Open Letter to the Members of the Summit Implementation Review Group

(January 8, 1996)

Dear Colleagues:

In anticipation of the Fifth Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) on January 22 in Santiago, I wanted to update you on the development of the Summit implementation process since our last meeting. Discussions at the September SIRG meeting and subsequently were beneficial in improving the communication and organization of Summit follow-up events. Several of the areas touched on in our last meeting have seen significant progress and, I hope, will make our upcoming meeting all the more effective.

In September we learned that governments were concerned-about the burdens placed on time and resources by the number of follow-up meetings. To assist governments and international organizations in planning, the Summit Coordinating Office (SCO compiled and circulated in early November a comprehensive calendar of Summit-related events from October through January 1996. A draft calendar for the first half of 1996 was circulated on December 19 to Summit governments for comments; the final version is expected to be distributed at the upcoming SIRG meeting.

The last SIRG yielded further definition of the roles of Responsible Coordinators and Co-coordinators in the implementation process. Several countries and organizations already have taken an active part in developing strategies for their initiatives. In early December, SCO invited all Responsible Coordinators that so desired to submit brief reports by January 5 on Summit activities, including major events planned for the coming year. The Responsible Coordinator progress reports will be distributed at the January SIRG meeting. Further, as preferences of countries and organizations change with regard to a voluntary coordinating role, SCO has communicated those changes. I am attaching the latest version of the Responsible Coordinator chart for your review.

The Responsible Coordinators for the poverty January SIRG meeting worked closely with their Co-coordinators and SCO to develop a concise and informative agenda for the Summit initiatives on poverty: quality education, basic health services, women in society and microenterprise. On November 29, a draft agenda was circulated throughout the Hemisphere for comments. Attached is the revised agenda for the January meeting, which incorporates input from several Summit countries and international organizations.

As you can see from the revised agenda, we have sought to make maximum use of the day. There is ample time for policymakers to review the substance and focus of the work being done by technical experts in the poverty area. At the request of the Governments of Brazil and Canada, which are coordinating the democracy and human rights initiatives, time has been set aside before the lunch break to discuss their strategy for implementation. Also, a full hour and a half has been set aside at the end of the day to discuss the implementation review process, the May SIRG meeting or other relevant issues.

In summary, the implementation process continues to be evolving on a positive course. I am convinced that the process is working and that we are headed in the right direction. I look forward to hearing everyone's views in what promises to be an informative and worthwhile meeting in Santiago.


Alexander F. Watson

Attachments (2):

(1) Responsible Coordinators for Summit Implementation

(2) Revised SIRG Agenda