Monday, April 20, 2009

A Magnificent Spin "Summit of the Americas"



If there is no signed contact, why should anyone pay?

Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon... must inevitably come to pass! -Paul J. Meyer

The Summit of the Americas is being hailed as a success. That is the biggest double talk ever uttered to the world. Here is why.

The objective of the summit was to get a declaration signed that held each leader accountable to members of the group and their respective countries on specific issues that are important to Hemispheric development. An impossible task at best with 34 super egos in a room each representing their own country’s interest to agree on anything other than saving their souls is not realistic. They said as much, well not in those words.

What actually happened is what was expected by a few. They agreed to disagree and came to a consensus to spin their disagreement so that the world could see the summit as a success. As has happened with three other summits before, the Heads of State did not agree on the final declaration for the summit and the chairman was required to sign. Are we to learn anything from history?

Very few of the resolution made in the last summit was rectified in the particular countries. Over 50 percent of the member country ignored the Human Rights resolutions, similarly the labor laws. The fact remains is that if a contract is not signed by an individual, group or country, to perform and implement certain initiatives the likelihood of implementation is significantly reduced. We all know that verbal contracts are not enforceable or accountable. Only when with a free mind and spirit legally and individual appends a signature to a document that it has relevance. Otherwise it means nothing to the non-signers.

Granted it has happened before and look at the result of those “Host Chairman” signings the declarations. It was hoped that this summit would be different. It was hoped that the leaders would have at least spent the time prior to discussions to read the declaration instead of nitpicking on ideological differences. But egos are hard to suppress even at the expense of countries.

Fortunately, Trinidad and Tobago was the host. This country can now say that we have a signed declaration by non-other than the world recognized very charismatic, illustrious PM Manning. The rest of the Heads may never have to think about it again, until the next summit. A lot can be deduced from the attitude of the host country.

For example, this is the same declaration that the various segments of the Summit were demanding but which was never seen by the people who submitted the draft. According to Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Affairs Minister, Paula Gopee Singh, the declaration will only be released when it is signed by all parties. So now what? Will anyone ever see it?

Mr. Manning by signing what will be forever known as "The Port of Spain Declaration" has assumed the charge to implement specific programmes and initiative proposed by the various sectors in the declaration. The big questions is can the special interest groups exert enough pressure to assure the implementations of the various resolutions. Especially, the rectification of the resolution on human rights which included issues such as human trafficking and preserving the environment. What is your guess?

OK, I have had my fill of the summit, I m going to do like most of the other Heads of State, forget about it. Let's return to marketing and continue on with life. But at least now you can understand what we mean when we say that this meeting was a dismal failure. What do you think?

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