Canada-United Kingdom Joint Declaration
Statement of Commitment 2014: Building on Shared Objectives and Values
The Canada-UK Joint Declaration was endorsed by our Prime Ministers in Ottawa in September 2011 in order to develop a stronger partnership for the 21st century. It encouraged us as Foreign Ministers to meet annually; this is our second annual meeting to Review progress under the Joint Declaration, and to Refresh our objectives for the next twelve months.
Over the last year we have embedded the Joint Declaration in all aspects of our relationship, working to fulfil the objectives set in 2012 but also remaining flexible to respond to evolving priorities and crises in our interconnected world. We work together on a wide range of issues based on our shared values, seeking solutions to current security and prosperity challenges. A selected number of key themes have emerged which will be central to our programme of collaboration over the next 12 months.
Promoting Economic Growth, Trade and Innovation
Jobs and growth are the first priority for both our countries, and we believe that open markets and opportunities are vital to achieve them. Two years ago our Prime Ministers signalled the importance of a successful outcome to negotiations of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). On 18 October 2013, Canada and the EU announced that an Agreement in Principle had been reached on an ambitious agreement that will stimulate trade and investment in both Canada and the UK. As work continues to finalise and ratify the Agreement, we will do our utmost to identify and explain the benefits and showcase the opportunities CETA brings to our businesses and citizens. It is widely thought that the Canadian GDP will increase by $12 billion, and the British GDP by £1.3 billion, as a result of the implementation of CETA.
Canada’s and the UK’s commitment to energy cooperation has resulted in concrete progress in the fields of marine energy and civil nuclear power. The development of tidal energy in Nova Scotia has been advanced through investment by the UK’s Atlantis Resources Ltd. and by an MoU on R&D between the Universities of Strathclyde and Dalhousie. We will continue to jointly promote the benefits of marine renewable energy and will strive to encourage two-way trade and investment in that sector. In the field of civil nuclear power generation, we will continue feasibility studies related to the disposal of UK plutonium and agree to assess the development of power generation based on alternative nuclear fuels. As world leaders in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, we will build on our close collaboration through a refresh of our 2008 bilateral joint statement on CCS in the coming year. Our energy companies lead on unconventional energy production and regulation, and our governments will continue to share information on regulatory processes and technical developments related to the exploration and development of unconventional resources such as shale gas, LNG and tight oil. We will continue to cooperate to promote global energy security through relevant international fora such as the International Energy Agency and through energy dialogues such as the Canada-Europe Energy Roundtable, including the application of advanced applications to mitigate environmental impacts and climate change.
Securing Our Countries
We have built on our first year of work under the Joint Declaration by signing a Defence Declaration of Intent that will shape the scope of our relationship moving forward in a combined and deliberate manner. Over the next twelve months we will explore new initiatives to increase interoperability such as through the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force readiness concept. We will also exchange views on priorities for global defence engagement and explore mutually beneficial burden-sharing opportunities. In view of the recent UK decision to continue British Armed Forces training in Canada and at Suffield specifically for the foreseeable future, we will jointly review the relevant Agreement and MoU.
The UK and Canada stand together as the only two countries that are members of NATO, the G-8, the G-20 and the Commonwealth. We work to ensure that these institutions play to their strengths and continue to strive for accountability. Our shared objective is to shape effective responses to current global challenges, and to promote real and positive change around the world in human rights, security, good governance and global prosperity. The UK’s G-8 Presidency presented an opportunity for both our countries to demonstrate the G-8’s catalytic role in addressing global issues. We agreed concrete measures on the “Three Ts” agenda—trade, tax, and transparency. We built on the work begun at the G-8 Muskoka Summit, producing the second comprehensive G-8 accountability report; the Canada-UK Colloquium of November 2013 also re-visited the Muskoka G-8 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative. We look forward to its report on ways in which we can work together to address the new realities in Global Health.
In the G-20 we contributed to the St Petersburg Action Plan to promote stronger, sustainable and balanced global growth and will work together to ensure it is implemented in full. While the global economy is recovering, Australia’s 2014 G-20 Presidency will be an opportunity to address the remaining significant challenges. Finally we worked together to deliver a more focused strategic plan for the Commonwealth Secretariat to make it a more effective organisation. We will also continue to work together to ensure that the Commonwealth lives up to the values set out in its Charter.
We commit ourselves to urgent and decisive action to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, including in the Horn of Africa. We recognise that this is now a serious criminal industry which drives corruption, insecurity and has been linked to extremist groups. We will take concerted action to improve law enforcement, reduce demand for illegal wildlife products and support the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by the trade. We will work in partnership to take forward the outcomes of the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in February 2014.
Promoting Our Shared Values
Canada and the UK have significantly increased diplomatic and political efforts to meet the global challenge to religious freedom. Foreign Minister John Baird is a key member of Baroness Warsi’s dedicated international Ministerial group, which coordinates and drives greater political support for religious freedom. The FCO also works closely with Canada’s first Ambassador of Religious Freedom, Andrew Bennett, and Canadian experts participate in dedicated training for UK diplomats. Building on the success of the first joint UK and Canada conference on religious freedom in 2012, this year the UK will work closely with Canada to address the global crisis facing religious minorities around the world. We are determined to develop a shared understanding of the issues involved, and committed to exploring ways to deepen our cooperation to promote freedom in countries of mutual concern.
We have worked closely together over the last year to raise awareness of human rights abuses which should have no place in the 21st century. These include joint work in the G-8, the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council to develop the G-8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and the UNGA Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, and to broaden international adherence to these commitments. Over the next 12 months we plan to continue this vital work, including on the development of an International Protocol to be launched at the International Summit in June. Canada recognizes the invaluable leadership of the United Kingdom on this file, and we will both continue to co-operate on transforming these political commitments into practical actions and in providing support for conflict affected countries.
The United Kingdom recognizes the leadership role of Canada in work against child, early and forced marriage, which has included collaboration between both countries to protect our citizens at risk, and multilateral cooperation to address this issue more widely, including at the Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly and within the Commonwealth. Looking ahead, we will intensify our cooperation in the multilateral context and undertake joint advocacy activities in countries heavily impacted by child, early and forced marriage.
Strengthening Our Partnership for Results
Since concluding the Memorandum of Understanding for Enhancing Mutual Support at Missions Abroad last year we have deepened the interoperability between our respective foreign ministries. This allows us to better serve our citizens and advance our common interests and values, while increasing operational efficiencies. This will also expedite the sharing of real-time information in crisis situations and build our respective capacities while fostering a spirit of cooperation. When possible we will share training opportunities, including by opening courses in our respective learning institutes to officials from both countries.
The temporary co-location within the British Embassy in Burma allowed Canada to establish its first resident Ambassador in 2013, in advance of the completion of Canada’s own Chancery in mid-2014. Canada is currently working with the UK on a possible expansion of its presence in the Embassy of Canada to Haiti. Both of these co-locations serve to facilitate and enhance our mutual cooperation in these countries. Similarly Canada is working closely with the UK on expanding Canada’s presence in Iraq, with a growing complement of staff co-located in the British Embassy in Baghdad.
We will continue to review and report on progress on these objectives annually, so that the Joint Declaration remains a living document reflecting our evolving shared priorities.
Endorsed in London on 12 February 2014.
The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Trade and International Development Canada
The Right Honourable William Hague, P.C., M.P.
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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