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St. Lucia Prepares for participation in the 2005 Summit of the Americas

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - The Summit of the Americas’ Secretariat, on Wednesday engaged Saint Lucian government departments in discussions on the challenges of its Fourth Summit to be held in November this year. Scheduled for Mar del Plata, Argentina, the Summit will seek to find solutions for unemployment, poverty and weaknesses of democratic governance within the Americas.

Wednesday’s exercise facilitated discussion on the finalization of the declaration of the 2005 Summit of the Americas and negotiations on a plan of action. The key issues surrounding the declaration are embedded in the 2005 theme “Creating Jobs to Fight Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance.”

Director of the Summit of the Americas Secretariat Luis Rodriguez says some of the challenges facing the summit include, among other things, achieving the goals set forth by the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) and continuing to Support Member States in the monitoring and implementation of summit mandates.

“What the countries of this hemisphere have to concern themselves with are the social and economic issues. We have poverty today in our region—we have issues on unemployment and we have to look for ways to strengthen our democratic institutions. These are the issues and the heads of government and the host country, Argentina, has put forward as the theme of the summit,” Rodriguez said.

Mr. Rodriguez says to confront the growing challenges in this hemisphere, it was critical that all sections of government make their input in the negotiating process.

“We also believe that civil society has a very clear and defined role in this process. We believe that every single institution and agency will help build into this process and make it a stronger process so that we will have a clear plan of action that will guide our leaders into decisions, tasks and goals in the coming years,” said Rodriguez.

The Summit of the Americas is supported by the Organization of American States (OAS), and brings together the Heads of State and Government of the Western Hemisphere to discuss common concerns, seek solutions and develop a shared vision for their future development of the region, be it economic, social or political in nature.

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