Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Is The Summit Of The Americas?

OK, I would be the first to admit when I heard about the Summit of the Americas coming to Trinidad it meant very little to me. I have never paid much attention to it before. I understood the general concept that leaders of a group of 34 nations will get together and talk about issues that affect them all. I understood that because Cuba was considered socialist and aligned with Russia they were not included in the Americas. That’s pretty much it but that changed quickly.

I’m happy to say now I understand. It makes so much more sense. I will attempt to explain it to you here as I understand it so that if you are anything like me you may not yet get it. Then again you may so you could save yourself some time here.
Anyway, yes, the Summit of the Americas is the meeting of 34 heads of governments made up of all the significant nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Try imagining that the world is really just a neighborhood or distinct community. The people on the western side of the community agree to meet this weekend to discuss issues that are affecting them all. They want to help each other in any meaningful way; trade relations, social development or technology exchanging. After the weekend meeting they are SUPPOSED to go home and tell the family about the decisions we made and implement the decisions they made. Well, to be honest, as far as Trinidad is concerned, we ignored everything. Trinidad scores on implementation here.

This is the Fifth Summit of the Americas, and I never paid attention to any of them. There is such a thin line between being unconscious and conscious sometimes the defining moment escapes us. You see before the weekend meeting members of the family with specific inclination or status in the community gets to meet and come up with the issues they deem as relevant for their leaders to adopt. There is a problem with implementation once the world leaders return to their respective countries. The Minister of Social Services of Trinidad and Tobago, in his opening address stated that implementation was extremely important. These groups are mostly civic or commercial associations, NGOs, CBOs that operate in the member countries. They all fall under the following umbrella:

1. Youth Groups and Young Leaders: We want to know what the younger ones in the family feel is important to their development. Things they will like to do be, see and learn. The youths from the 34 nations meet at various forums in different cities. Mostly these are youth leaders, young individuals who have distinguished themselves in their community and country.

2. The Private Sector Corporations and SME: This group is made up of the leaders in business, banking or other commercial enterprises. They discuss how they can better cooperate and put in place infrastructures to accommodate trade, foreign exchange issues and anything else related to commercial cooperation.

3. Civil Societies, NGOs,CBOs, Special Interests: This is the socially concerned segment of the population. People who are concerned with causes to make the world a better place to live in. Causes like global warming, poverty eradication, environmental preservation, a list that too extensive to mention here.

So are you too starting to see how this makes some sense. Especially now that the world is beginning to shrink and information is so easily and quickly shared globally.

Well it does make sense to me. “No man is an island”. Despite an unconscious world of millions who are totally unaware of the few who work long hours for the betterment and the preservation of the race and the environment. Oh, and remember that this is only half of the neighborhood.

Well I don’t want to take much more of your time and I have to get ready to go into an interactive session in the Summit. Will let you know how that goes.

Other Blog comments on the summit:

T&T Prepares for the summit of the Americas

President Obama Visits T&T

T&T Citizens Unhappy

Amnesty International Puts Human Rights on the Agenda

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