77th Annual Meeting

COMMENDING THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADMINISTRATION'S REENGAGEMENT WITH THE AMERICAS

WHEREAS, during the first 100 days of his Administration President Obama has demonstrated a distinct and renewed commitment to hemispheric dialogue with engagement among the countries of the hemisphere that is focused on building and encouraging strong democracies, where basic fairness, social equality, and a deep respect for human rights and the rule of law consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, are guiding principles for strong, transparent governance and a thriving civil society that respond to the challenges of poverty, inequality and social exclusion in the hemisphere; and

WHEREAS, this renewed commitment was personally demonstrated by President Obama in his own participation and policy pronouncements during the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which took place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in March 2009; and

WHEREAS, President Obama and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico committed to a new approach in our countries' bilateral relationship based on comprehensive engagement and shared responsibility during President Obama's state visit to Mexico in April 2009 where they discussed the important issues of clean energy, climate change, cooperation on drug and arms trafficking, and shared security challenges; and

WHEREAS, in "an important first step toward a new day in relations and building partnerships with and among the countries and people of the Hemisphere" during March 2009 Vice-President Joseph Biden attended the Progressive Governance Conference at Viña del Mar, Chile where he met with Latin American and European heads of state and then met in San Jose, Costa Rica with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and heads of state and foreign ministers of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua; and

WHEREAS, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed the Administration's commitment to build on the Meridá Initiative begun in 2008 under the Bush administration and geared to assist Mexico and Central American countries to cooperatively confront the threat of drug trafficking to the hemisphere during her visit to Mexico in March 2009, and visited the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic to discuss stability, security, assistance, bilateral development and cooperative efforts to combat drug trafficking before accompanying the President at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April; and

WHEREAS, these important visits to six countries during the first 100 days of the Administration included three multilateral meetings and took place to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern, including United States' aid to the region, drug trafficking, the global economic downturn, international financial issues, economic development, human rights, security, immigration and other issues of mutual interest with the intent of strengthening ties in pursuit of productive and respectful relations; and

WHEREAS, mayors of the Americas have joined together for successive years in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in Miami and Chicago to renew the Inter-American dialogue with roundtable discussions of matters of mutual interest including public safety and security, energy, the environment, poverty reduction, city design, globalization, competitiveness and education, among others,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors congratulates and commends the distinct and prompt engagement of the President and his Administration with our neighboring countries throughout the hemisphere; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors pledges its partnership in this effort and its continued contribution to hemispheric dialogue in promoting the interests of the United States and its cities with mayoral and city-based discussions and forums.