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Editorial: IV Summit of the Americas


The IV Summit of the Americas was held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 4 – 5, 2005. The leaders of the region got together to discuss the theme: “Creating Jobs to Confront Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance.”

The Summits of the Americas Process, since its creation in 1994, has promoted the dialogue and hemispheric consensus about key issues of the region. The IV Summit’s results revealed that governments recognized the importance of advancing the collective action necessary to design programs and define financial mechanisms to confront the needs of our people.

In 2004, the government of Argentina took the leadership of the IV Summit and proposed the central theme. Since then, the Summit National Coordinators of the 34 countries that are part of the Summit Process, debated the content of the Declaration and Plan of Action of Mar del Plata and a set of communiqués, which became the official documents of the IV Summit.

The Declaration of Mar del Plata presents the views of the 34 governments on how to address the region’s greater challenges of employment generation and strengthening of democracy. The initiatives reflected in the Declaration refer to: growth with employment; jobs to fight poverty; training the labor force; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as an engine of job growth; developing a framework for creating decent work; and strengthening democratic governance.

The Plan of Action, for its part, considers each of the areas of the Declaration from three perspectives: national commitments, hemispheric cooperation, and international organizations. The Heads of State and Government defined specific actions; to promote development through generation of employment, increase citizen participation in the employment sphere, encourage cooperation among governments, foster inclusive social dialogue, and stimulate investment in key areas for the creation of employment.

Some of the commitments adopted by the leaders, gathered in Mar del Plata include: the initiative to continue the implementation of sound macro economic policies to stimulate income growth and protect workers’ rights. Likewise, they encouraged active policies to generate decent work, and to fight gender discrimination, racism, intolerance, and forced labor. The governments also agreed to ensure equal opportunities to employment for all, protect migrants and children from economic exploitation, and to cooperate in the struggle against chronic diseases as well as emerging and reemerging diseases. 

The small, micro, and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) had a special mention in the Summit documents. In this regard, some of the initiatives adopted were: to facilitate the participation of SMEs in domestic markets and international trade, to foster the development of entrepreneurial skills and technical competence of SMEs and to support the efforts that the multilateral development banks make to strengthen such enterprises. Government officials highlighted the important role of the private sector as a fundamental component for economic growth and intensify their efforts toward attaining the goals agreed to at the Millennium Summit.

Another aspect considered at the Summit was the creation of a framework for creating decent work, which covers fiscal policies that foster equitable growth, a business climate that attracts investment, fosters new enterprise creation, and promotes competition, a regulatory framework that seeks to incorporate the informal sector into the formal sector, and the consideration of public policies for integral and sustainable development.

In the area of strengthening democratic governance, leaders of the hemisphere reiterated their commitment to the OAS Charter, the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the Declaration of Florida. At the same time, they encouraged increased citizens’ participation, committed their efforts to the fight against corruption and terrorism and emphasized the need to continue the process of strengthening and enhancing the Inter-American human rights system.

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Editorial: IV Summit of the Americas Process
 
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Civil Society
    Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs wiht Civil Society Representatives in the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas
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Meetings Related to the  the Summit of the Americas Process
    Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Private Sector
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    Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Representatives of the Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor Matters
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    Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples
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    Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Parliamentarians and Non-Executive Officials
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    Five Essay Contest Winners were Recognized at the IV Summit of the Americas
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    Hemispheric Meeting: Private Sector Leaders and their contributions to the areas of Democracy and Job Creation
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Offical Documents of the IV Summit of the Americas
 

Photos of the IV Summit of the Americas
 
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Did You know that ...
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Calendar of Events
 
Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Civil Society Representatives in the framework of the IV Summit  of the Americas

In the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas, the General Coordination of the Forum for the Participation of Civil Society and the OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat carried out a series of dialogues with representatives from different sectors with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegations from the 34 OAS Member States. Those dialogues were held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 3, 2005, and were presided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Mr. Rafael Bielsa, the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, Ambassador Jorge Taiana.

The purpose of this meeting was to provide recommendations and encourage discussions on the IV Summit theme, the draft Declaration and the Plan of Action of Mar del Plata. This exchange of ideas was an important input for the leaders’ deliberations, and was useful in the adoption of policies and agreements on specific initiatives. The ministers and other delegates who participated in the dialogue recognized the significant value of promoting coordinated work between government institutions and civil society.

More than 200 civil society representatives participated in the meeting held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 3, 2005. The positive results of the dialogue helped to prioritize and focus the work of the Summit National Coordinators in regards to the consolidation of a democratic culture and the promotion of decent jobs. The views discussed at the meeting were significant tools to create new policies in the areas of creation of employment, democracy, human rights, and other important issues of the Summit.

During the dialogue, civil society representatives presented the conclusions of several forums held to generate ideas for the IV Summit documents. The conclusions from the Gender Forum of the Americas, the Inter-American Forum of Afro descendants, the Young Entrepreneurs Forum, the Latin-American forum “Work and Fair Trade for a Total Democracy with Social Justice," and the Inter-American Forum of Science and Technology, among others, were presented. They facilitated a better understanding of the challenges and the reality of each of the subjects, and provided a broader analysis of the problems currently faced by the region.

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CIFTA-CICAD Meeting of The Gruop of Experts.
February 6 - 7, 2006
Washington, D.C.
 
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IV Ordinary Assembly CITEL
February 20- 23, 2006
San José, Costa Rica
 
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Inter-Govermental Working Group (IWG) of the MEM
February 21- 25 , 2006
Washington, D.C.
 
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Fourth Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Cyber-Crime
February 27-28
, 2006
Washington, D.C.
 
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Sixth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE)
March 22-24, 2006
Bogotá, Colombia
 

*   Ninth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Follow-Up  Mechanism of the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC)
March 27-31, 2006
Washington, D.C.
 
To access a complete version of the  Calendar, please click here.
Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs  with Private Sector Representatives in the framework of the IV Summit  of the Americas

This meeting was held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 3, 2005, with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and private sector representatives who are conscious of the important role of the private sector in the creation and promotion of employment and as a follow-up to the consultative process installed since the Special Summit of the Americas in 2004.

The dialogue, moderated by Mr. Alfredo Charadia, Undersecretary of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina, presented an opportunity for entrepreneurs to generate agreements and exchanged ideas with government representatives in regards to the IV Summit theme: “Creating Jobs to Confront Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance.”

The purpose of this forum was to promote the support of the private sector to the initiatives concerted at the Summit, to advance the establishment of a consultative mechanism of the private sector, and to recognize its essential mission in achieving Summit goals. The issues discussed at the meeting focused on the need to join forces to attain better competitiveness and productivity levels through education and technology, the promotion of governance and transparency, and the development of innovative strategies to create employment.
 

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Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with  Representatives  of the  Business Technical  Advisory Committee on Labor Matters (CEATAL) and  the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE) in the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas


This meeting was held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 3, 2005 in the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas, with the participation of representatives from the Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor Matters (CEATAL) and the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE), which are the technical advisory bodies of the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML). The session was moderated by the Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security of Argentina, Mr. Carlos Alfonso Tomada.

This dialogue between governments, unions and employers at the hemispheric level was a significant opportunity to collect ideas and recommendations for the base documents of the IV Summit of the Americas. Mr. Salvador Medina Torres, President of COSATE and Mr. Daniel Funes de Rioja President of CEATAL, presented the conclusions of the “Workshop on Innovation and Decent Work”, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March 2005 and the “Joint CEATAL-COSATE Declaration” from the XIV Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor of the OAS, that took place in Mexico City on September 2005.
 

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Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with  Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples in the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas

The meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Indigenous representatives held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 3, 2005 began with a brief welcoming traditional ceremony from the indigenous peoples of the region. The dialogue was centered on the IV Summit theme and its relation to indigenous concerns related to the guarantee of rights, and the improvement of their living conditions.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, moderated the session and highlighted the commitment of the Organization to support the negotiation process of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He reaffirmed the importance of assuring the participation of the indigenous peoples at all levels of policy discussions..   

At the meeting, representatives of the indigenous peoples presented the conclusions from the Second Indigenous Peoples’ Summit of the Americas, that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 27 – 29, 2005. The Indigenous Summit approved a Declaration that emphasizes, among other initiatives, the need “to establish a government-to-government relationship that positively impacts the overall relationship between indigenous peoples and States.”

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Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Parliamentarians and Non-Executive Officials in the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas

In an unprecedented initiative, on November 3, 2005, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, parliamentarians and non-executive officials of the 34 OAS Member States were invited to participate in a dialogue with Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the IV Summit of the Americas. This meeting was planned as part of the efforts advanced since the III Summit to involve different actors in the decision making process as reflected in the commitments contained in the Declarations and Plans of Action of the Summits of the Americas.

The Argentine government, host of the IV Summit, considered it highly important to hold this dialogue for the first time in order to include new perspectives and give a special recognition to parliamentarians as a key part of the Summits of the Americas Process. Parliamentarians presented their views on the theme of the IV Summit and its relation with other issues of national importance.

Canadian Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette presented the proposals of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) for the Summit content as an endeavor to ensure that FIPA’s work is officially recognized in the Summit Process. In this sense, Senator Hervieux-Payette noted that “It’s time we saw greater recognition and involvement of parliamentarians in international negotiations such as this one.” The complete report presented by FIPA can be found at: www.dgroups.org/groups/fipa/public/docs/Report_Mar_del_Plata_2005_ENG.pdf
 

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Five Essay Contest Winners were Recognized at the IV Summit of the Americas

More than 90 university students from 22 countries participated in the II Essay Contest organized by the Summits of the Americas Secretariat in the framework of the IV Summit.
 

Sofía Donoso Knaudt, from the Universidad de Chile; Lesley-Ann Dixon from the University of West Indies in Jamaica; Daniel Arturo Abreu Mejía from the Universidad Católica in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Xavier Flores Aguirre from the Universidad Católica de Santiago in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Matthew Bird from the University of Chicago, were the winners of the II Essay Contest for each subregion as follows: MERCOSUR, Caribbean, Central America, Andean Region and North America. The winners were awarded an invitation to attend the IV Summit of the Americas, in Mar del Plata, Argentina as observers.

The objective of the II Essay Contest, which was lanched at the Special Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, in 2004, was to stimulate analytical thinking among university students about the challenges and key issues of the region, as well as to formulate concrete proposals on how to confront them. The essays were focused on the central theme of the IV Summit: “Creating Jobs to Fight Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance.”

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Hemispheric Meeting: Private Sector Leaders and their contributions to the areas of  Democracy and Job Creation

Delivering the Benefits of Democracy Through Job Creation: The Role of the Private Sector,” was the title of the meeting of executives and businesses representatives held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 2, 2005, prior to the IV Summit of the Americas.
 

Given the central role of the private sector in the creation of employment and prosperity, this forum was planned to allow members of the business community to contribute ideas and initiatives to assist in achieving the development goals of the Hemisphere. The meeting was endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina and the OAS General Secretariat.

The goal of this meeting was to strengthen the role of the private sector as an engine for the creation of new jobs and as a facilitator in the cooperation with governments to contribute to the fulfillment of the objectives established by the leaders at the Summits. During the event, the base documents for the creation of a “Private Sector Network of the Americas” were discussed.

Distinguished entrepreneurs and government representatives participated in the forum, including the Minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina, Rafael Bielsa; the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza; the Vice-President of Panama, Mr. Samuel Lewis Navarro; the Vicepresident of Argentina, Daniel Scioli; the US Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutiérrez; the Vice President of the Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US Chamber of Commerce, John Murphy; the President of the Corporación Andina de Fomento, Enrique García; CEMEX President and CEO, Lorenzo Zambrano, and the President of Pollo Campero from Guatemala, Juan Luis Bosch.
 

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Did You know that ….
  Although the Summit Process officially began with the Miami Summit in 1994, there have been 2 previous presidential Summits: the first, in July 1956, gathered 19 leaders of different countries in Panama City, Panama, with the auspices of the OAS. The second one, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay in April 1967 congregated 19 leaders of the Hemisphere, and one representative from Haiti.
 

The Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG) is composed of 12 international, regional, and inter-American institutions specialized in issues that range from development, connectivity and migration, to labor, health and agriculture. This group also incorporates several institutions of the United Nations system and important inter-American and regional financing banks, all of them under the leadership of the OAS. Complete list of the JSWG members.
 
 In November 1994, the National Coordinators of the 34 Member States of the OAS gathered in Airlie House, Virginia, to approve the final documents of the Miami Summit. This was the first time in the preparation of this Summit that representatives of the 34 Member States sat down at the same table to discuss and negotiate, under the same conditions, the commitments of the Plan of Action that would later be approved by all participating countries at the Summit..
 
» In 1998 the OAS created the Office of Summit Follow-Up, whose name has been recently changed to Summits of the Americas Secretariat, as a mandate of the Second Summit of the Americas.
 
With occasion of  the IV Summit of the Americas, the OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat collected information on the mandates’ implementation from the 34 OAS Member States, which was then compiled in the report: “Achievements of the Summits of the Americas: National Accomplishments”. The work done by the 12 institutions of Joint Summit Working Group for implementing mandates was also gathered at: “Achievements of the Summits of the Americas: Institutional Contributions”, both publications were presented to the Heads of State and Government in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
 
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