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Canada-Mexico Cooperation on Security and Defence

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Prime Minister Trudeau and President Peña Nieto have both underlined the importance of a renewed strategic partnership based on the principles of democracy, respect for the environment, improved economic opportunity, and respect for human rights.

In order to increase prosperity – and improve equality – for Canadians and Mexicans alike, both countries will work together to deepen cooperation to promote the safety and security of our people. This commitment focuses on all types of threats, including natural disasters, extreme weather events, crime, terrorism, and health-related problems.

In the spirit of the renewed bilateral relationship, Canada will work with Mexico to enhance both countries’ understanding of possible threats and identify opportunities to cooperate to mitigate them. Moving forward, Canada will formalize its public safety cooperation with Mexico and continue to provide support for projects and activities that counter crime and build regional capacity.

To this end, both countries signed two new memoranda of understanding to enable them to collaborate more formally together. These will enable Canada and Mexico to better share knowledge and identify opportunities for cooperation on public safety topics. It will also allow both countries to share expertise in the areas of correctional policies, correctional programming, recruitment, training, and research, building on a memorandum of understanding between our correctional services. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Mexican Federal Police are also working towards a memorandum of understanding that would enable enhanced law enforcement collaboration to more effectively combat transnational organized crime. Canadian and Mexican officials are looking to complete and sign this agreement in 2016.

The coming year will be an opportunity for both countries to demonstrate leadership in the area of emergency management in the face of common challenges.

In a demonstration of our countries’ cooperation, we would like to acknowledge the very recent contribution from Mexico of 41 firefighters to support Alberta’s efforts in battling this year’s devastating wild fires.

Canada’s approach to emergency management is “all-hazards” in scope (natural, technological, and human-induced) and is based on activities that support prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. This approach enhances our resilience and is a best practice we are proud to share. With both Canada and Mexico hosting meetings of the United Nations Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2017, we will identify and seize opportunities to share our expertise and experiences in emergency management. Moreover, Canada and Mexico will put in place a short-term professional exchange of employees to learn about our respective approaches to consular emergency management.    

The Americas are an interconnected region, so building regional capacity is important to our domestic security. Canada will continue to support the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) as it works with Mexico to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational criminal activity. In particular, the ACCBP will work with implementing partners to support Mexico’s initiatives to tackle migrant smuggling networks; enhance aviation security measures, and assist with its judicial reform process.

As partners in the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Canada and Mexico work closely to reduce the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism both regionally and worldwide. To this end, Canada and Mexico have most recently signed a memorandum of understanding to improve the ability to detect and interdict illicit cargo containing nuclear and radiological materials along Mexico’s southern border through the provision of equipment and training for Mexican customs officials and operators.

Canada and Mexico have also agreed to cooperate on the development of a certified and sustainable Nuclear Security Support Centre to serve nuclear security practitioners in Mexico and the Central American region. Additionally, Mexico participates in a number of Canada’s regional CBRN threat reduction projects in the Americas, such as training and assistance to help strengthen export controls and border security in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Both Canada and Mexico share a commitment to international peace and security. Given Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent statement to renew Canada’s commitment in United Nations peace operations, we welcome Mexico’s efforts to establish its own peacekeeping training centre by 2018, and to increase its participation to United Nations peace operations. Canada is prepared to further its support to Mexico in the development of a peacekeeping training institution by facilitating access to expertise from the Canadian Armed Forces training schools. Canada will also significantly increase Canadian Forces language training course offerings and will continue to provide military professional development and senior military staff officer training through the Department of National Defence’s Military Training and Cooperation Program.