Minister of State Ablonczy Opens Ministerial Dialogue on the Americas

(No. 361 - December 6, 2011 - 8:45 a.m. ET) The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today officially launched the first Ministerial Dialogue on the Americas, at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa. Minister of State Ablonczy welcomed more than 100 representatives from the private sector, academia, think tanks, civil society organizations and government.

“Today’s dialogue is part of a series of consultations by our government that seeks to grow our thinking on Canada’s engagement in the Americas,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “We are looking forward to listening and learning from the informed views and insights put forward today on some of the key trends in our hemisphere.”

The Ministerial Dialogue on the Americas (MDA) gives government officials an opportunity to deepen working relationships with prominent Canadian experts on the Americas to gain valuable insights on certain key issues in the region as they affect Canadians and concrete responses to them.

The MDA will consist of discussion sessions on current regional issues of importance to Canada, such as economic trends in the hemisphere, competitive realities in the Americas, justice and security reform in Central America, and Brazil as an emerged and influential power.

“Canada’s commitment to the Americas was most recently reaffirmed when Prime Minister Stephen Harper travelled to the region last August,” concluded the Minister of State. “It is essential that we continually review our engagement and keep it current to ensure we are effective and can participate in the growing opportunities the hemisphere has to offer. Our vision is based on three interdependent and mutually reinforcing themes: prosperity, security and democratic governance. These themes continue to inform our active engagement with our neighbours. A strengthened hemisphere means a strengthened Canada that will benefit Canadian families for years to come.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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