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Texas Border and Mexican Affairs

XXII BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE
UNITED STATES-MEXICO


JOINT DECLARATION
AUGUST 9-10, 2004
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

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 Santa Fe, New Mexico on August 9 and 10, 2004, having analyzed, in the framework of the XXII Conference of the United States-Mexico Border Governors, the topics relating to Agriculture, Border Crossings, Border Security, Economic Development, Education, Energy, Environment, Health, and Tourism.

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 ten states comprising the United States-Mexico border region have collaborated through the institutionalization 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 AND FARMING

BORDER CROSSINGS

BORDER SECURITY

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

EDUCATION

ENERGY

ENVIRONMENT

Water

  • Promote understanding and cooperation through the sharing of experiences and information as a strategy for the resolution of, and to minimize the potential for water-related differences which might arise between countries and/or states in both national and international contexts, thereby, serving to improve relations among border states . Such diplomacy practiced among border states could yield numerous benefits at a bi-national level.
Wildlife
  • Improve the capacities for managing and conserving wildlife of the border states by coordinat i ng and conducting scheduled interagency training forums to promote increased awareness and knowledge of wildlife management principles and techniques by Mexican state resource professionals and selected lay persons.

HEALTH

TOURISM

ADDENDUM NO. 1
Water Resolution

Whereas, on August 10, 2004 , the Governors of the U.S.-Mexico border states convened during the XXII Border Governors Conference in Santa Fe , New Mexico , to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern, including the issue of water.

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Governors agreed to:

Continue to collaborate on projects and discussions regarding water use and conservation on issues, such as groundwater, that provide valuable information for agriculture, human consumption and sustainable economic development.

ADDENDUM NO. 2
Energy Resolution

Whereas, on August 10, 2004 , the Governors of the U.S.-Mexico border states convened during the XXII Border Governors Conference in Santa Fe , New Mexico , to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern, including the issue of energy.

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Governors agreed to:

Direct the Energy Work Table of the Conference to establish and outline a border strategy with specific goals and deadlines for the increased production, use and conservation of clean energy, emphasizing necessary and safe regional energy infrastructure development and improvements.

This agreement shall correspond with the 2004 Western Governors Association Renewable Energy Resolution and shall be presented for consideration and adoption by the border Governors during the XXIII Border Governors' Conference in 2005.

ADDENDUM NO .3
Resolution on the US-Visit Program

Whereas, on August 10, 2004 , the Governors of the U.S.-Mexico border states convened during the XXII Border Governors Conference in Santa Fe , New Mexico , to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern, including the issue of border security.

Therefore, be it resolved, that:

The Governors commend the U.S. Federal Government on the change announced today, August 10, 2004 , to the US-VISIT Program that allows Mexican visitors with a laser permit that visit the U.S. to stay 30 days instead of 72 hours.

The Border Governors also commend Governor Rick Perry of Texas for his strong efforts on behalf of this change.

ADDENDUM NO. 4
Resolution for Border Research and Development

Whereas, on August 10, 2004, the Governors of the U.S.-Mexico border states convened during the XXII Border Governors Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern, including the issue of border research and development; and

Whereas, the Governors recognize the high concentration of research and development organizations, universities and facilities in the border states that are uniquely qualified to develop solutions to the challenges of the region in order to create new industries; and

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Governors agreed to:

Jointly develop and promote border research and development projects, utilizing all state, federal and private resources and promotional strategies available to strengthen and increase the region's growth and present a specific plan of action during the XXIII Border Governors' Conference.

ADDENDUM NO. 5
Immigration Resolution

Whereas, on August 10, 2004, the Governors of the U.S.-Mexico border states convened during the XXII Border Governors Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern, including the issue of immigration; and

Whereas, one of the greatest challenges faced by those of us who live along the U.S.-Mexico border is finding a balance between increased security demands and maintaining the free flow of trade;

Whereas, the subject of border security should be viewed broadly and actions undertaken should go beyond the fight against terrorism;

Whereas, we believe that it is unfair on behalf of the United States to allow Canadian visitors a six-month stay while limiting Mexican visitors with a laser visa to only one month. This, besides representing a migratory inequality between partners, negatively impacts the economies of the states on both sides of the US-Mexico border;

Whereas, we also believe that when the federal governments require stronger security measures, they should also provide the funding to implement them;

Whereas, immigration reform should be addressed by the federal governments of both countries to guarantee free trade, the respect of human rights and the quality of life in border communities;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the ten Governors of the border states call on both the federal governments to deal with these immigration issues directly and expeditiously.

ADDENDUM NO. 6
NADBank Resolution

Whereas, on August 10, 2004, the Governors of the U.S.-Mexico border states convened during the XXII Border Governors Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern, including NADBank; and

Whereas, NADBank is important to the future development of the U.S.-Mexico border region and to respond to its original purpose and expectations, the Bank should reinforce, as its main priority, its programs and performance in the environmental sectors it covers;

Whereas, the recent approval to expand the Bank's jurisdiction within 300 kilometers of the Mexico border has been a successful move in the right direction , now is the time to expand our efforts and consider the following actions:

  1. More active participation by the border Governors to strengthen the institution and the development of its programs.
  2. The Bank should explore, with other financial instruments and partners, projects that will make the border region more competitive.
  3. Explore ways to find additional financial resources, including private resources, for other types of infrastructure investments.
  4. Increase non-reimbursable funding. A desirable goal would be to improve sufficient funding to set pace with the known necessities and requirements along the border. In particular, we urge a substantial increase of EPA funding for the BEIF program. This will be critical in closing the development gap along the border and fostering the competitiveness of the region as a whole.
  5. Promote the simplification of institutional means and procedures between BECC and the NADBank as well as expediting procedures for project certification.