Polish Ambassador to Mexico Beata Wojna marked her country’s national day Friday with a diplomatic reception at her Lomas de Chapultepec residence and an upbeat speech about the flourishing bilateral ties between her nation and Mexico.After briefly acknowledging the historical importance of the day — which commemorates Poland’s 1791 constitution (a document that would eventually lay the foundation for transforming that country into the modern, pluralist state that it is today) — Wojna outlined the current areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries.“In the last 12 months, we have witnessed a flurry of high-level exchanges at the chancellery and political consultation level,” she said in her official welcome speech, before inviting her guests to savor a succulent sit-down lunch of roast duck and baked apples in blueberry sauce.“The last year was also a period of strategic reflection regarding the development of our two-way relations. That resulted in the drafting of a document that has been approved by both our ministries recommending the strengthening of Polish-Mexican relations which will soon be officially announced and will guide our binational ties in years ahead.”[caption id="attachment_15292" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Polish Ambassador to Mexico Beata Wojna. Photo: The News/Thérèse Margolis
[/caption]Wojna went on to say that Poland and Mexico have also increased their bilateral teamwork on the human and developmental levels through people-to-people exchanges between public institutions, businesses and universities.“In order to accomplish that goal, we are working closely with the Mexican Embassy in Warsaw, which will soon have a new ambassador, Alejandro Negrín Muñoz (who was named to the post in March of this year),” Wojna said, graciously acknowledging Negrín Muñoz’s attendance at her reception.“I welcome him (to his new posting) with all my friendship. His successes in Poland will be our successes in Mexico.”Wojna also spoke about the commercial relations between her country and Mexico, noting that combined two-way trade has increased in the last 12 months by 20 percent to nearly $1.2 billion.“Mexico is today the number one destination for Polish goods in Latin America,” she said.[caption id="attachment_15336" align="alignright" width="300"]
Former French Ambassador Daniel Parfait, left, with Russian Ambassador Eduard Rubénovich Malayán. Photo: The News/Thérèse Margolis
[/caption]And while accumulated Polish investment in Mexico amounts to just over $17 million, Wojna said that given the current global economic crisis, it is a good time for Mexico and Poland to see each other in a fresh light as possible increased commercial and economic partners.Wojna also spoke about bilateral cooperation in the areas of education, culture and tourism.In 1791, Poland became the first country in all Europe to approve a democratic constitution, an event that would anchor its political convictions for generations to come.That constitution incorporated a codified system of a division of powers and was designed to redress longstanding disproportionate rights and privileges for the nobility.It also introduced the principals of religious tolerance and guaranteed personal freedoms to both Poles and foreigners living in Polish territory.[caption id="attachment_15337" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Moroccan Ambassador Abderrahman Leibek, left, with Azerbaijani Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Mehriban Samadova. Photo: The News/Thérèse Margolis
[/caption]Sadly, that constitution was in effect only one year before it was nullified during the 1792 Russo-Polish War.Despite the defeat of Poland in the conflict with Russia and the subsequent partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the May 3 Constitution influenced later democratic movements and remained a beacon in the struggle to restore Polish sovereignty for more than a century.Even during the communist era, which ended in 1989, Poland set a precedent for other Eastern Bloc nations by establishing independent labor unions and steadfastly resisting religious repression.Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and has since undergone dramatic growth to become the sixth-largest economy in Europe.