Summit of Americas to Begin

The upcoming 5th Summit of the Americas is starting in less than a day and will be held in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago.

Participants of the Summits of the Americas are the Heads of State and Government of the thirty-four Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) and their delegations. With the goal of improving the quality of life of the citizens of the Americas, the participants meet to analyze and discuss the problems and challenges that the Americas face.

Anti-corruption has become an integral part of efforts to combat the effects of the economic crisis globally. A delegation from Transparency International (TI) will participate. TI will share its analysis of anti-corruption actions by Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.

The theme of the Fifth Summit of the Americas is “Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability.” The fourth Summit took place in Mar del Plata, Argentina in 2005 and promoted increased job creation to fight poverty and strengthen democratic governance.

As part of its successes from the previous summit, the OAS conducted many educational courses, workshops and seminars on economic development, job creation, and poverty reduction. A report on the achievement of the summits mentions that in 2006, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) in its poverty reduction pursuits, approved US $249.3 million for programs and projects on poverty alleviation. CABEI also made more contributions to micro-finance programs from 148,000 to 250,000 and to improve access for low-income populations to sustainable financing mechanisms for home buyers and home improvement.

Additionally, the report cites the achievement of the OAS with the Instituto Hondureno de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) of producing a one week seminar, which highlighted the experience of the Honduran government in its implementation of the program “Rescue and Promotion of the Artisan, Indigenous and Traditional Production of Honduras.” The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided a series of loans and technical cooperation grants currently in execution related to labor market development that total more than US $1 billion. These include comprehensive labor market loans in Mexico, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Finally, the achievements of the summits include pilot projects by the OAS “E-SME Program” to provide technical and professional training for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that were conducted in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. One hundred twenty pilot projects were conducted in all to increase internet services and information and communication technology.

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