Organization of American States

Press Release                                                                                                                                 (E-084/01)
April 17, 2001



The international agencies involved with the Summit of the Americas process today unveiled a joint report during a meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS), detailing the progress in implementing the mandates from the Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile, in 1998. The 34 democratically-elected heads of state and government who had gathered in Santiago undertook a number of commitments in the social, political and economic arenas.

Entitled "From Santiago to Quebec City," the document was prepared by the OAS' Office of Summit Follow-up, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Bank.

"The Summits have become the most important source of political mandates in this Hemisphere. Some of these mandates have been assigned to multilateral agencies with the institutional structure and expertise to promote and implement initiatives to benefit the region," the study says. Among other activities highlighted: conventions and regional strategies were crafted; negotiations continued on the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA); an increasing number of ministerial meetings were held; and financial support was provided in the form of loans and technical cooperation.

The report highlights activities undertaken in such areas as democracy, human rights promotion, social policies and combating corruption and drug trafficking. It also details new treaties to fight terrorism and initiatives to develop confidence-building and enhance political institutions, judicial systems and the administration of justice.

A brief overview is also offered on the support provided for FTAA negotiations led by a Tri-Partite Committee comprised of the OAS, IDB and ECLAC. The document outlines as well the outcome of new social and economic initiatives, notably to fight poverty and support health care, sustainable development, gender equity and indigenous peoples.

According to the report, the IDB and the World Bank together approved loans totaling more than $20 billion, based on mandates received from the Santiago Summit. Most of those loans went towards poverty-eradication programs and to the health and education sectors, shoring up financial markets and supporting small and medium size enterprises.

OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria lauded "the clear show" of coordination among the multilateral agencies involved, noting that "the Summit process has re-shaped the agenda of the inter-American agencies, has boosted cooperation between and among our countries, and has helped to establish closer ties throughout the inter-American community."