Mexico and Canada: American Partners

By Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon | Canadian Speeches, July-August 1996 | Go to article overview

Mexico and Canada: American Partners


Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, Canadian Speeches


It is a great honor to address the representatives of a country founded in the values of peace and liberty, pluralism and respect, personal achievement and harmonious co-existence, democracy and justice.

Canadians are greatly appreciated in Mexico and throughout all the continent, due to their multiple origins which have become the strength of this great country, and because it has been able to prosper thanks to its rich diversity.

Mexico sees Canada as a nation with which we have the vision for a high-potential hemisphere with rising opportunities. Mexico sees Canada as a North American partner, as a permanent interlocutor and a partner of initiatives; as a friend that lives in and is a part of the American Continent like never before.

That is why Mexicans are pleased and encouraged by Canada's presence in continental forums such as the Organization of American states. We are pleased and encouraged by Canada's increasing relations with Latin America and the convergent positions towards the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Most of all, we are pleased and inspired by the new ties of friendship, the intensification of productive exchanges and mutually beneficial co-operation which have been developing between Canadians and Mexicans during the last few years.

We recognize and appreciate the conviction and determination with which the honorable members of this Parliament are contributing to increase the dialogue and the interparliamentary relationship with Mexico. That is why I am very pleased to be accompanied here and throughout this state visit by representatives of the parliamentary groups of the honorable Mexican Senate.

Thanks to more intensive work done by the legislative powers of both countries, the private sectors, the academic and cultural communities of both our nations, and of both executive branches, Mexico and Canada have already become close friends as well as trusted and reliable partners.

These new links have certainly received a decisive momentum from our partnership in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

To this effect, I pay homage to Prime Minister Jean Chretien for the vision and the determination with which he has steered the Agreement's application here in Canada.

With NAFTA, the initiatives and projects [that] used to sporadically appear in decades, are currently proliferating in just a few months. With NAFTA, we are proving that a framework of liberty brings us closer, multiplies opportunities, and contributes to stimulate progress and mutual benefits.

Thus, Mexico and Canada share the will and the commitments to include Chile in NAFTA. The access of that industrious country and of its vigorous economy in NAFTA will increase the opportunities and the benefits for all of us.

Mexico and Canada also share the will to extend free trade throughout the Continent.

NAFTA constitutes the legal framework for constructive goals. Its essence and objectives are accuracy and consensus; the defence of each legitimate interest and the transparency and acceptance of solutions to each dispute; the recognition of rules we have jointly created and must jointly apply.

Mexico's conviction fully coincides with Canada's when it comes to applying and demanding respect of international law principles.

Thus, like Canada, Mexico opposes legislation which entails an extraterritorial application contrary to international law. Like Canada, Mexico deems inadmissible any action that, while undertaken against one country, affects other nations; that instead of promoting liberty, it hinders someone else's; that instead of tearing down barriers, it builds them while prejudicing international investment and trade.

During the period in which Mexico suffered a grave foreign threat, President Juarez was inspired by an ancient principle in order to reaffirm that true peace may only be founded on respect of the law, be it between men and women as well as amongst nations. …

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