Ecuador Hosts ALBA Summit

Ecuador Hosts ALBA Summit Quito, Jun 24. -A Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of our America (ALBA) and the Peoples'' Trade Agreement (PTA) on indigenous and Afro-descendant people begins Thursday in the Ecuadorian city of Otavalo.

Delegations from eight ALBA nations will meet for two days: Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela, with Guatemala attending as a guest.

According to Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, the objective of the summit meeting of statesmen, governors and elected indigenous and Afro-descendent authorities is to begin a multinational dialogue on intercultural and plurinational states.

Along with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, the presence has been confirmed of Bolivian President Evo Morales, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo, as well as leaders from other member countries.

Delegations, without their heads of state, are expected to arrive on Thursday in Otavalo, 110 kilometers (63 miles) from Quito, and to participate in the forum's opening ceremony with indigenous and Afro-descendant authorities at the Federico Paez Coliseum, where a presidential summit will take place on Friday.

On Thursday, delegates will hear central lectures by the foreign minister of the Bolivian Plurinational State, David Choquehuanca, and the Ecuadorian minister of peoples, social movements and citizen participation, Alexandra Ocles.

There will be four commissions: Exercising Interculturalism in Public Functions; Economic, Political and Social Rights against Racism; Public Initiatives in Response to Climate Change, and Nature and International Trade Rights among Peoples. (Prensa Latina)