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Fact Sheet: Summit of the Americas:
Advancing the Common Agenda

Prepared by the Office of Regional Economic Policy and Summit Coordination, U.S. Department of State, February 1997.


The Miami Summit was a watershed event for the Western Hemisphere. In December 1994 President Bill Clinton and his fellow leaders in the Americas met to commemorate the region's commitment to democracy and free market economies. The Summit, the first of its kind in 27 years, brought together the 34 democracies of the hemisphere to articulate their shared vision of the future.

Leaders agreed to a series of initiatives in support of the four Summit themes--strengthening democracy, promoting economic prosperity, eradicating poverty and discrimination, and guaranteeing sustainable development. Since 1994, the Miami Plan of Action has produced tangible results. Cooperative efforts are underway in several important and groundbreaking areas.

The Summit reflected a new vision of hemispheric relations, based on the principles of consensus and cooperation. This "Spirit of Miami" created the context for addressing critical challenges, such as forging the Mexican finance stabilization package and supporting constitutional democracy in Paraguay.

The Miami Summit engaged governments, international institutions, and the public in support of an ambitious, progressive agenda. The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have actively responded to the mandates of the Summit. A process began in Miami that will lead to better lives for the people of the Hemisphere. It is a process that will be continued by the next Summit of the Americas hosted by the Government of Chile in March 1998 in Santiago.

During his State of the Union address President Clinton emphasized the importance of the hemisphere to U.S. national interests. He plans to travel to the region twice this year and attend the Santiago Summit next year. The President also appointed Counselor Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty as his Special Envoy for the Americas.

Key Miami Follow-up Actions

I. Strengthening Democracy

The commitment to democracy is a singular feature in our Hemisphere; protection of democracy was cited during the Summit as "the central priority of the Americas." The democracy initiatives have produced several notable results:

II. Promoting Economic Prosperity

Progress already had been realized in liberalizing markets and undertaking market integration before the Summit.

Leaders in Miami sought to build upon these economic endeavors, committing to negotiate the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by 2005. Among the activities in promoting prosperity:

III. Eradicating Poverty and Discrimination

Heads of government in Miami recognized the need for the full participation of all people in the hemisphere to achieve the goals of the Summit. Results have been:

IV. Guaranteeing Sustainable Development

The leaders at the Summit also recognized the importance of environmentally sound development practices and called for an increase in technical and management capacity as well as in public awareness in the environmental sector. Achievements to date include:

Institutionalizing the Summit

Foreign Ministers are overseeing the implementation phase of the Summit. In June 1996, ministers met in Panama to take stock of the progress of the previous year. They agreed to continue working to implement the agreements of Miami.

To support Foreign Ministers in their task, governments formed in March 1995 the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), which meets periodically since Miami to monitor and promote all follow-up activities. The OAS established a special committee to coordinate actions assigned to that organization by the leaders.

Implementing the comprehensive Summit agenda necessitated a decentralized implementation plan. As a result, countries and regional organizations have volunteered as "Responsible Coordinators" to advance specific Summit initiatives.

The Santiago Summit of the Americas

The Government of Chile will host the next Summit of the Americas March 28-29, 1998 in Santiago. The Summit will address the themes of strengthening democracy, achieving economic integration, and alleviating poverty. The Santiago agenda will consist of seven or eight new initiatives achievable in a two- to three-year period. They agreed to meet in Lima June 1997 to further discuss these issues.

The ministers also designated the SIRG as the principal negotiating forum for the next Summit and called for negotiations to be carried out in the same open and transparent manner that characterized the Miami Summit.

A spirit of cooperation barely imaginable only a short time ago has taken root and blossomed. While setbacks have and will continue to occur, we now have in place a mechanism to address challenges creatively, constructively, and cooperatively. Building on our remarkable progress to date, we are moving forward toward the hemisphere's definition of a brighter future.

Miami Summit Action Items

1. Strengthening Democracy
2. Human Rights
3. Invigorating Society
4. Cultural Values
5. Combating Corruption
6. Illegal Drugs and Related Crime
7. Terrorism
8. Building Mutual Security
9. Free Trade in the Americas
10. Liberalizing Capital Markets
11. Hemispheric Infrastructure
12. Energy Cooperation
13. Telecommunications
14. Science and Technology
15. Tourism
16. Access to Quality Education
17. Basic Health Services
18. Women in Society
19. Microenterprise
20. White Helmets
21. Sustainable Energy Use
22. Partnership for Biodiversity
23. Partnership for Pollution Prevention

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