Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined her international counterparts at the Ecole Militaire to deliver remarks on the importance of strong international partnerships at the Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale - highlighting the Department's commitment to working with France and other European partners to enhance international security.
"In our globalized economy, our international partnerships are critical to our nation's domestic security, and strong international engagement and cooperation is essential," said Secretary Napolitano. "DHS is committed to working closely with our allies and partners who face common threats to build a more secure and resilient nation while strengthening the commerce, travel, and communication networks that we all share."
During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano underscored the Department's international security efforts, emphasizing the full range of threats the United States and its international partners face including terrorism and organized crime; narcotics smuggling and human trafficking; proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons; and emerging threats in cyberspace. The Department of Homeland Security has more than 1,500 employees stationed abroad in 75 countries who work bilaterally with nations as well as major multilateral bodies and organizations to strengthen the security of the networks of global trade and travel.
While in Paris, Secretary Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder met with French Minister of the Interior Claude Guéant and underscored the DHS's commitment to strengthening aviation security and information sharing to combat terrorism. They endorsed the U.S.-EU Agreement on the Use and Transfer of Passenger Name Records, initialed in Paris on November 17 by DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and Director Reinhard Priebe of the European Commission, and encouraged other member states of the European Union and the European Parliament to expedite approval of the agreement.
Secretary Napolitano also met bilaterally with Secretary General Francis Delon and the French Minister of Justice Michel Mercier to amplify the efforts of the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State to adopt the Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) Agreements - underscoring the critical increase of information sharing capabilities for Visa Waiver Program participating countries to help prevent terrorism and transnational crime.
Secretary Napolitano also met with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris where she discussed the Department's role in cybersecurity. The U.S. and France participate in a standing US-EU Working Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime that focuses on enhancing public-private partnerships, raising awareness about cyber threats, combating cybercrime, and protecting critical infrastructure and intellectual property.
On Dec. 3-6, Secretary Napolitano will travel to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the Department's role in international law enforcement efforts. While in Doha, Qatar, Secretary Napolitano will meet bilaterally with Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani on continued collaboration and increased security initiatives between the United States and Qatar. Later in Abu Dhabi, Secretary Napolitano will join U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca at the Gulf States Global Police Symposium where she will deliver remarks on the Department's partnerships with the international law enforcement community.
For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov.