About the Author: Andres Delgado serves as a Trade Officer in the Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in Washington, DC.
We here at the Department of State are beginning our final preparations for the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. A little background: the Summit of the Americas is the premier multilateral forum for U.S. engagement with the 34 democratically-elected governments in our hemisphere. This event only occurs once every three or four years, and this year will be President Obama’s first visit to the region and an opportunity to directly discuss issues with his counterparts, in a spirit of cooperation and partnership, issues such the global economic crisis, energy security and climate change, and advancing security in the region – issues that cut across borders and affect the lives of every citizen of the Western Hemisphere.
There’s a real effort this year on the part of our partner nations and us to encourage as wide a participation in the Summit discussions and goals as possible. Everyone wants their citizens to know what the leaders and their negotiating teams are discussing and how this benefits them directly.
We have a lot of new outreach tools that will be used to provide you with the most up-to-date Summit information. We have just launched a Facebook page, which I encourage you to check out. It has just about everything you want to know about the Summit. From background information to daily posting, from what’s happening during the lead up in Washington as well as on the ground in Port- of-Spain. It’s your central depository for updates and a space to voice your opinion on the Fifth Summit of the Americas.
We hope our Facebook page, as well as our Twitter (look for the #sota09 tag) and YouTube postings, will give citizens throughout the hemisphere an understanding of the Summit’s themes and its related importance to you. Most importantly, our Facebook page gives you the opportunity to voice your thoughts about the Summit. Please look for our page in Facebook under “Fifth Summit of the Americas 2009, Trinidad and Tobago.”
Read more about the Fifth Summit of the Americas in a discussion with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemipshere Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. and Ambassador Jeffrey S. Davidow.