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Colombia assumed the chair of the Summit of the Americas from Trinidad and Tobago


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September 22, 2009

Colombia assumed the chair of the Summit of the Americas from Trinidad and Tobago

Colombia assumed the chair of the Summit of the Americas from Trinidad and Tobago

OAS. September 21, 2009. The Republic of Colombia assumed Monday the Chair of the Summit of the Americas from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago at a meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), the principal organ of the Process of the Summits of the Americas.
The event, held at the Simón Bolívar Conference Room at the Headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, was attended by the OAS Secretary General, Jos Miguel Insulza, the Minister of Foreign Relations of Trinidad and Tobago, Paula Gopee-Scoon, the Minister of Foreign Relations of Colombia, Jaime Bermdez Merizalde, and the Minister of Foreign Relations of Chile, Mariano Fernández.
The Fifth Summit of the Americas took place in April 2009 in Puerto Espaa. The Fifth Summit will take place in Cartagena de Indias, at a date to be confirmed.
Secretary General Insulza congratulated the government of Trinidad and Tobago on the organization of the past Summit, which he said was a great succes. He also noted with affection and high esteem that Colombia is assuming the Chair of the next Summit.
The Summit of Port of Spain has set the tone for future hemispheric relations and I am honored to attend the passing of the baton to the next Summit, he said.
We are convinced that Colombia will, almost like no other, reach the goals that this Summit requires. We know that the organization will be as good as the one we have seen in the recent period, and particularly the political guidance will be broad and bright enough to vitalize this new era of Inter-American relations under a sign of unity, co-operation and peace, he added.
Minister Gopee-Scoon said it had been an honor and a privilege for her country to have hosted the historic event of the Summit. The outcome of the Fifth Summit would not have been possible were it not for the invaluable spirit of partnership and cooperation of each member state and our other hemispheric partners the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States and the Summit of the Americas Secretariat, other institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group, and representatives of the peoples of our countries civil society, the youth, labor and the private sector.
Minister Bermdez Merizalde stressed the determination of Colombia, its people and its Government, to guarantee the success of the Summit.
We hope we will have as much consensus as possible, and be able to take specific steps towards the strengthening of the Summit itself, of each and every Member State and of the multilateral organizations in the region.
Cartagena will be host, and we hope you all will be there. We look forward to this Summit being a success for you, for the Summit itself and for all the people of this continent, he added.
The formal transfer of the Chair was the passing of the statute Inukshuk, which is now the Symbol of the Summits of the Americas. The figure, which represents leadership and regional integration, was presented for the first time by the Government of Canada to the Government of Argentina during preparations for the Fourth Summit of the Americas.