Canadian and European Union leaders met today at an important moment in global affairs, in the transatlantic relationship, and in the new challenges faced by our respective societies.
Leaders agreed that at this moment, Canada and the European Union have enhanced relevance to each other. In 2003 we will conduct a comprehensive review of our bilateral relationship, with a view to adopting joint conclusions on how to strengthen and deepen our ties still further.
Our shared values on democracy and the rule of law, our vision for peace, stability and prosperity, our commitment to global sustainable development and to multilateral solutions, together, make us uniquely suited partners.
Leaders agreed to give concrete expression to this partnership by pursuing prosperity, promoting peace, security and sustainable development, strengthening co-operation in our Northern regions, and encouraging partnerships between people.
During their meeting, Leaders highlighted the special need for sustained co-operation in the fight against terrorism.
Leaders agreed that a multilateral solution is needed to deal with the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programmes.
Pursuing prosperity: The current global economic situation compels us to pursue every possible avenue to promote economic growth and prosperity through the liberalisation of trade and investment.
We reaffirm our commitment to the open multilateral trading system based on the WTO. To that end, we agree to give priority to, and work closely together for, the successful and timely completion of the Doha Development Agenda for the benefit of both developing and developed countries. At this point, this provides the most expeditious way to enhance market access.
We have reviewed progress made bilaterally under the Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation of 1976 and the EU-Canada Trade Initiative of 1998 (ECTI) and are pleased with the results in a number of areas. However, we are committed to developing further ways to reap the benefits and meet the challenges of the world economy in the 21st century. We have, therefore, instructed our trade ministers to design a new type of forward-looking, wide-ranging bilateral trade and investment enhancement agreement covering, inter alia, new generation issues and outstanding barriers. Such an agreement, in combination with the anticipated results of the Doha Development Agenda, would have much more to offer than a classical free trade agreement. We look forward to receiving our ministers’ proposals before our Summit meeting in Ottawa in 2003.
Our respective business surveys have shown that regulatory cooperation is considered a priority by our business communities. In response, we have agreed to intensify our regulatory dialogue and to work towards a new framework in this field.
We recognise and applaud the political commitment made by both sides that has led to substantial progress in resolving our differences concerning trade in wine and spirits. We trust that the agreement now in sight will be formally accepted in the coming months. We also welcome the progress made on an innovative, paperless certification system for kiln-dried heat-treated lumber and we look forward to its early implementation. In addition, the recent successful conclusion of GATT Article XXVIII negotiations between Canada and the EU regarding changes to the EU's cereals import regime demonstrates how we can work together to find mutually beneficial solutions to important international trade issues.
Canada and the EU applaud the continued engagement of the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT) on bilateral trade and investment issues, and recognize CERT’s important contribution to date. We are encouraged by the results of CERT’s recent CEO Roundtable in Montreal and look forward to reviewing their Action Programme for further liberalizing bilateral trade and investment.
We also recognise the growing importance of science and technology to our economies and the benefits of closer collaboration. The themes and instruments of the EC's Sixth Framework Programme broadly correspond with Canada's strengths and interests. We agree to explore co-operation in the following areas: environment, including climate change, environmental monitoring, sustainable development, and resource management; biotechnology, specifically genomics and health applications; the information society; food safety, including risk analysis associated with food-related diseases and allergies, effective risk management strategies along the production chain and methods of analysis, detection and control; nanotechnologies and nanosciences, multifunctional materials, processes and products; and space including its key facilitation role in earth observation, telecommunications, and navigation.
Promoting peace, security and sustainable development: The multilateral system, based on the rule of law, strong institutions, effective instruments, and co-operative action is indispensable for the management of global affairs. We are resolved to strengthen this system and will seek ways to give renewed meaning to this commitment. In this context, we welcome the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and resolve to work together to ensure its success.
We reaffirm our strong commitment to the United Nations. The UN Millennium Summit, together with the other major UN conferences of the last decade, including those in Monterrey and Johannesburg, has provided a comprehensive set of principles, goals, and commitments to guide the work of the international community in the fields of peace, security, human rights, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
We are determined that focus should now be on implementation of the goals and commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals, and we reiterate the commitment in Monterrey to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 percent of gross national product (GNP) as official development assistance to developing countries.
We agree on the important link between trade and development, and the need to strengthen the capacity of the developing countries to take part in the international trade negotiations, as well as their capacity to exploit more effectively the opportunities offered by the liberalisation of international trade.
Addressing climate change demands urgent global action. The EU and Canada emphasise the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report which confirms that significant cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions will be necessary to mitigate climate change. We reconfirm the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol as the key international instruments in combatting climate change. The European Union warmly welcomes Canada's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and the European Union and Canada urge countries that have not already done so to ratify the Protocol in a timely manner.
We encourage Canadian and European initiatives aimed at strengthening the principles couched in the declaration on cultural diversity adopted by UNESCO.
Dealing with the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programme requires a unified international response. We have worked together to ensure this threat is dealt with through the United Nations. We endorse UN Security Council resolution 1441 and call on Iraq to comply without conditions with all its provisions.
We are extremely concerned by the DPRK's programme to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons purposes and its subsequent statements that it is entitled to develop and possess nuclear weapons. This programme is in serious breach of the DPRK's international non proliferation obligations. It also threatens regional and international peace and security as well as the integrity of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Moreover, we express our deep concern about DPRK’s plans to resume previously frozen nuclear activities. We desire a peaceful resolution to the issue and fully support the 29 November IAEA resolution and the IAEA's efforts to seek the DPRK's full compliance with its safeguards agreement. The future of our relations with the DPRK will depend upon its compliance with its international obligations.
Peace and security in Afghanistan are of the utmost importance to us. At the Petersberg II Conference on 2 December, we noted the progress made so far, including the decision taken by the Afghanistan Transitional Authority (ATA) to create an Afghan National Army, and we reaffirmed the importance of establishing clear benchmarks and timelines to ensure the full implementation of the Bonn Agreement. The fight against terrorism is a common cause and a shared priority. We have initiated expert consultations on counter-terrorism and agree to deepen these consultations by focusing future co-operation on specific areas of mutual interest, where our common efforts can lead to significant results in the fight against terrorism. We agree that the fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach by the international community comprising political, legal, economic, diplomatic and military means. We emphasise that the fight against terrorism must be conducted with full respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Common efforts to combat the terrorist threat posed by the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction are particularly important. To this end, we remain committed to working together to implement expeditiously and effectively the partnerships, principles and guidelines of the G8 global Partnership launched at Kananaskis last June.
In addition, negotiations on an agreement between Canada and EUROPOL are proceeding well. We intend to conclude these negotiations as soon as possible. The agreement will improve co-operation between our competent authorities in countering terrorism and transnational crime.
Peace and stability in the Balkans needs our sustained engagement. In addition to the EU's Stabilisation and Association process for the Western Balkans, the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM), to be deployed in 2003, will make an important contribution to regional security by promoting adherence to the rule of law. In line with our conclusions at the Toledo Summit, Canada will participate in this operation.
Africa's needs merit particular attention. Canada and the EU will work with African partners in implementing the New Partnership for Africa's Development and in giving effect to its vision of sustainable development centred on the needs of the people of Africa. Our efforts in this regard will build on the G8 Africa Action Plan and the EU-Africa dialogue. We value NEPAD as an African-led programme of action reflecting the personal commitment of Africa’s Leaders. We commend the emphasis that NEPAD places on accountability between the Leaders and people of Africa, among African leaders and between African and non-African development partners. We share NEPAD's objective of consolidating democracy and sound economic management on the continent as well as promoting and protecting human rights. NEPAD will provide a framework for strengthened dialogue with Africa, and the framework around which we will concentrate our efforts for Africa's development. Together with the African Union, NEPAD will inform our relations with the African continent as a whole. Strengthening co-operation in Northern regions
The future of our Northern regions is a shared concern. It is a place where our people live and work and where what happens matters to all of us. We face common challenges there: environmental threats from climate change, arctic pollution, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the difficulties posed by geographical remoteness, harsh climate, and modest infrastructure. Nuclear waste in the Barents region poses special dangers and we will examine the possibilities for co-ordination of our efforts under the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership and the G8 Global Partnership Programme. We also share opportunities, in the area of science and research as well as in the development of innovative technologies that have application not only in Northern regions but elsewhere. Both challenges and opportunities call for a joint effort between Canada and the EU. Therefore, we will continue to devote special attention and energy to this aspect of our co-operation as outlined in the attached report.
Encouraging partnership between people: Direct personal connections between Canadians and Europeans are fundamental to keeping our relationship relevant and vital. They enrich both sides. They reinforce mutual understanding. They inject new energy into links at all levels of co-operation. But they can not be taken for granted and need to be encouraged.
Exchanges between our young people are especially important. We recognise and support the role of higher education and training in the global knowledge economy. The Canada-EU Agreement renewing the Co-operation Program in Higher Education and Training has helped to foster student mobility and to encourage trans-Atlantic linkages between institutions. We will increase efforts to ensure both sides continue to make maximum use of this instrument.
We will also build on this experience to broaden opportunities for students to participate in transatlantic exchanges, including exploring Canada's participation in Erasmus World when adopted. We will also examine the potential to broaden this co-operation to promote mobility for young workers.
Annex to Joint Statement While reaffirming the importance of protecting intellectual property rights within the WTO, we stress that it is critical to reach an agreement before the end of the year, to allow developing countries without manufacturing capacities to have access to medicines to address public health problems especially those resulting from HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.