President to play key role in Rio summit

Stabroek News
June 26, 1999

President Janet Jagan has been identified to play a key role in the meeting of the Heads of State and Government from Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union (LAC-EU), scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A Guyana Information Services (GIS) press release stated that the working agenda for the summit will cover three basic sets of topics: political, trade and economic and cultural-educational-human issues. The summit will be preceded by a meeting of the Ministers of External Relations tomorrow, while senior officials of LAC-EU met yesterday and will continue today.

According to the release, the Rio summit will provide a renewed thrust to current agreements between the two regions as in the case of the instruments which have institutionalised the political dialogue among the European Union, the Rio Group and the Andean Community; the accords signed by the EU and Mercosur, Chile and Mexico; the mechanism for co-operation with Central America within the framework of the San Jose Dialogue; and trade and co-operation accords with the Caribbean, including both preferential trade agreements for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and sub-regional level agreements.

The summit will also discuss a broad range of issues and should help to reinforce the institutionalised dialogue between the two regions currently underway in various other fora.

The GIS release stated that the summit will be co-chaired on behalf of the Latin America and the Caribbean by host country, Brazil and Mexico which is responsible for the 1999 Pro Tempore Secretariat of the Rio Group. On the other hand, the European side will be co-chaired by Germany which currently holds the presidency of the EU Council.

Joint preparations for the LAC-EU summit began when the first meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Steering Committee and the European Union Troika was held in Rio de Janeiro on June 19.

However, the preparation on the Latin American and Caribbean side began in April 1998, with the induction of the Preparatory Committee comprising three bodies; the Plenary, the Steering Committee and the Thematic Committee. The Preparatory Committee is responsible for the overall organisation of the summit.

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