Summits of the Americas Newsletter

October 2009 | Summits Online | Español

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Chairmanship of the Summits Process Transferred to Colombia

On September 21, 2009, the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) met in Washington, D.C, for the Second Meeting at the Ministerial Level of 2009 for the transfer of the chairmanship of the Summits of the Americas Process from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the Republic of Colombia.

OAS Secretary General Insulza began his remarks for this historic meeting by congratulating Trinidad and Tobago for hosting a successful Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain on April 17-19, 2009. The Secretary General praised Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s leadership and his concerted effort to help create a clear-cut agenda outlining universal issues affecting the hemisphere. Secretary General Insulza also expressed his goodwill towards Colombia as the next host of the Summit of the Americas, which will be held in Cartagena in 2012. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of collaboration among Member States and multilateral institutions in this new era of inter-American relations. The fulfillment of commitments, the achievement of results, the mobilization of resources, the strengthening of alliances, and addressing the expectations of citizens were all mentioned as fundamental elements for the success of the Summits of the Americas Process.
The complete text of the Secretary General’s presentation can be found here (Spanish only).

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Paula Gopee-Scoon, congratulated the Republic of Colombia and expressed her country’s commitment to share their Summit experience with the new host of the Summit. The Minister spoke of the honor and privilege of hosting the Fifth Summit, and believed that the success of the Summit relied upon the spirit of partnership and cooperation between Member States and the other stakeholders involved in the Summits Process. She commended the role played by the OAS through its Secretary General, Assistant Secretary General, and Summits of the Americas Secretariat in preparation for the Summit. The Minister concluded by highlighting the broad objective of all Summits, as stated in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain: “a firm commitment to protect and promote the political and civil liberties and improve the social, economic and cultural well-being of all our peoples by advancing joint solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our Hemisphere.”
To read the complete text of Minister Gopee-Scoon, please click here.

The formal transfer of the chairmanship of the Summits of the Americas Process was marked by the passing of the statue “Inukshuk” from Minister Gopee-Scoon to Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Jaime Bermudez Merizalde. This statue, a landmark created by the Inuit peoples of North America, was described by Minister Gopee-Scoon as “a symbol of guidance, cooperation and the unity of our peoples.”

Having assumed the Chairmanship of the Summits of Americas Process, Minister Bermudez stressed the “determination of Colombia, its people and its Government, to guarantee the success of the Summit”. Among others, he also indicated hat Colombia will approach the Summits Process in a constructive, respectful, and transparent manner, with an emphasis on cooperation among Member States, the Joint Summit Working Group, sub-regional organizations, and social actors.
The complete text of Minister Bermúdez’ presentation can be found here.
To see the complete videotape of this meeting please click here.

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