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IDB hosts the Third Triumvirate of the North American Forum on Integration

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno welcomed Triumvirate 2007, an annual mock parliament that brings together a hundred university students from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Speaking to the North American model parliament, an initiative that aims to strengthen the sense of a North American identity and discuss regional integration issues, IDB President Moreno emphasized the IDB’s commitment to social and economic development in the Americas as well as to the promotion of integration across the Hemisphere.

Moreno spoke about the importance of economic and cultural integration between Canada, Mexico and the United States. “Today, college students in Monterrey download songs by Canadian pop singers, while Canadian students study Spanish in Guadalajara. People in Montreal watch soap operas produced by Televisa. Hollywood distributes global blockbusters by Mexican film directors like Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñarritu. And thanks Internet sites like YouTube and FaceBook, artists in New York, Toronto and Mexico City can cross-pollinate ideas and find new audiences faster than ever before.”

“North America’s economic integration is also impressive,” Moreno added. “Trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States has tripled since NAFTA was approved in 1994, to more than $800 billion per year. Companies around the world are increasingly thinking of North America as single market of more than 440 million people.”

Following Moreno’s talk, there was a very active session of questions and answers between the students and the IDB President on topics raging from cultural identities in North America to access to credit for small entrepreneurs. The Executive Directors from the US, Hector Morales, and from Mexico, Jonathan Davis Arzac, joined in the discussion.

This year the Triumvirate is being hosted by the IDB and American University. Students will debate themes, including  the creation of a customs union, water management, human trafficking and telecommunications.

The Triumvirate is organized by the North American Forum on Integration (NAFI), a non-profit organization devoted to developing North American dialogue and networks. Created in 2002, NAFI aims to build awareness on the issues raised by North American integration and identifies long-term solutions.

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