Special Committee on Inter-American
- Welcome to ambassadors, alternate representatives, missions, representatives from the
OAS, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Pan
American Health Organization, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and
those of you from other organizations and institutions that have made the time to join us
- This is the second open meeting of this committee; the first one was held October
- That meeting was vice-chaired by my colleagues from Chile, Ambassador Carlos Portales,
and the United States, Ambassador Victor Marrero. As many of you are aware, Ambassador
Marrero has since moved on, and the first order of business is to elect a second vice
- Not standing on too much ceremony, the tradition in this committee has been to have the
hosts of past present and future summit, the so-called troika, act as chair and vice
- In this vein, 1 would like to put forward the candidacy of my distinguished colleague
from the united states, Ambassador Luis Lauredo, Ambassador of the United States to the
OAS and also National Coordinator of the United States for the Summit of the Americas, as
Vice-Chair of this Committee
- There being no objections, Ambassador Lauredo is elected by consensus.
- The first meeting we held of this committee last October covered six of the Santiago
themes; women, strengthening of municipal and regional administrations, micro-enterprises,
strengthening confidence and security between states; regional energy cooperation, and
science and technology
- Following the discussions at that meeting, I prepared a chairman's summary and forwarded
it to all 33 other national summit coordinators;
- National summit coordinators met in November to review implementation of these same six
items, and the contributions made at our open meeting helped national coordinators to
frame their own discussions;
- Today, we are examining the last five items to be reviewed by the Summit Implementation
Review Group. These five items are human rights and democracy, migrant workers, property
registration, indigenous populations and financial markets.
- As with the last meeting, I will put together the views expressed today into a
chairman's summary and circulate it to national coordinators for their consideration prior
to the next SIRG, which will take place early this spring.
- The governments of the Americas, in partnership with the OAS and the other affiliated
organizations have been very active in these five areas since the Santiago Summit.
- I would encourage you all to consult regularly the institutional memory of the process,
the OAS Office of Summit Follow-up site http://www.summit-americas.org, where updates on
actions taken under these mandates are posted every Friday.
- Before we start with the first presentation I want to emphasize that our goal here today
is discussion and dialogue. I would be grateful if remarks could be kept to five
minutes or less, in order to allow all participants a chance to speak and respond.
- Those organizations that have requested an opportunity to speak to a specific agenda
item are seated here at the table with delegations today. Others who indicated that they
wanted to observe the proceedings and perhaps ask questions are seated in the back.
- Stand microphones are available in the back row and you are encouraged to use them.
- I would also be grateful if documents that you would like distributed be handed first to
the Secretariat; which will be in charge of distribution and also ensuring that relevant
materials get posted on the website for consultation by national coordinators;
- Lastly, I would like to highlight to those organizations of civil society that are
present today at the invitation of the Chair, that the OAS Permanent Council approved,
last December, guidelines for the participation of civil society in the OAS.
- We will be circulating a pamphlet, developed by the OAS Office of Summit Follow-up, that
explains the guidelines and provides you with information on registration;
- I encourage you to register through these guidelines and to become more active in the
work of this Organization, not only in this Committee but in others as well. If you have
any questions on registration I would encourage you to speak with Mr. Jaime Aparicio,
whose office is handling the registration process at this time.
- Before starting with our first speaker, I would like to turn the floor over to my two
Vice-Chairs for a few opening remarks: Ambassador Portales of Chile and Ambassador Lauredo
of the United States...