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Report on the Conference on the Foreign Relations of Constituent Units

Winnipeg: The Foreign Relations of Constituent Units The Forum hosted a conference on ‘Constituent Units and Foreign Relations’ in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 10 to 13, 2001. Over one hundred and twenty people took part from a number of countries, including Brazil, Mexico, India, Nigeria, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Argentina, South Africa and the USA. There were practitioners from both federal and constituent unit governments, academic researchers, and a large youth contingent. The workshops and plenary sessions covered many aspects of the activities of constituent unit governments in the international sphere. Issues discussed included the impact of free trade agreements (MERCOSUR, NAFTA), the variety of strategies constituent unit governments use to defend their interests internationally, the particular problems of large municipalities, and some of the features of economic and cultural globalization that put added demands on constituent unit governments. In Federations magazine, Vol. 1 No. 5, the ‘Practitioner’s Page’ is devoted to the Brazilian foreign service official Ceasar Melantonio Neto, who participated in the conference and who discusses the Brazilian foreign ministry’s innovation of having ‘emissaries’ in the main regions of the country.