Americas Summit neglects problems of terrorism

The final statement of the upcoming fourth Summit of the Americas will include no mention of terrorism, regional security or Cuba, a Brazilian foreign ministry official said.

The 34 nations expected to attend the Nov. 4-5 summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina, will focus on labor issues in a tightly written final statement, said Afonso Jose Sena Cardoso, head of multilateral political coordination of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

"There was an agreement from the beginning to focus on themes from Mar del Plata to avoid a very long statement," he said.

In preliminary talks, there has been no mention of Cuba, regional security or combating terrorism, Sena Cardoso added.

Sena Cardoso said there also would be no mention of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, a favored project of the United States.

The final statement will contain more than 30 items related to the central theme: "Creating Jobs to Fight Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance," Sena Cardoso said. Argentina proposed the theme and other members accepted, he said.

Creating jobs to generate wealth and improve life for the 96 million needy people in the Americas uses the World Labor Organization's concept of providing a basic salary, health care and protection against discrimination, he said.

The summit also will express its support for efforts to bring social and political stability to Haiti.

Nearly 10,000 people gathered at an anti-U.S. demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia to protest, among other things, the expected presence of U.S. President George W. Bush at the summit, the government news service Agencia Brasil said late Wednesday, reports the AP. I.L.