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|Sixth Summit of the Americas offered great opportunity for leaders to look at important issues|
|Written by Adele Rampersaud|
|Sunday, 22 April 2012 23:00|
…says Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett
“THE recently concluded Sixth Summit of the Americas provided a great opportunity for leaders to interact and discuss some very important issues, including security, climate change, ICT, and systematic areas of the summit”.
This is according to Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett in an invited comment.
She lamented that the areas where discussions were held were overshadowed by non- agreement on the issue of Cuba being represented at the next summit.
The main issues were Argentina’s sovereignty claims over the Falklands and the criticisms of an expansionist monetary policy levelled at the developed economies.
A final statement was not forthcoming over the issue of Cuba’s inclusion in the next summit, which was supported by all the states represented, except the United States and Canada.
With regard to the meeting with the President of the United States, Barrack Obama, and CARICOM Heads, she noted that issues such as security, energy, and information communication technology were high on the agenda.
She noted that President Obama had reaffirmed to work with the region, especially in the area of security.
“He pledged to intensify the programme whereby over $70M was allocated for this purpose; prior to this a total of $40M was allocated. The process of implementation has been very slow but this time the US President pledged to increase the amount”, the Foreign Affairs Minister noted.
She added that Guyana will be collaborating with its US counterparts through the Embassy here.
“There are two aspects of this; there’s the bilateral arrangement where they’re supporting security concerns, and there is the regional arrangement”, she added.
According to Rodrigues, another issue discussed was that of the drug trade and how difficult it is to police borders.
She pointed out that a suggestion was made whereby the US should consider using radar so that there can be surveillance at all of the territories in an effort to fight the issue. “President Obama promised to follow up on this”, she disclosed.
In the area of scholarships, Obama also made a commitment of 100,000 scholarships for Latin America and the Caribbean; the modalities are being worked out and it is hoped that the private sector will be involved.
The minister noted that the idea is to have an exchange programme and to see how Guyana can benefit from that and how it will unfold.
One of the suggestions made by St.Vincent’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is that Obama and the U.S. advocate on behalf of the middle income, highly indebted vulnerable countries in the Caribbean that international financial institutions cater for those countries.
The issue was raised before by former President Bharrat Jagdeo and the President of the World Bank and the IMF in a meeting prior to the summit.
The Sixth Summit of the Americas was held in Categena, Colombia, on the 14th and 15th of April 2012, under the theme “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity”.
The Summits of the Americas are a continuing series of summits bringing together the leaders of America, including North America, Central America and the Caribbean and South America, with the exception of Cuba.
The function of the Summits is to foster discussion on a variety of issues affecting the western hemisphere.
The seventh summit is slated to be held in Panama.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2012 23:02|
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