CARTAGENA, Colombia – Ibero-American cooperation officials on Tuesday began their preliminary sessions to prepare the documents that will be presented to the heads of state and government who will meet in Cartagena, Colombia, at the 25th Ibero-American Summit to be held at the end of this week.
The director of cooperation at the Colombian Foreign Ministry, Maria Andrea Alban, welcomed the delegates and said that at the inaugural ceremony for the sessions that the “agenda will focus mainly on approving the documents that will be adopted by the heads of state and government at the summit.”
“We will review the paragraphs of the political declaration that are within the purview of the cooperation officials, and the Cartagena resolution, the executive document that consolidates and makes official the decisions that have been taken,” Alban said.
She also said that “the action program” for the two-day summit will be reviewed, the responsibility for which lies with the cooperation officials.
Finally, Alban acknowledged the work of the Ibero-American General Secretariat, or Segib, and the countries “that with their proposals have enabled (us) to arrive at this meeting with already rather advanced documents.”
Meanwhile the Segib’s cooperation secretary, Salvador Arriola, hailed the fact that during the 25 years of Ibero-American Summits “the cooperation officials have fulfilled their task.”
He noted that during the first summit, held in 1991 in Guadalajara, the proposal was launched to establish a common market for knowledge, an “initiative that today has been able to be consolidated via the establishment of the Ibero-American knowledge space.”
He also said that the “fundamental role of the Ibero-American program to strengthen South-South cooperation has been achieved.”
Representatives from 22 countries, including Spain’s King Felipe VI and 11 presidents, are attending the summit.
Also attending the summit will be Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his foreign minister, Maria Angela Holguin.