Where are my people ?
Barack Obama’s arrival in Port of Spain riding his Beast, Trinidad, West Indies. A walk among the people may defect the host country’s concern over his safely, and to a man willing to resist his whole purpose of leadership in a democracy and to one’s people, his forefathers have instilled. Just seeing him the public believes will transcend the belief that his existence is real. Mr. Obama must be persistent in that order.
Fifth Summit of the Americas
Port of Spain, 2009
‘Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and
Concept Paper in part
The leaders of the democratic nations of the Hemisphere will meet in 2009 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago at the Fifth Summit of the Americas to consider the most important issues facing the region and to advance collective solutions in pursuit of a higher quality of life for all citizens. After several decades of reforms, the Americas today are showing encouraging signs of progress. The emergence of positive political, economic and social trends has renewed expectations among our citizens for a better future of equal opportunity, greater security and increased prosperity. Meeting these expectations will require stronger and deeper regional cooperation and more effective programmes of action to accelerate the momentum of economic growth, build stronger democratic systems and combat the persistent and pervasive problems of poverty, hunger, exclusion and inequality, objectives which have been at the heart of the Summit Process since 1994. There is also an urgent need to address the new threats to regional security, in a world that is being rapidly transformed by technological advance, geo-political change and an emerging pattern of increasing energy constraints and environmental impacts.
The Port of Spain Summit will focus on developing feasible solutions to the challenges facing the Hemisphere and delivering tangible and measurable outcomes for all citizens. The emphasis will be on building our people’s ability to improve their lives and circumstances. The progress made at the previous four Summits of the Americas and the two Special Summits provide a solid basis for developing a focused, integrated and results-oriented Inter-American Agenda that encourages the effective engagement of civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples, afrodescendants, women, youth and regional institutions in the Summit Process.
Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability focuses on reducing critical vulnerabilities and improving the well-being and safety of the peoples of the Americas through an integrated and mutually reinforcing set of social, economic and environmental policies. It addresses a collective regional agenda for achieving accelerated human development and poverty reduction, social and cultural inclusion, and a transition to greater energy security and more sustainable communities.
This integrated agenda will only succeed if it is supported by strong democratic values, good governance, respect for human rights, the rule of law, a renewed fight against corruption, gang violence, organized crime and terrorism, and a reaffirmation of the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Overcoming poverty continues to be a major challenge for most of our countries. Deep and persistent inequalities exist in education, health, nutritional status, income and access to basic services such as water, sanitation, housing and electricity. Across the region, more than 96 million of our citizens live in extreme poverty, nearly 400 million still suffer some form of discrimination and 22 million youth are neither working nor studying.
These conditions can undermine security by eroding social cohesion and weakening support for democracy. Security has multiple dimensions; it includes the prevention of violence, crime and terrorism, but it also includes the creation of opportunities for people to overcome exclusion and marginalization, improve their lives and feel that they have a stake in the future development and prosperity of their nations.
The Fifth Summit offers a new opportunity for Heads of State and Government to build a stronger, more resilient and progressive Americas in which all citizens have the opportunity to benefit from economic development and growth, and enjoy peace, security and prosperity.