Sources yesterday claimed that the numbers of persons attending this summit could be the largest since the first Summit of the Americas in 1994. The minister’s statement came as hundreds of persons continued to flock to the accreditation centre at the Old Fire Station in Port-of- Spain to get accreditation.
Browne told Newsday that while initial estimates put the number of persons requiring accreditation for the summit at over 20,000, that figure is now at least 26,000 and the system was not designed to cater for this volume of people. The 26,000 persons requirinig accreditation include summit delegates and media personnel. The minister said in order to ease the situation and expedite the process, certain “emergency measures” have been put into effect.
He added that the National Secretariat yesterday began distributing passes to persons who live and work in the yellow, blue and red zones which have been established in the city for the summit.
These zones go into effect from 6 am today until midnight on Monday (April 20). Secretariat communications coordinator Felipe Noguera said there have been challenges with the accreditation process but he believes the situation has improved since Monday, when long lines of persons queued up outside the station.
A North West-Regional Health Authority worker said he had been at the centre since 8.30 am to get a pass for his vehicle. A local journalist claimed he did not get a badge because he had to submit “a special letter” to the secretariat.
A woman who said she was accredited to attend the private sector forum which opened aboard the Caribbean Princess cruise ship yesterday, complained bitterly to secretariat officials that she was denied entry on the ship. “I hear your frustration but please bear with us,” an official stated.