Staffers begin to outline areas of agreement for Latin summit

Costa Rican officials are making major efforts to host the summit of the Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños.

The meeting of 33 countries already has begun with sessions by technicians from the participating countries.

The national emergency commission has declared an alert for  the Belén area where the major sessions are to be held.

The gathering is described as a dialogue among governments.

The technical staff has been divided to consider 22 topics where positions on topics are being prepared for the heads of state who meet Wednesday and Thursday.

The bulk of the topics do not appear to be those that the visiting heads of state can do much about. They have been listed as disarmament, governing of the Internet, development after the year 2015, climate change, finances, conventional arms, smaller states and development, the fight against terrorism and the strengthening of the Interamerican system of human rights.

The organization is the creation of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and Cuban leader Raúl Castor. The organization seeks to counter the influence of the U.S.-backed Organization of American States in the hemisphere.

Consequently, the sessions are expected to emit declarations that are counter to U.S. interests.

There also is an expectation that some initiatives backed by China will find consensus here. One of these might be on governing the Internet. China wants the United Nations to take on the job. The United States wants some control to remain with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Some free speech advocates think that China wants to reduce criticism for its internal censorship of the Internet, mainly over human rights violations. Many Muslim states want regulations that would prohibit criticism of religion.

Costa Rica is holding the gathering because it is the acting president of the organization for a term ending with the end of the summit. Ecuador will take on the role for the next year.

Some of the island country members have a major concern in sea-level rise. Others, like founder Venezuela, are broke and face unrest at home.

Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Michelle Bachelet of Chile has confirmed that they will attend, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. They are expected to arrive Tuesday.

Enrique Peña Nieto of México and Horacio Cartes Jara of Paraguay already said they would not attend.coordinadores012615

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