Canadian Foundation for the Americas

Canadian Foundation for the Americas

March 25, 2009 10:15 ET

Focal Forming National Alliance for the Fulfillment of Summit of the Americas Mandates

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2009) -

Thursday, March 26, 2009

9 am - 12 pm

Escabus Room, MacEwan Conference and Events Centre

MacEwan Student Centre, 2nd Floor (East End), University of Calgary

The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) and the Latin American Research Centre (http://larc.ucalgary.ca/) at the University of Calgary are hosting one in a series of consultations across Canada as the first step in founding a national alliance to support Canada and other Organization of American States (OAS) members and give real meaning to the Summits of the Americas process.

Traditionally, these civil society consultations have happened in Latin America and the Caribbean, not North America. "These meetings give Canadian citizens the opportunity and ability to help shape the hemispheric agenda," said Racquel Smith, Project Manager for FOCAL's Inter-American program. "The Summits are not one-off events, but an ongoing process with action plans that can make a significant contribution to improving the quality of the lives of the citizens of this hemisphere."

Civil society groups, academics, and business leaders will meet to discuss the 2009 Summit's official theme, Securing Our Citizens' Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability, hosted by Trinidad & Tobago on April 17-19, 2009. They will also discuss how to convert Summit mandates into government mandates. Other meetings are planned in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. A report will be presented to the OAS and the Active Democracy Network (www.sociedadcivil.net/), which FOCAL helps to coordinate.

Canada helped institutionalize citizens' participation in the summits process at the 2001 Quebec City Summit. For that Summit, FOCAL and its partners, Corporacion Participa of Chile and the ESQUEL network, organized the first transnational civil society consultations with over 900 representatives participating before the Quebec City Summit. More than half of the 243 civil society recommendations generated by these consultations were included in the Quebec City Plan of Action. The Summit of the Americas is the only meeting of all of the democratically-elected Heads of State in the Americas.

To attend, RSVP by email to Tiffany Weagle by email at larc@ucalgary.ca..

For more information, visit FOCAL's Inter-American program website: www.focal.ca/projects/interamericanaffairs/summitV/index_e.asp

The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to strengthening Canadian relations with Latin America and the Caribbean through policy dialogue and analysis.

Contact Information

  • To schedule an interview with Racquel Smith
    Peter Moore
    Communications Director
    613-562-0005 ext.255
    pmoore@focal.ca