OAS launches summits virtual platform to enhance consultations for 2009 Port-of-Spain summit of the Americas

The Organization of American States (OAS) Summits of the Americas Secretariat yesterday launched the Summits of the Americas Virtual Platform (SVP), an on-line tool to facilitate communication and complement face-to-face consensus-building activities of the Summits of the Americas process.

A joint initiative of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat and the OAS Department of Human Development (through the Educational Portal of the Americas), with support from the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) / International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Summits of the Americas Virtual Platform provides a forum for using information and communication technologies (ICTs) for a series of virtual consultations and dialogue in key thematic areas within the framework of the preparatory process for the Fifth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, from April 17-19, 2009.

“The Summit Virtual Platform will contribute to enriching the Summit process while benefitting from the cost-effectiveness provided by ICTs. We anticipate that on-line fora will result in a more robust and inclusive engagement of social actors, and other Summit stakeholders, thereby contributing to strengthening regional dialogue which is key to ensuring a participatory Summits’ process. We are extremely grateful for the generous support of ICA/IDRC, and to our OAS colleagues who have collaborated in the realization of the SVP,” asserted OAS Summit Secretariat Director David Morris, hailing the launch of this latest facility whereby the stakeholders of the Summits of the Americas process will engage in consensus-building.

“Based on the recognition that ICTs can play a significant role in the promotion of inclusion, transparency and the active participation of diverse groups within the Summit process, this initiative is seen as an innovative approach to contribute to the planning process of the upcoming Summit”, stated Ben Petrazzini, Manager of ICA and the Connectivity in the Americas (CEA) Program at IDRC.

“Introduction to the Summits of the Americas Process,” the first Virtual Forum, will be held until September 13th. Forum participants will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Summit of the Americas and understand how individuals can participate effectively in the Summit process. In addition, the Draft Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain will be presented to foster an open discussion and gather general observations.

Membership in the SVP is open to anyone interested in participating in or knowing more about the Summits Process.

For more information on the Summit Virtual Platform and to get registered, please visit http://www.summit-americas.org/vp/default.html

If you have any questions, please contact Claudia Salazar at: [email protected]


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