Earlier this month, Dr Matthew O’Meagher, Director of the LatAm CAPE joined Hon Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s Minister of Education and government colleagues on a ministerial mission to Brazil and Chile to reconnect our country to South American educational partners. The visit to São Paulo included rich and productive dialogues with the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Sao Paulo Research Foundation, or FAPESP) and the Universidade de São Paulo which will continue upon Matthew’s return, along with meetings with partners in pre-COVID CAPE projects.
Following Brazil, the delegation travelled to Santiago, Chile. Matthew says, “We saw the strong desire of Chilean leaders to work with New Zealand counterparts on indigenous education and sustainability – two themes central to how our CAPE engages with this South Pacific neighbour.”
The formal programme concluded firstly with a meeting with Chile’s Council of Rectors, and then with a reception honouring 50 years of New Zealand embassies in Latin America – which we will mirror at home in coming months.
Matthew also had some great conversations with leading CAPE collaborators at AthenaLab, the Catholic University’s Centre for International Studies, Diego Portales University, the Chilean Pacific Foundation Fundación, and PUC Valparaíso, helping develop the next phase of LatAm CAPE’s key contribution to bilateral relations.
Matthew also said that of note was how deeply Brazilian and Chilean alumni of Kiwi institutions valued their time studying in our country.
Following Chile, Matthew continued separately on to Mexico City to visit educational institutions, meet agencies building bilateral relations, and reconnect to partners of LatAm CAPE. Strong opportunities emerged to develop our work in security dialogues and cultural bridges.