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Texas Border and Mexican Affairs

XXI BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE
UNITED STATES-MEXICO


JOINT DECLARATION
AUGUST 7-8, 2003
CHIHUAHUA, CHIHUAHUA

PREAMBLE

 

THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATES OF ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATES OF BAJA CALIFORNIA, CHIHUAHUA, COAHUILA, NUEVO LEON, SONORA AND TAMAULIPAS OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES, MEETING IN THE CITY OF CHIHUAHUA, CHIHUAHUA, ON AUGUST 7 - 8, 2003, HAVING ANALYZED, IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE XXI CONFERENCE OF UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS, THE TOPICS RELATING TO AGRICULTURE, BORDER CROSSINGS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, BORDER SECURITY AND TOURISM; AND

WHEREAS

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES ARE TWO SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT NATIONS, EACH WITH ITS OWN CLEAR IDENTITY;

THESE SOVEREIGN NATIONS SHARE A BORDER OF NEARLY TWO THOUSAND MILES, AS WELL AS COMMON VALUES AND A VISION FOR THE PROSPERITY OF THE BORDER REGION;

THE UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER REGION IS ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC REGIONS OF THE WORLD, WHERE THE BORDER IS NOT A LINE THAT DIVIDES OUR COUNTRIES BUT A BOND THAT UNITES US AND INVITES US TO WORK TOGETHER FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT;

CURRENT INTERNATIONAL CONDITIONS HAVE MAGNIFIED THE STRATEGIC ROLE OF THE BORDER REGION AND COMPELLED US TO COOPERATE MORE FULLY THAN EVER WITH BOTH FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO ENSURE GREATER SECURITY AND EFFICIENCY ON THE BORDER;

PRESIDENTS GEORGE W. BUSH AND VICENTE FOX QUESADA ESTABLISHED A BILATERAL ACTION PLAN TO MODERNIZE THE CROSSINGS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO TO ACHIEVE A "SMART BORDER;"

THE TEN STATES COMPRISING THE UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER REGION HAVE COLLABORATED THROUGH THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE FOR TWO DECADES;

THE TWO NATIONS, UNITED AS NEVER BEFORE BY COMMON INTERESTS AND OPEN DIALOGUE, ARE DETERMINED TO SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ACHIEVE UNPRECEDENTED BILATERAL COOPERATION;

THE BORDER STATES REAFFIRM THEIR COMMITMENT TO OPEN ECONOMIES AND SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE REGION;

THE BORDER REGION POSSESSES INHERENT COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AND ECONOMIC SYNERGIES THAT ENABLE JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THEREBY INCREASING TRADE AND FOSTERING REGIONAL INTEGRATION;

GIVEN THE RAPID SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH OF THE BORDER REGION, WE MUST ASSURE A STABLE ENERGY SUPPLY, FOLLOWING THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND APPROPRIATE DISTRIBUTION;

BOTH NATIONS RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO INVEST IN MODERN AND EFFICIENT INFRASTRUCTURE AT THEIR PORTS OF ENTRY TO INCREASE SECURITY AND STRENGTHEN COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE ALONG THE BORDER;

THE BORDER REGION MUST WORK TO FACILITATE SAFE AND EFFICIENT CROSS-BORDER MOVEMENT OF GOODS, SERVICES AND PEOPLE, WITH RESPECT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY;

THE TEN BORDER STATES, AWARE OF CONSTANTLY CHANGING FEDERAL REGULATIONS THAT HINDER FLUID COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE, WILL COORDINATE EFFORTS TO IMPROVE BORDER CROSSING CONDITIONS;

THE BORDER STATES UNITE IN THE DESIRE TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL, CROSS-BORDER EMERGENCY RESPONSE EFFORTS TO RESPOND TO TERRORIST ACTS, NATURAL DISASTERS AND OTHER HAZARDS THAT THREATEN THE SECURITY OF OUR REGION'S INHABITANTS;

THE BORDER STATES, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR, SHARE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF BORDER COMMUNITIES, SUPPORTING THE EFFORTS OF THE UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER HEALTH COMMISSION;

THE BORDER STATES SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT PROMOTE, AMONG OTHERS, BILINGUAL EDUCATION, CULTURAL EXCHANGE AND BILATERAL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES;

THE BORDER STATES, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR, ACKNOWLEDGE AND SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE BORDER BY IMPLEMENTING PROGRAMS AIMED AT CONSERVING THE WEALTH OF THOSE RESOURCES IN THE REGION;

RECOGNIZING THAT A LARGE PART OF THE BORDER REGION IS DESERT, BOTH NATIONS WILL FOCUS EFFORTS ON PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE, EFFICIENT USE OF WATER AND WATER CONSERVATION;

THE FREQUENT WORK MEETINGS HELD BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE BORDER STATES HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH A MECHANISM FOR ONGOING DIALOGUE AND CONSULTATION, AS WELL AS A CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE BORDER GOVERNORS;

THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE BORDER GOVERNORS CONTINUES TO GENERATE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, FOR THE PROSPERITY AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE INHABITANTS OF THE REGION;

WE, THE BORDER GOVERNORS, ENDORSE THIS JOINT DECLARATION AND HEREBY ADOPT THE FOLLOWING TOPICS OF SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE TOWARD THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BORDER REGION:

AGRICULTURE

  1. WORK WITH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) AND THE SECRETARIA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERIA, DESARROLLO RURAL PESCA Y ALIMENTACIÓN (SAGARPA) TO COORDINATE A BIO/AGROTERRORISM DEFENSE PLAN FOR THE BORDER REGION.

  2. COLLABORATE WITH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) AND THE SECRETARÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERIA, DESARROLLO RURAL, PESCA Y ALIMENTACIÓN (SAGARPA) TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT PROGRAMS TO PREVENT, CONTROL AND ERADICATE PLANT DISEASES AND PESTS.

  3. COORDINATE WITH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) AND THE SECRETARÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, DESARROLLO RURAL, PESCA Y ALIMENTACIÓN (SAGARPA) THE ALLOCATION OF ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO SUPPORT PROGRAMS TO PREVENT, CONTROL, AND ERADICATE PESTS AND ANIMAL DISEASES.

BORDER CROSSINGS

  1. PROMOTE THE PARTICIPATION OF BORDER STATES, COORDINATED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS, IN DESIGNING A BINATIONAL CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES THAT PUT THE SECURITY OR SAFETY OF BORDER CROSSINGS AT RISK.

  2. WORK WITH BOTH FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO PROMOTE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MODEL BORDER CROSSINGS WITHIN A COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY FRAMEWORK
  3. PROMOTE BINATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING IN ACCORDANCE WITH BORDER REGIONAL URBAN PLANS.

  4. URGE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO MANAGE THE FLOW OF PEOPLE THROUGH THE BORDER CROSSINGS MORE EFFICIENTLY.

  5. FOSTER THE SHARED USE OF THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY OF BOTH COUNTRIES BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS TO MAKE THE CROSSING OF COMMERCIAL GOODS MORE EFFICIENT.

  6. PROMOTE THE EXPANSION OF THE SENTRI PROGRAM TO INCLUDE MORE BORDER CROSSINGS, TO EXPEDITE THE ISSUANCE IN LESS THAN ONE MONTH AND EXTEND THE VALIDITY OF THE SENTRI CARDS TO FIVE YEARS, SIMILAR TO A U.S.-CANADA PROGRAM; IN ADDITION, SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF OPERATING HOURS FOR TOURIST AND COMMERCIAL CROSSINGS, AND TO ACHIEVE A QUICKER AUTHORIZATION OF NEW BORDER CROSSINGS.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  1. STRENGTHEN THE BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE REGIONAL ECONOMIC INFORMATION SYSTEM THROUGH COORDINATED EFFORTS OF THE STATES AND SUB-REGIONS TO MAINTAIN CURRENT ECONOMIC INFORMATION AND PROMOTE AWARENESS OF THE WEBSITE.

  2. STRENGTHEN INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT RETENTION THROUGHOUT THE REGION BY: PROMOTING INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC BUSINESS MEETINGS TO LEARN ABOUT NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS; SETTING UP A KEY-FACTOR MATRIX BY STATE AND BY REGION TO DETERMINE INDUSTRY COMPETITIVENESS AND RETENTION; NEGOTIATING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESS RETENTION PROGRAMS AT VARIOUS GOVERNMENT LEVELS; AND PROMOTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LONG-TERM ECONOMIC POLICIES FOR THE BORDER REGION.

  3. INCREASE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE BORDER STATES BY: DEVELOPING REGIONAL SUPPLIERS; PROMOTING THE CREATION OF AN INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC PROGRAM BY STATE AND BY REGION; AND PROMOTING STRATEGIC ALLIANCES BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN COMPANIES THAT WILL ADD VALUE TO PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED ALONG THE BORDER; AND IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS THAT REPRESENT THE REGION.

  4. ENHANCE A LONG-TERM, TRANSPARENT AND EFFICIENT REGULATION FRAMEWORK FOR THE BORDER REGION.

  5. PROMOTE THE COOPERATION AND EXCHANGE OF NEW CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND MATERIALS WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF OFFERING BETTER AND MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS TO THE PUBLIC.

EDUCATION

  1. COMPLETE THE REVIEW OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND DEFINE THE OPERATION OF THE UNITED STATES - MEXICO BORDER COMMISSION ON EDUCATION WITH THE COLLABORATION OF THE TEN STATES AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS.
  2. FINALIZE THE FORMULATION OF THE SIX KEY PROGRAMS ALONG THE BORDER, SUCH AS EDUCATION AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE, SPANISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE, VALUE - BASED EDUCATION, HEALTH AND SAFETY EDUCATION, EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND WORKFORCE TRAINING, AND ADULT EDUCATION.

  3. DESIGN A PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN WITH THE COLLABORATION OF EXPERTS TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION TO THE BORDER EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY ABOUT THE SIX KEY PROGRAMS.

ENERGY

  1. COMPILE A "STATE OF BORDER ENERGY" REPORT THAT DESCRIBES ENERGY FACILITIES IN THE BORDER REGION AND DISCUSSES POLICY AND REGULATORY DIFFERENCES RELATING TO INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT.

  2. PROMOTE THE TEN BORDER STATES AS A REGION IDEALLY SUITED TO TEST NEW ENERGY POLICIES AND PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE COORDINATED SOLUTIONS TO MEETING FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS.

  3. ENHANCE AND STRENGTHEN ONGOING LOCAL, REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ENERGY ACTIVITIES OF RELATED ORGANIZATIONS.

  4. SUPPORT A REQUEST FOR FUNDING FROM THE NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (NADBANK) TO DEVELOP AN ELECTRICAL ENERGY PLANT PROTOTYPE THAT MAXIMIZES ENERGY OUTPUT WHILE MINIMIZING AIR EMISSIONS AND WATER USE TO PROVIDE A BENCHMARK FOR SUCH PLANTS IN THE BORDER REGION.

ENVIRONMENT

  1. EXECUTE THE BORDER 2012: U.S.-MEXICO ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM VIA REGIONAL WORKGROUPS THAT ADDRESS STATE AND LOCAL PRIORITIES THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS WITH BORDER COMMUNITIES, IN COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) AND THE SECRETARÍA DE MEDIO AMBIENTE Y RECURSOS NATURALES (SEMARNAT).

  2. WORK WITH THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA), THE SECRETARÍA DE MEDIO AMBIENTE Y RECURSOS NATURALES (SEMARNAT) AND APPROPRIATE PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS THAT AFFECT THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN AND TO DEVELOP A BORDER-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION STRATEGY.

  3. REQUEST THAT THE U.S. AND MEXICAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS ESTABLISH A BORDER AIR QUALITY FUND, ADMINISTERED THROUGH THE NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (NADBANK), TO PROVIDE GRANTS FOR TRANSPORTATION-RELATED INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS THAT HELP REMEDY BINATIONAL AIR QUALITY CONCERNS.

  4. SUPPORT AND PROMOTE ACTIONS THAT LEAD TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A UNIFIED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) FOR THE BORDER REGION TO FACILITATE BINATIONAL PLANNING, DATA ANALYSIS, AND JOINT PROBLEM RESOLUTION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES.

  5. REQUEST THAT THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) AND THE SECRETARÍA DE MEDIO AMBIENTE Y RECURSOS NATURALES (SEMARNAT) HOST A U.S.-MEXICO STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION TO ADDRESS MANAGEMENT ISSUES OF SHARED WATER RESOURCES IN THE BORDER REGION AND PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR EXPANDED MONITORING OF SHARED WATERSHEDS.

HEALTH

  1. REQUEST THAT BOTH THE SECRETARIA DE SALUD AND THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (SPECIFICALLY, THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION AND THE HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES ADMINISTRATION) PROVIDE RESOURCES THAT WILL ENSURE EFFECTIVE AND COORDINATED STRATEGIC PLANNING BY THE TEN STATE HEALTH AGENCIES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS TO TERRORISM ACTIVITIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER.

TOURISM

  1. DEVELOP JOINT INTEGRATED PUBLICITY PROGRAMS TO INFORM POTENTIAL TRAVELERS OF THEIR GENERAL AND LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS AS VISITORS TO THE BORDER REGION TO MAKE THEIR VISITS MORE ENJOYABLE.

  2. ESTABLISH A COMMUNICATIONS CONSORTIUM TO ADDRESS IMMEDIATELY ANY NEGATIVE PUBLICITY THAT COULD AFFECT THE NORMAL FLOW OF TOURISTS TO AND FROM THE BORDER REGION.

  3. CONTINUE TO IDENTIFY IMMIGRATION MEASURES AND FEES THAT NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE FLOW OF PEOPLE IN AND THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE BORDER REGION, AND OFFER SOLUTIONS TO FORTIFY THE ECONOMIES OF THE BORDER COMMUNITIES.

NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK

THE INSTITUTION OF NEW PROGRAMS, DEVELOPMENT OF NEW FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS AND EXPANSION INTO ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SECTORS BY THE NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (NADBANK) AND THE BORDER ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION COMMISSION (BECC) HAS HAD A MARKED AND PALPABLE IMPACT ON THEIR ABILITY TO DEVELOP AND FINANCE PROJECTS ALONG THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER. ADDITIONAL INITIATIVES THAT ARE CURRENTLY BEING CONSIDERED BY THE U.S. SENATE WILL FURTHER ENHANCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NADBANK AND BECC IN ADDRESSING INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS ALONG THE BORDER. THESE INCLUDE AN INCREASE IN THE BANK'S LOW-INTEREST RATE LENDING PROGRAM, GEOGRAPHIC EXPANSION OF THE NADBANK/BECC JURISDICTION IN MEXICO TO 300 KILOMETERS FROM THE BORDER, AND THE CREATION OF A SINGLE BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO GOVERN BOTH INSTITUTIONS. THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS URGE PASSAGE AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE ADDITIONAL INITIATIVES.

THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS ALSO URGE THE INCORPORATION OF A MINIMUM OF $100 MILLION IN THE FY 2004 BUDGET OF THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY'S BORDER ENVIRONMENT INFRASTRUCTURE FUND (BEIF), ALSO KNOWN AS THE BORDER WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FUND (BWIF). THIS WOULD MORE EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS PRESSING BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS OF ADEQUATE POTABLE WATER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT.

WATER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

IT IS AGREED TO CREATE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE ENVIRONMENT WORK TABLE TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF "WATER FOR SUTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT." THIS FOCUS DOES NOT INTEND TO INTERFERE WITH FEDERAL JURISDICTION BUT RATHER WILL HAVE THE SPECIAL GOAL OF SOLICITING SUPPORT FROM OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM.

BORDER SECURITY

A BORDER SUCURITY WORK TABLE WAS CREATED, CO-CHAIRED BY BAJA CALIFORNIA AND NEW MEXICO, WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY TO COORDINATE THE WORK OF THE TABLE. TWO MEETINGS HAVE TAKEN PLACE AND A PLAN OF ACTION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED.

Governor's signatures