Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG)
During the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, Canada, in 2001, the partner institutions of the Summit Process the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the World Bank, coordinated by the Organization of American States (OAS), presented their first joint hemispheric report, outlining the activities carried out in fulfillment of the mandates of the Second Summit of the Americas, held in Santiago, Chile, in 1998.
As a result of the Third Summit of the Americas, the role of these institutions became more prominent: The Quebec City Plan of Action underscored the need for permanent coordination in the inter-American system and welcomed the involvement of international organizations in all stages of the Summit Process.
In follow-up to this mandate, in 2001, the aforementioned institutions signed a Letter of Understanding, which created the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG). This Group’s objective is to increase coordination in the implementation and follow-up of mandates. Shortly thereafter, the Group invited the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation of Agriculture (IICA), the Andean Corporation for Development (CAF), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to participate in their activities.
In preparation for the Special Summit of the Americas held in 2004, in Monterrey, Mexico, the participation of these institutions was fundamental. The JSWG was present during the negotiation of the Declaration of Nuevo Leon and provided, as requested, technical support to the governments. Also in 2004, the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) joined the Joint Summit Working Group. In the Declaration of Mar del Plata at the Fourth Summit of the Americas in 2005, the Heads of State and Government of the Americas entrusted the member institutions of the JSWG to continue supporting, through their respective activities and programs, the follow-up and implementation of the Declarations and Plans of Action of the Summits of the Americas and to provide assistance in preparations for future Summits.
In 2009, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) requested their participation in the JSWG activities, bringing the total number of partner institutions up to twelve. During the same year, the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG) provided key support to the Fifth Summit of the Americas through their active participation in the numerous events leading up to and during the meeting of the hemisphere’s Heads of State in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Many of the institutions were called upon to play important roles in providing expertise and facilitating dialogue among civil society, youth, the private sector, and workers, among other stakeholders, at the various forums held in the days prior to the Summit.
The JSWG presented to these forums, as well as to Member State Delegations, their most recent report on the individual and collective work to implement Summit mandates and commitments entitled, “Achievements of the Summits of the Americas: From Mar del Plata to Port of Spain.” This publication presents the efforts of the JSWG to support the mandates of the Fourth Summit, as well as an overview of strategies and actions to contribute to the commitments made in the Fifth Summit.
Just as the Summits process has provided the framework for OAS Member States to collaborate and coordinate their development agendas at the highest political levels, the JSWG provides inter-American and other multilateral institutions with a mechanism to coordinate and synchronize their support to countries in the formulation and implementation of Summit commitments and priorities. It is the responsibility of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat to harness the significant technical support and resources of the JSWG within the Summits process for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the Summit Host Country, OAS Member States, social actors, and other partner institutions of the JSWG.
© Summits of the Americas