Fifth Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 2009: Background, Agenda, and Expectations [Updated April 9, 2009] [open pdf - 212KB]
This report describes the goals of the Summits of the Americas, or the Port of Spain Summit of April 17-19, 2009, the first meeting of all 34 democratic heads of government from Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States since the contentious 2005 Summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The "region's leaders approved a comprehensive Plan of Action with 23 separate initiatives under four major themes: preserving and strengthening the community of democracies of the Americas, promoting prosperity through economic integration and free trade, eradicating poverty and discrimination in the hemisphere, and guaranteeing sustainable development and conserving the natural environment for future generations. One of the most important initiatives to emerge from the Miami Summit was the agreement to work towards the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which was to be completed by January 1, 2005. […] The theme for the Port of Spain Summit is, 'Securing our citizens' future by promoting human prosperity, energy security, and environmental sustainability.' Summit organizers have stressed the need to refocus the hemisphere's priorities, set achievable goals, and create the institutions necessary to hold countries accountable for implementing the Summits' mandates. Some issues not on the official agenda, such as the global financial crisis and U.S policy toward Cuba, are also likely to be discussed. Although there is a possibility of divisiveness, most analysts believe the Summit will be successful in setting a new tone for hemispheric relations."
CRS Report for Congress, R40074