CEC Ministerial Statement – 2001 — Eighth Regular Session of the CEC Council 

Guadalajara, Mexico, 29 June 2001- We, the environment ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States, members of the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC or “the Commission”), have met for our annual regular session on 28 and 29 June 2001 in Guadalajara, Mexico. We have reviewed the program activities of the Commission and received input and advice from the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC), members of our national advisory bodies and the public.

This is the first session of the Council since our heads of government met in Quebec City in April for the Summit of the Americas and issued the North American Leaders’ Statement (22 April 2001). Our discussions in Guadalajara have taken into consideration their vision of working to deepen a sense of community, promote our mutual economic interest, ensure that the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) benefits extend to all regions and social sectors, develop and expand hemispheric and global trade, and promote broader trilateral and international cooperation.

Through our discussion, new directions for the work of the CEC over the coming years have emerged that build on the strengths of the existing work program and incorporate additional initiatives in areas such as water and hazardous wastes. To optimize the Commission’s effectiveness in promoting protection, conservation and sustainable use of the environment, we have established a framework that will emphasize:

Environmental Information

Timely and accurate environmental information is essential for rational decision making and the development of sound environmental policies. Strengthening our capacity to acquire and share knowledge among all sectors of society is fundamental to the ability of citizens to take informed action.
In this context, we will undertake the following new initiatives:

Market-based Approaches

The Commission recognizes that long-term success in protecting and conserving the environment will depend on our ability to foster innovation and develop creative solutions that address our shared environmental objectives in parallel with our economic and social objectives.

In this light, we will undertake the following initiatives:

Regional Cooperation for the Implementation of Global Agreements

Building on the Commission’s progress in addressing issues of global concern, we agree to:

Capacity Building
A crucial component of our ability to make progress together on a variety of environmental issues is the presence of relevant capacity in each of the three countries. We:

Building Partnerships and Strategic Linkages

Advancing environmental goals demands collaboration across sectors and building relationships with key partners. In this regard, we have identified the following initiatives:

Public Participation

We recognize the valuable contribution the public makes to the CEC’s activities and are committed to strengthening public participation in all aspects of the CEC’s work.

We appreciate the valuable role that the JPAC has played since the last Council Session in reviewing the Articles 14 and 15 submission process and engaging the public with respect to the development of its recommendations on the submission process. We are pleased with JPAC’s ‘lessons learned’ report. As outlined in Council Resolution 01-06 on this report, we have agreed to take action on many of JPAC’s recommendations. Other recommendations will require further consideration.

Mexico announced its decision to withdraw its confidentiality claim with respect to its reply to the citizen submission regarding Metales y Derivados. The Council agreed to request the Secretariat to provide a summary of confidentiality regulations in Canada, the United States and other countries, with a view to providing Mexico with examples in this area.

CEC Budget and Next Meeting of Council

The Parties will continue to support the CEC at the level of US$9 million for the year 2002. We will meet in Mont Tremblant, Canada, for the next Regular Session of Council in June 2002.