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The ECLAC Washington Office serves as liaison with the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada and international organizations based in Washington, D.C. Through research and technical assistance the Office contributes to the analysis of the economic relations between Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.S. and Canada.

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ECLAC and the Summit of the Americas

The First Summit of the Americas took place in Miami, Florida December 9 to 11, 1994. The meeting produced a Declaration of Principles and a Plan of Action signed by all 34 Heads of State and Government in attendance.

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas, the architects of this new system, decided to meet on a regular basis in order to define the fundamental precepts of the new Hemispheric agenda. This decision to institutionalize the meetings led to the notion of a "Summit process", where experiences are accumulated, a common language is forged and mandates for collective action are programmed, systematizing the new theoretical and practical references in hemispheric relations.

The Santiago Plan of Action states that international organizations, in accordance with Summit decisions, will have responsibilities in implementing the Summit process and the mandates of the process, as appropriate. There are five principal multilateral organizations involved in implementing specific Summit issues. The organizations in question are the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, the Pan American health Organization and the World Bank. Other international organizations, from the family of United Nations organizations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and the World Trade Organization play smaller supporting roles in summit implementation. The list of Responsible Coordinators also indicates which international organization is responsible, or jointly responsible, for the implementation of a specific Summit mandate.

The Summit Implementation Review Group, meets on a periodic basis; holding approximately 4 regular meetings, plus one ministerial-level meeting each year. The SIRG is responsible for reporting annually on the progress achieved in the fulfillment of the Plan of Action to the Foreign Ministers. Under the guidance of the Foreign Ministers, the SIRG is responsible for making preparations for subsequent Summits, bearing in mind the contributions of the pertinent organs of the OAS, the IDB, ECLAC and PAHO, as well as other international organizations involved. 

Senior representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the World Bank are invited to support the Governments in the SIRG in order to follow up on the commitments of the Summit and to achieve greater coordination and effectiveness of these institutions in performing this task.



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