HE Martha Bárcena Coqui

Ambassador of Mexico

Ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui was born in Veracruz, Veracruz, on March 2, 1957. She is married to Agustín Gutiérrez Canet (retired career diplomat), with whom she has two daughters: Mercedes and Martha.

Ambassador Bárcena has a degree in Communication Sciences, graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City and a degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies (Diplomatic School, Spain) and has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy specializing in Political Philosophy (Universidad Iberoamericana). She speaks English, French and Italian and has knowledge of German, Danish and Chinese.

She joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1979, and has been the Consul in Barcelona (1989-1990); Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark non-resident to the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Iceland from December 2004 to April 2013; Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, non-resident to Georgia and the Republics of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan from May 2013 to March 2017; and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations Agencies based in Rome from April 2017 to December 2018.

In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bárcena has been Technical Secretary of the III LAC-EU Summit (2003-2004); Adviser to the Undersecretary for Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United Nations, specialized in international security and peacekeeping operations (2000-2003); Deputy Director of the Planning and Prospective Division (1998-2000) and Advisor to the Executive Director of the Mexican Institute of International Cooperation, as well as the Director in Chief of Multilateral Affairs, and the Director General of Cultural Affairs and Historical Diplomatic Acquis (1986- 1989). She was also Head of the Department of Migrant Workers and Border Cooperation in the General Directorate for North America.

Ambassador Bárcena has been Mexico´s delegate to the UN, the OAS, UNESCO, FAO, WFP, IFAD and ICAO, as well as head of Delegation in sessions of the Forum on Migration and Development. She has participated in multiple international conferences, including the G-20 and the World Humanitarian Summit.

In the social sector, Ambassador Bárcena served as advisor to the Director of the Regional Center for Cooperation in Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CREFAL) and General Director of CELAG (Latin American Center for Globality), an NGO that promotes research on Global Governance and the impact of globalization in Latin America.

She has combined professional activity with academic work as a professor since 1981 at the Universidad Iberoamericana, where she has taught the subjects of International Organizations and International Trade Negotiations. She was also a professor at the Matías Romero Institute in matters of security and diplomatic practice, she taught at the Naval Studies Center (CESNAV) of the Secretary of the Navy the subjects of national security in the United States and UN peacekeeping operations. She has also participated in several conferences, in the National Defense College, the Diplomatic Academy of Argentina and the University of Växjö, Sweden, as well as in various universities in Turkey. She was invited by the Mexican Congress to give lectures on international security and UN issues.

She is the author of several articles on the reconceptualization of security, globalization, United Nations peacekeeping operations, the role of civil society in international relations, culture and diplomacy, and Mexico-EU relations, as well as the Agenda 2030. Ambassador Bárcena has participated in seminars and workshops on the United States-Mexico security agenda and in the Commission of Studies for State Reform in Mexico. She is a founding member of Desarmex, an NGO that promotes education for peace and disarmament.

Ambassador Bárcena was a professional ballet dancer at the Compañía Nacional de Danza. She is an avid reader and enjoys classical music, opera and ballet.

July 20, 2020 at the Virtual Discussion