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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s Opening Remarks at the Five Country Ministerial – as Prepared for Delivery

Release Date: 
July 22, 2013

Monterey, Calif.
Naval Postgraduate School
(As prepared for delivery)

Welcome, Minister Clare, Minister Collins, Secretary May, and Minister Blaney, and thank you for the opportunity to host this Ministerial of our five countries. 

As allies and economic partners, our five countries have a successful history of cooperation in addressing issues – from increased security to facilitated movement of goods and people. 

We have a unique relationship with one another.  We are all are democracies, we share the same language, we have strong economies, and we also have engaged citizens who expect action and accountability from their governments.

But we are also bound together by new and evolving threats – from transnational criminal organizations, and terrorism, to those seeking to damage or disrupt critical infrastructure and infiltrate the systems that control such networks.

In response, we must develop new mechanisms to address these shared security, public safety, cyber, and other related challenges. 

This will help us increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and operational control of our authorities. 

And that is why this meeting is so important.  This Ministerial will emphasize the interconnectedness of our economies, networks, cyber, and immigration systems. 

And it will allow us to build on our progress to date, while deepening our partnership in a unified and strategic way.

I hope this becomes the first of many more to come.

Today’s meeting is focused on three topics – the Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure, Countering Violent Extremism, and Data Exchange Initiatives.

While each topic holds its own challenges, they all require close collaboration in order to build our collective ability to identify and mitigate threats that transcend our physical borders. 

And we know that there are more issues ahead of us.

I see the Five Country Ministerial as a singular forum in which cross-cutting issues will inform discussions on how our five countries can collectively achieve the optimal balance of mobility and security.

And by developing common approaches to shared threats, we not only build on best practices and leverage our experiences, we do so more efficiently, and in a way that strengthens each other’s capabilities.

Our continued cooperative approach toward homeland security also serves as a model for international collaboration. 

Working closely together, we have a unique opportunity and capacity to develop common international standards and approaches to security issues, and promote these among other foreign partners.

So I look forward to working with you today, and to our continuing cooperation.  Thank you again for attending today’s Ministerial and for your ongoing partnership.

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Review Date: 
July 22, 2013
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