Our three countries are closely connected through common geography, strong links between our peoples, and comprehensive trade relations. As such, we share many mutual defense interests. Threats to North America and the hemisphere are increasingly complex and require coordinated responses. Building upon the trilateral collaboration under the North American Leaders Summit process, we remain committed to enhancing our common understanding of those threats and developing effective and efficient approaches needed to address them.
Since the inaugural Trilateral Meeting of North American Defense Ministers in 2012, we have made significant progress in establishing and deepening our trilateral defense relationship. We have also increased our understanding of how we can collaborate in several areas of mutual concern. With this foundation, our countries continue to work together to address the security and defense challenges that our continent faces. We acknowledge that transnational threats require transnational responses and are committed to furthering our collaboration.
Through the work of the second trilateral defense ministerial and building upon the first meeting, we have identified the following areas in which we seek to extend our trilateral defense cooperation:
• Update the Trilateral North American Continental Threat Assessment to deepen our common understanding of mutual defense challenges;
• Continue to identify ways to support civilian agencies;
• Develop mechanisms to work together to increase the efficiency with which our armed forces support civilian-led responses to disasters;
• Share information regarding cyber defense challenges and approaches to address them;
• Identify opportunities to synchronize defense activities on the southern border of the North American region; and
• Continue to work together to strengthen hemispheric defense forums, such as the XI Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas and the Inter-American Defense Board.
We intend to continue to meet on a regular basis to advance trilateral defense cooperation in areas of mutual interest while respecting national sovereignty.