Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
The fifth Summit of the Americas will be held at the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago in the city called Port of Spain from April 17 to 19, 2009.
President Obama is expected to attend and the event will give him the opportunity to address the leaders of Latin America directly while offering his vision on US Latin America relations to the world.
The theme of the Fifth Summit of the Americas is “Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability”. The Port of Spain summit will focus on developing feasible solutions to the challenges facing the Hemisphere and delivering tangible and measurable outcomes for all citizens.
The progress made at the previous four Summits of the Americas and the two Special Summits provide a solid basis for developing a focused, integrated and results oriented Inter-American Agenda that encourages the effective engagement of civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, women, youth and regional institutions in the Summit Process. The Summit Concept Paper offers a more thorough description.
Institutions comprising the Joint Summit Working Group
Organization of American States (OAS)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
World Bank (WB)
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
Andean Development Corporation (CAF)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA)
Main objective of the Summits of the Americas
A commitment to hemispheric integration and collective responsibility designed utilizing a process to address the problems and challenges that the Americas face in order to jointly seek solutions that will improve the quality of life of the citizens of the Americas along with their security and economic well being.
History of the Summits of the Americas
The first Summit was held in Miami in 1994 and started by then President Bill Clinton. The Summits of the Americas brings together thirty four democratically elected leaders of the Western Hemisphere to exchange ideas and opinions on the main political, economic, social and security challenges facing the Hemisphere and to develop strategies and solutions to collectively address them. Cuba is not a member.
Antigua & Barbuda
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
For more information
National Secretariat for the Fifth Summit of the Americas 2009 and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2009
Office of the Prime Minister
12 - 14th Floor, Tower C
International Financial Centre
No. 1A Wrightson Road
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 1-(868)-623-7912 and 623-0457 and 627-8225
This information bulletin on the Summit of the Americas provides detailed logistical information.
How this Summit may relate to US Cuba relations
This line from the Obama will use spring summit to bring Cuba in from the cold article from the Guardian.co.uk website, says it all.
“There is a strong likelihood that Obama will announce policy changes prior to the summit,” said Daniel Erikson, director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue. “Loosening travel restrictions would be the easy thing to do and defuse tensions at the summit.”
I just returned from a Washington DC event on Cuba that educated attendees about the current state of US Cuba relations and the two bills in Congress that, if passed, will lift all travel restrictions on all Americans who wish to travel to Cuba.
Easing the travel restrictions would be an easy win/win for President Obama. The vast majority of Americans support ending the travel ban and the United Nations annually votes overwhelmingly to send a message to the US that the world is against the US Cuba Embargo. Loosening restrictions on Americans would be a positive message to attendees at this Summit.
Who knows maybe there will even be some backroom deals between the US and Cuba. President Lula of Brazil (a Summit member state) will meet with President Obama in Washington on March 14 and I’m sure the Summit and Cuba will be discussed.