Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA

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 June 13, 2003

Original: Spanish
Translation: FTAA Secretariat



Name(s): Gabriel Calderón Sánchez
Organization(s): Comunidad Universitaria por el Desarrollo, A.C. (CUD, A.C.)
Country: Mexico



Aware that the project of regional integration of the Americas represents the highest effort to achieve the union and the development of our peoples, the Mexico-based Comunidad Universitaria por el Desarrollo, A.C., has decided to speak out in favor of the regional integration of the peoples of the Americas through the joint work of young people.

Given that the Seventh Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade in the Hemisphere, held in Quito on 1 November 2002, reaffirmed the commitment to transparency and the need for the greater, sustained participation of the different sectors of civil society in this project of hemispheric integration, CUD, A.C., considers that the inclusion of young people, as the largest sector of .our societies in the Americas, is of vital importance not only for the materialization of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), but also for the achievement of an authentic hemispheric union that lays the foundation, through joint and voluntary work, for the sustainable development of the Americas.

CUD, A.C., therefore proposes that the first "Youth Summit of the Americas" be held in Mexico in October of this year. The objectives of the summit will be: to promote the interest of the young people of the Americas in regional cooperation and integration projects in the Americas; to promote ties of union between the young people of the countries of the Americas; to foster the development of the peoples of the Americas through the work of civil society, in conjunction with various political, economic, and social sectors; and, lastly, to promote a pluralistic opening in decisionmaking on various regional integration projects in the Americas, with the participation of young people.

The short-term goal of this summit is to conduct an executive meeting representing young people interested in development in its various facets, from a perspective rooted in the Americas. The purpose of this meeting is to establish an Agenda for the Development of the Americas that will stem exclusively from the work of young volunteers who wish to be a part of the project; at the same time, the meeting will attempt to establish closer ties with the FTAA Negotiating Group so as to become familiar with the project and determine what points of the Agenda can be worked on jointly.

In the medium term, CUD, A.C., plans to continue with the work of promoting the program and taking it to all university students in the Americas, by visiting the various countries, conducting joint hemispheric regional meetings on an ongoing basis, and assessing the development plans and projects established as goals by the delegations from each country.

As a long-term goal, CUC, A.C., plans to forge a generation of young people interested in, and committed to, the development of their peoples from a comprehensive hemispheric standpoint. In addition, it plans to follow up on and broaden the various development programs carried out with these young people, with the purpose of having an impact on society that will attract other young people to join the project and to create other similar ones.

We should point out that the proposed funding for CUD, A.C., to hold this summit does not rely on the funds that the FTAA Negotiating Group has or may obtain; rather, CUD, A.C., will seek the support of multinational companies and international agencies.

The summit will issue an invitation through a previously established university network to young people between the ages of 18 and 30, regardless of their field of study or the level of the degree they are pursuing. To form a delegation, candidates will merely have to submit the information indicated in the invitation along with their curriculum vitae. Because the procedures for registering, competing for selection, and selecting delegations will be conducted electronically, candidates will not have to incur any expenses.

The delegations from each of the 34 invited countries will be composed of five delegates, who will elect an ambassador from among themselves; this delegate will serve as the conduit for communication and organization between CUD, A.C., and his fellow delegates. Delegations that are selected will be brought to the summit host city, and their lodging and other expenses will be covered with funds from CUD, A.C.; hence, the socioeconomic level of the delegates will not be an issue.
CUD, A.C., in keeping with its concern for regional development and wishing to create new development opportunities for medium-sized cities, has chosen Orizaba as the host city for the Summit. The event will be held from 11 to 25 October 2003.

The Summit will have two types of meetings: the first type of meeting will follow the model of a general assembly, where all the delegates will meet in a single location to deliberate on the issues at hand; the second type of meeting will be organized into work groups, in which a member of each delegation will discuss a specific topic from the Development Agenda of the Americas. The topics on the agenda are: Political and Institutional Development; Economic and Commercial Development; Sustainable and Environmental Development; Development of Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Pluralism; and Development of the Project, Agenda for Innovation, and Growth.

The work schedule will be as detailed below (day, activity, location):

Saturday, 11 October, and Sunday, 12 October
Arrival of the delegates to the host city
Fiesta Inn and Holiday Inn hotels

Monday, 13 October, and Tuesday, 14 October
Inauguration of the event, introduction of the delegations, inauguration of the Fair of the Americas
Pavilion of the Americas, at the "500 Steps" ecological excursion

Wednesday, 15 October, to Friday, 17 October
Regular meetings of the five work groups
City Hall, Antiguo Palacio de Hierro, State Art Museum, Municipal Historical Archive, and Laguna de los Sifones

Saturday, 18 October
Work meeting with FTAA representatives and Integral Forum for Development
Pavilion of the Americas
Inauguration of the Identity Fair and the Orizaba 2003 Cultural Festival
Locations to be determined
Formal dinner offered by Orizaba City Hall
Castle of the Mier and Pesado Foundation

Sunday, 19 October
Continuation of the Integral Forum for Development, ecotourism excursion, and cultural agenda
Various locations

Monday, 20 October, and Tuesday, 21 October
Regular meetings of the five work groups at their respective meeting places
Submittal of the results of each work group to the General Coordinators

Wednesday, 22 October
Ecotourism excursion; submittal of proposals for 2004 host city
Pavilion of the Americas

Thursday, 23 October
Delivery of the Development Agenda, commented on by CUD, A.C., to the work groups, and discussion thereon in each group
Location of the regular meetings of the work groups

Friday, 24 October
General Assembly of delegates for submittal of, and debate on, the chapters of the Development Agenda of each work group
Pavilion of the Americas

Saturday, 25 October
Ecotourism Agenda
Presentation of the Development Agenda of the Americas
Pavilion of the Americas
Cultural and recreational agenda
Various locations

Sunday, 26 October
Delegates return

For CUD, A.C., to achieve all the goals it has set for this event, we propose that the FTAA Negotiating Group provide us support in the following areas:

a) Recognition of the project. Through this, we seek a sponsor institution that together with us will serve as the foundation for the efficient execution of our activities.

b)·Logistical support. Once we attain recognition, we would like to see the project publicized through the FTAA's webpage. Moreover, and to abide by the procedures that have been established in the negotiating process, we request the FTAA's support in terms of the simultaneous translation necessary for delegates to properly understand each other.

c) Human support. Lastly, we ask that the FTAA negotiators present the project at the time set for this event, on Saturday, 18 October 2003.

Lastly, we submit the organizational chart of the directors of CUD, A.C.:

General Director:
Gabriel Calderón S.

Economic and Financial Director:
Paola Gómez

Directors of International and Institutional Affairs:
Edna Sánchez M.
Rogelio D. Ibarra

Director of Communication, Publicity, and Agenda:
Daniel Balleza

Director of Logistics and Planning:
Serjob Cortés M.

Awaiting your prompt response, we remain yours,

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