Summit of the Americas, [I] Summit Implementation Review Group

Chairman's Report

I. Venue

The First Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group took place at the Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C., on March 6,1995.

II. Participants

Countries represented at the meeting were Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Uruguay. Representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Pan American Health Organization also participated. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Alexander F. Watson chaired the meeting. A complete list of participants is contained in Annex A.

III. Agenda

The agenda for the meeting is contained in Annex B.

IV. Reports On Summit Implementation

Representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Pan American Health Organization reported on the activities their organizations have undertaken or are planning in implementation of the Summit's Plan of Action. The Group then heard from representatives of the United States, Canada, Belize (on behalf of CARICOM), Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Chile, and Nicaragua- A report on implementation of Action Item 9-Free Trade in the Americas was provided by a representative of the U.S. Trade Representative. Written reports on Summit implementation provided by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health Organization, and the United States are contained in Annex C.

V. Discussion of Implementation Reports

The participants agreed that the reports by representatives of international organizations showed a high degree of responsiveness to the Summit's Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. Government reports reflected the commitment by all to the principles adopted in Miami, and emphasized the continuing interest, relevance and impact of the Summit throughout the hemisphere.

VI. Future Program of Work

The Group had an extensive discussion of its composition, mandate, and future program of work. It was agreed that although meetings would always be open to any interested government, the bulk. of the work could be accomplished by a smaller group and that some countries might therefore wish to be represented through sub-regional cooperation mechanisms to which they belong. It was left up to the sub-regional groups to decide on their representation; one proposal that received considerable support was for the "core membership" of the Group to consist of three representatives from the Rio Group, two from Central American countries, an undetermined number from CARICOM, and representatives from Canada, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. It was agreed that the representative of the United States would chair the Group until such time as the host for the next Summit of the Americas was identified.

The Group saw its mandate as important but limited: to monitor Summit implementation and prepare reports for Foreign Ministers, in the first instance at their meeting on the occasion of the OAS General Assembly in Port-au-Prince in June 1995. Responsibility for implementation of the Plan of Action remains with national governments, and with the international organizations identified in the Plan of Action. The normal processes of international cooperation through various ministries will continue unchanged.

It was agreed that each government should have a centralized point of contact for information relating to Summit implementation and that Ambassadors accredited to the United States would serve as a channel of information. The U.S. Department of State's Summit Coordinating Office was identified as the primary clearing house for all information relating to Summit implementation and the work of the Summit Implementation Review Group.

The Group decided that it would meet again during the first week of May. By April 25, governments and international organizations sh6uld submit written reports to the Summit Coordinating Office, which would collate them and prepare a draft summary. A sample format for country reports was distributed and is included in Annex D.

VII. Next Meeting

The Group accepted with gratitude the offer of the government of El Salvador to host the next meeting of the Group in early May.

VIII. Press Statement

The Group agreed to issue the press statement included in Annex E.