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Texas Border and Mexican Affairs

XXIII BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE
UNITED STATES-MEXICO


JOINT DECLARATION
JULY 14-15, 2005
TORREON, COAHUILA

PREAMBLE

 

The Governors of the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Sonora and Tamaulipas of the United Mexican States, and the Governors of the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas of the United States of America, meeting in the city of Torreon, Coahuila on July 14 and 15, 2005,having analyzed, in the framework of the XXIII Conference of the United States-Mexico Border Governors, the topics relating to Agriculture, Water, Science and Technology, 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;

The border states recognize that the positive impact on the economy and global competitiveness of the region will be defined by the development of joint strategies to enhance competitiveness through the development of human capital and construction of scientific and technological capacity;

The ten states comprising the United States-Mexico border region have collaborated through the institution of the Border Governors Conference for over two decades;

The border states , 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 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 states, 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

WATER

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

BORDER CROSSINGS

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

EDUCATION

ENERGY

ENVIRONMENT

WILDLIFE

HEALTH

BORDER SECURITY

TOURISM

Addendum No. 1

BECC and NADBANK

Respectfully request the federal government of the United States to conclude the appointing process of the members of BECC and NADBAK Board of Directors. Exhort both governments to start operations of the Board as soon as possible.

Continue to insist on the annual assignation of non refundable resources by EPA to the BEIF program. Make flexible bank credit regulations and continue on with pending capital contributions. Extend the eligible programs to the new jurisdiction of 300 kilometers from the border, the whole new programs with resources from the Bank.

Insist on the communiqué of the Conference of 2004 to plan Bank’s funding projects to cover broader issued besides environment.

Recognize the director of NADBANK, Mr. Raul Rodriguez Barocio.

Addendum No. 2

Participation of Federal Representatives

The Border Governors agreed on r equest the federal governments of both countries to select a liaison for each work table of this Conference in order to participate as legitimate members, exempting the right to vote.

Addendum No. 3

Technical Secretariat

Provisionally, the creation of the Technical Secretariat is approved as a test pilot, expected to be evaluated in its functions and the actual work that Governors’ agencies of each State have related to this matter.

Addendum No. 4

Mexican vice-president

The next Mexican vice-president is the Governor of Sonora, Eduardo Bours Castelo.

Addendum No. 5

Forum of Universal Cultures

The Border Governors Conference Mexico-United Status declares its support to the second edition of the Forum of Universal Cultures which will take place in Monterrey , Nuevo Leon on 2007. With no doubt, this important international event will be an open space for world society diversity to express and share freely its values and cultural and artistic patrimony, and in a very special way it will enrich the encounter among Latin culture with indigenous roots and Anglo culture, and its implications on issues related to migration, socioeconomics, culture and politics.

Addendum No. 6

Joint Statement of Principles on Immigration and Border Security

We, the governors of the states that comprise the border between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico, jointly declare our commitment to work together to promote legal immigration. We support programs that facilitate the swift and lawful movement of people and goods. And we agree to evaluate legislative proposals, such as guest worker programs, that facilitate legal immigration in a way that mutually benefit both Mexico and the United States .

At the same time, violations of the laws of either country must not be tolerated. While border security is primarily the responsibility of the federal governments of Mexico and the United States , we, the border governors, recognize the importance of border security and the elimination of trafficking in persons.

We also recognize that provisions must be made to ensure respect for the human rights and safety of all immigrants, documented or undocumented. United States and Mexican border law enforcement agencies, both federal and state, must treat all immigrants with the respect and consistency to which they are entitled.

We look forward to the leadership of incoming Chair Governor Rick Perry of Texas and the Vice-chair Governor Eduardo Bours Castelo of Sonora , in addressing the critical issues of immigration and border security in the coming year.

XXIII - Conference Signatures