I am pleased to present this compilation of information on the work of the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote and prepare for the Fifth Summit of the Americas. The Organization places a high priority on serving as institutional memory and technical secretariat to the Summits Process, as well supporting the efforts of the member states to implement the commitments made by their Heads of State and Government.
Our relationship with the member states and the Chair of the Summit Process is of the utmost importance to us, particularly as the latter provides the leadership for guiding and monitoring the creation of coordinated policies and actions to address the challenges facing our hemisphere. Following the presentation of the draft Declaration of Port of Spain in July 2008, by the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the OAS provided ongoing substantive and logistical support to the negotiation process in nine Regular and three Plenipotentiary Meetings of the SIRG held in Washington DC, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados, as well as the Summit itself. In the interest of ensuring that the negotiations were informed, inclusive and responsive to the needs of the 34 National Coordinators of the member states, the OAS also coordinated the contribution of the inter-American ministerial and other sectoral meetings linked to the Summits Process. In addition, the Joint Summit Working Group partner institutions and the representatives of social actors contributed to the process by presenting, during the pre-Summit meetings, their perspectives and expert opinions on the different subject areas as they were discussed by Member States.
In my capacity as Chair of the twelve partner institutions that make up the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG), it is my particular pleasure to include in this compilation, a collection of documents and publications that underscore the key role that the JSWG plays in the Summits Process. These include a report on the work of the JSWG to assist member states to implement commitments made in the Mar del Plata and Port of Spain Summits, as well as an analysis of key policy areas relevant to the inter-American agenda and technical inputs to the Fifth Summit Concept Paper and draft Declaration of Commitment. The OAS, in its mandate to coordinate the JSWG, is also pleased to highlight the role that the Group played in the policy discussions surrounding the Fifth Summit, which served to enrich the multilateral dialogue of this process and facilitate collective approaches to the hemisphere’s challenges. As we look forward from Port of Spain, the OAS renews its commitment to proactively engage the JSWG as a key partner with member states in realizing tangible, concrete results from the Summits Process.
Engaging with social actors is crucial to the exercise of democracy. The OAS has been proactive in seeking new opportunities to engage representatives of civil society, as well as the labor, private, and academic sectors, among others, in our hemispheric process. The activities undertaken by the OAS with our partners in an effort to include the voices of social actors in the discussions on the Fifth Summit themes is evidence of our commitment to ensure that the Summits Process remains relevant and responsive to the citizens of the Americas.
The Fifth Summit of the Americas “Securing our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability,” held April 17-19, 2009 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago was a great success. The member states advanced their shared goals and renewed their commitment to our unique multilateral mechanism. We look forward to continuing to support our member states as they work to implement the commitments of the Fifth Summit. We also welcome the opportunity to engage and support, the next Summit Host.
For speeches by the Secretary General related to the V Summit, click