I want to reflect with you on shared challenges. On how in a danger- ous time, we can advance values cherished by our societies and admired by so many in the rest of the world.
Specifically, I will address three themes underpinning the Canada- United States relationship: being strong at home; being strong in partnership; and being strong internationally.
At the center of our foreign policy is, of course, our relationship with the United States. Our countries are linked in ways like no two others. Our security and our prosperity are mutually dependent.
We fought side by side in the three major wars of the last century. We jointly developed security institutions like NATO and NORAD which enabled us to withstand together the Soviet threat throughout the Cold War.
Since September 11, our collabora- tion has been very close. Faced with new threats, we are developing new tools to ensure our joint security.
We have passed strong anti- terrorism laws. We have funded tougher security measures. The number of police, immigration, and customs officers at border points has been increased. State of the art security technologies have been put in place.
We are creating a ”œsmart border.” One that is closed to terrorists and criminals of all kinds. One that is open We are creating a ”œsmart border.” One that is closed to terrorists and criminals of all kinds. One that is open to legitimate business and tourism. One which ensures the efficient flow of goods, services and talent both ways across the Canada-US border.
Because ensuring the health of the largest trading relationship in the world is of fundamental impor- tance. To our economies. And to our ways of life.
Our prosperity is linked through the more than two billion dollars Canadian of two-way trade that cross- es our border every day. We are each other’s most important markets.
In 2000, Canada bought more US goods than all 15 countries of the European Union combined and three times as much as Japan. Thirty-eight US states count Canada as their largest export market, including the state of Illinois. In turn, Canada exports more to Illinois alone than it does to the entire European Union.
Energy security is fundamental to American prosperity. We supply the US with 94 percent of your natural gas imports. Close to 100 percent of your electricity imports. And 35 percent of uranium for nuclear power generation.
In 2002, Canada supplied the US with 17 percent of its imported crude and refined oil products ”” more than any other foreign supplier, including Saudi Arabia. Canada’s oil sands con- tain 2.5 trillion barrels of oil, of which 315 billion barrels are recoverable with current technology. This sur- passes the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.
We all know that economic growth must be both strong and sustainable. Canada and the United States are co-operating on environmental issues. Whether through the important work done by the International Joint Commission for the Great Lakes. Or a new and important agreement on air quality. Environmental protection is an area where we have to do more.
The closeness of our relationship cannot be captured with statistics alone. It is found in the relations between our two national governments, our states and provinces, our cities, our institutions of learning, our businesses, our hospitals. Above all in our people who work together, marry one another, go to one another’s schools and universities, play in the same sports leagues, and even sometimes live in one country and work in the other.
But this relationship is too impor- tant to take for granted. We must always work to make it better. To make us both more secure, and more prosperous.
Canadians, like Americans, care about our role in the world. We, like you, faced great dangers in the last century when we came of age, and developed our own perspective and distinctive international personality.
That perspective finds its roots in our history. A G-8 country that has never been a colonial power or a superpower. A country that has been an effective broker in the world. A country whose unique perspective allows us to complement you as you exercise your enormous responsibilities in today’s world.
We have developed a strong belief in the value of a multilateral approach to global problems. An approach which we believe is more than ever necessary as we face the threats of global terrorism, crime and corrup- tion, environmental damage on a vast scale, and other challenges which can- not be successfully met by one nation, however powerful, acting alone.
Multilateral institutions are essen- tial to managing our evermore integrated world ”” the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the OAS, NATO, to name a few. The views of Canada and the United States usually converge in these institutions because we share common values.
This is particularly true as we face a common danger, the danger posed by Saddam Hussein. We see him as a threat to peace in his region. We par- ticipated in the Gulf War. We have steadfastly supported UN sanctions.
We recognize and respect the leadership that the United States is showing in forcing Saddam Hussein to abide by the resolutions of the United Nations.
War must always be the last resort, not only because of the human suffer- ing it produces but also because of the inevitable unforeseen consequences.
But if it must come to war, I argue that the world should respond through the United Nations. This is the best way to give legitimacy to the use of force in these circumstances.
We must all be concerned about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And we all fully under- stand why action is required before it is too late. I argue, however, that the long-term interests of the United States will be better served by acting through the United Nations than by acting alone. Indeed it was the United States which was the prime mover in the creation of the United Nations. And it did so for its own security.
The price of being the world’s only superpower is that its motives are sometimes questioned by oth- ers. Great strength is not always perceived by others as benign. Not everyone around the world is pre- pared to take the word of the United States on faith.
Canada firmly supports the objec- tives of the United States. We have been close friends and allies for a long, long time. It is essential that the United States can count on support from around the world.
Therefore it is imperative to avoid the perception of a ”œclash of civiliza- tions.” Maximum use of the United Nations will minimize that risk.
And so how the United States acts in the days ahead will have profound consequences for the future. I am convinced that working through the United Nations, if at all possible, as difficult and as frustrating as it sometimes can be, will not only immea- surably strengthen the hand of the United States but also of those around the world who want to support it.
Canada welcomed President Bush’s leadership in going to the UN General Assembly. We welcomed the determi- nation shown by the United States in pressing the Security Council to adopt Resolution 1441. We strongly support- ed a measure that imposed obligations on Iraq where non-compliance would be accompanied by serious conse- quences.
The world learned a terrible lesson when the League of Nations failed to act against aggression in the 1930s. But we must also remember that the League of Nations was mortally wounded because the United States was not a member.
This is a testing time for the United Nations. A United Nations where the United States is a key player. Where the United States can be very persuasive. I am convinced that, given a proper chance, the United Nations will fulfill its obligations to the world community. That it will back up its principles with resolve. But it must be given this proper chance. Today’s United Nations needs a committed United States. And I would strongly argue the world needs an effective United Nations.
NATO is also an essential player in the current situation. Democratic member countries of NATO have been friends and allies in a common cause for over 50 years. We must continue to come together and work well together in moments of stress and cri- sis. This is a difficult time for all coun- tries. I call tonight on our allies not to allow disagreements over means to divide us. All mem- bers of NATO must reaffirm our fundamental commit- ments to the multilateral insti- tutions which have served the world so well since the end of World War Two.
While we all focus on the current situation with respect to Iraq, we cannot ignore other press- ing issues. Like the threat from North Korea and the continuing instability in the Middle East. Like the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There again Canada believes in a mul- tilateral approach, where the world community, through the accepted, mandated and established focus of the United Nations can project its collec- tive will in the interests of international peace and security.
These are some of the issues I am sure President Bush and I will discuss when he makes a state visit to Canada. For they require lead- ership, and there is no stronger leader in the world today than the United States. And there is no stronger partnership today than the one between Canada and the United States. We must also recognize that long-term peace and security require not only better intel- ligence, or armed responses. Coordinated action on human devel- opment is also required.
For hundreds of millions of peo- ple, the main threats to their well-being are those of famine, disease, feeble economies, lack of educational opportunity, corrupt or inept gover- nance, regional conflicts.
President Bush in Monterrey almost a year ago, and in his State of the Union address, demonstrated real leadership. In his commitment to increase international assistance in general. And in particular to combat the plague of AIDS in Africa. I want to take this opportunity on behalf of all Canadians to congratulate him.
It is of course the right thing to do to advance human development in poor countries. But helping these peo- ple lift themselves out of poverty also advances our own security, prosperity and well-being.
These issues of poverty, trade, and development are in the long run as important to a secure, stable world as addressing the immediate threats we face from terrorism.
To succeed, they will require the same determination. The same commitment to our values. The same co- ordinated effort, strong partnerships, and strong institutions.