The Special Summit of the Americas, which will bring together presidents and prime ministers of 34 member countries of the Organisation of American States (OAS), will take place in January 2004 in Mexico. The decision was made by the Mexican government after a process of consultation with the OAS member states.
“The objective of the Special Summit is to facilitate hemispheric cooperation at the highest levels of government in order to confront the current economic, social and political challenges of the region,” said OAS Secretary General César Gaviria
Irene Klinger, Executive Secretary of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, noted that approximately one-third of the region’s leaders have taken office since the last Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, Canada, in April 2001. “This meeting will provide the first opportunity for them to review hemispheric priorities and renew their shared commitments,” she said.
The Special Summit of the Americas will seek agreements on specific topics and promote a number of multilateral initiatives, as well as national actions, to resolve critical problems affecting the hemisphere. The heads of state and government will meet for one day to exchange ideas and generate proposals on three central issues: economic growth with equity, social development and democratic governance.
At a meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) at OAS headquarters last July, representatives of the 34 countries discussed and analyzed aspects of the agenda, format, content and logistics of the Special Summit.
The OAS, through its Summits of the Americas Secretariat, serves as the institutional memory and technical secretariat of the Summit of the Americas process. The OAS Secretary General assured the countries at last month’s SIRG meeting that the Organization will continue lending its full support to the process.
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