Advice to Council 97-03 — Assessment of the First Three Years of the Agreement

DISTRIBUTION: General
J/97-03/ADV/r01
ORIGINAL: English

Assessment of the First Three Years of the Agreement

THE JOINT PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

CONSIDERING

JPAC summarizes the situation after three years as follows:

The CEC is an innovative institution; it is both maturing and deepening; and it is adding value in the sense that a range of environment problems are being addressed for the first time from a Continental perspective. These are significant achievements. At the same time, as a practical working agreement of cooperation across a continent, it is a model for the future management and development of a North American Community. However, the CEC is still fragile. It must receive a continuing and increased level of support and advocacy from the parties.

JPAC advises that four essentials must be fulfilled for the organization to continue to be as useful and effective as possible:

  1. Its program of work should continue to focus on a few major themes and the achievement of concrete results, with a core interest in the trade-economy-environment relationship.
  2. The Parties should demonstrate sustained, continued attention on issues and problems of implementation, now that several programs are “up and running.”
  3. The Parties should commit themselves to achieve the level of funding initially agreed upon (US$5 million/year from each party), given that the tendency to add new programs on a shrinking funding base is not advisable.
  4. Strong advocacy and public commitment from the Parties (at the political and official level) to the goals and achievements of the Commission is necessary, so that the good work and practical problem-solving now going on is given due recognition.