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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 12, 2008

U.S. and Canada Sign MOU on Emergency Management Cooperation

  • On December 12, 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon signed a revised and updated United States-Canada Agreement on Emergency Management Cooperation. The agreement provides a framework for our two countries to cooperate in planning for and responding to natural and man-made incidents, emergencies, and disasters.
  • This new agreement replaces one originally signed in 1986 and reflects changes in agency responsibilities, stakeholders, and terminology, among many other features.

  • The Consultative Group established under this revised agreement will provide a forum to address many aspects of emergency management, including prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Potential areas of eventual cooperation could range from traditional emergency management concerns such as natural disaster response to more recent concerns such as infrastructure protection and cyber-security.

  • The Consultative Group will be co-chaired by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State for the United States and by Public Safety Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for Canada.

  • The signing of this agreement addresses a Security and Prosperity Partnership goal of coordinating appropriate responses to catastrophic incidents in North America, a goal reiterated at the 2007 and 2008 North American Leaders’ Summits.

  • A similarly updated U.S.-Mexico agreement on emergency management was signed October 23 during Secretary Rice’s visit to Mexico.

  • The updated emergency management agreement is a new and positive step in our efforts to improve emergency management cooperation and coordination with Canada.

  • It is also another visible sign of the continuing and vibrant tradition of collaboration, communication, and partnership between the United States and Canada.


Released on December 12, 2008

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