The Fifth Summit of the Americas: Recommendations for Action

April 13, 2009

Leaders of the Western Hemisphere will gather in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17-19, 2009 for the fifth Summit of the Americas. The meetings offer an opportunity for policymakers to partner on a new and robust regional agenda that spans global economic, social, energy and climate change issues.

In a series of commentary articles focused on the Summit of the Americas’ agenda and key challenges, Brookings experts discuss the critical issues facing the leaders attending the summit and propose recommendations for policy action.

Download the full report »


The Fifth Summit of the Americas: An Agenda Leaders Should Agree On » (PDF)
Mauricio Cárdenas frames the major issues facing regional leaders as they gather for the Summit of the Americas. From responding to the global economic recession to securing energy security and stronger social policies, Cárdenas proposes a robust agenda for policymakers to consider.


Disaggregate Latin America » (PDF)
Abraham Lowenthal explores how the different countries of the Americas cluster along separate policy dimensions, and recommends ways for the Obama Administration to impact policies taking these dimensions into account.

Enhance Democracy in the Americas through Multilateral Action » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Theodore Piccone discusses how the U.S. can work more effectively within the region through a more multilateral course that focuses on both the diplomatic and development assistance aspects of a comprehensive democracy assistance strategy.

Set the Right Agenda: Latin America and Multilateral Institutions » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Ernesto Talvi and Alejandro Izquierdo address the regional economic impact of the global financial crisis and likely economic outcomes, noting how the multilateral institutions can support financial growth through a set of proposed policy actions.

Make Trade a Priority » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Leonardo Martinez-Diaz proposes steps that regional leaders can take to ensure the hemisphere’s trading system remains open and strong, including making a public commitment, increasing trade finance, enhancing trade surveillance and other measures.

Reinvigorate NAFTA » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Diana Villiers Negroponte discuss the critical importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and how reinvigorating the treaty can be part of a hemispheric effort to stimulate trade and deter protectionist measures while fostering partnership on critical policy issues.

Partner to Build and Sustain Energy Security » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

John Deutch explores the major challenges of energy security and environmental sustainability and proposes a few key areas for hemispheric cooperation, including establishing a hemispheric group to address climate change, eliminating the U.S. import tariff on ethanol for fuel use, and establishing a solar and renewable energy lab.

Strengthen Human Security » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Vanda Felbab-Brown looks at opportunities for strengthening human security in the hemisphere, focusing on issues of public safety and improving the judiciary, and encouraging and extending economic development in the region.

Reverse the Crime Epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Kevin Casas-Zamora discusses the consequences of crime in the region, exploring the multi-fold factors at play and proposing a strategy to tackle crime effectively.

Reframe U.S.-Cuba Relations » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Vicki Huddleston and Carlos Pascual propose a new context for U.S. policy toward Cuba, and detail policy options that President Obama can consider for implementation without seeking new laws or modifying old ones.

Mitigate the Effects of the Financial Crisis to Ensure Long-Term Well Being » (PDF)
Executive Summary (English) (Español)

Carol Graham examines the issue of happiness in the region following the financial crisis and explores ways that policymakers can coordinate to deal with welfare losses associated with the financial crisis.

Download the full report »