Canada-U.K. Joint Declaration Refreshed

British foreign secretary and Canadian foreign affairs minister take part in second annual meeting to review and refresh Canada-U.K. Joint Declaration

February 12, 2014 - William Hague, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, and John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, met today for their second annual meeting to review and refresh the Canada-United Kingdom Joint Declaration, originally endorsed by prime ministers Stephen Harper and David Cameron in September 2011.

The two ministers met ahead of the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, discussing a range of key issues for the bilateral relationship.

As well as renewing the objectives set under the joint declaration, the ministers discussed Syria, Iran, Somalia, the Commonwealth and the importance of continuing to promote and protect fundamental human rights, including religious freedom.

Baird recognized the commitment of the United Kingdom in combatting sexual violence in conflict zones, and Foreign Secretary Hague commended Canada for its leadership in fighting the scourge of early and forced marriage.

The two ministers also addressed key themes of collaboration, including jobs, growth and the importance of the successful conclusion of a free trade deal between the European Union and Canada. This ambitious agreement-in-principle will stimulate long-term trade and investment in both the Canadian and British economies.

Foreign Secretary Hague said:

“We have a strong and healthy relationship with Canada, to which we are fully committed. We will work together on our priorities, including arriving at free trade and a nuclear deal with Iran, abolishing sexual violence in conflict areas and striving for political stability in the Middle East. Together, we can achieve a great amount, and I am pleased to welcome Minister Baird here to reinforce the Canada-U.K. Joint Declaration.”

Baird said:

“Canada and the U.K. have made excellent progress on the commitments made under the joint declaration. We have also identified a range of issues for enhanced bilateral collaboration, including a commitment to continue efforts to bring an end to sexual violence in conflict zones and to eliminate child, early and forced marriage. I am very pleased to join Foreign Secretary Hague in endorsing this year’s review and refresh of the joint declaration.”

Baird and Foreign Secretary Hague also spoke about the illegal wildlife trade conference taking place in London and hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. They pledged to work in partnership to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products and to support the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by the trade.

For the complete text of the ministers’ joint declaration, please consult Canada-United Kingdom Joint Declaration.

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