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DISCOURS DOUVERTURE DE LASSEMBLE DU TRIUMVIRAT* MR.

GUILLAUME LAVOIE PRSIDENT DE LASSEMBLE - SPEAKER - PRESIDENTE DE LA ASAMBLEA


SNAT CANADIEN - CANADIAN SENATE, MAY 24, 2005 - 24 MAI 2005, 10:00 AM DELIVERED IN FRENCH, ENGLISH AND SPANISH
*la version lue fait foi Mesdames, Messieurs les Snateurs, Madame la directrice gnrale du FINA, Chers invits, Chers dlgus, Fellow Delegates, Estimados delegados, Venus de tous les coins du continent, nous reprsentons aujourdhui, ce que tant dautres avant nous ont rv pour lAmrique du Nord : Une institution politique commune au cur de notre intgration. La qute dintgration en Amrique du Nord nest pas un phnomne nouveau. Il y a fort longtemps, les tribus amrindiennes parcourraient le territoire au profit dchanges commerciaux et culturels. En fait, lintgration nordamricaine est une entreprise inscrite au cur de notre histoire collective. Nuestra historia es una de integracin real que ha tomado tiempo y tenido sus dificultades. Sin embargo, tal como Benito Jurez lo deca el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz. As que poco a poco, nuestras relaciones se han fortalecido. As la presente asamblea se crea con el fin de mejorar las relaciones de nuestras naciones y de preparar el destino de nuestra comunidad norteamericana. Esta asamblea, a travs de ideas, propuestas y recomendaciones, viene contribuir a llevar aun ms all nuestra integracin. And what a journey it has been. We now are a community of 406 million people, free and given infinite opportunities, attracting nearly a third of the worlds investments, and offering businessmen and entrepreneurs a launching platform from which to take on the continent and the world beyond. But no matter how great were our successes and achievements, we cannot envisage better tomorrows on the sole basis of yesterdays report cards. Today, North Americas political architecture is overcome by both its social and economical realities. On Energy, Transportation, Security, Immigration, Democratic legitimacy, Development and more, we find ourselves on the one hand far too interdependent to limit our action to the national level, and on the other hand, far too less integrated to tackle these issues jointly. So, as we begin, let us take inventory The Canada-US border sees idle lines of trucks delaying production and raising costs for multinationals and small businesses alike; California, the worlds 6th largest economy, strangled by potential shortage of energy; Our rules to protect investments from the inclinations of protectionism prove too vague and too opaque, thus prejudicing the legitimate actions of governments;

At the US-Mexican border, we have citizens risking their lives in the hope of a better tomorrow, trying to escape the tragedies of inequality; And we see inequalities present in all of our three countries; Whether in the Gaspsie peninsula, the Mississippi Delta or in the Chiapas region, economic integration has failed to deliver its promise of prosperity; And so much more And while we witness all this, while we stand still, European and Asian economic and political giants are rising.

My fellow delegates, I do not believe such a state of affairs is acceptable for North America. I do not believe that after a century of shining glory, we are doomed to an inevitable decline. This is North America. A land of hopes and promises, that appeals to courageous individuals from all over the world. So as we convene here today in this ambitious assembly we find ourselves at a crossroad. We can stop here and content ourselves with series of isolated agreements. But to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, It is time for us to realize that were too great a continent to limit ourselves to small dreams. So with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of North American renewal. Let us gather our best efforts to create a new endeavor: A new alliance for progress and prosperity encompassed in a revolutionary and modern North American architecture. My fellow delegates, we have every right to dream heroic dreams. So let us begin to act, beginning today. On commerce and investment, we must free North American integration from the chains of suspicion. The inner workings and settlements of NAFTAs Chapter XI, proves insufficient in transparency. It erodes both public confidence and the sacred duty of government. This Assembly will be called on to reclaim the boundaries between the necessary protections for investments to flourish and the obligatory provisions for governments to legislate. On security, we know that our continent is not immune to international terrorism and that this impacts North America as a whole. Consequently, our shared efforts in protecting our external borders shall reflect our shared responsibility in assuming its security. And the reinforcement of our external borders shall always parallel with the easing of our internal borders and never inhibit the legitimate movement of people and goods within the continent. For this, we also need to recognize and address existing domestic security threats, nurtured in the evils of organized crime, poverty, inequality and despair. For security threats, whether they are directed towards the many or the few, whether they come from foreign terrorism or domestic disparities, they equally sign away our quality of life, strangle our economic prosperity and limit the individuals potential so crucial to the promise of North America. My fellow delegates, let us never confuse our responsibility to enforce security on those who wish us ill, and our duty to provide it to those caught in the tribulations of violence, corruption and fear. One government alone can no longer address these threats and the problems and tragedies that they entail. Let us unite to create a North American area, where all citizens can feel safe and secure whether they are traveling through an airport in New York City or Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. On transportation, we must make way for a transborder industry currently strangled by insufficient infrastructure and incongruent regulations. No economy spreading across a continent and the world beyond can flourish without dominating the challenges of transportation. In the past, through the deserts and over the rivers and the hills, we have overcome the elements to make run our economic engine. Let us not have it now throttled by the mountains of

administrative procedures. This Assembly will debate proposals which will in turn help create modern logistical systems and commercial corridors that will unleash our full economic potential. My fellow delegates, it is high time to make North America move at the pace of North American business. Au plan de lnergie, notre interdpendance ne saurait tre plus vidente. Lorsque lun des partenaires est court dnergie disponible ou abordable, nous devons raliser que ce nest pas uniquement le dveloppement de ce seul partenaire qui en souffre mais bien celui de lensemble des partenaires nord-amricains. Plus que jamais, lnergie doit tre considr comme un enjeu stratgique au centre de notre dveloppement durable et essentiel la stabilit conomique et scuritaire de lAmrique du nord. Consquemment, cette Assemble, sera appel mettre sur pied les moyens permettant une coopration nordamricaine renouvele au plan du dveloppement et de la gestion du potentiel nergtique nord-amricain. Notre dfi sera de faire de cette coopration bas sur la comprhension que cest via lautonomie que viendra la scurit et que notre bilan conomique est indissociable de notre bilan environnemental. CONCLUSION This much and certainly no less is what can await the future of North America. But in order for it to come true, this much leadership and certainly no less will be required from each and every one of us. But, with such an undertaking ahead and the continent watching, some may ask, is this realistic? Is this even possible? My fellow delegates, Let us all be reminded of what Robert Kennedy said so many times in so many places Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask why not. Let us all be reminded that when the idea of NAFTA first arose, very few believed it possible. Canada was said to be highly protectionist. The US Senate remained reluctant to give fast-track authority. And as for Mexico, no other developing country in the world had ever engaged free trade with developed countries. We know what happened next. Despite the troubling polls, the temporary struggles and the trepidation of many, leadership arose and North America stepped forward. Prime Minister Mulroney, President Bush and President Salinas gave birth to the largest and most dynamic economic bloc in history. True leaders, said Brian Mulroney, make decisions, not for better headlines in 10 days, but for a better country in 10 years. My fellow delegates let us celebrate this spirit of leadership, in our minds and in our hearts and let it be reflected in our work and in our commitment. And so to those who see Triumvirate as a simple Model Assembly, we say look again. This is a Model for the North American Assembly we desire. And to those who think that we come here only to play roles, we say think again. We come here as role models for the North American leadership we demand. This Triumvirate will require of us hard work, faith and devotion but most importantly our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe that we can and will bring to life the extraordinary promise of a North American Community of Destiny. Merci. Bon Triumvirat!