cascada
    de Cola de Caballo (“Horse-tail Falls”) up in the hills around Monterrey,
    which will be a superb half-day trip for accompanying persons. There is there
    a “Bungee-jump” facility, with a drop of several hundred metres – which I
    declined (the cost is 30 dollars, and if the rope breaks you will not yourself get
    the money back). There is a delightful hotel there high up and quiet and you
    can sit in a restaurant and watch the falls all-day if you wish. Since Monterrey
    is a busy city it needs lungs like this.

Monterrey- Grutas de Garcia Caves
15. On Saturday 4th December Roberto and his driver took me 50 kilometres
    through very dry country (this is the arid north of Mexico) to the caves at
    Grutas de Garcia. To reach them you travel in a new cable-car (run by a Swiss
    Company to whom there is a reassuring direct real-time computer-link, I saw
    it) to the enormous and charming caves, 50-million years in the making and
    always cool - this may be attractive in July. The guide shows you stalactitites
    and stalagmites that are locally seen as of religious significance and
    symbolism in their being shaped by divine agency. The tour takes about one
    hour. There is a restaurant where one cave exits, with a view that reminded me
    of the lower slopes of the Himalayas. After cities mountains, like waterfalls,
    do you good.

Return Journey
15. I travelled back to the airport in Monterrey and thence back to Mexico City on
    Saturday night and the next day Sunday flew back to Brussels via New York,
    arriving back early in the morning of Monday 6 th December. My thanks must
    go to all those that made this official visit so enjoyable, some of whom I hope
    I have mentioned by name in this note. My Recommendations follow.

The Recommendations

       o That the Institute holds its Third Regional International Conference in
         Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico;
       o That it does so between Sunday 16 th and Thursday 20 th July 2006;
       o That the main theme could involve a focus on “Transparency in Public
         Administration”, which met with the assent of both Governor José
         Natividad Gonzalez Paras and Mrs Chequer Mencarini for the
       o That our main partner is the State Government of Nuevo León in
         Monterrey working locally with the IAP, the EGAP and of course at a
         national level with the INAP of Mexico and naturally the relevant
       o That Governor José Natividad Gonzalez Paras be invited to chair the
         Organising Committee of the event;
       o That Mr. Alejandro Carrillo Castro be invited to chair a Mexican
         Panel during the event and we consider inviting either the Director
         General of the EGAP in Monterrey or Professor Maria Carmen del
         Pardo to act as the Mexican Rapporteur;
       o That the President of Mexico be invited to open the event through the
         good graces of the public service ministry, who will need to be heavily
         involved in the work of the Organising Committee;

           o That it is located in the Fundidora Park and in the two buildings
             Fototeca and Cineteca specified above, using the Holiday Inn as main
             conference hotel;
           o That Mr Ildefonso Guajardo and one member of his staff be invited
             free of registration to attend the Berlin event in 2005.

Michael Duggett
Director General
International Institute of Administrative Sciences
January 2005


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