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Secretary General Insulza Says Summits Process “Is a Priority” for the OAS

  June 8, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, asserted today that for the institution he heads the process of the Summit of the Americas, “the highest form of our organization and of the Inter-American System, is a topmost priority.”

The Secretary General expressed his support for the process during the First Ministerial Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) held in the framework of the 40th OAS General Assembly that concludes today in Lima.

Furthermore, he said he designated the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert R. Ramdin, as his Personal Representative for the realization of the VI Summit of the Americas, to be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, in April 2012.

During his intervention, the topmost representative of the hemispheric organization affirmed that four “fundamental” tasks have been carried out to ensure the success of the next OAS Summit: first, “follow-up of what has been done in the summits,” for which the recently presented “Summit of the Americas Follow-up System (SISCA) is a fundamental step forward that allows us to follow-up on what our countries are doing to fulfill and implement the agreements of the Summit” held in April 2009 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Another task is the “coordination with the other international organizations and civil society.” “If the summit is the top forum of the system, all of its entities have the greatest interest in ensuring that the summit is successful and can propose decisions that can be fulfilled by the international organizations that will also have to meet a very fundamental part of their implementation.” For it “we are working with the Joint Working Group of the Summits that seeks to collaborate with the inter-American agenda and the summits compiling the collective efforts of the group in the priority subjects contained in the Declaration of Port of Spain and registering how institutions can work jointly in regional programs to assist the States in their hemispheric commitments.”

Similarly, he expressed the need to promote coordination with civil society, for which the OAS “is presenting a document on the community we named the Virtual Summits Community,” an open space online “that has complementary tools to the forums of participation.” Through it, all members of civil society “can satisfy their interests in participating in the summits process,” he said. More information on the VSC is available here

As the third priority, Secretary General Insulza mentioned “the preparation of the Summit agenda," being worked on with the SISCA, “but the fundamental work we will have to do with the Government of Colombia, we are dedicated to strengthen this work and we hope that we can make substantial progress on what is going to be a major theme of the Summit.”

Finally, coordination from the Summit itself is necessary. “Though that task is fundamentally the host country’s, we are going to collaborate with the organization of the Summit, as we have done in previous Summits,” in their orientation as much as in the logistics.

For her part, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affaire of Colombia and National Coordinator of the Summits of the Americas Process, Clemencia Forero Ucrós, reaffirmed the commitment of her country with the Summits process “as a vital instrument of dialogue and political reflection in the region, that has given a new thrust to hemispheric relations, renewing the importance of inter-Americanism and revitalizing the multilateral agenda.”

The Vice Minister emphasized the need to rely “on the support and experience of all countries that have been hosts of the Summit of the Americas on the road of preparation toward the Summit of Cartagena,” and she reiterated the importance for “countries to be able to make voluntary contributions to the Specific Fund of the SIRG as much as is possible.”

She also highlighted that the host country for the next Summit has “every interest in building a complete schedule to discuss with every nation of the region and the institutions that build the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), which reflect the most pressing challenges of the hemisphere.”

Forero Ucrós announced that Colombia has also carried out internal consultations “to move forward in the identification and conceptualization of possible thematic areas.” The objective is to foment debate in matters “that impact the interior of our countries, generating interest in the region and facilitating consensus.”

During the meeting, the delegates of Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname, Brazil, United States, Chile and Uruguay, expressed their support to the host country and the need to institutionalize the Summit process for the success of the VI Summit of the Americas.

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Reference: E-236/10