• Social Protection Network: President Obama announced his support for the Inter-American Social Protection Network, which will share best practices, including the development of new conditional cash transfer programs. The President also announced that 1,500 students from marginalized groups would receive scholarships to learn English, and 1,300 students would receive scholarships over five years through the Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program to study in the United States.
• Education Partnerships for At-Risk Youth. The President proposed a pilot program to form partnerships with countries that have the highest levels of inequality, significant numbers of unemployed and at-risk youth, and considerable potential for leveraging additional public and private sector resources. This program would add a focus on youth at risk such as out of school youth, under-employed youth, and ex-gang members.
Energy and Climate Change
Approximately 50 percent of U.S. oil imports come from the Western Hemisphere. By increasing green energy cooperation, we will set our economies on a clean energy growth path and curb global greenhouse gas emissions.
• Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas: President Obama invited countries of the region to participate in an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas; a voluntary and flexible framework for advancing energy security and combating climate change. Countries will be encouraged to suggest tangible ideas for cooperation, including on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, and energy infrastructure. President Obama also asked Secretary of Energy Chu to advance further cooperation with his counterparts this June in Peru at the Americas Energy Symposium.
• Global Climate Change: President Obama expressed his commitment to working with his regional counterparts toward a strong international climate agreement at Copenhagen. He will also work closely with Brazil, Canada, and Mexico through the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.
Public safety and crime are among the top concerns of citizens throughout the region. President Obama emphasized the need for partnerships that address this issue, focusing on our co-responsibility to address threats to public safety.
• Firearms Trafficking: The United States must do more to reduce the number of illegal firearms which flow to Latin America and the Caribbean. President Obama announced his commitment to seek ratification of the Convention on Illicit Trafficking in Firearms Convention (CIFTA) in 2009, and offering technical assistance to trace illicit firearms and control, store, or destroy excess national stockpiles.
• Caribbean Basin Security Dialogue: President Obama announced that he would engage the Caribbean Community member states and the Dominican Republic in a strategic security dialogue with the intent of developing a joint security strategy, which may include future increased financial and technical assistance to address shared challenges such as transnational crime, illicit trafficking, and maritime and aviation security. The next meeting between the Caribbean Community and Common Market and the United States is scheduled to take place in May in Suriname.
• Enhance Public Security Cooperation: President Obama has asked the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security to meet with all of their counterparts in the hemisphere to address violent crime in our communities.
(Source: White House)