22 April 2008

Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, 16-17 April 2008

The conference in Mexico ended with an uplifting final session of endorsements of the Wellington Declaration and confirmation that diplomatic notes have or will be sent to New Zealand. Bolivia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela all indicated they are endorsing the declaration and will participate in Dublin.Granada, Jamaica and St Kitts and Nevis all said during the conference that they would press their governments to support the declaration upon return from Mexico.Only Colombia showed reticence towards the declaration, asking about the possibility of participating as an observer.The conference has been a critical step for increasing understanding of the controversial issues and formulating strategies for Dublin. There was a clear sense throughout the meeting that delegations were brainstorming solutions to the main issues and in particular preparing for negotiations on the exclusion at 2(c).It is clear we have numerous champions from the region who will be well represented in Dublin including in particular Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala and of course Mexico.The CMC gave a number of presentations during the conference to introduce the arguments around the controversial issues and gave a presentation today on victim assistance that was also well received. In general there was strong support for the CMC from delegations, including for our full participation in the Dublin negotiations.The press conference on 17 April was well attended by print and broadcast media and a number of Spanish language articles have appeared, including stories from EFE and AFP.DOCUMENTS CMC Report On The Mexico ConferenceIntervención ceremonia apertura, 16 Abril 2008Intervención limpieza y destrucción de existencias, 16 Abril 2008