[CMI-Chiapas] Americas Program | Trilateral Meeting Shows Good
Intentions, Few Solutions
communications at irc-online.org
Thu Mar 24 16:25:30 PST 2005
What's New at the Americas Program
“A New World of Ideas, Analysis and Policy Options”
March 24, 2005
New from the IRC's Americas Program:
North American Leaders’ Meeting Shows Good Intentions, Few Solutions
By Laura Carlsen
If you get your news from the U.S. media, the trilateral meeting between the
North American heads of state was mostly a feel-good session to smooth over
ruffled feathers in relationships over the past years. Given the lack of content
in the official declarations, you have to wonder why they even bothered at
But the real agenda was a little more complex. To understand what happened
at the recent North American summit, you have to read between the lines of
the chummy public pronouncements.
The “trilateral relationship” continues to be a double bilateral relationship,
mediated not just geographically but diplomatically by the central power—the
United States. The agendas of the junior partners—Canada on dispute resolution
mechanisms, Mexico on immigration—received only cursory and rhetorical attention
while U.S.-defined security took precedence over daily realities.
Laura Carlsen directs the Americas Program of the International Relations Center
(IRC), online at http://www.irc-online.org.
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