SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS: ONE YEAR OF SUCCESS
Prepared by the Summit Coordinating Office, U.S. Department of State
A new era of cooperation based on shared values and common interests was inaugurated December 9-11, 1994, when leaders of the 34 democracies of the Western Hemisphere met in Miami for the historic Summit of the Americas. The Inter-American summit, convened at the invitation of President Bill Clinton, was the first in 27 years, the largest in history and the first in which all participants were democratically elected.
Working together, leaders enunciated a shared vision for development into the 21st Century based on the four summit themes--Strengthening Democracy, Promoting Economic Prosperity, Eradicating Poverty and Discrimination, and Guaranteeing Sustainable Development. It is a testament to the convergence of values and common interests in the Hemisphere that such a broad agenda was advanced and adopted.
With 23 initiatives consisting of more than 150 individual actions, the Plan of Action produced a rigorous work schedule for 1995. The maturing relationships of the Hemisphere were not without disagreements and crises, but after one year Summit countries are steadfastly pursuing our agenda through the principles of cooperation and consensus, known as the "Spirit of Miami." This new spirit of cooperation became the defining touchstone of the summit and created the context for resolving several of the critical challenges faced by the Hemisphere in 1995, such as forging the successful financial rescue package for Mexico and halting the short border conflict between Peru and Ecuador.
The Summit accomplished its immediate goal of giving impetus and direction to governments, international organizations, and citizens in support of an ambitious, progressive agenda. A mechanism has been established that will lead to better lives for the people of the Hemisphere.
KEY IMPLEMENTATION ACTIONS
I. Strengthening Democracy
The prevalence of democracy is a singular feature in our Hemisphere; protection of democracy was cited during the Summit as "the central priority of the Americas." Implementation of the democracy initiatives has produced notable results:
II. Promoting Economic
Progress already has been realized in liberalizing markets and undertaking market integration even before the Summit. Recognizing this, leaders in Miami sought to build upon these economic endeavors, committing to construct the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTTA) by 2005. Among the year's achievement in promoting prosperity:
III. Eradicating Poverty and Discrimination
Heads of government in Miami recognized the need for the full participation of all people in the Hemisphere to achieve Summit goals. Follow-on results have been:
IV. Guaranteeing Sustainable Development
The leader at the Summit also realized the importance of environmentally sound development practices and called for an increase in the technical and management capacity as well as public awareness in the environment sector. Implementation efforts have included:
INSTITUTIONALIZING THE SUMMIT
Foreign Ministers are overseeing the implementation phase of the Summit. In June, minister met in Haiti to reaffirm support for the Summit and to pint out areas that needed concentrated efforts. They agreed to meet again in Panama in June 1996 to determine the site and timing of the next Summit of the Americas.
To support Foreign Ministers in their task, governments decided to form the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), which met four times in 1995 to monitor and promote al follow-up activities. The OAS established a special committee to coordinate actions assigned to that organization by the leaders. The OAS, IDB and UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) are working through the Tripartite Commission to coordinate specific assigned follow-up programs.
Implementing the comprehensive Summit agenda necessitated a decentralized implementation plan. As a result, countries and regional organizations have volunteered as "Responsible Coordinators" to advance specific Summit initiatives.
A spirit of cooperation barely imaginable only a short time ago has taken root and blossomed. While setbacks have and will continue to occur, we now have in place a mechanism to address challenges creatively, and cooperatively. Building on our substantial progress, we are moving forward toward the Hemisphere's definition of a brighter future.
SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS ACTION ITEMS