Since its inception, the Summit of the Americas process has encouraged the participation of the hemisphere’s social actors. At all previous Summits, heads of State and Government have recognized the important role to be played by such stakeholders and have urged Governments to cooperate with them in formulating and implementing development policies and programmes.

Organizations representing civil society, indigenous peoples and young persons, as well as the private sector, academic institutions, trade unions and other social actors, play a critical role in the Summit process by submitting recommendations to member States in preparation for future Summits and by monitoring the implementation of measures to advance the hemispheric agenda.

At the initiative of the President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and in the framework of the Seventh Summit of the Americas, to be held in Panama City in April 2015, a forum of university presidents is being organized to examine cooperation challenges with a view to achieving prosperity through education.

To stage this event, joint efforts are being undertaken by the Ministry of Education of Panama (MEDUCA), the Technological University of Panama (UTP), Georgia Institute of Technology, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The discussion topic will be “Prosperity and education: the challenge of cooperation in the Americas”, with a specific focus on the role of universities, and approximately 400 university rectors from some 35 countries are expected to attend.


The purpose of the gathering will be to examine and discuss the themes of prosperity and university education, and the cooperation challenges that these entail for our countries. The participants will prepare a set of recommendations for submission to the region’s heads of State and Government, with a focus on the following specific topics:

  1. Academic mobility.
  2. Technology and innovation. Leveraging technology and innovation to improve university education and research in the region.
  3. Sustainable economic development. University-based research for enterprise and sustainable economic development.   


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