Canadian and US Ambassadors Talk Partnerships on Shared Border

As a shared waterway system, the Great Lakes require bi-national cooperation to ensure the safety and security of the region, as well as citizens and visitors from both the U.S. and Canada.

Recently, Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law hosted diplomats from both sides of the border at the Canada/U.S. Law Institute 2012 Conference.

Ambassador Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and Ambassador David Jacobson, the US ambassador to Canada, each gave keynote addresses during the two-day conference, titled “The New Perimeter Initiative: Will Security Trump Trade?”

Doer’s remarks were in regards to the action plan of the Beyond the Border Initiative, a shared approach to security in which both countries work together to address threats within, at, and away from our borders, while expediting lawful trade and travel.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, 9th Coast Guard District commander, gave the closing keynote address and spoke of the need to continue to strengthen partnerships.  He also continued the discussion about the Beyond the Border Initiative.

“President Obama and Prime Minister Harper issued a Beyond the Border Declaration that articulates a shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness,” Parks said.  “It recognizes the interdependence of our security and economic relationships along our shared border.  And, as a Coast Guard commander keeping watch along that border, I can say confidently — it is exactly the right approach to perimeter security.”

Parks outlined three principles as the keys to successful bi-national cooperation: shared awareness; seamless operations and synchronized priorities.

During his address, Parks quoted President John F. Kennedy, who addressed Canadian Parliament in 1961 and stated:

“Geography has made us neighbors.  History has made us friends.  Economics has made us partners.  And, necessity has made us allies.  Those whom nature hath joined together, let no man put asunder.  What unites us is far greater than what divides us.”

CLEVELAND - Ambassador Gary Doer, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S.; Rear Adm. Michael Parks, 9th Coast Guard District commander; and Ambassador David Jacobson, U.S. ambassador to Canada, attend the Canada/US Law Institute 2012 Conference in Cleveland, March 23, 2012.