Organization of American States

Press Release                                                                                                                                   
(E-194/00) November 7, 2000



The Organization of American States held a one day meeting today in Washington, to prepare for the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which will to be held in Quebec City, Canada, next April 20 to 22. The main themes of the Summit are strengthening democracy, creating prosperity and realizing the human potential across the Americas.

Canada's Ambassador to the OAS, Peter Boehm, who presided over the fourth open meeting of the OAS Committee on Inter-American Summits Management, presented a summary of the last time the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) met in Quebec City early last month. Ambassador Boehm said member state representatives had used that meeting to stress their conviction that to strengthen democracy, the strong link between democracy and development must be recognized.

Ambassador Boehm reported that, at the last SIRG gathering, the national delegations had also agreed on the need for strong, fair and impartial justice systems in the Americas, in order for democracy to flourish. "Countries will continue to work to find consensus on the sensitive issues of freedom of expression and the media, especially as they relate to electoral periods," stated Ambassador Boehm.

Jaime Aparicio, the Director of the OAS Office of Summit Follow-Up, stressed that the third pillar of the upcoming Summit--realizing the human potential--must necessarily involve tackling the challenge to build societies that offer equal opportunity to all citizens, regardless of their differences.

"The challenge for the next Summit," he declared, "revolves around proposed reforms to effectively lift people's quality of life."

The meeting provided civil society groups and experts interested in the hemispheric Summit process an opportunity to exchange ideas with member state representatives on the "realizing human potential" priority area of the next Summitís action plan. This area includes education, health, gender equality, indigenous populations, cultural diversity, children and youth issues.




General Secretariat of the Organization of American States
Department of Public Information
17th St. & Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20006
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