Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the Summits of the Americas?

The Summits of the Americas are institutionalized gatherings of the heads of state and government of the Western Hemisphere where leaders discuss common policy issues, affirm shared values and commit to concerted actions at the national and regional level to address continuing and new challenges faced by countries in the Americas.

Who participates in the Summits of the Americas?

The participants of the Summits of the Americas are the Heads of State and Government of the thirty-four Member States of the OAS and their delegations. In addition, the heads of the member institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG) participate as observers. The institutions comprising the JSWG are: the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Bank (WB), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IIICA), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Other participants include representatives of civil society, social actors, youth, the private sector, academia, and the media.

What happens to the recommendations and comments made by participants of the forums?

Recommendations from user participation in the different fora will be incorporated into a report by the Summits Secretariat and submitted for consideration of the Member States.

Who can participate in the virtual forum and consultations undertaken in the SVC?

Participation is free and open to the general public, including representatives of civil society organizations (CSO), social actors, youth, international organizations, workers and union representatives, indigenous peoples, afro descendants, members of the private sector and academia, among other stakeholders. Registration is required for participation in the SVC.

What do you mean by civil society and social actors?

Article 2 of CP/RES. 759, "Guidelines for the Participation of Civil Society Organizations in OAS Activities," defines a civil society organization (CSO) as "any national or international institution, organization, or entity made up of natural or juridical persons of a non-governmental nature." This includes, among other organizations, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and universities, think-tanks, the private sector, religious groups, and professional associations.
To participate in OAS activities, CSOs must complete a registration process that will allow them to attend various activities organized by the OAS, make presentations, provide information and, at the request of the organs, agencies and entities of the OAS, provide expert advice, in accordance with the provisions of these guidelines. However, there are broader opportunities for participation by other stakeholders and civil society organizations that are not registered with the OAS. In that sense, social actors, which is the term that was first used in the Summit process between the Fourth and the Fifth Summit is a somewhat broader concept and includes the participation of CSOs (registered or in process of registration), other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, universities, think tanks, private sector, religious groups and professional associations and trade unions. Also, the term encompasses a greater participation of Indigenous Peoples and Leaders, Afro-descendants, Women and gender groups, Youth, and other groups that are not necessarily organized as CSOs.

What is the Summits Virtual Community (SVC)?

The SVC builds on the initial Summits Virtual Platform launched in September 2008. For the current phase of the initiative, the word ‘community’ replaced ‘platform’ to denote the relevant and increasingly active role that participants play in the SVC as a virtual community brought together to complement the Summits of the Americas Process. By bringing together the diverse group of actors involved in the Summits in a single virtual platform, the SVC seeks to expand opportunities for interaction and collaboration and provide access to real-time information related to this multilateral process.

Why was the SVC developed?

Recognizing the value of the contributions made by civil society and other social actors to the Summits of the Americas Process, the SVC was launched to expand opportunities for participation of these actors through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). 

Who developed the SVC?

The SVC was developed by the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, from the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), with generous contributions from the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) / International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Spanish Fund to the OAS.

Why should I participate in the Summits Virtual Community?

The SVC provides users with an opportunity to influence decision-makers of the Summit process; collaborate with peers on new ideas and projects; share best practices and network with individuals and organizations; access thematic information and resources; contribute to raising awareness and to provide solutions to some of the most persistent challenges faced by the peoples of the Americas.

Profile Questions

What should I do if I forget my password or if it is not working?

If you forget your password, you can have it sent to you by clicking on the link "Request New Password" on the Login page.

Forums Questions

How do I post a comment?

To post a comment in a Forum all you need to do is click on a discussion thread and then click on Add New Comment.

How do I edit my post?

Upon submitting a comment, you will see an Edit link.  When you click on Edit, you will be able to modify your comment and resubmit.

How do I report offensive content on the Forums?

If you see offensive content in forums, please click Flag as offensive and/or send an email to 

How can I suggest a new Forum?

If you have an idea for a forum, please let us know by writing to 

What are the guidelines for participation in Forums?

Most forums are open to participation by all registered users. However, in some specific cases forums may be closed to a limited number of members. The option to have an open or private group is an option available to the moderator of that discussion, which may be the Summits Secretariat, another OAS Department, a Member State, partner Institutions or registered members who have requested its creation. Please visit the terms and conditions of use for other matters.

When will the Forums be held?

Information on all upcoming forums may be found in the calendar available on the forums block at the homepage of the Community.