Summits of the Americas Newsletter

February 2009 | Summits Online | Espaņol

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Message from the Director

David Morris, Summits of the Americas Secretariat

The Fifth Summit of the Americas, held April 17-19, 2009, was not only the venue where our Heads of State and Government signaled a new era in inter-American relations, but it also commemorated a process that started 15 years ago. The Summit in Trinidad and Tobago was a beneficially constructive opportunity for the 34 democratically elected leaders of the Hemisphere to meet, for many of them for the first time.

It can be said, without a doubt, that the Fifth Summit exceeded expectations, in large measure due to the positive spirit which prevailed and a genuine tone of goodwill and mutual respect among the Presidents and Prime Ministers who participated, as well as the active participation of social actors in the numerous fora held prior to the Summit.

The Trinidad and Tobago Summit was an occasion to emphasize the convergence of priorities in many areas that are of particular importance to the nations of the Hemisphere in order to secure our citizens’ future. During the Fifth Summit, our leaders reached consensus on a Declaration of Commitment that addresses core issues which are of the utmost relevance to the people of the Americas. Common interests in democratic governance, social justice, environmental sustainability and the rule of law have led to a renewed pledge for genuine cooperation and reinforced the emphasis on addressing themes such as global warming, renewable energy and public security in a manner that can lead to greater Hemispheric integration

The Summit was all about setting a new tone to hemispheric relations, establishing a new rapport for developing cooperative, multilateral initiatives which it is expected will produce long-term positive results. We now move to the critical phase of implementation. The Summits of the Americas Secretariat looks forward to collaborating with OAS’ Member States, partner institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group, and our colleagues in the OAS General Secretariat to ensure action on the Commitments made in Port of Spain will lead to lasting benefits for all the peoples of the Americas.

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