Trinidad and Tobago has received very poor scores on a performance index on the implementation of mandates from the last four Summits of the Americas.
The index which will be launched tomorrow shows Trinidad and Tobago with extremely low scores of 0.09 on the issue of Freedom of Expression, 0.08 in the area of Access to Information, 0.04 in the area of Decentralisation and Local Government, 0.18 for Citizen Participation and 0.02 on gender perspectives.
Dr Kris Rampersad , International Relations Director of the Network of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) said these scores on the index - a score pad developed by the Active Democracy Network on the performance of implementation for 24 countries in the region with respect to the extent governments have implemented the things they promised - shows that this Government has done virtually nothing in these areas.
Hazel Brown, president of the Network of NGOs, said it was not enough for them to say that the Government was not doing this or they hadn't done that: "So we are able to say for specific things what they have done and use those results of the index to encourage some improvement in the situation with regards to implementation."
She added that one of the reasons Governments have not implemented the mandates agreed upon at the previous Summits was because people don't know what they agree on when they go to these conferences.
"They agree to things and they sign things and nobody knows."
"One of the proposals that we are making is that when you go and you sign things on our behalf in our name when you come back please tell us," she said.
Brown added that multi-sectoral collaboration and partnership is also very important for the implementation of the summit mandates.
"We have insisted that what this summit must be about is to look at those 634 mandates that were made in the last four summits and determine what the priorities are and how together citizens and Government we will ensure for the benefit of ourselves and our children the implementation of those mandates. Those things cannot be implemented without this kind of cross sectorial collaboration between all of us as citizens."
Brown pointed out that the Government of Jamaica has expressed its willingness to work with the civil society representatives to see what the score pad says about them so that they can improve their performance.