CELAC Summit: Latin American and Caribbean Leaders Ready to Meet in Ecuador

By Maureen Bongat


The foreign leaders from the member countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) were gathered Sunday to discuss and prepare for the 4th upcoming summit in Ecuador Wednesday next week.

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño announced last Friday that, since then, everything was ready for the 4th Summit of CELAC and for Ecuador to “open its arms” to Caribbean and Latin America. The meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 27, which will be held at the Union of South American Nations Headquarters in the Middle of the World City which is about 15 km north of Equador’s capital, Quito.

According to the website Plenglish, 22 heads of state or government have confirmed their attendance in the IV CELAC Summit. Some of those who will attend are the Brazillian President Dilma Rousseff, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri.

Patiño confirmed that the presidents of El Salvador, Cuba and Uruguay have sent their excuses and will not be able to attend the summit due to health concerns. Unfortunately, Quito has an altitude of about 2,800 meters above sea level which can possibly cause harm to their health.

The main topics of CELAC’s meeting are expected to be the continuation of the 2016’s deliberation of the regional bloc’s priorities. That includes the unfinished 2020 Agenda’s five points: science’s development; innovation and technology; inequality and extreme poverty; financing for development and establishment of connectivity and infrastructure.

As stated by TeleSUR TV, other issues which will be discussed in the summit include regional integration, security, region’s position toward terrorism, bilateral relations and migration. The leaders will also talk about their brokerage agreement with China, South Korea, India and Russia and their future plans about it.

The focus of the meeting has always been to improve the relationship between the members.

“We have advanced with respect to inter-regional relations,” Patiño told teleSUR, putting emphasis on the recent meetings of CELAC with China and the European Union. He also added that it is better to replace the Organization of American States (OAS) with CELAC so that the regional alliance and its operations especially in the international arena will be empowered.

In 2010, headed by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, CELAC was created. The birth of the organization happened during the Unity Summit of Caribbean and Latin America which was held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Source: Latin Post

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