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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 14, 1997


We met to carry forward the mature partnership between our two governments, marked by mutual respect, to review progress on the work program launched at our last meeting in Mexico City in May, and to continue our personal contacts in order to spur further cooperation on issues of vital importance to our citizens.

Since our meeting six months ago:

We have concluded negotiations in the Organization of American States of an hemispheric convention against illegal firearms trafficking, originally proposed by Mexico and strongly endorsed by the two of us at our meeting in Mexico City last May.

We have concluded a Protocol to our Extradition Treaty, which will permit temporary extradition to allow cross border criminals to be tried in both jurisdictions while the evidence is still fresh.

We exchanged instruments of ratification of our Maritime Boundary Treaty, thereby taking an important step to fully demarcate our common maritime border.

We have concluded a Memorandum of Intent on Environmental Commercial Cooperation.

The team of researchers commissioned by our two governments has completed its binational study on migration, and submitted its report.

The High Level Contact Group submitted to us an Executive Summary of the Joint Counternarcotics Strategy which we mandated in our bilateral Alliance Against Drugs.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade between our two countries continues to expand, enriching our societies and employing an ever-larger number of our workers. Thus, since we last met, Mexico has become the United States' second largest market, while the United States remains Mexico's largest market.

Looking to the future, we agreed to work together in the international negotiations on climate change. Our governments will promote the growth of electronic commerce and development of the Internet. We confirm our commitment to the goals of our bilateral Alliance Against Drugs, and to the development of measures through which we can appraise our efforts in our common fight. We will work to expand hemisphere-wide counternarcotics cooperation and to strengthen the Organization of American States' capacity to support this priority task. We will promote the preparatory work and successful conclusion of the special session of the UN General Assembly to enhance global cooperation against illicit drugs.

We have achieved progress in the implementation of our May 6 Joint Declaration on Migration:

We have agreed on appropriate procedures at the border and inside the US for the orderly and safe repatriation of Mexican nationals with full regard for their dignity and human rights and the principle of family unity.

We have enhanced the capacities of the eight liaison mechanisms at border cities to promote protection of migrants and safety along our common border.

We have taken actions between Mexican Consuls and Immigration and Naturalization Service Directors to improve consular protection in pursuance of the agreements signed by both governments.

We agreed to a new cooperative agenda which will explore and respond to the linkage between migration and development in both countries.

We instructed our officials to work with the conclusions of our binational study on migration to involve communities on both sides of the border in a consultative process designed to produce innovative approaches to common challenges and opportunities for development to our mutual benefit, and to report back to us within a year.

Finally, we call on the academic communities of both countries to join us in this effort.

On the border, we will continue to work toward a new vision of cooperation in this dynamic and challenging region, in order to make it safer, more promising for families and communities and enriching for both countries. Through the identification of model-projects in the areas of public safety, environmental protection, urban infrastructure, and cultural life, we endeavor to promote economic, social, and cultural development for the benefit of our communities. Among others, we welcomed projects such as the one currently taking place in the San Diego/Tijuana area for the comprehensive management of solid waste; and initiatives for the facilitation of border crossings, like the upcoming construction of the Rio Grande bridge at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras.

On drug control, we reiterated our commitment to the goals of our bilateral Alliance Against Drugs, to the development of concrete measures by which we can determine if our common efforts against drugs are succeeding, and to their full implementation in full respect for the sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of both nations. We also agreed on the need to further bolster efforts to reduce the demand for illicit drugs, as part of a comprehensive approach to anti-narcotics cooperation. We acknowledged Mexico's efforts on eradication, interdiction and combating criminal organizations. We agreed on the need for effective action against drug corruption on both sides of border, for the development of closer law enforcement cooperation, and to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers of both countries, along with safeguards for shared information.

We have arranged for a conference of demand control experts from our two countries in March to determine how we can most effectively share our expertise and pool our resources, particularly in the area around the border. Antinarcotics maritime and air cooperation and coordination, with full respect for each others jurisdiction, have led to an increase in drug seizures at sea and an increase in the amount of drugs seized by Mexican authorities in Mexican territory. Training of the personnel required for specialized anti-drug law enforcement units has continued apace and we have brought pressure on the major drug trafficking organizations.

On macroeconomic issues, we agreed that Mexico's strong reforms since 1995 -- backed by U.S. and international support -- have helped to restore financial strength and put the Mexican economy in healthy condition. We discussed Mexico's economic and financial situation in light of recent turbulence in emerging markets and acknowledged that continued strong policies will help preserve and expand these accomplishments.

Trade between our two countries has continued to increase, promoting high growth and generating additional jobs in both countries. As a natural consequence of this dynamic trading relationship, issues of concern in several sectors have arisen, which we discussed and on which we instructed our officials to continue to seek resolution. We also reaffirmed our commitment to continue our cooperation on labor and the environment.

We agreed that the Internet represents an important new tool for expanding commerce, promoting education, research and development and enhancing the delivery of social services, particularly in remote areas. We will consult domestically and explore in the appropriate international fora key issues related to the promotion of a legal and commercial environment in which this medium can flourish, encouraging our private sector to lead in its development. We instructed our experts to meet to carry out this pledge.

On environment, we confirmed agreement to promote sustainable development in the border area and to seek the support of our border communities and the private sector in reaching the goals of Border XXI. We also confirmed agreement on indicators to assess and advance progress on water, solid and hazardous waste, air and natural resources along the border. We welcomed steps taken by the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC) and by the North American Development Bank (NADBank) to address the need for new was tewater treatment facilities in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

On climate change, we agreed that developed countries like the United States must lead by reducing emissions and developing countries like Mexico should be willing to participate in an appropriate global regime. We affirmed our support for joint implementation as a means for using market mechanisms to promote private sector initiatives and investments in clean energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. Countries should take on responsibilities under the climate treaty that are appropriate to their level of development and fully consistent with sustainable economic growth and development. We reaffirmed our support for the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. We have instructed our representatives to consult closely on this issue as we approach the Kyoto conference.

On hemispheric and multilateral issues, we highlighted the importance of education in the agenda of the Summit of the Americas. We welcomed our negotiators' success in achieving a hemispheric firearms trafficking convention and pledged to support its early ratification. We expressed our support for restraint and transparency in arms transfers. We also agreed to work together to promote hemispheric cooperation in law enforcement and anti-corruption efforts.

We discussed the importance of new multilateral initiatives in counternarcotics including multilateral assessment of progress achieved by all hemispheric countries toward meeting their respective national goals. We are convinced that illicit drugs represent a worldwide problem which requires international cooperation and that each nation assumes fully its own responsibility. Therefore, we pledged to work together to ensure the success of the United Nations' Special Session on Illicit Drugs in June, 1998.

We commended the work done by both governments in the fulfillment of our commitments and instructed our officials to increase their efforts in the achievement of our common goals.

We are convinced that two neighbors and partners, like the United States and Mexico, can address even the most complex issues through mutual respect, constructive dialog and cooperation.

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