The Road to Panama: Mandates for Action

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svc@oas.org
The Road to Panama: Mandates for Action

Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas

Sub-theme 1: Education

At the draft document, the Heads of State and Government of the Americas agree to pursue three specific actions in regards to Education. What do you think about these actions? In your opinion, is there any other important initiative in terms of Education that should be addressed in the "Mandates for Action"?

Sub-theme 2: Health

In terms of Health, the draft document welcomes the creation of the Inter-American Fund for Responding to Outbreaks of Epidemic Diseases. What is your opinion about the creation of the Fund? Do you have any further comments or recommendations on this matter?

Sub-theme 3: Energy

The draft document of the "Mandates for Action" mentions the importance to develop a system of indicators to provide the countries with information for measuring the situation of energy efficiency and their progress. Is there any specific indicator that should be included in the system?

Sub-theme 4: Environment

In terms of actions to preserve and improve the environment, the draft document agrees to assess the costs and benefits of climate change adaptation measures for the most vulnerable sectors and to quantify the disaggregated economic impacts of climate change on key sectors in the region. Do you have any further comments or recommendations on this matter?

Sub-theme 5: Migration

In regards to Migration, the draft document refers to the development of actions to combat and prevent trafficking in persons while respecting and fully protecting their human rights. In your opinion, which actions should be included in the document in regards to the protection of the rights of migrants, and why?

Sub-theme 6: Security

At the draft document, the Heads of State and Government of the Americas agree to establish an Inter-American Network for the Prevention of Violence and Crime, as a technical body made up of representatives from the government and nongovernment sector. How do you think your organization can cooperate in this body? Do you have any further comments or recommendations on this matter?

Sub-theme 7: Citizen Participation

The draft document mentions the importance of citizen participation and the idea of creating the Inter-American Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors. What is your opinion about that?

Sub-theme 8: Democratic Governance

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas agree to take actions to establish and monitor indicators to assist the countries in improving their democratic institutional framework. In your opinion, which topics and indicators should be included?

English
Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Welcome

Welcome to the Forum!

My name is Luciana and I will be the moderator of this virtual forum from today until the 18th of February. I will then organize all that was discussed here and report it to the host country for their consideration during the preparatory process of the Seventh Summit of the Americas.

Before we start, I’d like to introduce myself. I come from Brazil where I have been working on issues related to trafficking in persons, violence prevention, gender and migration. I am very glad to moderate this forum to get your inputs and ideas about the sub-themes of the Summit.

Please read the document Mandates for Action and answer the questions mentioned above. Each question refers to one specific sub-theme of the Summit. It is very important to know your opinion and recommendations. 

I look forward to your contribution and should you need further information, do not hesitate to contact me. 

Regards

 

eileencurras902
eileencurras902's picture
Welcome
Welcome

 

Hello Luciana. I was born in Puerto Rico, I moved to United States looking for freedom but as a Person with a Disability is always a challenge even in USA. Now as a senior Citizen I would like to explore  this new journey. Mrs. Eileen Genara Curras Negron widow to Hernandez, WWII

Eduardovides
Eduardovides's picture
Sub-theme 2: Health

<p>Hello Luciana</p>

<p>Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this dialogue.</p>

<p>I think the creation of an inter-American Fund is a potential solution to be preparing in the region against transmission of infection disease and create multi-lateral joint efforts in disease control. I suggest the following steps:</p>

<ol>
<li>Developing g an environmental scan and a capacity inventory of each country (infrastructure in place and implemented protocol and dollar investments in epidemic preparedness.</li>
<li>Through this fund, the states, must restore public health preparedness funding, which has been severely reduced through sequestration and budget cuts over the past decade. The public health agencies and health Ministries must be provided with adequate funding to ensure that they are prepared for all natural and manmade infectious disease threats, including Ebola, bioterrorism, pandemic flu, and emerging infectious diseases.</li>
<li>States must invest greater resources in education and training in the areas of public health preparedness, worker protection, and hospital preparedness.</li>
<li>This new inter- American fund must direct funding to the development of innovative new technologies and other protective apparel used to eliminate or minimize exposures to microorganisms that cause infectious diseases.</li>
<li>This funding should include the creation of collaborative partnerships among public and private entities such as standards-setting groups, manufacturers, employers, academic organizations, and labor unions.</li>
</ol>

<p>There should be a specific hemispheric protocol on quarantines and travel ban policies, which have detrimental effects in terms of encouraging country health professionals to fight the disease at its source</p>

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Hi Eduardo,

Hi Eduardo,

Thank you very much for your recommendations in regard to the creation of an inter-American Fund. 

Kind regard,

Luciana

asonaram
asonaram's picture
Good day Luciana, 

Good day Luciana, 

I am Alistair from Guyana, a CSO Representative and SA.

Yesterday in Guyana, myself and 29 other Civil Society Representatives and Social Actors attended the Mandates for Action - National Consultations: Guyana, where inclusion our rapporteur reports on each topic invites consultations with the Summit of the Americas to see more action taken by the Member of States done.

 

However, I would like to ink my own thoughts on the following topics:

Education:

(1.     2) Yes affirming the call on improving the level of education through trained teachers and enhanced technical skills. – We in the Americas all share the ideology of a comprehensive education system to all who are afforded and accessed to from nursery to university levels. The heads of states or its representatives should take into consideration the need of multilateral cooperation with the educational ministries/departments in each member state to issue a mandate on the way forward. Yes our teachers need more training, yes our educational systems need or may need to be revamped to facilitated equitable contribution and standard of education provided.

 

State members should not only focus on the main popular districts of their country but seek to also implement and strengthen the provision of education and teaching to the student body in the urban-rural and ethic segmentation of their country (the vulnerable areas).

 

Additionally to this, the members of state can also focus on creating a inter-nations academic transfer study in specific areas to which each state member is known to be strong, ie, engineering, political studies, agriculture, language development studies, etc. So, allowing students from possibly the secondary level institutions the ability to travel to and study until the end of their academic year or completion.

 

Citizen Participation:

(1. 2) Having being reaffirmed of the continued development of Civil Society and Social Actors participation on the realm of Inter-American forums, that is agreed upon on April 2009 in Trinidad & Tobago, also addressed the provision of financial assistance by national legislations. Civil Society bodies and Social Actors still have seen such implementation by both their governing country and by the summits funding.

Virtual provision for participation is noted and appreciated, however, at these summits, we see the lack of equal participation, irrespective of the call for new forms of participation through use of technology, ie, Guyana as a member state still struggles with better implementation of ICT resources and accessibility.

 

 

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Hi Alistair,

Hi Alistair,

Thanks a lot for your comments. It is also good to know that you attended the National Consultation together with other 29 civil society representatives.

What do you suggest in terms of provision for participation at virtual forums at the summits? Do you have any recommendation to improve participation?

Kind regards,

Luciana

 

 

asonaram
asonaram's picture
Improving Participation

Hi Luciana,

Recommendations on how to improve participation for all Civil Society and Social Actors on the virtual forum are as followed;

1.     Each Member State should have a complied list of organizations, friendly society groups that is in their country, where one or two persons, ie, executives or a delegated colleague/member of their group to be a or maintain contact with the local OAS Office in follow of both Summit events etc.

a.    With this list, the local OAS Office can recommend to the organizations or friendly society groups to register themself as a Civil Society.

b.    Organizations and friendly society groups will, after registering to the mailing list of the OAS and Summit forum will be informed of events/meetings upcoming, where then they are able to communicate either directly to the virtual forum or can communicate their suggestions/recommendations to their local OAS Office.

c.     Additionally, the local office of every OAS member state should also host preliminary meetings with all Civil Society and Social Actors as they did on February 6, each CS and SA to have full inclusion in preliminary processes of the Summit forums.

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thanks a lot for your ideas

Thanks a lot for your ideas and recommendations.

Have a good day!

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Osonaram,

Hi Osonaram,

In Trinidad there is a line Ministry for he Civil Society Organisations, in addition each organisation can register with the sector ministry - eg. health.

We have been going through the proces of establishing a board but encountered interferance from other CSOs who chose to seek office in local government elections. I had to take an upper hand as the Chairperson for this process and is still trying to get the process completed after the Ministry took over with the help of certain CSOs and ended up with an aborted elections. Of the 900 registered organisations, 117 voted with 74 of them being candidates; which meant 43 organisations participated in the elections.

What the independent organisations (of which I lead) proposed was regional elections and selection of two representatives to the Board including a youth representative. We had three regions on board and was about to include three more regions when travesty took place.

I do not agree with your proposal since there are members of the OAS list of Organisations that contribute to this travesty. I further agree that the OAS local office should be the link to the CSOs as in the consultations where updates and reports can be confirmed.

People are beginning to call the OAS summits a talk shop and I have to convince them this is not so, it only takes time.

asonaram
asonaram's picture
Hi Goxley,

Hi Goxley,

I’m pleased to know that in Trinidad there is a Ministry that oversees Civil Society Organizations. There is such a department in Guyana, which is under the High Court registrar office and also the office of Friendly Societies, that really do not interact with the local CSOs or FSs in Guyana, all but just once a year when they need to review registration documents for both CSOs and FSs.

The same as you and your organization is intending to do, creating a electoral body of representatives that reflect the entire list of CSOs and FSs in your country should also be done not only in Guyana, but also in all OAS Member States.

It is with much regret that I agree that many CSOs and Social Actors in Guyana, and also a few in other countries that are members of the OAS do see and think many of these forums, which I call preliminary forums to the Official Summit of the Americas are, as you said “talk shops”.  Ie, having been invited to attended the consultations on February 6 in Guyana, the 28 other representatives were just now hearing of what the OAS is and what the Summit does. At the end of the consultation, yes persons would semi satisfied, but many left lingering opinions that the consultation meant nothing but to occupy time and for the local office to appear active. – With the respect of the local representative to Guyana Jean Dormeus, I speak to the attending group openly in hope of convincing them otherwise, only other attendee who was aware of the mandates of the OAS/Summits is the representative for the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD-Guyana).

I do believe this is a clear recommendation that all local offices of the Organization of American States should be the key link to all registered and interested CSOs for there to be an increase co-operations, participation and effectiveness. Further to address the inclusion of citizen participation, the Summit should host preliminary discussions with all CSOs and Social Actors in contribution of those who have not or are not accessible to this online forum.

 

Warmly,
Alistair 

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
CSOs

Hi Alistair and Gale.

I am very happy to hear your ideas about civil society participation and recommendations in terms of the forum and also ways of guaranting participation for those whom don't have access to online forum. I am very happy to hear your ideas about civil society participation and recommendations in terms of the forum and also ways of guarantying participation for those that cannot access the online forum. 

How do you think OAS local offices can increase registration of CSOs to participate?

Best

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Luciana,

Hi Luciana,

My name is Gale Mohammed-Oxley from Trinidad and Tobago.The issues i have worked on is education, civil participation and democratic governance.

Theme #1 Education: We have been using the ITEN forum for a while and teachers are beginning to get familiar with dialogue across the hemisphere. I believe this can be strengthened to include some training possibilities in addition to sharing data on studies and best practice in the different states. I will also suggest that the educational research and innovation laboratory be introduced as a technolgy linked lab across the OAS within networks of universities and colleges keeping in mind the socio economic and gender inequality gaps and those persons with impediments. A standard of qualifications can be implemented for the purpose of accountability across the region by those agencies who are responsible for examinations.

Theme#7 Civil Participation: I agree with  the establishment of an Inter American Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors. I caution the representatives who may carry unmentioned hindrances that can prevent the full flow of the work of this unit. I suggest in addition to the three year removal of the name of the organisation; there be a penalty in the home country for the organisation to fix the breach before the time frame of the next summit and show evidence of amendments to the breach. Transparency is important in this matter.

As a Faith Based Organisation I have to adjust my form in order to participate in the OAS summit. The guidlines prohibit people like myself who volunteer and implement mandates but do not carry the name NGO or the form of organisation even though we are social actors. This can deter many people from truly participating in the implementation of the mandates.`In Trinidad and Tobago the Faith Based communities hold the greater management of education; some have health, security and environment in their ministries thus providing a bedrock for implementation. How can these organisations be acommodated to keep their form as Faith based and not NGOs. Volunteerism is high in these organisations and the quality of service is beyond the count. This area needs serious change at the level of the OAS. I suggest the OAS allow social organisations that are faith based to be able to share in its mandate. 

I also agree that the consultation and participation be continuous and there should be a forum for reports, complaints and best practices on each thematic area. There should also be a forum where organisations can access to get ideas placed on requests from  other organisations which they can implement in their home country.   

My greatest concern is the integrity of the representatives who may be affiliated in one way or another to political parties providing a conflict of interest in the forums.

Theme #8 Democratic Governance: The following topics and indicators can be included: 

1. Integrity and conduct in public life

2. Financial management

3. Management styles

4. Productivity levels

5. Familiarity with OAS documents/guidelines

6. Level of volunteerism

7. There should be a built in report system for breaches.

8. Levels of Inclusive Governance (Is there inclusion at all levels?, Who appoints and who reports to whom? )

 

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thank you

Hi Gale, 

Thank you very much for your contributions and recommendations. In case you have further ideas please do bring them to the forum.

Kind regards

Luciana

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Luciana,

Hi Luciana,

I too attended the second round of consultations in Trinidad. I was disappointed that there was no one from Tobago present at the consultation as they have lots of issues pertaining to governance.

I am seeking consensus among regional networks re civil participation and democratic governance as I am a member of the Interim Committee for the establishment of the Civil Society Board in Trinidad and Tobago. I have a lot to say on this matter especially as it relates to CSOs and partisan politics.

At our consultation we were given a very brief explanation on this topic by the OAS representative but I believe it should be on the agenda to give full explanation re conflict of interests for the CSOs at the summit to discuss since it is a source of concern and discrepancy among CSOs in Trinidad.

I also believe certain concepts need further explanation as interpretation can be varied. In the preamble ( law) there should be a glossary of terms in the mandates. Eg. what is meant by 'gender inequality' since it is a concern that gender can be overlooked.

I will say more later when I confer with the team of networks.

svc@oas.org
Road to Panama: Mandates for Action - National Consultations

Trinidad and Tobago February 6, 2015

The Consultations focused on key themes within the document, Mandates for Action. During the consultations, participants had the opportunity to formulate and provide recommendations on the document.

svc@oas.org
National Consultation with Civil Society and Social Actors

Second Round of National Consultation with Civil Society and Social Actors on the theme of the upcoming VII Summit of the Americas

OAS Headquarters, Washington DC, February 6, 2015

The session included a Q & A on the participation of civil society and social actors’ in activities to be carried out in Panama on April 8, 9 and 10 prior to the VII Summit.

Youtube Video: 
jaimieboyd
jaimieboyd's picture
All the topics

Hi Luciana and everybody in this virtual forum!

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the mandate document.  I think that it is a great start, and I truly hope that it will be subjected to a  comprehensive consultation process to make sure that it is comprehensive and viewed as legitimate by the people implicated by its recommendations.

Please don't hesitate to connect with me at jaimie_boyd@actioncanada.ca if you have questions or comments on what I have to say here -- as I mention, some of my comments are based on a fairly lengthy survey process, so I am happy to provide more detail on that as required.

 

Sub-theme 1: Education

I was delighted to see that vocational education was included in commitment #2.  The commitment to facilitating transition to the world of work is important not just for university graduates pursuing highly-skilled professions.

I would suggest adding: To enhance access to higher education and vocation training through merit-based financial support, including but not restricted to preferential loans, as well as initiatives that target low income students.  In surveying young people across the Americas, my organization found that well over half of respondents did not have access to any kind of financial support for their studies, suggesting that wealthier students have much easier access to higher education.

 

Sub-theme 2: Health

In terms of Health, the draft document welcomes the creation of the Inter-American Fund for Responding to Outbreaks of Epidemic Diseases. What is your opinion about the creation of the Fund? Do you have any further comments or recommendations on this matter?

I think that the fund sounds like a good idea, but I am not sure that it is a priority for most people in the Americas.  The survey that my organization used indicated that health priorities include preventative healthcare including sexual education; access to affordable, high quality medical services; and greater support for early childhood development.

At a minimum, I would suggest adding: To enhance initiatives focusing on preventative healthcare, including improvements to sexual education.

 

Sub-theme 3: Energy

The question in above only asks us to reflect on a small element of the proposed focus of the Mandates for Action.  Considering the three commitments, I would suggest adding:

To pursue these initiatives with a clear commitment to sustainability, ensuring that energy development is accompanied by economic diversification, sound environmental stewardship and, where possible, investment in funds intended to preserve energy wealth for future generations.

 

Sub-theme 4: Environment

All commitments to address environmental concerns must deal with adaptation and mitigation.  Restricting the focus to adaptation is not acceptable.  I suggest amending commitment #2.

I would also suggest strengthening commitment #3 by adding, at the end: To enhance investment in clean technologies and the use of alternative energy sources.

 

Sub-theme 5: Migration

Our survey work suggests that albeit problematic, migration is generally perceived as a positive phenomenon.  I suggest that, given this view, a simplistic focus on reducing migration is not appropriate, particularly given that migration flows out of Latin America and into North America have already fallen significantly since the early 2000s.  Outflows of migrants from Latin America were 6.2 million in 2002 and 3.1 million in 2012.

I would therefore suggest:

  1. At the end of commitment #1, add: “and to enhance the temporary nature of migration.”
  2. Add a 4th commitment: To enhance opportunities for temporary, legal migration, particularly for young people.

 

Sub-theme 6: Security

Our survey work suggests that the most pervasive kind of threat to security is petty crime, and that the perceived leading cause of insecurity is poverty.  Given these views and the urgency of ongoing threats to safety throughout the Americas, it seems irresponsible to recommend the creation of a network that is likely to simply study the issue rather than recommending concrete actions.

I therefore suggest supplementing current recommendations with a 5th, namely: To develop employment strategies for marginalized, at risk youth in urban centers.

 

Sub-theme 7: Citizen Participation

I am extremely supportive of this proposal, especially if it replaces current mechanisms for engagement around the Summits process.  I am happy to provide additional detail on my concerns around the Summits process if it is of interest, but generally the tools for engaging youth and aboriginal peoples require significant improvements.

I would therefore recommend strengthening the commitments by:

  1. At the end of commitment #1, add: “to enhance transparency around the Summits process and establish meaningful, accountable mechanisms for engaging vulnerable social actors such as youth and aboriginal peoples."
  2. In commitment #2, after “to promote open government” add: “particularly by developing and publishing accessible, user friendly information and data”
  3. Add a 3rd commitment: To enhance accountability and create channels for social groups to be heard.

On that last point, our survey indicated that only 15% of youth respondents felt that their government cares about their views.  The equivalent statistic was 68% for the private sector.  Surely we can do better.

 

Sub-theme 8: Democratic Governance

I would recommend clearly stating the goal of minimizing corruption.  Our survey indicated that it is by far the top governance concern for respondents in the Americas.  While recognizing the sensitivity of the topic, I don’t see any advantages to dancing around it without explicitly identifying it as an objective.  To that end, I would recommend including very concrete commitments to measures like publishing audited public accounts at all levels of government, establishing transparency commitments for government procurement, and publishing periodic evaluations (e.g., every five years) of government initiatives.

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Ms Boyd,

Hi Ms Boyd,

What do you think of Civil Society Organisations being affiliated to Political Parties?

What do you think of Civil Society Orgaisation Leaders being requested to sign a declaration of interest at the local level and an affidavit at the National level of governance when they represent Civil Society Orgaisations?

Are yo uaware of the laws in your country pertaining to CSOs and governance?

I will llike to hear what the participants here think of this. I am also adding a draft interlocution plan sugested to our organisations in matters pertaining to Civi lSociety Organisations. We are still in the process and will be happy to get some feedback on it.

Thank you for the feedback.

Gale

jaimieboyd
jaimieboyd's picture
Hi Gale,

Hi Gale,

Thanks for posing such interesting questions!

I think that affiliating civil society organisations with political parties is a terrible idea, unless they are totally transparent about their affiliation.  For example, an organization that seeks to connect economists that support conservative policies, and is supported by a conservative political party, has a useful purpose in society so long as it is clear to anybody affected by the organization’s work that it is trying to push society in a certain direction.    For organizations that seek to mobilize, represent or advocate on behalf of groups of people, I would say that they are doing a disservice to the people they represent by affiliating themselves with political parties that they should be presumably seeking to influence.  What do you think?

I’m not sure that I see the usefulness of asking civil society organisation leaders to sign a declaration or affidavit.  What would be the goal?  I absolutely think that lobbyists should identify themselves as such and be required to register as lobbyists, but if organizations aren’t explicitly seeking to influence governance outcomes, I think that their legitimacy resides in support from their stakeholders, not in any kind of declaration that may carry little to no weight.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Best,

Jaimie

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Ms. Boyd,

Hi Ms. Boyd,

I like the thought of transparency as there can be some form of co-operation among organisations to choose who they widsh to serve. The questions here pertains to leadership. How can one be leading Civil Society and represent a political interest? Or allow themselves to be appointed by a government body to represent Civil Society?

The role of lobbyists is something we can consider in the Caribbean as there may be space for professional politicians. Can one lobby for Civil Society today and for the party tomorrow? We will need to draw up some form of code of conduct for this group with sanctions attached that can be transparent and enforceable. There are many codes existing i nthe Caribbean that are just there on the books.

Our Parliamentarians have a Code of Ethics from 1987 and updated in 2004 yet very few people knew about this. I agree with Mr. Currie to have Civic education separate from Social Studies or have it as a specialist area in Social Studies at the CXC level.

The question of stakeholders leave very little impact on me as the victims, the voiceless, the vulnerable and the poor are not considered stakeholders. 

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my voice on this matter.

 

La Joya
La Joya's picture
Human Rights Republic of Panama

Can someone please inform me to the date that Human Rights debate will take place and Health .

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thank you

Hi Jaimie,

I appreciate all your work on commenting on the 8 sub-themes of the document. Thank you very much for that!

Please do come back to the Forum in case you have further recommendations.

Kind regards,

Luciana

jaimieboyd
jaimieboyd's picture
Indigenous Peoples forum

Thanks Luciana!  I have a question for you -- do you have any idea what happened to the Indigenous Peoples forum?  I recall that there was a dedicated forum at the last Summit in Cartagena, but it doesn't look like they are organizing one in Panama.  Is that correct?  Any ideas why?

svc@oas.org
Indigenous Peoples forum

Dear Ms. Boyd,

Thank you for your query. For the Seventh Summit of the Americas, there will be one central Hemispheric Civil Society Forum which would focus on the themes of the Summit.

As Indigenous, afro descendent, gender or LGBT issues, to name a few, are crosscutting issues which relate to each of the themes of the Summit, representatives of all organizations will be invited to join the working groups of the Hemispheric Forum. In this way, each group will have the opportunity to promote their specific agendas as relates to the themes of the Seventh Summit. The final recommendations that arise from these working groups will then be presented to the Member States.

Summits of the Americas Secretariat

jaimieboyd
jaimieboyd's picture
Dear Summits Secretariat,

Dear Summits Secretariat,

Thank you very much for your timely response.  Although I am hardly the most appropriate person to be lodging a complaint on this topic, I would like to express my disappointment with the decision not to hold a dedicated forum for indigenous peoples.

Significant progress seems to have been made on the draft Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and, while I understand that the Declaration is scheduled for discussion at the June GA in Haiti, engagement with social actors must be an ongoing process that does not merely focus on producing deliverables.  I certainly take Gale’s point (below); however, I for one was not aware until very recently that there would not be a dedicated Indigenous Peoples forum.  As a result, my (non-indigenous) organization has not undertaken deliberate consultations with relevant indigenous stakeholders to explicitly integrate indigenous perspectives into our work.

Given the decision that has been taken with respect to the Indigenous Peoples forum, I would urge you to connect with indigenous stakeholders to identify leaders, particularly those who have attended past Summits, and work with them to ensure that they are able to attend and participate in the working groups that you have mentioned.  While I understand that financial support for attendees may be limited, I would welcome efforts on your part to connect indigenous leaders (more than one per sub-region) with potential sources of funding for their travels.

I look forward to receiving your comments.

Best,

Jaimie

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Ms Boyd,

Hi Ms Boyd,

The Civil Society Board in Trinidad and Tobago has given the Indigenous Nations a space in its mandate. All Nations are recognised on the Board as Default with all rights and priviledges of the mebers of the Board.

They can make all their submissions as members of the Civil Society Board. It is important for us to include them not as another group but as a Nation. 

Gale

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
introduction

Dear Luciana

My name is Bevon Currie and I am from Guyana and I have been participating in forums and consultations with the OAS for the pass ten years. I have just attended the civil Society consultations in Guyana. As usual I am always delighted to participate in discussions on issues affecting member states and to have the prospective of my colleagues in civil society.

Bevon Currie

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
Citizens Participation Democratic Governance

To day most if not all member states face issues with Campaign financing and its effects on the outcomes of elections. Current campaign finance conditions in many jurisdictions favor incumbents, stifle grassroots activity, distort and most of all create fertile grounds for individuals and interest groups to influence the outcome of the democratic process

I  am of the fervent view that the OAS should implore on member states to adopt modern enforceable indigenous legislation to address the deficiencies in Campaign financing all member states 2020. such a a development will create fertile grounds for credible Democratic Governance within the Hemisphere and reflects the will of the people

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thank you

Hi Bevon.

Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate your interest in contribution to the Forum. Please, let us know your ideas to the other sub-themes of the Summit.

Kind regards

 

goxley
goxley's picture
Mr Currie,

Mr Currie,

I agree with your point on campaign financing but I believe there is an Inter American Convention Against Corruption that can be strengthened on this area.

Democratic Governance include Civil Society and we are to understand our role in society. We cannot expect the OAS to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. We need to network throughout the Caribbean re CARICOM policy and then produce the document after proper research to the OAS. The Summit is a great platform where CSOs and government can meet face to face and dialogue for policies.

We also need to remember the politicians are from our communities where we reside. We can develop strategies to approachthem and mobilise the public to add value to policy. The problem resides in the character of the individual. You cannot be seen as bias and want public support. You cannot want government to bend over for you and not for another. The funding agencies are the people to make adjustments in their guidelines. They need to examine their hidden agendas when selecting programs. I believe there need to be more transparency in this area. Not only figures (lying with stats) but a comprehensive report on the projects they funded.

Therein lies your issue Mr. Currie.

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Luciana,

Hi Luciana,

With respect to Trinidad and Tobago we are now trying to manage our portfolio with a limited Interim Board. 

We met yesterday (Wednesday 11th) to discuss the mandates and the following were suggested:

1. Under Security there is need to define incaseration from rehabilitation in juveniles. The justice and legal system needs to take another look at the laws fgoverning minors. 

2. Under health: The need for women to receivve post maternatiy counselling and treatment especially single mothers. Those proned to depression as they have to work with this problem and children become at risk under their care. The home visits by the district nurses need to be revisited.

3. Under education: the intake information gathered at the beginning of the child's scool life should be refined to include all physical, psychological and academic tests including immunization, family history and other pertenant records to assist the teacher in delivering proper attention to the child.

With respect to having the local office inviting organisations to participate they can do it via the newspaper ads or/and via the Board where we can do direct invitation from/within our regional networks rather than one orgaisation with sole responsibility.

The same request can be made for guidelines including a space for Faith Based Organisations which are in the majority in Trinidad and Tobago. I will also suggest the guidelines be revisited to accommodate FBOs. 

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Hi Gale

Hi Gale

Thank you and the other Board member to contribute with recommendations in different sub-themes.

Kind regards,

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
one of the critical criteria

one of the critical criteria to facilitate citizens participation, preservation of democratic governance, democracy renewal and leadership cultivation is a systemic implementation of civic education within our formal and informal education systems. this will foster greater understanding of roles and responsibilities of citizens, rights and entitlements as wells as the functions and responsibilities of Democratic organs and institutions. this will engender a culture of greater participation by citizens. in this regard the Summit must recommend to head of states to have country specific programs for civic education.

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
Civil Society

In guyana wealso have legislation , whhich is outdated governing civil society, these regulations lack synergies, civil society in guyana can register with their sectorial ministry or through the ministry of labour human services or the High court each one of these registration has its own advantages and disadvantages. two attempts in recent times were made to develop a consortium of civil society organisation in Guyana first in 1996 with the establish of the Guyana NGO Forum which developed a modern legislation fashioned after the Belize model and then in 2014 with the Guyana National Civil Society Council both of which faced their own unique sets of challenges.

Member states should be urged and encouraged to create the fertile environment for NGO to flourish and play their role as a developing partner.

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Hi Bevon, 

Hi Bevon, 

Would you recommend any especific strategy to be adopted by Member STates to create the fertile environment for NGO to flourish?

 

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
Hi Luciana

Hi Luciana

  1. Civil society are closer to the plight that plague communities and hinder national development therefore governments can start by implementing consultations and policy roundtable discussion with civil society at the sectorial level
  2. implement legislative frame work that will guide and encourage the development of civil society organization.
  3. work with the international community to build the governance capacity of civil society organization to effectively execute their mandates

Bevon

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thank you, Bevon.

Thank you, Bevon.

Could you elucidate your recommendation #1? What do you mean by sectorial level?

 

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
Thanks Luciana

Thanks Luciana

In every sector within the society they are civil society actors that are advocating for some form of change at the grass root level. They understand and experience the issue and therefore will have a valuable contribution as it relates to policy formulation for the development of the sector . therefore department and subject Ministries mush introduce mechanisms to engage in dialogue with these NGO in policy formulation implementation, and monitoring

Bevon

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thank you for your reply and

Thank you for your reply and further explanation.

Kind regards

Luciana

goxley
goxley's picture
Hi Mr. Currie,

Hi Mr. Currie,

I agree with all three recommendations on interlocution of Civil Society and the Government.

To expand on the first recommendation having roundtable policy dialogue and consultations with Civil Society must have some form of balance. From our experience we have had many of these in trinidad and there have borne no fruit as the government continues to do as it wishes. There should be some form of standard in policy guidelines for these activities. Reporting on them can be tedious as there can be no record of presentations. Technology can make a big difference in these activities.

 I believe Civil Society should suggest its own legislation. i am not aware of legislation in Guyana for Civil Society but Trinidad has a lot of exisitng legislation that people were not aware of. You can check the Charter for Civil Society for Caribbean States and the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Caribbean NGOs and see how it relates to Guyana.

With respect to the third point I am under the impression that the VII Summit is addressing this area and we are to make recommendations in this forum towards this product with the hope that there is a positive resolution to this summit.

I believe there should be some form of signing of CSOs and Foreign Ministers on the mandates.

 

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Gale, when you mention the

Gale, when you mention the idea of having a roundtable policy dialogue you refer to the need of having some form of balance. Could you explain your idea, please?

goxley
goxley's picture
A roundtable policy dialogue

A roundtable policy dialogue include representatives from the affected sector from all regions or from those regions that hold such sector, the government representatives and the oppositions representatives.

Many times one govrnment inroduce an idea only to be removed when another comes in to office. There is a lot of wasted time money and energy when this takes place.

Maybe the OAS Summit can also make space for oppositon parties in government as part of the dialogue process. This can be done via the virtual forums. If we are entering an age of inclusive and democratic governance we need to be certain no one is left behind.

If you look at the attachment I placed in the forum you will see at the base of the page the entry of organisations in sectors which will filter up to the Loacl Regional Network then the National Civil Society Board. Matters pertaining to regions need not reach the National Board if it can be resolved at the local regional level. We have to be able totrust ourselves and share governace at all levels.

Hope this clarifies the idea for you Luciana.

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
Hi Goxley

Hi Goxley

The suggest for involvement of major opposition parties in the different forums of the OAS is a welcomed one since there parties many times form governments after election. Caricom experimented with such a proposal for one or tow years and it died a natural death.

such a proposal will give the parties an appreciation of the issues the context of same and working knowledge.

 

Bevon

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Thank you, Gale. It clarified

Thank you, Gale. It clarified the idea indeed and elucidated your point in regard to democratic governance.

Thank you!

goxley
goxley's picture
Luciana,

Luciana,

The issue of gender inequity has been raised in our consultations by a member who felt that the term is only associated with women and should be addressed. Only wonem issues are raised in the gender topics.

The indigenous people will like to have the signed accord implemented since they are not allowed to visit their burial grounds and complete their ceremonies. They have not been given back their lands taken or promised.

I wil lhave liekd to shae a paper I delivered to the PNM Women's League for International women's day 1999 where I addressed the issues of the principles of good government and women in politics as a social justice issue.

Today we have many women in politics but the partisan politics is keeping them from true representation.

Maybe with the new era of democratic governance we can see a different approach to women in politics above propaganda and public relations.

 

bevoncurrie
bevoncurrie's picture
Migration
Migration

In regards to Migration, the draft document refers to the development of actions to combat and prevent trafficking in persons while respecting and fully protecting their human rights.

It is my view Many of the people who are subjected to Human trafficking are most time low skilled individuals living in object poverty and most time find it difficult to survive post rescue. Member states should develop legislation and bilateral agreements to forfeit assets of person found guilty and use proceeds to develop training economic and reintegration scheme to help victims

additional they must be greater information sharing and joint operations among the security forces beyong boarders to tackle the scorge of Human Trafficking

pierrebremond
pierrebremond's picture
My name is Pierre, I work for

My name is Pierre, I work for a Spain-based nonprofit organization dedicated to addiction prevention and treatment, education and social and community development. Dianova International maintains ongoing activities in 11 countries of Europe and the Americas. 

Our contributions to the document:

EDUCATION - Targeting the Poor

In some regions of the American Hemisphere Education remains highly unequal. In most Latin American countries for example, despite increasing access to primary education, those most disadvantaged are about half as likely to enroll in pre-school and about two to ten times less likely to graduate from upper secondary as compared with their richer peers. Students from low-income families also score lower on tests – between one to two proficiency levels lower on the OECD’s Program in International Student Achievement (PISA) science test than those from higher income families.

Since children from low income families have less learning opportunities at home, they are accordingly in greater need for quality education services. Accordingly, countries should pay more heed to developing quality services at the primary and secondary levels to address the needs of disadvantaged children and adolescents. In addition to quality teaching, those services may include school feeding and health promotion programs, violence and drug prevention, etc.

HEALTH - Improving Maternal Health Care

Over the past twenty years, significant advances have been made in Latin American countries in improving maternal health and mortality rates have fallen over 40% - however rates vary considerably depending of women’s ethnicity or social and economic status. In order to attain universal access to health, governments should provide those most disadvantaged with special, quality programs, e.g. providing maternity homes for pregnant women in remote areas to ensure they get the necessary attention during pregnancy.

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION - Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Studies have shown that increasing female participation in labor force can lead to income growth per capita, poverty reduction and increased citizen participation.  In addition, equitable participation of women in politics and government is essential to building and sustaining democracy. In some regions of the American Hemisphere, women continue to be under-represented as voters, political leaders and elected officials. Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women is pivotal to accelerating the process of social development and citizen participation, especially in Latin America. 

Thanks for your interest!

Contributions by Dianova International - www.dianova.org

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
Pierre, thank you very much

Pierre, thank you very much for you contribution.

Best regards,

Luciana

Luciana Campello
Luciana Campello's picture
THANK YOU ALL!

Hi!

The Forum is coming to an end and I would like to thank you all for participating. Your expertise and opinions and recommendations were extremely important. The outcomes of this virtual forum will be compiled, distributed and presented to the OAS Member States for their consideration.

Best regards,

Luciana Campello

GThale
Comment on mandate

Hi, all,

 

I hope I am still in time to submit some comments.  My name is Geoff Thale, and I am the Program Director at WOLA, the Washington Office on Latin America.   Our staff took a look at the draft mandate, and had suggestions to make in the areas of migration, security and citizen participation.

On migration, we had a couple of edits and suggestions to the draft text (underlined):

Migration

 

Recognizing the economic, social, and cultural contributions made by migrants to their communities of origin and to their host societies, together with the importance of cooperation among countries of origin, transit, and destination to ensure protection for the human rights of all migrants, we agree on the following measures:

 

  1. To instruct all the institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG), particularly the financial institutions, to continue supporting states in their efforts to establish the economic and social conditions needed to generate more and better opportunities for advancement and for their populations to become firmly rooted in their countries, particularly through development of human capital, creation of more and better jobs, stimulation of the productive sector, and improved citizen security, with a particular focus on youth.

 

  1. To develop social dialogue processes at the national and regional levels for the adoption of labor migration policies, actively involving labor ministries and employers’ and workers’ organizations and, in that context, to promote the signing of agreements to enable orderly labor migration flows, in accordance with the laws of each country, and respecting internationally recognized workers’ rights..

 

  1. To develop and implement programs to prevent and fight the smuggling of migrants and trafficking of persons, particularly of women, children and adolescents, and to promote cooperation among states to that end, respecting and fully protecting their human rights. Aware of the particular vulnerability of migrants to human rights abuses, both in transit countries and on borders, we call on law enforcement and border security authorities to ensure respect for the rights of migrants and to take actions to protect this vulnerable population.   In addition, to adapt laws to protect the human rights of migrants, particularly those of unaccompanied minors, and to ensure adequate procedures are in place to identify and protect victims of trafficking. In particular, we call upon the International Organization for Migration and the International Labour Organization to support this initiative

 

  1. Aware that some migrants are victims of forced displacement and cannot find safety in their communities or home countries, and may qualify for refugee status in neighboring countries, we instruct the IOM and the UNHCR to explore what countries might be willing to accept refugees and what countries might be willing to finance refugee resettlement efforts,and how all countries’ migration authorities may improve practices for screening and quickly processing migrants who need protection.

5.   To support efforts by governments and regional bodies to establish a process by which migrants who are lost or missing can be registered, identified, and located so that they may be reunited with their families.

On security, we also had some suggestions (again, underlined)

Security

 

Recognizing that integral development with equity helps to create conditions of security and that, in turn, better security conditions encourage greater prosperity, we agree on the following measures:

 

  1. To establish an inter-American network for the prevention of violence and crime, which would comprise representatives of governmental, nongovernmental, international, and regional organizations, would be technical in nature, and would consider, inter alia, mechanisms, programs, and practices for fostering hemispheric coordination and cooperation in the area of violence and crime prevention.  We instruct the Organization of American States to establish such a network and to coordinate it, and to focus particularly on evidence-based, comprehensive, community-based approaches, which have shown promise in some countries.

 

  1. To invest in better data-gathering, in harmonizing statistics, and in strengthening evaluations to better understand the phenomenon and, thus, be better able to address the dynamics of crime and violence.  To call upon the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and OAS to support this initiative.  In particular, we urge the IDB to continue to update and make available its map of donor-supported projects on citizen security in Central America, and to promote similar initiatives for other regions of the hemisphere.  And we urge governments to support and cooperate with crime observatories, both public and private,  and with researchers of crime and violence, and ensuring that  data about crime and violence is publicly available.

 

  1. To make special efforts to reduce violence against women, particularly through the implementation of effective public policies, training for public officials, and collection of data and statistics, in particular, within the framework of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará).  We instruct the OAS, through the Inter-American Commission of Women, to continue its efforts in this area, particularly by strengthening the Convention’s follow-up mechanism.

 

  1. To make coordinated progress in the Hemisphere in confronting the world drug problem and to work to reach a common regional position that is centered on human rights, public health, and harm reduction perspectives, in preparation for the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the world drug problem to be held in 2016. We call upon the OAS and the UNDP to conduct the relevant follow-up.

 

  1. Alongside efforts to strengthen violence prevention, we will make coordinated progress in strengthening the institutions on which citizen security depends -- the ministries of security and justice, the police, public prosecutors, the judiciary, and the penitentiary system  -- to address problems of human rights violations, ineffectiveness, and the dangers of corruption and special influence.

 

  1.  To support a negotiated end to Colombia’s internal armed conflict that will greatly increase security for citizens of this country.  

 

Finally, on citizen participation, we had a question:    Is it the appropriate role of the OAS  to be in the business of organizing what civil society groups do and how they monitor and comment on the Summit process.  The OAS and the Summit Implementation Review Group should certainly be open to civil society comments, but it is civil society that ought to take the lead.

 

 

Thanks for considering these comments.

 

Geoff Thale

Program Director

WOLA

 

 

 

 

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