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Obama At The Summit Of The Americas

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday, April 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

"As nations, as neighbors, we rise and fall together."

Three years ago, at the last Summit of the Americas, President Barack Obama pledged to pursue partnerships with other nations of the Americas, based on mutual respect, common interest, and shared responsibility. He repeated that promise at this year’s Summit, held in Cartagena, Colombia, in mid-April:

“In the dynamism of our hemisphere, we’ve learned anew an old truth—as nations, as neighbors, we rise and fall together. . . .Our success is absolutely vital to our shared future, including to the security and prosperity of the United States. Indeed, no other region so profoundly affects the daily lives of people in the United States, including the tens of millions of Hispanic Americans who bind our families and nations.”

“In the Americas there are no senior or junior partners, we’re simply partners. That’s the spirit that’s allowed us to make progress in recent years,” said President Obama. “And it’s the spirit of this summit—“Connecting the Americas”—which we need to sustain our momentum in key areas.”

A key area of cooperation among the nations of the Americas is to create and use ways to grow our economies and bring prosperity to all, with emphasis on creating new markets and new jobs for those who “still endure the injustice of poverty and inequality.”

President Obama also emphasized our regional partnerships to improve security and to protect our citizens from violent gangs and narco-traffickers.

Also, said President Obama, we are working together to implement what our nations declared in the Inter-American Democratic Charter: namely, that “the people of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it.”

“Increasing the trade and development that creates jobs for us all. Defending the security of our citizens. Standing up for democracy and human rights. This is progress we’ve made—together. This is the work we must continue—together,” said President Obama. “Between us we represent nearly one billion people. They ask nothing more than that we come together and make the progress that none of us can achieve alone. We can go further together. That’s why we’re here. And that will remain the work of the United States, as your partner and friend.”