Message from the Director
David Morris, Summits of the Americas Secretariat (SAS)
Throughout 2009, the SAS continued to work with the OAS Member States, partner international institutions, social actors and other Summit stakeholders to ensure that the Summit process maintains the momentum established during the Fifth Summit of the Americas. We have also begun a very constructive alliance with the Colombian Government, as current Chair of the Summits process, to continue engaging all these partners in a collaborative relationship aimed at following up on Fifth Summit commitments, and preparing for a successful Sixth Summit in Cartagena, in 2012. In this edition of the newsletter, we highlight the activities that have taken place since the end of October 2009.
We are pleased to inform you of the official launching, by the Secretary General, of the “Summits of the Americas Follow-up System (SISCA)”, which took place on January 22nd, 2010. The SAS, as technical secretariat to the Summits process, has developed SISCA as a mechanism to provide Member States with concrete and result-based data and resources to enable them to track their progress in relation to Summit mandates and commitments. With SISCA’s indicators and statistics we also expect to facilitate and promote sharing of best practices and experiences throughout our hemisphere as we confront common issues and challenges.
In addition, you will find information about the visit to OAS Headquarters of the Colombian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Clemencia Forero Ucros, for a meeting with the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG) and the Summits of the Americas Steering Committee, to initiate the preparatory work for the Sixth Summit.
We are also pleased to welcome the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a new institutional partner in the Joint Summit Working Group. The UNDP’s participation, and their diverse experience working in such areas as democratic governance, poverty reduction, environment and energy, crisis prevention and recovery, and the Millennium Development Goals, brings an enhanced capacity to the JSWG to continue to provide Member States with relevant technical and specialized support in implementing Summit commitments.
Meetings with think tanks and other social actors took place recently in Bogota and Washington, DC, to consider experiences gathered from previous Summits and to exchange ideas on how to improve and effectively expand social actors’ contributions to the Summits process. Some possible initiatives such as adding public opinion tools and data to inform the Summit process are being contemplated.
Throughout 2010, the SAS will strive to continue to facilitate Member States’ efforts to implement the Fifth Summit Declaration, and we are wholeheartedly committed to improving and expanding efficiency and transparency in the follow-up of commitments through actively engaging with all Summit stakeholders in these activities. We look forward to engaging and collaborating with all our readers in a very productive year. To see the preliminary calendar of activities for 2010, please
Finally, on behalf of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Michele Cuscana who resigned from the Secretariat in December to return to her native Peru. Her dedication and contribution to our team and the Summits process was commendable in many respects. I also want to thank our fall 2009 interns: Choong Hee Choi, Mauricio Cardenas and Eric Sheely for their dedication and contributions to our collective efforts; and extend a warm welcome to our recently arrived interns: Yolande Toe, Laura Navarro and Manoel Silva, as well as to three former colleagues: Isabella Araujo, Thiago Dal Toe and Eric Sheely who have returned to our team.
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