Second Summit of the Americas: 

SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS FOLLOW-UP

One of the most significant achievements of the Second Summit of the Americas, is that it laid the groundwork for the institutionalization of the Summit as a processAmong other things, the follow-up section of the Santiago Plan of Action commits the Heads of State and Government to continue to meet periodically to "deepen cooperation and understanding among the countries of the Americas".  Between these Summit meetings, follow-up work is done by the Summit Implementation Review Group.

The Summit Implementation Review Group:

The Summit Implementation Review Group, or "SIRG", which is composed of foreign ministry representatives from each of the signatory countries, meets on a periodic basis; it has held approximately 3 meetings each year since 1995.  Representatives to the SIRG are known as National Coordinators (the current list of National Coordinators is available here). 

The SIRG is responsible for reporting annually on the progress achieved in the fulfillment of the Santiago Plan of Action to the Foreign Ministers.  These in turn review the information on the occasion of the Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly.   Under the guidance of the Foreign Ministers, the SIRG is responsible for making preparations for subsequently next Summit, bearing in mind the contributions of the pertinent organs of the OAS and other international organizations involved.   Documents of the SIRG meetings since 1995 are available here.

Senior representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the World Bank are be invited to support the Governments in the SIRG in order to follow up on the commitments of the Summit and to achieve greater coordination and effectiveness of these institutions in performing this task.

The Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management:

In addition to the SIRG meetings, there is a parallel multilateral Summit follow-up mechanism within the political structure of the Organization of American States: the Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management ("CEGCI", for the Spanish Comisión Especial de Gestión de Cumbres Interamericanas").  This Committee of the Permanent Council, hears reports from the various Units, and Offices of the Organization charged with implementing specific Summit items.  The Committee has a reporting responsibility to the OAS General Assembly, through the Permanent Council.   Documents of the Special Commission are available here.

Responsible Coordinators:

"Responsible Coordinators" are those who are responsible for the actual implementation of each one of the Summit of the Americas mandates.  For the most part these are the counties of the Summit of the Americas process themselves.  Countries chosen to be Responsible Coordinators designate an agency or department within their government which will design and execute projects and programs to fulfil the mandate.    For example, the United States has been designated as the Responsible Coordinator for the Property Registration mandate (El Salvador is the Co-Coordinator).  The US Government has given the task for implementation of this mandate to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In a few cases, international organizations, rather than countries, have been designated as Responsible Coordinators or Co-Coordinators.  To see the list of Responsible Coordinators by mandate, as well as other players involved in issue implementation please click here.

National Follow-up Mechanisms:

Implementation of the various Summit mandates from Miami to Santiago, implies work both at the international-multilateral level as well as at the national level.  As outlined above, multilateral action is reviewed both by the SIRG and the CEGCI.  National programs are undertaken and reviewed individually by each country; information is provided to the SIRG.

Government ministries or departments throughout the hemisphere with their own Internet homepages are listed here.

International Organizations:

The Santiago Plan of Action states that international organizations, in accordance with Summit decisions, will have responsibilities in implementing the Summit process and the mandates of the process, as appropriate.

In addition to the OAS, there are four principal multilateral organizations involved in implementing specific Summit issues.  The organizations in question are the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American health Organization and the World Bank.  Other international organizations, from the family of United Nations organizations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and the World Trade Organization have some supporting roles in summit implementation.  The list of Responsible Coordinators also indicates which international organization is responsible, or jointly responsible for the implementation of a specific Summit mandate.

OAS - Office of Summit Follow-Up

Aside from important mandates in such varied fields as drugs, human rights, and telecommunications, among many others, the OAS Secretariat has been given responsibility for operating as a record-keeping mechanism, "the institutional memory of the [Summit] process and for providing technical support to the SIRG".  This responsibility is fulfilled by the Office of Summit Follow-Up, created in July of 1998, shortly after the Second Summit of the Americas.


*  The 34 Summit of the Americas nations are the same as the 34 member States of the Organization of American States (the 35th OAS member State, Cuba, has been suspended since 1962).  The countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

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