The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today received the Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development of Trinidad and Tobago, Bhoendradatt Tewarie, who spoke about preparations for the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum to be held in his country in October. Also at today's meeting, the delegation of Peru presented a report on the conclusion of the First Inter-American Meeting of Presidents of Legislative Powers of the region, held in Lima last month.
In his speech, Minister Tewarie referred to the preparations and logistics of the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum which will have as its central theme "The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation," and will be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from October 8 to 10.
Minister Tewarie stressed that the Forum "gives representatives of government an opportunity to engage each other on matters of common interest in the Americas, gives business leaders the opportunity not just to interact and to interface but actually to create business opportunities, and more than that it gives academics and NGOs an opportunity to lend their own perspectives on the big issues of the day.”
Minister Tewarie also emphasized that the Forum provides an opportunity to "engage ideas of competitiveness in a way that it has not been engaged so far by introducing the human imaginative aspect of competitiveness and innovation. We have brought the human dimension to the forefront and have raised the question ‘What is the form of educational system and structure that we might create to ensure that the supply of imaginative capability of our citizens is at its most intense and competitive?’”
The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin, said the Forum is an opportunity for dialogue with the private sector, which plays "a key role in sustainable development," and he invited the countries of the region to strengthen collaboration between the private and public sectors.
Ambassador Ramdin also praised the preparatory work on the organization of the Forum done by Trinidad and Tobago, a country which he described as one of the leading economies of the Caribbean and the Western Hemisphere, and highlighted its leadership in promoting economic development policies, innovation and creativity.
For his part, the Alternate Representative of Peru, Javier Yepes, presented a report on the results of the First Inter-American Meeting of Speakers of Legislative Branches of the region, which was held in Lima on July 18. The Peruvian diplomat stressed that the event was attended by representatives of the highest level of the legislatures of 26 member countries and nine parliamentary networks, as well as the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza and the former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, among others.
Representative Yepes said that during the event the importance of transparency and accountability of the legislative powers of the region was emphasized, and noted that the Lima Declaration was adopted, which expresses the will of the participants to constitute the Inter-American Meeting of Speakers of Legislative Branches of the Americas with the technical support of the OAS. He also said that Chile offered to host the second meeting of this initiative.
At another point on the agenda, the Council elected by acclamation the new Chairs of the Committees on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP), Hemispheric Security (CSH), and Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP). The Council elected the Permanent Representative of Jamaica, Stephen Vasciannie, to preside the CAJP; the Permanent Representative of Colombia, Andrés González Díaz, to chair the CSH; and the Permanent Representative of Chile, Juan Pablo Lira, to head the CAAP.
At the end of the meeting, the Permanent Representative of Argentina, Nilda Garre, briefed the Council on the finding of the grandson of Estela de Carlotto, President of the association of relatives of the disappeared "Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo," who after 36 years searching, found the son of her daughter Laura Carlotto, who was murdered by the dictatorship in Argentina. The youth, who still bears the name of his adoptive family, travelled to the “Abuelas” organization and took a DNA test that proved 99.99 percent positive his bond with Estela de Carlotto, Ambassador Garre recalled with emotion.
During the meeting, which was chaired by the Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia, Sonia Johnny, several delegations congratulated Bolivia and Jamaica on the occasion of the anniversary of the independence of both nations. During the meeting, the delegations of Antigua and Barbuda (on behalf of CARICOM), Belize (on behalf of SICA), Panama, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, the United States, Bolivia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Jamaica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Chile, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Argentina took the floor.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.