Facebook Twitter

Summit focus: Security, migration, poverty

SHARE Summit focus: Security, migration, poverty

Summaries of the main topics at the Special Summit of the Americas on Monday and Tuesday in Monterrey, Mexico:

SECURITY: Leaders will try to come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with terrorist threats in the region. The United States has recently stepped up security efforts by fingerprinting and photographing arriving foreigners and scrutinizing flights from Latin America. Several Latin American countries have complained that the measures are heavy-handed.

MIGRATION: President Bush on Wednesday proposed an immigration plan that would allow illegal migrants to work at least three years in the United States. Latin America has greeted the plan with cautious optimism, and officials have said they want to talk about the details during the summit.

POVERTY: Poverty levels have increased since the last Americas summit in April 2001, and leaders called this interim meeting to address ways to improve standards of living.

FREE TRADE: Although Mexican President Vicente Fox has said the Free Trade Area of the Americas won't be on the summit's official agenda — as Brazil requested — the possible accord is likely to be a hot topic on the sidelines of the meeting.

DEMOCRACY: Leaders are concerned about recent violence and political conflicts in Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador that some see as a threat to fragile democracies in the region. Summit organizers announced with concern that recent polls showed widespread citizen dissatisfaction with democratic governments throughout the Americas. They will also review progress on efforts to fight corruption.