Theodore's World: White House Conference on the Americas

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July 07, 2007

White House Conference on the Americas

Special Briefing on Upcoming White House Conference on the Americas

Thomas A. Shannon, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Washington, DC
July 6, 2007(4:00 p.m. EDT)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHANNON: "Thank you all for coming. This is actually a test to see how many people were here on a Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., but we appreciate your presence. We just really wanted -- very briefly wanted to let you all know something that you're probably aware of already, but on Monday, July 9th, the President and Mrs. Bush will host a White House Conference on the Americas at the Hyatt Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

This conference will bring together voluntary organizations, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and foundations to discuss and highlight the vast array of societal interaction between the United States and its neighbors to better the lives of the region's citizens. You might recall that the President indicated that he would call such a conference during his March 5th speech at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce before his trip to the region.

And in that speech, the President said, and I'll quote, "Today, the most important ties between North and South America are not government to government, hey are people to people. And these ties are growing. These ties are growing because of our churches and faith-based institutions, which understand that the call to love our neighbors as ourselves does not stop at our borders."

And the conference itself will highlight the themes of that speech. The topics will include investing in education, strengthening healthcare, expanding economic opportunity at the grassroots level, and building public-private partnerships. It will look at how we, as a country, government, private sector, and ordinary citizens work together with our neighbors to better their lives and advance the cause of social justice in the Americas. Representatives of approximately 150 regional-based organizations and approximately 70 U.S.-based groups have been invited to attend the event.

The President will open the conference by participating in a conversation with a selection of invitees from the hemisphere and the United States about their experiences helping the region's citizens. The First Lady will give the keynote address during lunch and the conference will have participation from a variety of cabinet members. Under Secretary Hughes, Under Secretary Fore, and other State Department officials will participate in the program.

Again, as I mentioned, this is a conference that the President had foreshadowed in his earlier speech. As the President's trip was all about how our engagement in the region was focused on the region's social agenda: on fighting poverty, fighting inequality, and fighting social exclusion and how our political engagement and our foreign assistance was directed at that agenda.

This conference is really designed to show that it's not just the United States Government that is connecting with the region in response to this social agenda and in pursuit of social justice, but that it's the United States as a society which is engaging the region.

But more importantly, that the region itself is engaging with us and engaging among the different countries in the region and that there really is what Secretary Rice, in a speech she gave at the Council of the Americas event, referred to as an alliance of peoples, and that the degree of interaction and assistance from the private sector, from faith-based institutions, from civil society, and from charities is profound in the region.

And in the Western Hemisphere, as in other parts of the world, economists estimate that for every one dollar of official development assistance, there is about four dollars of unofficial or private development assistance coming from churches, coming from universities, coming from private sector groups. And this is a profound wellspring of support for the cause of social justice in the region, but I think it highlights the resources that are available, but also how we need to kind of bring this up, kind of allow it to emerge -- you know, from -- in the public view so people have a better understanding of it, better understanding of the connections that exist within the region, and also that these groups themselves begin to develop contact with each other so they can share best practices and in appropriate ways, work together to channel their resources."

from Wild Thing .>>>>.......If you want to continue on for the rest of the briefing it is questions and answers, and also very telling as well. Just CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE BREIFING...... from the U.S. Department of State.

Wild Thing's comment.......... together with our neighbors to better their lives and advance the cause of social justice in the Americas......This conference is really designed to show that it's not just the United States Government that is connecting with the region in response to this social agenda and in pursuit of social justice, but that it's the United States as a society which is engaging the region........

Oh, there's that most favorite buzz phrase of the Socialists and Communists. "Social Justice."

This is why the ILLEGAL Amnesty bill had to pass so fast!!! I bet there was a scheduled meeting with Kennedy & McCain to present the new bill to this group and show how much the US loves its neighbors.

And here is the schedule for the day for the White House Conference on the America's.

And just this that I have to add to this post.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 7, 2007 02:45 AM


The terminology of these programs sounds really Orwellian/communistic. Bush is giving away my tax money and my country's sovereignty. He is really a 60's hippie in practice. I don't know what the '08 elections will bring, but I fear the next 18 months and what irreversible harm a crazy George Bush may bring. He suppposedly represents the American people, but he doesn't in too many critical ways.

Posted by: TomR at July 7, 2007 07:19 AM

Tom, yes it sure does make me think of Orwellian/communistic world.I agree, in 18 months a lot can be done, a lot of damage that maybe cannot be corrected later.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 7, 2007 09:30 AM

It' to the point where I can't even stand to
see or hear Bush...And what do we have in 2008,
it's a crap shoot...Dennis Miller had a good
point friday.What do you see when folks build
a housing tract next to a freeway?? A sound wall
and how fast is it put up???Makes all the BS
about a wall on the border look pretty stupid...

Posted by: Tincan Sailor at July 7, 2007 11:03 AM

This immigration thing is not going away. This whole thing is a danger to our country. This and the Climate BS go hand in hand. We will no longer be working to support our own families but for the greater good of the world. This is communism of the purest form.

Tincan Sailor is right, I too am getting quite tired of Bush.

Posted by: Mark at July 7, 2007 12:37 PM

See Roy Beck's video, this is what Bush want's for the United States, a carbon copy of the EU stretching from the Arctic ocean to Argentina, with brother Putin pushing the Hugo Chavez's to rule it.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 03:29 PM

Tincan Sailor, I agree, Bush is really letting it all out now on what his agenda has been all along.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 7, 2007 11:02 PM

Mark I feel like that too.
"This is communism of the purest form" sure is. What the heck is happening to our beloved America.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 7, 2007 11:05 PM

Jack exactly, this whole mess is such scary stuff.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 7, 2007 11:07 PM

Why should I have to pay some Mexican's welfare? Why should I have to even listen to this garbage? This is unconstitutional, and they'd better not approve of it, because I, for one, don't want to see my beautiful America become a part of our oldest enemy, and bring communism to America? I'm sorry, I always thought America was the big shiny gun of the Arsenal of Democracy, and that America would never stand for going red? Maybe I was wrong, all along...............

Posted by: somebody at July 10, 2007 01:44 AM