Follow up to the VII Summit of the Americas

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svc@oas.org
Follow up to the VII Summit of the Americas

1.Education

Please list some educational initiatives in your country or area of influence which, based on your experience, have resolved problems in the educational system.

2.Health

Do you think that access to a comprehensive health care is an attainable goal? What must countries do in order to achieve this goal in the Americas?

3.Energy

How do we increase the use of sustainable energy? What actions are adopted in your community to promote the use of renewable energy sources?

4.Environment

How can the government and private sector work together to contribute towards protecting the environment? What actions are being carried out in your community to counter the effects of climate change?

5.Migration

How does migration contribute to economic, social, political and cultural development of migrant-hosting countries?

6.Security

What security measures are currently implemented in your community to effectively address violence against women and girls?

7.Democratic governance

Are you satisfied with the electoral system in your country? Do you have suggestions on how it could be improved?

English
legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Dear participants, welcome to

Dear participants, welcome to the first virtual forum in follow-up to the VII Summit of the Americas held in Panama City on 10 and 11 April 2015. My name is Luis Egusquiza and will be the moderator of this forum. I am a Peruvian lawyer specialized in political and electoral reform. My role in this forum is to promote discussion among forum members and facilitate access to the information required.

I hope that in these weeks we can build a community based on knowledge sharing. Please, feel free to share your opinions and questions on the topics of the forum.

goxley
goxley's picture
 Dear Participants, I am Gale

 Dear Participants, I am Gale mohammed-Oxley from Trinidad and Tobago.

We recently had general elections five months ago and one of the areas I selected to participate in from the Summit follow up is one of separation of powers where I addressed regulating political financing of the election campains in the social media forum.

Further, I addressed the participation of Civil Society Leaders in their participation in campaining by calling their attention to their activities during campaigning. These calls were well received as there was an active election and Civi lSociety leaders were really supportive of this call. They found out their positions in society as they moved forward to a new era of partnership in development.

The question now is how does the OAS agenda address the issues of grants (applicable laws) to each State and how these projects are supported to keep Civil Society separate from partisan issues while moniotring and evaluating performances of respective governments. 

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Issues in political agenda

To open the debate, I mention an example that is very close to me. In Peru there will be presidential elections in April and the most important issues in campaign are public security and how to harmonize mining industry with environmental protection. Which of the topics in this forum are central to the political debate in your country? What specific proposals are discussed? What is your position?

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Conclusions of civil society and social actors forum

Dear participants, you can find in the next link the conclusions of forum of the VII Summit of the Americas.

http://www.summit-americas.org/cs/meetings/040815/concl_en.pdf

The civil society organizations meeting in Paama City on April 8-10, 2015present to the Presidents and Heads of State of the Americas the conclusions of the Hemispheric Civil Society Forum held within the framework of the Summit of the Americas, in Panama, 2015.
The recommendations were the fruit of two days of deliberations and dialogue in seven panels on a variety of topics. 
legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Migration

Today I want to tell you about immigration. While there is a well-known Latin American migration to the United States, it is also true that there is migration between Latin American countries (Costa Rica - Cuba for example) or countries in the region such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is important then begin to discuss the standards that offer these migrants and their cultural and economic integration. In my country, the immigration law is extremely complex and creates unnecessary bureaucratic barriers for foreigners who wish to reside and work in the country How this phenomenon is regulated in your country? Here is the link of a report by DW on Cuban migration in Costa Rica.

goxley
goxley's picture
Immigration

Dear Luis,

Immigrations is a very soft area in all countries with small spaces and limited economies. The inter island migration of persons in the Caribbean has been facilitated by the Caribbean Single Market and Economy. This area of trade helps the free movement of CARICOM Nationals with work and lifestyles with ease. The problem arises when a country may have limited spaces to offer the movement and there is discord among the migrants and nationals for space/work.

The migration of other persons from other countries do have some challenges as they have restrictions placed upon them. 

I did not see the link so I cannot comment on it.

Gale

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Migration

Dear Gale, below this lines you can find ver interesting link about the Dominican Republic - Haiti migratigation crisis.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-haiti-dominican-deportees-idUSKCN0RJ05O20150919

 

 

 

orozcobelize
immigration

<p>Hi I am Caleb Orozco from Belize. Of note when Countries like Belize and Trinidad refuse to amend their immigration law which is discriminatory, and forces an individuals to go to the Caribbean court for redress. Opens the question, is CARICOM committed to its LGBT citzens or is it complict by indifference, ommission or inaction to its own LGBT citizens socio-economic rights needs. The question about the CSME value for LGBT workers in the Caribbean and the homophobic nature of CARICOM politics leaves an uncertain future for workers who are LGBT seeking to migrate between states for work.&nbsp;</p>

goxley
goxley's picture
Migration

Luis,

In my country there was a move by CSOs to press government and CARICOM to take action to help the Haiti situation which was resolved positively. See attachment.

Some of the Haitians were received in many CARICOM islands but there were serious issues with welfare. There was the issue of gathering donations to send to Haiti for the people at various levels.

The OAS can develop a disaster monitoring system as many times the persons who are to receive help do not get it creating new pockets of problems. Many times the partisan politics rule the order of the day which we may not be able manage, but to ensure the assisatnce reaches the peole I suggest this monitoring system of both government and CSOs to moitor disaster funding and financing. 

goxley
goxley's picture
Education

Luis,

With respect to your question on Education, there have been many initiatives to solve issues in the education sector both with students, parents and teachers. I worked the rural and urban schools on pojects that helped students in terms of discipline, reading problems and learning difficulties.

These projects were individually managed and the principals were the persons initiating them. The parents paid for the service which was minimal. The success rate was high and there was no interferance from government or trade union officials.

To date i am working on having the University of the West Indies join me in hosting a workshop for Civi lSociety Organisation leaders introducing them to the mechanisms of the OAS. I am also involved with a group of organisations around the hemisphere that is undergoing a project to design and develop mechanisms for Civil Society participation in the Summit of the Americas process.

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Violence against the women

According with la Convention of Belen do Para. Article 2.a. 

Violence against women shall be understood to include physical, sexual and psychological violence:
a. that occurs within the family or domestic unit or within any other interpersonal relationship, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the woman, including, among others, rape, battery and sexual abuse (...);

The most common form of violence experienced by women globally is intimate partnerviolence. Nonetheless,untilintimate-partnerviolencewasrecognized as a serious crime and human rights violation, and the private sphere was made visible as a place of insecurity for women, most laws in the region protected the physical and sexual integrity of persons regardless of the context in which the act of violence occurred. 

goxley
goxley's picture
Violence against Women

Luis,

In my opinion the violence perpetrated against women has its roots in the changing forms of the family. The world of work and the aggressiveness of the feminist movement has imposed values that many women have not been able to cope with and or are not prepared to understand. Their male counterpart then cannot present themselves under the chauvanistic presence that was their historical place. The family became threatened as women took positions of authority at work and was not tolerant of the superiority of the males at home. The males also who had to subdue themselves to women at work made a negative reply at home. The pull and tug of the era did not prepare the family or the adults with skills to cope with this change. It was a war for women and men fought back the way they know how. In many instances the men were not even aware that they were hurting their women and vice versa.

I have worked with many familiies that experienced this type of horror and the resolutions were not always positive. The act of chosing whether or not to have a baby without the involvement of the father has also been an issue. There are many laws to protect women in abusive situations but that did not deter the men. The result was murder/suicide. We have to place the family on the front burner as a resolution to this scourge of abuse, how to live in pece with each other as a unit.  The discussion on violence against women should really be the attack on family life.

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Dear Gale, is very important

Dear Gale, is very important undestand women rights as a matter of justice and equity,this perspective does not contradict the existence of the family, but it has to be reconciled with a pluralistic view of family relationships, where man and woman have the same right to choose without any risk of violence or any constraint.   Feminism is an approach that has led to fundamental changes in the world and in a pluralistic society is essential to take into account the gender perspective for the development of public policies in general.

 

 

 

goxley
goxley's picture
Women and rights

Thank you Luis for your statement. The problem here is that too many femanists movements have marginalized the males in seeking justic and equity ( which are moral values) in fighting and asserting their rights as women. We therefore need as you say to place the rights of both parties in perspective to family, work and political life. Many persons move in and out of these fora with ease but the majority have problems and carry burdens of relationships within their daly lives.

I will not say that feminismin the wider world has not achieved much but it has also done much damage along the way. Taking a one size fits all approach may have to be addressed when understanding social issues and researcher have to do much more in evaluating and analysing data to this end. 

orozcobelize
Health-trans

 

When we speak of transhealth many CARICOM state lacks the know-how, coupled with legal exclusions like gender markers on documents and forms, it creates a hostile environment for transpeople to access. Where horizontal violence permeates a workplace and communities, being gay, lesbain and bisexual openly opens every individuals attacks that overt and covert in nature. So no, not until rights defense and protections mechanisms are in place, especially among CARICOM member states can universal access be achieved. 

goxley
goxley's picture
Health

Luis,

There is much discussion on trans gender and homosexuality in the CARICOM states. There is a misunderstanding of the whole issue that these persons are not accepted or tolerated. They are people frst. With the imposition of external rules, regulation and laws the CARICOM states will reject outright any imposition direct or indirect to change laws that will impose any such acceptance to illicit or immoral behaviour. There is Article 12 that can be invoked in these states whereby these person can go about there usual manner and in a democracy a dissenting voice can be heard clearly. Respect for other's space is what is asked in all instances. The Churches have been loud and clear in their rejection of these lifestyles and it should be respected since many islands are claiming tolerance not acceptance to the trans and homosexual. They have equal opportunity and if they feel they cannot live in such states they can seek assylum in other states. The international law is clear on this. I can submit two documents to this effect.

orozcobelize
security

Security issues affecting lesbain women remain an issues along iwth transwomen who expereince close to 80% murder rates when compared to the Global figures in Latin America and the Caribbean. Further more laws on domestic violence do not offer protection for most person in same-sex relationships. The result is the victim carries the burden of right protection and defense and the state abdicating its responsibility. CARICOM states has made not effort to address such violence despite its international obligations to address all forms of violence.

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Welcome

Dear Caleb, thank you for your post from Belize. I encourage you to continue adding commnets.

goxley
goxley's picture
Security

Luis,

Security and violence are issues we all discuss from time to time. Violence is violence and can be perpetuated in Parliament as well as via laws. I will not single out lesbian women or women alone to discuss violence as the root cause of violence has to be addressed. Are we analysing the issues clearly, taking both sides of the argument or is the CARICOM states singled out in this matter. The laws are clear and the teachings are clear. The implementation of external cultures has created havoc in the CARICOM States among green card holders and dual citizens who wish to eat on both sides of their mouths., 

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Dear Gale, thank you for your

Dear Gale, thank you for your very active participation in the forum. I encourage you to continue posting in English an Spanish forums.

Best regards,

Luis

 

goxley
goxley's picture
Language

Thank you Luis for the invitation to coment in the spanish forum but I do not speak spanish.

Gale

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
The forum will remain open until March 31

Dear participants, this forum will remain open until March 31. This is an oportunity to participate and share opinions and point of views about the forum's issues.We appreciate and thank the feedback we have received to date. 

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Question here

I think that we have here a very good counterpoint of approaches; Caleb has noticed a fact: Security issues affecting lesbain women remain an issues along with transwomen who expereince close to 80% murder rates when compared to the Global figures in Latin America and the Caribbean. My question is:  It is necessary a specific regulation about gender or sexual orientation violence? 

goxley
goxley's picture
Violence against Women

Luis,

Good to see a face to the name.

Caleb's participation is welcome as I was the only person in the forum. As I have violence as a security issue is the discussion.. When a person sees violence against their person as a political issue there is need to address their intent and purpose. The issue of violence can be social, emotional or psychological. Silence can also be termed violent if introduced into the relationship in a negative manner. Relationship is a give and take and in a democracy there is a majority and minority issue. The individual also has a voice.

Again, I repeat, the LBGT group needs to understand themselves. They are people like everyone else. They want equity and equality yet want individual protection. They need to address their social issues as a member of a larger group rather then thrust their views on others without analysing its outcome. They are a very flomboyant people who express themselves in different ways from some conservative societies. They may be rejected by these societies not as a people but their action. Why can't they try to train their people to behave in ways conducive to acceptable behavior in public. Public space belong to the public not one group or another. Offensive behavior draws offensive reactions. Two wrongs do not make it right.

Yes the Caribbean has laws forbidding this group in certain ways. For the information of the discussion, there were always gay people in the Caribbbean. The issue here is that there are laws that forbid certain behaviors just as we laws on murder and styealing. We do not live in a free for all claiming development. If a society choses a particular way of life the law obliges those unable to fit that way to seek asylum in another society that welcomes that behavior. There is no need to argue about what is and what is not. Acceptance in the family is another dimension that no one can influence. That is the key to the abusive manner these people have been getting. Rejection is a very bitter pill to swallow and the society does not fully reject them but ask for them to reserve their behavior for behind closed doors. Homosexuality is not acceptable behaviour in the Caribbean.

I cannot speak of Latin America which I believe is much more agressive towards gay people. They need to reasses their behavior in public and meet the public half way.

horacio_alfredo...
horacio_alfredo@yahoo.es's picture
Respuesta al moderador - Legusquiza -. Ver comentarios # 49 y 50

Hola, buenas noches.

Retomando comentarios # 49 y 50, y en materia de empoderamiento ciudadano es esencial retomar los valores del liberalismo. Los valores del verdadero liberalismo que nunca ha conocido América Latina y que podría resumirse en "ausencia de privilegios". De modo que la igualdad formal ante la ley debe venir de la mano del ejercicio más plano de las libertades económicas, que son las que dotan de un contenido fáctico y efectivo el ejercicio de las libertades políticas individuales. En resumen, que empoderar al ciudadano no es más que respetar su derecho a la más plena libertad individual, con la más mínima injerencia necesaria de los poderes públicos. (...) Cuando el Estado Democrático y social de derecho en América Latina sea un Estado de naturaleza liberal, entonces los 7 puntos y el seguimiento a la Agenda de la Cumbre de las Américas tendrá un camino efectivo de resolución de los problemas acumulados desde la ya lejana independencia del colonialismo español, pero cuya herencia cultural y filosófica perdura como un lastre para nuestro progreso y porvenir social.

Por economía procesal cito unos párrafos de un artículo que estoy leyendo, y que expone este tópico de una manera meridiana. Estoy subiendo el artículo para que todos puedan consultarlo y respetar el derecho de cita del autor.

Muchas gracias, y he leído muy buenas aportaciones en este Foro.

(...)

"De acuerdo a Hayek, el gobierno, en todas sus acciones, está restringido por reglas fijadas y anunciadas de antemano, que hacen posible prever con relativa certeza cómo utilizará el gobierno su poder de coerción bajo dadas circunstancias y permiten al individuo planificar de acuerdo a su conocimiento sobre cómo va a actual el gobierno. No hay, entonces, espacio para la arbitrariedad, la prerrogativa y la autoridad discrecional. Cuando el 10 individuo conoce las reglas del juego, es libre de perseguir sus metas con la seguridad de que el poder del gobierno no será usado para frustrar sus esfuerzos. Tan pronto el gobierno comienza a cambiar arbitrariamente las reglas y a balancear unos intereses contra otros, comienza a destruir la libre competencia. Mientras más planifica el estado, más difícil se le hace al individuo planificar. Y para poder planificar eficazmente el individuo debe poder predecir las acciones del estado. Estas acciones serán predecibles siempre y cuando estén basadas en reglas fijadas con independencia de circunstancias concretas (“ver cada caso en sus méritos” no un principio con el que Hayek comulga). Las reglas son efectivas cuando se aplican siempre igual, sin excepciones. Esto es más importante que su contenido. Por ejemplo, dice Hayek, no tiene importancia si la regla dice que todos debemos conducir por el lado derecho de la calle o por el lado izquierdo. Lo importante es que todos conduzcamos por el mismo lado, siempre. Hayek considera el imperio de la ley (mi traducción para The Rule of Law) como uno de los más grandes logros de la era liberal. Es enfático en que esto no es sinónimo del poder que tiene el gobierno para legislar. Las acciones de un gobierno pueden ser jurídicamente válidas (posiblemente las de Hitler y Stalin lo eran) sin ser conformes a Derecho, en el contexto de the Rule of Law. Este concepto implica límites al alcance de la legislación. Excluye legislación dirigida hacia un grupo en particular, bien sea para favorecerlo o para discriminar en su contra. Para Hayek, una economía controlada se conduce solamente a través de carriles dictatoriales, sin obstáculos de procedimientos democráticos. Al controlar la economía se controlan todos los demás aspectos de la sociedad, porque se está coartando la libertad de acción. Quien controla los medios económicos determina unilateralmente cuáles objetivos se van a perseguir y cuáles valores son más importantes. Si el propósito de la planificación centralizada es una distribución 11 más justa y equitativa de la riqueza, debemos preguntarnos si el precio a pagar es demasiado alto: más opresión que la que ha causado el abuso de la libre empresa. El autor termina su libro expresando que la libertad política no significa nada sin la libertad económica. Es necesario, señala, liberar la energía creativa de los individuos en lugar de tratar de guiarlos y dirigirlos. Lo que hace falta no es planificar el progreso, es crear las condiciones favorables para el progreso. Para Hayek, la única y verdadera política progresista es la política de libertad para el individuo." 

 

 

 

 

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Electoral desing

 

Dear participants, I propose a new issue to discuss. IDEA's International Electorral desing handbook present somo criteria for electoral system design:

Criteria for Design

When designing an electoral system, it is best to start with a list of criteria which sum up what you want to achieve, what you want to avoid and, in a broad sense, what you want your legislature and executive government to look like. The criteria which follow cover many areas, but the list is not exhaustive and the reader may add a host of equally valid items. It is also true that some of the criteria outlined overlap and may appear contradictory. This is because they often are contradictory: it is the nature of institutional design that trade-offs have to be made between a number of competing desires and objectives.

  • Providing Representation
  • Making Elections Accessible and Meaningful
  • Providing Incentives for Conciliation
  • Facilitating Stable and Ef cient Government
  • Holding the Government Accountable
  • Holding Individual Representatives Accountable
  • Encouraging Political Parties
  • Promoting Legislative Opposition and Oversight
  • Making the Election Process Sustainable
  • Taking into Account ‘International Standards’ 

Follow these criteria, are you satisfied with the electoral system in your country? Do you have suggestions on how it could be improved?

goxley
goxley's picture
Electoral Design

Luis,

I am agreeably satisfied with the electoral process in my country. Following our constitution we have a bicameral system of government where Civil Society can hold eight of the upper house seats in the parliament. The problem I have with this is that it is at the whims and fancy of the President. I will like to see a more democratic process for this aspect of appointments.

There are mechansims to assist in the process of parliamentary priviledge but it is again to the whims and fancies of the political party in power. 

In terms of International Standards I believe the International Standards are to be taken into account as per region since culture plays a great part in the election process. The inter American charter on corruption and the social charter can be further developed to asssist in addressing cultural anomilies. The question I will ask is do these standards reflect the true nature of the states that implemnt them? Or is it another avenue for oppression ?

The common good is not readily addressed as the effort to Americanize economies has been on the agenda and may countries of the Americas have been resisting this process. There is a great need to have a clear and precise document to guide governments and civil society in the conduct of business re elections and governance.

My input into this list will be:

Separation of executive powers in the campaing.

Funding for elections can be limited.

Use of state media in campaining for political or as political party using party symbols for governance.

I also belive a checklist with a likert scale be developed for each of these listings so there is clarity to the ordinary person interested in monitoring and evaluating governance. It will also help to detect corruption at any level in any context.

 

goxley
goxley's picture
Constitution Reform

Luis,

I am adding two newsletter by an organisation in Trinidad that is focused on local government reform.

Hope this is educative of the matter in TnT.

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Dear Gale, thank you for the

Dear Gale, thank you for the newsletter and all your commnets, this help us a lot to improve the civil society contribution.

goxley
goxley's picture
Violence and religious freedom

Hi Luis,

I know the forum may be closed but i am taking some liberty in providing an article that will enhance our discussion from my files. I am sure it will be appreciated in understanding violence.

Gale

legusquiza
legusquiza's picture
Thanks a lot

Dear participants, at the end of this forum, I want to thank you for all your contributions and comments. It's been a pleasure talking with you and share their knowledge and experience. This has been a very important window to improve and update the contribution of civil society to the summit.

I hope we can keep in contact, my personal mail is luis.egusquizam@gmail.com

Good bye and see you soon 

Luis

 

 

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