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From mandates to action: implementation and follow-up of the summits of the americas process presentation by sherry tross


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SUMMIT IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GROUP (SIRG) OEA/Ser.E

Second Meeting at the Ministerial Level of 2012 GRIC/M.2/INF.5/12

June 5, 2012 5 June 2012

Cochabamba, Bolivia Original: English


FROM MANDATES TO ACTION:

IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP OF THE SUMMITS OF THE AMERICAS PROCESS
PRESENTATION BY SHERRY TROSS

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

SUMMITS OF THE AMERICAS SECRETARIAT

Distinguished Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation,

Secretary General Insulza,

Distinguished National Coordinators of the Summits process,

Representatives of the institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group,

Ladies and Gentlemen:


I am honored to once again have the opportunity to address you on the issue of Summit implementation and follow-up, a function entrusted to the Summit Implementation Review Group by the Heads of State and Government at the Second Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile and reaffirmed in subsequent Summits.
The periodic reports presented both by States and institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group provide specific information on the implementation of Summit mandates and commitments, and have become an essential reference point for the people of the Americas. They also underscore the importance of the Summits process and the real impact that Summit decisions can have in advancing national and hemispheric agendas and priorities. The follow-up phase which encompasses the designing of concrete initiatives as well as their subsequent implementation is therefore integral to the Summit process.
At the recent Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, the Heads of State and Government adopted a series of mandates in five thematic areas – integration of physical infrastructure; poverty, inequality, and inequity; disaster risk reduction and management; access to and use of information and communication technologies; and citizen security and transnational organized crime.
In this regard, Madame Chair, I wish to briefly share with the distinguished Heads of Delegation a sense of the initiatives related to Sixth Summit mandates that are currently being considered by the 12 Summit institutions. The Summits Secretariat will provide more detailed information to National Coordinators and the Permanent Missions as programming advances in consultation with the Member States of the Summit process.

INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT OF SUMMIT MANDATES

Our consultations with Joint Summit Working Group partners since Cartagena have revealed that institutions are fully committed to lending their support to advance Summit mandates; they look forward to working with States on the implementation of mandates that fall within institutional areas of competency and capacity; and they intend to incorporate Summit mandates into their plans of work and, in some cases, are already working on developing concrete programs of implementation.


Indeed, in developing the proposals for implementation, institutions have noted that the thematic areas chosen by States have significant areas of complementarity. This could be advantageous in terms of implementation. For example, as regards the theme of poverty and inequality, several of the initiatives being considered incorporate aspects that also support the thematic area of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). This thematic complementarity allows for even closer collaboration between and among institutions.
One such example is a joint effort between the OAS’s Educational Portal of the Americas and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to develop and offer an online course on “Chronic Illness Care” that will be launched in the second half of 2012 through the Portal’s Virtual Classroom. This course will advance the Sixth Summit commitment to promote “… continuing education programs for health workers and the population and provide access to information on health services in those centers and communities that need it the most.” PAHO also intends to work with the pertinent authorities to further the use of ICTs in health information systems.
To further the use of technology in addressing issues of poverty, one of the principal goals of the OAS’s Educational Portal of the Americas going forward will be the provision of professional development opportunities through the use of ICTs following a cross-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and inclusive approach. The Educational Portal has provided thousands of citizens with access to affordable higher education, with particular emphasis on raising the quality of education for teachers in our hemisphere. This new emphasis will expand its client base and reach greater portions of the population, particularly in marginalized communities, by developing and delivering online courses and certificates, and providing advisory services for online education. Likewise, OAS educational programs have committed to seek innovative ways to “foster greater international exchange of students, in order to provide them with the greatest possible learning opportunities.”
For its part, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has initiated or renewed innovation and agribusiness projects in several countries for small farmers and family farms in rural areas. IICA also delivered a report to the OAS on the food situation in the Americas, to support the deliberations of the 42nd General Assembly of the OAS being celebrated here in Cochabamba. IICA’s initiatives respond to the mandate to “to strengthen and ensure a sustainable, comprehensive, inclusive, and competitive agro-food sector that would contribute to food security and the reduction of poverty and inequity, particularly in marginalized rural and urban areas.”
The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has committed to support countries as they strive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), along with national goals. ECLAC is also working with countries to bridge the gap between national and local achievements in attaining the MDGs. PAHO has also signaled its commitment to promote the fulfillment of the MDGs in the communities that are most behind, and working with national and local sectors on public policies that tackle the conditions that negatively impact people’s health taking into account the 2011 World Conference on the Social Determinants of Health.
Indeed, all of the institutions have ongoing initiatives or are in the process of developing initiatives that further support mandates on poverty, inequality and inequity, including in areas of early childhood care and development, social inclusion, quality education, investment, and nutrition, among other areas.
As it relates to the mandates on the integration of physical infrastructure, there is a firm commitment from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Inter-
American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank for improving competitiveness, upgrading infrastructure, sustainable energy and logistics, and boosting investments in innovation. Just prior to the Sixth Summit, these three organizations jointly pledged to make available an average of US$35 billion annually for regional economies to support economic growth with social inclusion, as well as public and private sector investments.
Additionally, the Infrastructure Fund (InfraFund) at the IDB is dedicated to assisting public, private and mixed capital entities in the identification, development and preparation of sustainable infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. And, in October 2012, the IDB will host a meeting of Permanent Secretaries, senior government officials from the Ministries of Transport of 26 countries of the region. The Transport Network seeks to promote a horizontal exchange of information, knowledge and experiences to address common challenges in transport infrastructure.
Both ECLAC and the IDB have indicated their support for broadband development in the Americas. ECLAC, in its capacity as Technical Secretariat, will continue to promote the Regional Dialogue on Broadband, working with countries to obtain better quality service at lower costs and assuring that information and communication technologies are tools for economic development and social inclusion. The IDB is in the process of developing a new broadband initiative as a catalyst for economic growth and social progress in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In terms of the implementation of the mandates related to disaster risk reduction and management institutions such as the OAS, CAF, UNDP, PAHO and the IDB will be incorporating these mandates into their respective work plans, as well as continue to strengthen inter-American efforts for coordination in response to disasters, in information sharing and disaster risk reduction.
With respect to the issue of citizen security and transnational organized crime, mandates arising from the Sixth Summit have been incorporated into the work plan of the OAS’s Secretariat of Multidimensional Security. The Secretariat is working with Member States, led by Mexico and Chile, to develop solid proposals to ensure a coordinated coherent response to transnational organized crime. In March 2012, the IDB announced a new special fund with a potential value of $328 million to provide technical support grants for governments in the areas of information, integrated security management and international cooperation. The funds will also be available to help design citizen security strategies backed up by management, evaluation and information systems. PAHO will also continue to support States in terms of the health aspects of preventing sexual and gender based violence.

SOCIAL ACTORS AND SUMMIT FOLLOW-UP
I am also pleased to report that social actors have been in touch with the Summit Secretariat to advise of their own active engagement in the follow-up and implementation phase of the process. With the aim of creating awareness on youth involvement in the Summit process, the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) presented the results of the Cartagena Youth Forum at the United Nations Conference “Creating a Sustainable Future: Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities” which took place on May 4th at UN Headquarters. They also made a similar presentation to the Youth Employment Forum at ILO Headquarters, in Geneva in May. Further, to underscore the seriousness that they accord to their participation, Youth that participated in the Summit of the Americas have proposed the creation of the Youth Summit Implementation and Review Group. This initiative is in its early stages of development and seeks to find ways to partner in following up on commitments from the Summits of the Americas directly related to youth.
T

here are also ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships with the private sector in advancing post-Summit initiatives. The Americas Competitiveness Forum will hold its first post-Sixth Summit meeting in October 2012 in Cali, Colombia. Additionally, various universities and vocational institutions have reached out to the OAS to gauge possibilities for partnership on the education mandates. Other social actors have signaled their interest in remaining engaged with the process.


With the aim of complementing the implementation and follow-up phase that is being undertaken by the States and the JSWG, the Summits of the Americas Secretariat hopes to be able to have follow-up virtual consultations with all social actors as well as on-site sessions and round tables in the coming months
CONCLUSION
To complement this work, we share your belief that it is important to share with the public the very concrete advances that States are making with regard to implementation. The Summits Secretariat stands ready to work with Member States on the presentation of national reports and to continue to provide training in the use of the Summit of the Americas Implementation and Follow-up System (SISCA). Also, to ensure that there is clear information sharing and a thorough understanding of what is being accomplished, the Summits Secretariat will periodically update the website with the information received from States, partner institutions and social actors on implementation and follow-up.
In closing, Madame Chair, distinguished Ministers/Heads of Delegation, Delegates, I take this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the Summits Secretariat to continue to work closely with Member States in the implementation phase and to utilize available outreach tools to disseminate this information and provide evidence of action and results.
Thank you.



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