Message from the Director
David Morris, Summits of the Americas Secretariat (SAS)
The Fifth Summit of the Americas, held in April 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago, established a new tone in inter American relations. The countries of the Hemisphere, the OAS and the other international institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG), as well as the social actors participating in the Summits process, are now faced with the crucial task of moving forward with the implementation of the commitments made by our elected leaders in the
Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain.
Since the conclusion of the Fifth Summit, two meetings at the Ministerial level of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) have been held: on June 3, 2009 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; and on September 21, 2009 in Washington, D.C. At the latter meeting, the Chairmanship of the Summits Process was transferred from Trinidad and Tobago to Colombia, the host country for the Sixth Summit of the Americas.
The Summits of the Americas Secretariat (SAS), which serves as the technical secretariat and institutional memory of the Summits’ Process, would like to take this opportunity to reiterate its gratitude to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for their stewardship as Chair of the Summits Process from September 2006 to September 2009, and for their cooperation as the host country of the Fifth Summit of the Americas (April 17-19, 2009).
The SAS welcomes the Government of Colombia as the new Chair of the Summits Process. We look forward to a close and productive working relationship with Colombia both in the follow-up and implementation of the Fifth Summit commitments and in the preparations for the Sixth Summit to be held in Cartagena, in 2012.
In this edition of the Newsletter, we have provided information about the transfer of the Chairmanship of the Summits Process from Trinidad and Tobago to Colombia, including a special contribution from the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the OAS; the presentation of the “Summits of the Americas Follow-up System (SISCA)” to the SIRG; the launching of the Inter-American Social Protection Network; the improvements planned for the Summit Virtual Platform; the Development Marketplace; and the Inter-American Ministerial meetings, and other events, which are considered integral to the overall Summit Process.
The SAS would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation for the dedication and valuable contributions exhibited through the untiring efforts of our former colleagues: Jessica Grebeldinger, Viviane Espinoza, Claudia Salazar, Isabella Araujo and Aida Rivas who have moved on to pursue other initiatives. Their commitment to ensuring the success of the Fifth Summit and the Summits Process were truly commendable. We wish them all the best in their new endeavors.
My personal thanks too for the ongoing collective effort of the entire team in the Summits’ Secretariat, and to our colleagues in the General Secretariat, who continue to work tirelessly in a collaborative effort to ensure the lasting benefits of the Summits’ Process for the peoples of the Americas.
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