Prime Minister Trudeau speaks to media at the Canadian Embassy in France
Hello everyone. Thank you for being with us today. We are about to end a moving and productive stay in France. We began the trip in Vimy, commemorating the centenary of the Armistice of the First World War. I had the opportunity to speak with Canadian veterans who risked their lives for our country. They deserve our deepest gratitude, and it was an honour for me to thank them for their great sacrifice.
Our men and women in uniform, both past and present, know better than anyone the realities of war and its devastating effects. They bravely defended the values that are dear to us: democracy, safeguarding rights and the pursuit of peace. These values are at the heart of Canadian interventions throughout the world. Remembrance Day is an occasion for all Canadians to fulfill the important duty of remembering and reaffirming our commitment to the values that so many Canadians risked their lives for. A commitment that can be expressed in the development of concrete solutions to eliminating barriers to peace. The centenary of the Armistice reminds us that cooperation must take centre stage in this initiative.
It is here, in this context that I have taken part in the Paris Peace Forum. This initiative, launched by the President of France, is in fact based on a common willingness to work with our partners and rise to shared challenges. I have also taken part in a discussion organized by Reporters Without Borders. Freedom of the press is fundamental to democracy; one cannot exist without the other. However, many journalists have their freedom of expression violated or threatened. I think of journalists who are jailed or killed or of the murder of the Saudi national, Jamal Khashoggi. This is unacceptable. The governments of the world must denounce attacks aimed at undermining the freedom of the press. That is why Canada formally supports the International Declaration on Information and Democracy and has committed to working with Reporters Without Borders and its partners to preserve and promote the freedom of the press and freedom of information.
Finally, earlier today, I took part in the GovTech Summit, at which we discussed the impact of technological advances on governance. We also supported the Paris Call for trust and security in cyberspace, which appeals to governments, the private sector and civil society to work together to promote security in cyberspace.
Later today we will be flying to Singapore for a meeting of the members of the ASEAN community, namely countries in Southeast Asia with some of the fastest-growing economies and populations in the world. Canada serves as a dialogue partner of this organization. This will be an opportunity for us to strengthen trade, economic growth and investment on both sides of the Pacific. I will also meet with Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore, to deepen Canada’s relationship with Singapore, a major economic gateway in the region, and Premier Li of China as part of the third annual leaders’ dialogue between Canada and China.
Then, we will make a stop in Papua New Guinea for the annual meeting of the Asia‑Pacific Economic Cooperation. This will be the moment to continue our discussions on international trade, namely in the context of our new Trans Pacific Partnership, concluded and ratified earlier this year. This historic agreement marks the start of a new era of cooperation with our Pacific nation partners, an era that will mean better opportunities for Canadian companies, good jobs for Canada’s middle class and an unprecedented level of commercial trade.