(No. 392 - December 13, 2010 - 1:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the North American Foreign Ministers Meeting, which took place in Wakefield, Quebec, on December 13, 2010:
“The North American Foreign Ministers Meeting is an important opportunity for Canada, the United States and Mexico to consult, coordinate and work together to address key bilateral, trilateral, North American and global issues.
“It also provides us with the opportunity to help prepare the next North American Leaders Summit, expected in 2011.
“The Chair’s Statement I have issued will provide you with a more detailed view of our discussions here today, but I would like to provide you with a few highlights.
“My colleagues and I had a substantive discussion this morning regarding continental and regional security, and ways in which we can jointly address the challenges in our region.
“We reaffirmed our governments’ commitments to trilateral cooperation and coordination in this area, such as our commitment to combating transnational criminal organizations.
“Trilateral cooperation will reinforce Canada’s efforts to assist partners in the hemisphere in the areas of law enforcement, policing, corrections and judicial systems, as well as disaster preparedness and relief.
“We will also support efforts to strengthen democracies and build capacity in a number of areas.
“Haiti remains a grave concern, and we stand with its citizens as they rebuild their country.
“Canada has committed substantial resources to rebuilding Haiti in the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake. The most fundamental condition for the success of these efforts is a stable, efficient and accountable government.
“It is essential that Haitian political actors fulfill their responsibilities and demonstrate a firm commitment to democratic principles, including respect for the integrity of the electoral process.
“It is critical that the recounting of ballots be addressed in a timely and transparent manner and that calm be restored to the streets.
“We will continue to consult and work with our partners on the ground in Haiti, including the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the Organization of American States, to help the country address these important challenges.
“My colleagues and I also took a few moments to review the work undertaken since the 2009 North American Leaders Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, including the important steps taken to support our economy and advance our competitiveness and address environment, climate change and clean energy issues.
“In closing, I want to thank my colleagues, Secretary Clinton and Minister Espinosa for their major contribution to the success of this meeting in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec.”
Please consult Chair’s Statement for full text.
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