January 30, 2001
OAS OFFICIAL SAYS COOPERATION HAS INSPIRED HEMISPHERIC STABILITY
"The Americas enjoy a level of democratic stability and security not seen in most other regions of the world," Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi told hemispheric delegates at an Organization of American States meeting that he inaugurated today to continue preparations for the Third Summit of the Americas in Canada next April.
Ambassador Einaudi attributed that progress to regional cooperation which, he said, "the summit process is revitalizing." He told participants at the three-day 21st Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) that, since the first Summit in Miami in December 1994, "a common vision of democracy and freer trade has inspired much hope and some progress," including the fact that among 33 of the world's most troubled countries identified in a recent research, "not one was in this Hemisphere."
Elaborating, the OAS Assistant Secretary General noted that "when the state is incapable of providing the necessary services and resources for the citizens' development on the basis of equality before the law, this is inevitably seen as an unmet expectation, a failure of the democratic system."
Presiding at the SIRG meeting, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's personal representative for the Summit of the Americas, Marc Lortie, reviewed the accomplishments since the last SIRG gathering. "We made very useful progress in advancing our work on the first and third chapters of the Plan of Action for the Quebec City Summit," he said. Those chapters pertain to "strengthening democracy" and "realizing the human potential."
Mr. Lortie also referred to the recent Canada-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit in Jamaica, saying it was "a very timely opportunity to consult Caribbean leaders on the full range of issues" to be considered by the Hemisphere's leaders at the Third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada, from April 20 to 22, 2001.
Canada's Ambassador to the OAS, Peter Boehm, briefed the delegates on the work of the OAS' Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management, which he chairs. He noted that the Committee's special meeting set for February 16 will involve experts, including civil society representatives, who will discuss the second chapter of the draft Plan of Action of the Hemispheric Summit, with a constructive debate on issues related to trade.