On May 2nd, 2007, at OAS Headquarters in
Washington, DC, the Permanent Council was convened for a special session
on the topic of “Migrant Populations and Migration Flows in the
Americas.” This session was convened by Ambassador Lisa Shoman of
Belize, in order to raise the question of how governments can develop an
integral policy to deal with all the different aspects of migration.
The meeting featured interventions by the Secretary General of the OAS,
Jose Miguel Insulza, Representatives from Belize and Guatemala, and
Berta Fernandez from the International Organization on Migration. Among
the speakers from OAS departments were Francisco Pilotti from Social
Development and Employment, and Ambassador Carmen Marina Gutierrez, the
Director of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat. Ambassador
Gutierrez focused on the incorporation of civil society in migration
issues, speaking of the drain produced by the current rates of migration
flows and the important role that civil society organizations are
playing as interlocutors between stakeholders in the migration process.