Media Center

Press Release


  September 17, 2008

Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin leads an Organization of American States (OAS) delegation to Barbados tomorrow, as member governments gather to launch negotiations on the Declaration of Commitment that the hemisphere’s heads of state and government will issue at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, to be hosted by Trinidad and Tobago in April next year.

The two-day Third Regular Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) begins Thursday with OAS Member States considering the Draft Declaration that the Trinidad and Tobago government had formally presented at the Second Regular Meeting of the SIRG in Washington, DC last July.

“This will be the first meeting where Member States will in concrete terms be negotiating the text for the Declaration of Commitment,” Assistant Secretary General Ramdin declared in an interview today. “We have a good base text—a good document provided by the government of Trinidad and Tobago in terms of the critical areas they propose for the Summit: human prosperity; environmental sustainability; and energy security. These are important issues.”

The Barbados SIRG meeting will focus particularly on the “human prosperity” thematic plank of the Port of Spain Summit of the Americas. The Draft Declaration for the Fifth Summit emphasizes the human prosperity goals of greater equity, inclusion and social development.

Noting “the upcoming [SIRG] meeting is a critical one,” Ambassador Ramdin explained: “Our hope is that the meeting in Barbados will result in more engagement with the Member States and with the inclusion of the Joint Summit Working Group, which comprises the twelve institutions supporting the Summit mandates.”

Ramdin, who will be accompanied by OAS Summit Secretariat Director David Morris, explained that the SIRG meeting in Barbados also means “We are now getting into the phase where the process of bilateral engagement on the theme of the Summit next year is moving in the direction of a multilateral negotiating process.” He said, “It is also important to talk about the financing and implementation of the Summit mandates; and to see how to increase the engagement with national authorities in the implementation of the Summit mandates.”

Assistant Secretary General Ramdin said the OAS looks forward to the meeting in Barbados, and that the hemispheric organization will be counting on the full cooperation and constructive engagement of all Member States and Summit-supporting institutions “in moving this process further so that we can have a successful Summit next year in Trinidad and Tobago, hosted by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The theme of the Fifth Summit of the Americas is “Securing our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability.”

Reference: E-348/08