PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE                    OEA/Ser.G

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES CP/CAJP-1592/99 rev. 2 10 February 2000


Working Group on Representative Democracy



(Approved at the meeting of January 13, 2000)




A. Background and mandates

The 2000 Work Plan of the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD) has been prepared on the basis of the mandates contained in resolution AG/RES. 1063 (XX-O/90), "Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD)", and Executive Order of the Secretary General 90-3 Rev. 1 (October 15, 1990), in which the Unit is instructed to provide a Program of Support for member states, which, in the full exercise of their sovereignty, request advice or assistance to preserve or strengthen their political institutions and democratic procedures. The Program also follows the guidelines of resolution CP/RES. 572 (882/91), "Program of Support for the Promotion of Democracy."

This document incorporates, among other elements, the mandates and guidelines resulting from the most recent session of the Organization’s General Assembly, held in Guatemala City, Guatemala in June 1999. In addition, the document is oriented towards support for mandates linked to the strengthening and promotion of democracy emanating from the presidential summits (Summits of the Americas) held in Miami and Santiago in 1994 and 1998, respectively.

In order to consolidate progress achieved in the Unit's work in recent years, and in this way to ensure that its activities have maximum impact, the proposed program represents a continuation of established thematic areas and the pursuit of priority topics contained in previous work plans.

B. Functions of UPD

UPD performs its activities at the request of member states, or with their express agreement. Its main functions can be defined as follows:

    1. To provide assistance to member states to improve their institutions and democratic processes.
    2. To provide support to member states for the generation, dissemination, and exchange of information on democratic political systems and values.
    3. To encourage the exchange of experiences among institutions and experts of the Hemisphere in areas related to the promotion of democracy.
    4. To provide assistance in the observation of electoral processes.
    5. To support the processes of national reconciliation and peace building.

These functions are performed in the broader context of the role of the Organization in the hemisphere as a high-level political forum, an instrument for partnership and cooperation, and an agent for generating and exchanging knowledge, information, and experience. During 2000, UPD will take steps to strengthen its research and analytical capacities in areas related to the development of democracy in the hemisphere, thus enlarging the role it can play in the understanding, study and discussion of such questions.

In UPD activities, priority is given to strengthening institutions and the democratic practices of governments and civil society, and to respect for individual rights and participation of the groups most at risk.

C. Structure of UPD

UPD comprises the Office of the Executive Coordinator and five program areas: Strengthening Democratic Institutions; Electoral Technical Assistance; Information and Dialogue/Democratic Forum; Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) and Special Programs. The second to last of these, AICMA, was established in 1999 in response to a request from member states for more fully integrated support for their efforts to eliminate antipersonnel landmines and put an end to the damage they have wreaked in the hemisphere. The first four program areas operate under the supervision of a coordinator. In the area of Special Programs, each program is coordinated by a higher-level official. During 2000 a sixth program area will be established, as announced in the Unit's Work Plan for 1999: the Program of Studies on Democracy (PED).


The division of the following work plan is based on the program areas described in the foregoing paragraph: Strengthening of Democratic Institutions, Electoral Technical Assistance, Information and Dialogue/Democratic Forum, Program of Studies on Democracy (PED), Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines and Special Programs.

    1. Strengthening of Democratic Institutions

The aim of this program area is to work with member states to strengthen democratic institutions and processes and to foster democratic values and practices. Upon the request of member states or on its own initiative but in consultation with them, UPD works with government and academic institutions and with civil society organizations to generate and disseminate information on the development and functioning of democratic institutions, and human resource training for democracy. UPD also works with member states as a forum for dialogue and a catalyst, focussing regional and subregional activities in such a way as to foster closer relations, cooperation and dialogue at the highest levels through the exchange of experience on the common challenges facing the democracies of our hemisphere. Among the significant mechanisms developed in recent years for training and upgrading human resources and for exchanging experiences, special note should be made of the subregional courses on various issues that are organized and conducted by the area for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, together with local counterpart institutions.

In 2000, activities will be conducted in the following areas:

    1. institutions and processes
    2. Support for the processes of decentralization, local government, and citizen participation
    3. Promotion of democratic values and practices.
  1. Support for legislative institutions and processes

The stability of representative democracy, within a context of separation and balance of powers, depends to a large extent on the existence of a legislative branch with the ability to effectively represent the people and oversee the executive branch of government. The Miami Presidential Summit recognized the importance of an effective legislative branch in strengthening democracy, and underscored the role of the OAS in supporting the legislatures of member states and the promotion and exchange of experiences among these institutions. The 1998 and 1999 General Assemblies, held in Caracas and Guatemala City respectively, stressed how important it is that the OAS facilitate contacts and discussion of matters of common concern among legislators of the hemisphere.

In 2000, pursuant to these mandates, UPD will continue to work with national legislatures, regional parliaments and academic institutions to foster dialogue and inter-parliamentary cooperation, modernize legislative processes, train people with expertise in legislative affairs, and produce comparative research and publications for the generation and dissemination of new knowledge in the field of institutional development. These activities will focus on practical, concrete matters, such as the relationship between the executive and legislative branches, parliamentary election systems, the relationship between congress and civil society, oversight and handling of the budget in the legislature, legislative techniques, parliamentary ethics, parliamentary information systems, and the role of the legislative branch in regional integration processes.

In this context, UPD will continue collaborating with the Forum of Presidents of the Legislative Branch (FOPREL) in Central America in activities related to inter-parliamentary cooperation and legislative modernization. In cooperation with its Central American Institute for Legislative Studies (ICEL), research and advisory services will be provided in support of the work and annual meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission on Corruption and Legislative Modernization. Support will also be provided for efforts to modernize the Congresses of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, with a particular focus on technical assistance for the development of legislative information systems and management. At the regional level, support will continue for the development of the Legislative Information Network for Central America (RILCA).

In the MERCOSUR region, UPD will continue working with the Legislative Affairs Program of the Latin American Center on Human Economics (CLAEH) in Montevideo, in support of the Joint Parliamentary Commission of MERCOSUR (CPCM). In this respect, support will be provided for a series of comparative research studies and seminars on the role of that Commission in the regional integration process, and on the relationship between the legislative branch and civil society. This activity will be conducted in cooperation with the Legislative Studies Network established by the University of Brasilia, the Di Tela University of Argentina, and the American University in Asuncion, Paraguay. That network will also help to organize the annual regional course on the Legislative Branch, Democracy and Integration, to be held during the fourth quarter. As well, the program will continue to support the efforts of the CPCM in developing the Inter-Parliamentary Network on Legislative Information ((RIIL).

Assistance will be provided to the Executive Secretariat of the Andean Parliament to support subregional inter-parliamentary cooperation and the national congresses of the Andean region, with specific reference to holding an Andean Forum of Presidents of Congresses of the Region (second quarter), a Training Seminar for Parliamentary Assistants (third quarter) and consolidation of the Andean Network on Legislative Information (RAIL).

In collaboration with the Central American Parliament and the Andean Parliament and academic institutions in both regions, an annual course will be held in each region on the Role of the Legislative Branch in Democracy and Integration (second quarter). In the Caribbean region, UPD will continue working with the University of the West Indies (UWI) in a training course for parliamentary officials of the English-speaking Caribbean (first quarter).

Finally, pursuant to the mandate of resolution AG/RES. 1673, "Parliamentary Network of the Americas," UPD will undertake to prepare, attend and follow-up on a meeting of chairpersons of foreign relations committees (or the equivalent) of the national parliaments or congresses of member states. This meeting will help to foster inter-parliamentary dialogue on items currently on the hemispheric agenda, and will explore the possibility of creating a permanent mechanism for dialogue among parliamentarians of the hemisphere. The meeting is being planned for the first quarter of 2000.

2. Support for the processes of decentralization, local government, and citizen participation

In recent years, countries of the hemisphere have seen a growing trend towards the decentralization of power, as well as the search for a greater balance between the powers of central and local governments. That trend has permitted intermediate state, departmental and municipal institutions to play a greater role in solving national problems. This in turn has facilitated rapprochement between government and citizens, participation of citizens in the discussion of important national topics and the creation of a number of opportunities for training new domestic leaders.

Taking into account the importance of this trend, two major priorities were identified at the Presidential Summit of Santiago: strengthening of municipal and regional administrations and the promotion of greater participation by civil society in the handling of public affairs. Moreover, resolution AG/RES.1668- (XXIX-O/99) underlines the significance of government/civil society cooperation, urges States to establish or continue strengthening mechanisms for such cooperation at the national, provincial and municipal levels, and requests the General Secretariat to provide advice and assistance to all member states requesting it.

In accordance with these mandates, one goal for the year 2000 will be to continue supporting national governmental institutions and regional organizations in their efforts to strengthen mechanisms for the coordination, development and execution of policies on decentralization and citizen participation at the local level. Special emphasis will be placed on the legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks capable of facilitating the process. Another goal will be to identify and promote the most effective policies, strategies, practices and mechanisms for enhancing citizen participation at the local level.

Activities in this area will be conducted primarily at the subregional level, in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, involving a growing network of government experts and academic institutions, as well as organizations of civil society active in the program's various fields.

To this end, and taking into account the lessons learned from hemispheric and subregional meetings of mayors, officials, lawmakers, academics and others, organized by UPD in cooperation with the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras and Argentina between 1997 and 1999, the Unit will continue to support member states in their efforts to organize seminars and other forums to stimulate dialogue and foster an exchange of knowledge and experience at the highest level. Special attention will be given to developing the activities of a "Standing Forum on Citizen Participation at the Municipal Level," to continue systematic examination of this area, in accordance with requests made in seminars on "Framework and Policies for Citizen Participation at the Municipal Level" held in Cochabamba (Bolivia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1998 and 1999 respectively.

In response to a formal request from the government of the Dominican Republic, the Third Seminar on Frameworks and Policies for Citizen Participation at the Municipal Level will be held in that country during the first quarter of 2000. In collaboration with the International City-County Management Association (ICMA), based in Washington D.C., negotiations are currently underway with countries of CARICOM to hold a meeting during the second quarter of 2000, with a view to exchanging experiences, techniques, and mechanisms for municipal and community participation. In the Central American and Andean regions, support will be provided, as requested, to the respective subregional Parliaments in the areas of decentralization and participation. A meeting will be organized for Central America, during the second half of 2000, on decentralization and citizen participation in local government, and discussions will continue with the Andean Parliament in follow-up to the meeting on that issue held in the Andean Community in November 1999.

Given the importance that many governments of the region attach to developing, consolidating and applying suitable policies in the areas of decentralization, local government and community participation, and the priority that was given to these issues by the last hemispheric summit, consultations will be undertaken regarding the possibility of organizing a hemisphere-wide event bringing together national authorities responsible for these areas at the highest levels with the purpose of examining the current state of knowledge and exchanging information and experience regarding policies and practices that have been developed in the Americas.

The Unit will also continue encouraging subregional training activities and refresher courses as a contribution to the on-going development of human resources with expertise in decentralization and citizen participation at the local level. In this respect, the 1999 pilot experiments in training have been formally evaluated and the content and objectives of the training are being refined.

The Universidad Madre y Maestra of the Dominican Republic has offered its collaboration in holding a course for CARICOM countries on the formulation of decentralization and participation policies, in the first half of 2000. In the Andean region, UPD is in discussion with academic entities (FLACSO - Quito, Universidad Javeriana, Bogota) to provide courses and seminars on decentralization and citizen participation at the local level. In Central America, the Central American Parliament and the Central American Institute for Political Studies (INCEP) have expressed interest in the joint hosting of a course on decentralization for that region.

As well, with a view to generating knowledge and information that may prove useful in the formulation of new strategies and policies and in training activities, UPD will continue to sponsor and encourage comparative research and the publication of works on legislation and experience in this field. UPD also expects to continue work during 2000 on its hypertext page in this field, including development of a database of experts.

3. Promotion of democratic values and practices

Although we are currently witnessing a progressive deepening of the culture of democracy throughout the Americas, that culture has not yet been fully consolidated. Consolidation comes with the internalization of the values, beliefs, attitudes, behavior and practices inherent to a democratic culture and political system. These include respect for the law, mutual trust and respect among persons, tolerance, solidarity, participation, the peaceful solution of disputes and a sense of ethics and probity.

The creation of a new generation of young people with greater knowledge and understanding of democratic values, practices and institutions, and a greater commitment to them is essential for the development of a democratic political culture and for the very future of our societies.

It is in such a context and in accordance with the mandates on education for democracy emanating from the Presidential Summits and the subsequent mandates approved by the General Assemblies of Caracas (1998) and Guatemala City (1999) on "Promotion of Representative Democracy" urging UPD to "continue developing promotion, exchange and training programs for the young leaders of the hemisphere," that UPD will continue to collaborate with governmental and academic institutions of member states in organizing a program of short annual subregional courses on democratic values, practices and institutions. Such courses will be geared to training young leaders from the academic world, political parties, the media and nongovernmental organizations, all of which are regarded as key opinion makers and catalysts. The purpose of these courses is to foster among participants a better understanding of democratic institutions, values, and practices, and new techniques of modern political activity. These courses are also intended to bring the young people of the hemisphere together around the concept of democratic values. This will be encouraged through electronic networks and forums that will allow the participants of the various courses to stay in contact with each other. The long-term objective of this initiative is to consolidate and institutionalize, within the OAS, a series of high-quality permanent courses, by improving their methodologies and constantly upgrading their contents.

During the year 2000, four regional courses are planned. In the Caribbean, a course will be given during the fourth quarter in coordination with the CARICOM Secretariat and the University of the West Indies. A third course for Central America and the Dominican Republic will be held during the second quarter, in cooperation with the Central American Institute for Political Studies (INCEP). During the third and fourth quarters, a third Andean course and a third MERCOSUR course will be given, in cooperation with outstanding academic institutions and with government bodies. UPD is now in contact with those institutions, and is awaiting an official request.

The Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD) was designated to serve as the Technical Secretariat for the Meeting of Government Experts on Education for Peace, sponsored by the OAS Commission on Hemispheric Security in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on October 14 and 15, 1999. This meeting approved a Draft Program in Education for Peace in the Hemisphere, which will be submitted by the Commission on Hemispheric Security to the Permanent Council for adoption as an official program of the OAS. The draft program will serve as a programming and conceptual framework for guiding member countries in formulating national projects, in light of their particular needs and interests in the area of education for democracy. The meeting was financed by the OAS Conferences and Meetings Secretariat, UNESCO and the Government of Colombia.

At the Cartagena meeting, experts identified the promotion of dialogue and the prevention and peaceful settlement of disputes as key mechanisms for consolidating democracy in the region.

UPD has acquired valuable experience in this domain over recent years, as it has organized and carried out various special peace-building missions to Nicaragua, Suriname, Haiti and Guatemala. Using the experience it has accumulated from these efforts and from the pilot courses organized in 1999, UPD in 2000 will offer an Andean regional course on this topic, as well as a Caribbean regional course with a regional academic institution and the Institute of Peace in the United States. It will also explore the possibility of organizing similar courses in other regions of the hemisphere.


Budget distribution: Group for "Strengthening Democratic Institutions"

Support to institutions and legislative processes


Support to decentralization, local government and citizen participation


Promoting democratic values and practices


Technical advisory services, support missions, and supervision





B. Electoral Technical Assistance

In view of the fact that periodic elections are one of the essential legal and political prerequisites of a democratic system, UPD provides assistance and technical advice to member states that so request it to review and resolve the problems related to the organization and administration of electoral processes. The objective of electoral technical assistance is to assist member states with efforts to make national electoral entities more effective, legitimate, respected and stable. Pursuant to the mandates of the Presidential Summits, this program area will also foster an exchange of experience among electoral bodies and the exchange of elections-related technology.

In 2000, activities will take place in the following areas:

    1. Organizational and technological improvement of electoral institutions
    2. Modernization and improvement of civil registries
    3. Reform of electoral systems
    4. Automation of elections
    5. Studies and research

1. Organizational and technological improvements for electoral institutions

During the Miami and Santiago Summits, the leaders of the countries of the region stressed the importance of strengthening national electoral institutions, and identified the OAS as the appropriate body for assisting such bodies and fostering the exchange of electoral technology.

Given the importance of up-to-date voters' lists and automation of the vote counting process, and given the general consensus that exists on the need to modernize electoral operations through the incorporation or improvement of computerized support, UPD will continue to foster the study and development of new technologies capable of enhancing security and reliability. The gradual incorporation of new technology in electoral processes through the installation of computer systems that provide accuracy, transparency, and security at a lower cost is one way of strengthening and modernizing electoral institutions, something that member states stressed as extremely important. In the view of UPD, this goal can be met through the use of horizontal cooperation resources.

Moreover, with the objective of raising the level of professionalism of electoral officials and making such work an administrative career, the Unit will provide assistance in the preparation and holding of training courses in data processing, administration and electoral statistics, among other areas.

As well, UPD will assist with the planning of civic education campaigns that provide information on the processes of voter registration/voter lists, registration of political parties, registration of candidates, functioning of polling stations, ballot casting, assignment of seats and other important aspects of an electoral system.

UPD will continue to provide technical assistance in cartography using geographic information systems (SIG). By allowing data associated to a defined geographic area to be analyzed, SIG quickly and reliably aids in the decision making process. Such systems have become an essential tool in drawing up electoral districts and implementing at-home voting systems, when required by member states.

Following up on the work done in this area in recent years, UPD will continue to provide support to member states that are interested in developing long-term strategies for institutional, administrative, technical and logistical improvements of their electoral bodies. In particular, the electoral technical assistance area will continue aiding the development of technical support programs during the year in Belize, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. In all of these countries, bearing in mind the general consensus on the need to update election operations by incorporating or improving computer support, technical assistance activities will be targeted at rectifying voter's lists and automating the voting process. As well, UPD will continue to sponsor the study and development of new technologies for increasing the security and reliability of these processes.

Finally, UPD will continue to act as Executive Secretariat of the Association of Electoral Organizations in the Caribbean, together with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), as decided by the conference held in Puerto Rico in early 1998. In accordance with the final decisions of that conference, UPD and IFES will work closely with the association during the year 2000 in the execution of programs designed to strengthen electoral organizations in the Caribbean, study the legal-electoral framework, develop civic and voter information campaigns, design training programs for officials, assist in the production of electoral material, and in general, provide support for electoral processes that are efficient and transparent.

2. Modernization and improvement of civil registries

The civil registry is a vital factor in the consolidation of a democratic state, since, among other things, the organization, consistency and updating of voter registration lists are often dependent on it. In 2000, UPD will work with member states in executing programs aimed at improving the accessibility, security and reliability of registration systems. Such collaboration will encompass activities related to replacement of documents, the evaluation of administrative structures, studies on possible reforms of the legal framework, technological support for registration, notification and control procedures, training of registry officials, public information campaigns on the use of statistical data and its social, civil and political significance, and redefinition of the system’s goals to meet needs related to the formulation and execution of social policy (housing, health, and education, among others). Such activities will be carried out during the year in Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The area will continue to organize subregional forums with a view to improving civil registries and vital statistics systems, facilitating the technical information necessary to obtain financial support from multilateral financial institutions. These activities are planned for the third quarter.

UPD will also continue to act as a specialized agency of the Subprogram for the Modernization of the Civil Registry in Paraguay, financed by an IDB loan and governed by an agreement between the General Secretariat and Government of Paraguay signed in November 1997. These activities, for which UPD is responsible, began in early 1998 and will take place over a five-year period.

With member states receiving technical assistance on the use of computer systems in civil registries, UPD will coordinate mechanisms to assure timely and effective technical support and to promote horizontal cooperation as a way to expedite the development of registration systems in the hemisphere. To this end, the unit will create a web page containing all available project information for the use of the officials and institutions involved. By offering an open forum, the web page will allow for the exchange of information among users, and will make it possible for participants to pose questions to the technical personnel at UPD/OAS and receive an immediate response. This will also be a good promotional feature to make other member states familiar with the new systems that UPD/OAS has developed.

3. Reform of electoral systems

Reform of the regulations that govern electoral processes involves the modification of a number of extremely important political and institutional elements. The composition of electoral bodies, the geographical basis of representation, the formula for converting vote numbers into seats, and the organization and supervision of the electoral process are but a few of the aspects touched upon.

In general, the electoral reforms being considered by member states have focussed on: bestowal of voting rights to nationals living abroad and to resident foreigners; elimination of mandatory voting; presidential re-election; quotas for women; establishment of open primaries for the selection of candidates; the incorporation of single-representative districts; the use of unblocked, open lists; independent candidacies; regulation of opinion polling, and the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns.

In response to member states who so request, UPD will continue to provide advice to national electoral bodies in the region in regard to comparative research projects and the formulation of the objectives attached to the reform of electoral codes or laws.

4. Automation of elections

The Andean Subregional Conference on Automation of Civil Registries and Electoral Procedures, held in Quito on August 17-18, 1999, adopted a resolution recommending the creation of a Commission of Electoral Bodies to be composed initially of representatives of the corresponding bodies of the Andean sub-region, but to be open to all such bodies in the hemisphere.

The two-fold purpose of the commission is to reach consensus on the electoral automation systems and equipment best suited to the legal and political needs of the countries represented, and to recommend the terms of reference for any future international tender that would invite qualified companies to make offers for providing specified electoral automation services for a specified time period, either through a leasing arrangement or through other contractual agreements. The conference also asked the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy of the OAS to act as the Standing Technical Secretariat of that commission.

In consultation with the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Ecuador, who was elected chair of the commission, UPD will undertake preparatory work, coordinate the work of the commission and provide the technical and logistical support needed to get this initiative off the ground in the year 2000. The commission will hold meetings in the first and fourth quarters of the year.

5. Studies and research

Electoral technical assistance provided in this area will be complemented in the third and fourth quarters of 2000 by the preparation of studies and research papers aimed at identifying and closely examining electoral regulations and institutions. The aim is to make a theoretical contribution to the ongoing analysis of solutions, adaptable to the democratic reality and political development of member states. These studies will be prepared by UPD specialists and consultants, and will relate directly to electoral reforms of potential interest to member states, and to subregional forums that may be held.

Budget distribution: Group for Electoral Technical Assistance



Organizational and technological improvements for electoral institutions


Modernization and improvement of civil registries


Reform of electoral systems


Technical consulting services, support missions and supervision


Studies and research




C. Information and Dialogue/Democratic Forum

The objective of the Information and Dialogue area is to meet the information needs of member states and other interested parties related to democracy and governance in the hemisphere. The area performs this task through the compilation, management and dissemination of information, using a web site, a newsletter, and other written and electronic information resources. The Information and Dialogue area also organizes an annual program of conferences, seminars, and/or workshops, known as the Democratic Forum, to promote dialogue and an exchange of ideas on the challenges facing the democracies of the hemisphere.

In 2000, the Information and Dialogue area will emphasize greater electronic accessibility to its publications and all other information and documentation that it either generates or collects and will help to strengthen the Unit’s role as a communications hub for the dissemination and exchange of knowledge in the field of democracy. The area will also contribute to increasing the UPD’s drawing power by expanding and enriching the exchange and dissemination of information on the evolution of democracy in the hemisphere and by promoting the introduction of and debate on cutting edge ideas on democratic processes and institutions. This will be done through a reinvigorated Democratic Forum.

During 2000, this area will be active in the following fields:

1. Information Services Center

2. Publications

3. Democratic Forum

1. Information Services Center

The Information Services Center includes the following activities: Internet (UPD web page), research and dissemination of information, the Political Database of the Americas, and the UPD Database.

Internet: the UPD web page

All material compiled by the Information and Dialogue area is now available on the Unit’s web site. The UPD web site was recently redesigned to facilitate "surfing" and to highlight the activities of the Unit. In 2000, the information on the web site will be available in both English and Spanish, and there are plans to expand the number of pages available in the other official languages of the OAS. Moreover, the Information and Dialogue area will continue to increase the number of hyperlinks to other multilateral, governmental and non-governmental institutions, to offer chat rooms on topics related to democracy and to provide audio and video programs, including live transmission of events sponsored by UPD. The ultimate objective of these efforts is to transform the UPD web site into one of the hemisphere’s main centers for information on matters related to democracy.

Political Database of the Americas

Collaboration will continue with the Latin American Studies Program at Georgetown University on the successful program begun in 1993 to develop a political information data bank (Political Database for the Americas). This database uses state of the art technology to facilitate the detailed study of democracy in the Americas through the acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of comparative political data. It has become the Internet’s most comprehensive source of political information on countries in the hemisphere. Users may access its information in any of the four official languages of the organization. In 2000, efforts will continue to increase the number of institutions that are formally associated with the database. Current associated institutions are the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) and the Center for Studies on State Reform (CERES) of the Getulio Vargas Foundation of Brazil.

The basic activities for each quarter will include updating and expanding information; identifying potential donors beyond the Organization's member countries and permanent observers; and contacting new institutions to become associates. Work will be pursued in the areas of decentralization, civil society, and corruption. A consortium of American institutions from throughout the hemisphere is also planned, to support specific sections of the database and to develop a comprehensive management plan to guarantee the project's financial sustainability.

2. Publications

With regard to the publications program, the Information and Dialogue area will continue publishing special reports in 2000, including a series of publications on the Organization's experience in countries of the hemisphere in the area of peace-building. The area will also continue publishing the General Secretariat's reports on electoral observation missions, as well as a series of information bulletins on UPD activities in general, and on those of the Unit's different areas.

The number of reports or publications issued during the year will depend on several factors, including the number of election observer missions and the number of Democratic Forums or special meetings that produce reports.

The "Democracy" newsletter

With regard to UPD’s newsletter (Democracy), the year 2000 will see it published in both Spanish and English. ‘Democracyrepresents an additional means of disseminating information and discussing topics related to democracy in the hemisphere. Although it currently has a large readership and subscriber base (attracted largely by the electronic version of the newsletter on the UPD web site), it is expected that the new Spanish edition will considerably increase circulation and help spur interest, not only in our hemisphere but around the world, in the publications put out by UPD.

Publication schedule for ‘Democracy’

3. Democratic Forum

As was already mentioned, efforts in 2000 will be centered on broadening the scope and impact of the Unit’s Democratic Forum. Plans exist to substantially increase the annual number of events, both formal and informal, and to include, wherever possible, one or two programs every three months, either at headquarters or in member countries. To do so and to simultaneously strengthen the institutional relationship between UPD and universities, think tanks and other organizations in the region committed to improving and expanding knowledge on democracy, appropriate counterparts will be sought for many of the activities planned for 2000. The notion of joint programs will be explored with institutions such as Georgetown University and George Washington University, Inter-American Dialogue, the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Furthermore, the Information and Dialogue area will search out and try to obtain external funding for Forum activities, thus enabling it to organize more and better events.

These forums will be designed either as formal events, such as a seminar, or informal ones such as a roundtable, and will deal with emerging topics related to democratization in the Hemisphere.

The General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1684 (XXIX-O/99), adopted at its twenty-ninth regular session, in June 1999, assigned the Working Group on Representative Democracy, in conjunction with the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, the mandate of promoting a seminar for analysis and reflection on participatory democracy.

The objective of this two-day seminar, scheduled for April 2000, will be to study participatory democracy through an examination of citizen participation in the democracies of the Hemisphere, an airing of views on the topic of government and non-government experts from the region, and promotion of discussion and exchange of views on the status of citizen participation and ways to strengthen and promote it. The results of the seminar will contribute to enhancing discussion on participation issues in the Hemisphere and the thinking of the Organization itself on aspects of strengthening democracy.

At the request of the Permanent Mission of Canada, UPD is working with the Montreal-based International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development (ICHRDD) to organize a three-day conference, June 3 to 5, 2000, to be held following the OAS General Assembly in Windsor, Canada. The conference, sponsored by ICHRDD in cooperation with UPD, is tentatively titled, "Hemispheric Integration and Democracy in the Americas: Citizenship, Participation, Responsibility". The conference will provide an opportunity for public officials, academics and civil society organizations active in democracy-building and human rights to exchange ideas and develop common strategies for strengthening the democratic nature of societies and cultures in the Americas. The diplomatic community, the press and the general public will be invited. The conference will also provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about the inter-American system and to exchange experiences with colleagues and citizens from throughout the hemisphere.

Budget Distribution: Group for "Information and Dialogue"

Information Services Center




Democratic Forum




D. Program of Studies on Democracy (PED)

The Program of Studies on Democracy (PED) is intended to supplement, broaden and deepen UPD's work of analysis, research, reflection, training and interchange, in pursuit of its mandate to promote representative democracy.

To this end, the PED is intended to: 1) promote interaction and dialogue on democratic issues between the academic world, which supplies the long-term theoretical background and overview, and political and government circles, which offer firsthand institutional experience; 2) provide support to universities and research centers in producing knowledge and training human resources in democratic issues, and facilitate cooperation and exchange among such institutions; 3) foster closer relations, cooperation and the development of common positions and policies on the challenges facing democracy in the region, and 4) strengthen the institutional capacity of hemispheric countries to formulate and implement suitable public policies and to successfully manage the process of strengthening democratic institutions, modernizing the state, and promoting socioeconomic development.

To meet these objectives, the PED will promote: 1) the creation and dissemination of knowledge and information about democratic development and issues in the region, and 2) training and development of human resources in matters relating to democratic processes and institutions, and in the values and ethics of democratic culture. The results of the research sponsored by the PED will be used to guide and support the activities of other UPD programs, and to design new human resource training or development programs.

During 2000, the PED will establish the program's internal organization, prepare its first annual work program, and initiate its activities. Funding for these activities will come from external sources, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In addition, the programs will receive an allocation from the Regular Fund for this purpose.

PED activities will involve the following areas:

1) Research and publications.

2) Training and human resource development.

3) Dissemination, dialogue and exchange of experiences.

1) Research and publications

The program will sponsor the conduct and publication of research, and will promote the creation and dissemination of theoretical and practical knowledge on issues relating to the strengthening of democratic institutions and processes. This activity will be performed through the creation of a research network and a body of research associates.

The research network will be structured to take account of academic institutions and centers of excellence already established in member states. Research issues will be defined each year, and a competition will be held to determine which institutions will be responsible for conducting the agreed research projects. This network will be established on the basis of the Inter-University Program for Studies in Democracy, an initiative supported by UPD over the last three years with a view to strengthening the existing inter-university network consisting of the Department of Political Science at the Universidad Javeriana of Bogota, Colombia, the Faculty of Political Sciences at the Universidad Landivar in Guatemala City, and the Department of Social Sciences of the Latin American Institute for Social Development (ILADES) In Santiago, Chile. This network is intended to promote and strengthen studies and research at the master's level on democratic institutions and processes in Latin America. During 2000, this network will be expanded to include other existing academic institutions and centers of excellence in member countries.

The body of research associates will consist of professionals working under fellowships of up to nine months. Researchers will conduct their work on their own, or in coordination with research centers. The program will provide funding for nine months, on a competitive basis, to allow researchers to prepare a report on their projects. This program is aimed at academics working on their post-graduate thesis (master's, doctorate or post-doctorate degrees) and senior government officials interested in pursuing studies on democratic development.

2) Training and human resource development

This area will sponsor training and development of specialized human resources in areas related to the strengthening of democratic institutions and processes, together with the values and ethics of a democratic political culture. Using the knowledge, information and analyses produced in the research and publications program, the PED, in consultation with other UPD programs, will identify issues relevant to democratic development and will design the corresponding courses, seminars and workshops. These will be of a regional or subregional character, and may be linked to specific projects that UPD or other areas of the General Secretariat have underway in the region. Teaching under these programs will be provided by experts and researchers from regional academic centers with capacities and experience in the issue, who will be contracted on a competitive basis. The program is aimed at political party advisers and leaders, public officials, young academics and journalists, among others.

3) Dissemination, dialogue and exchange of experiences

Under this area meetings, seminars and conferences will be sponsored for presenting, discussing and disseminating the program's work and products. They will also be used to identify issues and trends that could subsequently be incorporated into the PED research agenda. In coordination with other UPD programs, and in cooperation with recognized academic institutions, the PED will also sponsor inter-American forums on issues related to democratic development. Researchers associated with the program will be able to participate in these activities, as will other representatives of the region's academic institutions and social and political organizations.

During the first quarter, a small development team will be established for the PED to prepare an annual work program, which will be submitted to the political bodies for approval and incorporation into the UPD Work Plan. Work will begin on building an inventory of academic institutions and centers of excellence in the hemisphere that could eventually become members of the network described above under section 1. Finally, during the first quarter, a fundraising strategy will be prepared, in order to supplement resources provided for these activities by the IDB.

E. Action Program Against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA)

Since the start of the Mine-Clearing Assistance Program in Central America (PADCA) in 1991, the role of the Organization in efforts to resolve problems related to the existence of antipersonnel land mines in the hemisphere has grown considerably. At the same time, an international process culminating in the implementation of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on Their Destruction has made combating antipersonnel mines into one of the most pressing humanitarian concerns of the hemisphere.

In 1999, program area was established within UPD, Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA), with the objective of providing an integrated and comprehensive response to the problem and offering ongoing assistance to member states needing and requesting it.

AICMA’s creation responds to mandates laid down in resolutions AG/RES. 1641 (XXIX-O/99), "Support for the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America", and AG/RES. 1644 (XXIX-O/99), "The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone," as well as the call by the Heads of State and Government at the Santiago Summit that actions be taken to convert the Western Hemisphere into an area free of antipersonnel mines.

AICMA was established as the General Secretariat’s spearhead in combating antipersonnel landmines. It will manage and coordinate all OAS support activities in this field.

As part of its functions, coordination in this area will help to strengthen relations of coordination, cooperation and exchange of experience with national and international entities involved in actions against antipersonnel mines (such as the United Nations, The Pan American Health Organization, the International Red Cross and Mine Action Canada).

AICMA will also continue to represent the Secretariat at key meetings and conferences on the subject, and will provide support and advice to the Permanent Council's Committee on Hemispheric Security in areas linked to this topic.

AICMA will carry out activities in the following areas in 2000:

    1. Demining assistance (inspection, mapping, location and mine clearing)
    2. Preventive education for the civilian population on mine hazards
    3. Assistance to victims, including physical and psychological rehabilitation, and socioeconomic reintegration of demined zones
    4. Support for implementing the Ottawa Treaty
    5. Database on anti-mine activities.
  1. Demining assistance

In 2000, AICMA will continue with the development and execution of four programs aimed at assisting national demining plans and/or the destruction of explosive devices coordinated by UPD in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (within the framework of the Mine-Clearing Assistance Program in Central America - PADCA), with the technical support of the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB).

In accordance with national plans, AICMA plans to conclude demining support operations in Honduras and Costa Rica by the end of 2000, in Guatemala by the end of 2001 and in Nicaragua by the end of 2004.

Individual assistance programs for demining in Central America are organized on the basis of six-month operating modules. The estimated cost of each module is US$500,000.

During the year 2000, two modules are planned for each front in Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala.

In the case of Nicaragua, which has three operational fronts, six modules will be carried out simultaneously. The Nicaragua program will be expanded by establishing a fifth front for demining operations.

The number of field engineers participating in the PADCA program will be increased from 450 to 550, with 28 international supervisors.

The year 2000 will see the leasing or purchase of a medical evacuation helicopter for Costa Rica, and a helicopter turbine for Honduras. In addition, all land vehicles used by PADCA will be reviewed.

During 1999, US$4.5 million was spent on demining operations in Central America. For the year 2000, a commitment of approximately US$5 million is planned. The increase for the coming year is due primarily to the opening of a fifth operational front in Nicaragua.

AICMA is ready to begin new demining support programs in 2000 as a service to any affected member state requesting such assistance, in conformity with the above-mentioned resolution entitled "The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone".

In the case of Ecuador and Peru, conversations have begun with the appropriate national authorities for future implementation of a comprehensive anti-mine program in both countries. The financial requirement is calculated at approximately $3.5 million

As part of its assistance program, AICMA will continue to foster the development and application of technological innovations that may prove useful and appropriate for demining missions in the hemisphere.

2. Preventive education for the civilian population on mine hazards


Work will continue on strengthening the preventive education program for making the civilian population aware of the hazards posed by mines. This will be an integral part of each of the national anti-mine programs supported by PADCA.

The goal for the year 2000 is to incorporate mine risk awareness activities into the national education programs of affected countries, to help reduce accidents caused by public lack of awareness of the hazards posed by mines. As well, coordination is continuing with UNICEF, to insure that the AICMA education campaigns are consistent with international standards.

Further progress is also expected on the plans for posting signs in mined areas, particularly in populated zones.

3. Victim rehabilitation and land recovery

Pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 1641 (XXIX-O/99) "Support for the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America", AICMA will continue to develop support programs in the areas of physical and psychological rehabilitation for mine victims, and the socioeconomic recovery of demined zones, at the request of affected member states.

These programs will take account of existing activities in the region, if any, so as to pool efforts in this area. As appropriate, the programs will be implemented in cooperation with other areas and specialized units of the General Secretariat, as well as other interested institutions and entities, including the private sector. In the area of victim rehabilitation, coordination with the Pan American Health Organization will be strengthened.

This year will see strengthening and expansion of the successful assistance program for needy mine victims now underway in Nicaragua, under the Program of Technical Cooperation for Peace and Re-Integration in Nicaragua, to ensure proper monitoring of rehabilitation efforts and the prosthetic device service provided under this program.

The program will serve as a model for pilot projects in the other three countries covered by PADCA. As well, there will be further cooperation between AICMA and the Center for International Rehabilitation in the United States, a relationship that was launched in 1999 on the basis of a cooperation agreement signed between the two institutions.

Finally, there has been progress in negotiations with Georgetown University on the "Cooperative Association of States for Scholarships" Program, to explore the possibility of providing technical and vocational training for mine victims in Central America. This cooperation is expected to get underway during the year 2000.

With respect to the AICMA role in promoting the socioeconomic recovery of demined zones and affected communities in Central America, the purpose is to help re-integrate these communities into the democratic and productive life of their countries.

The insecurity posed by the presence of landmines in rural settlements in Central America has aggravated the conditions of extreme poverty in which thousands of persons are living, preventing exploitation of the productive potential of the zones and leading to the deterioration of their inhabitants' socioeconomic situation.

In 2,000, approximately 10 socioeconomic development project profiles will be prepared, together with affected communities in the PADCA beneficiary countries, for subsequent financing and execution.

In this respect, AICMA is working with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration to develop socioeconomic projects in demined areas, and to mount an awareness and sign-posting campaign for Central America.

4. Support for implementing the Ottawa treaty

During 2000, the possibility will be explored of expanding the AICMA program to support the development and dissemination of knowledge about the anti-personnel mine problem in the Americas and to promote the Ottawa Convention and its application in the hemisphere.

5. Database on actions to eliminate mines

The availability of sufficient up-to-date information on the status of efforts to eliminate antipersonnel mines in the hemisphere and other related topics is indispensable to the development and execution of the Organization's support strategy. This need has been recognized in the discussions and conclusions of recent international forums on the topic, such as the most recent resolutions of the General Assembly regarding demining.

In light of this, the program area for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines has begun work with UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service) to produce a database on actions to eliminate landmines, during the first quarter of 2000. This database will be a collection point and repository of all the latest information on the Organization’s activities in support of efforts in this field, including mine-clearing efforts. It will also contain any other pertinent information on efforts being made to eliminate the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel landmines in the hemisphere.

This database will be developed in Nicaragua and the information will be received at headquarters in Washington. It will serve to enhance support activities being carried out by the Secretariat and will provide the latest information to member states and any interested organizations and individuals.

Budget Distribution: Group for "Comprehensive action against Anti-Personnel Mines"

1. Mine-Clearing Assistance


Operations Front No. 3

Operations Front No. 4

Operations Front No. 5*

Total Projection

*Front No. 5 will be implemented during the first quarter of 2000






Operations Front No. 1

Total projection




Operations Front No. 1

Total projection



Costa Rica

Operations Front no. 1

Total projection




Possible implementation

Total Projection




Possible implementation

Total projection



2. Preventive education for the civilian population on mine hazards

The above financial projections include funds for preventive education campaigns for high-risk civilian groups in each of the program countries. Funding has also been included for the eventual implementation of the program for Comprehensive Action against Anti-Personnel Minds in Peru and Ecuador.

3. Support for victim rehabilitation and land recovery

Rehabilitation and recovery

Central America

Total projection



4. Support for implementation of the Ottawa Treaty

Ottawa Treaty

Total projection



5. Database on anti-mine action


Nicaragua (regional)

Total projection



F. Special Programs

The Special Programs area of UPD includes initiatives that go beyond the sectoral assistance provided to democratic institutions through other program areas of the Unit. In general, these activities involve substantive and comprehensive efforts, a significant commitment of human and financial resources by UPD, and a significant presence in the field. The special programs of UPD are: 1) Electoral Observation Missions (EOM); 2) Special Post-Conflict and Democratic Transition Projects; 3) Cooperation programs with recently elected governments; and 4) the National Program on Governance in Bolivia (PRONAGOB). In 2000, work will be done to follow through on a proposed new program for the Caribbean: the Program to Strengthen Democracy in the Countries of the English-Speaking Caribbean. These initiatives will be funded almost exclusively with external funds.

1. Electoral Observation Missions (EOM)

OAS electoral observation missions (EOM) are instruments of the Organization for the promotion and strengthening of democracy in the Hemisphere. These missions, organized and deployed by UPD on behalf of the Secretary General, take place in response to invitations from the governments of member states of the Organization. From 1989 to date, the OAS has monitored close to 50 elections in half of the countries of the Hemisphere.

In 2000, the General Secretariat of the OAS, through UPD, will continue preparing and carrying out election observer missions at the request of member states. Given the extensive experience of the Organization in this area, UPD could foster the exchange of experiences and techniques among international organizations involved in the observation of elections, and support and advise national groups of observers, whose number is growing in the Hemisphere.

In 1999, the Secretary General was invited to mount two election observer missions during the year 2000, for general elections to be held in Peru in April, and for legislative, municipal and local elections in Haiti, in March, with the possibility of a second round in April. The Secretary General has accepted both of these invitations, conditional upon the receipt of sufficient funding, and has issued instructions to UPD to begin preparations for the missions.

Also in 1999, the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES 1637, approved creation of a Permanent Specific Fund to finance activities related to OAS electoral observations missions. During 2000, UPD will develop and execute a campaign to raise money for that fund.

2. Special post-conflict and democratic transition programs

A significant percentage of the special programs of UPD are conducted in countries or regions that are in post-conflict situations or undergoing a transition to democracy. The programs currently underway are the Cooperation Program in Nicaragua, the Special Program to Support the Peace Process in Guatemala, the OAS-UN International Civilian Mission in Haiti and the Special Mission to Suriname.

 ‘Cooperation Program in Nicaragua’. The Cooperation Program in Nicaragua was established in 1997 following the completion of the mandate of the International Commission for Support and Verification (CIAV-OAS). This program has two components: the Technical Cooperation Program for Strengthening Peace and Reintegration in Nicaragua, financed by the Swedish Government, and the Program to Support Facilities involved with Human Rights in Nicaragua, which receives financial support from the United States government. The first aims to support the process of peace and democratization, strengthen the rule of law and contribute to the conclusion of the process of reintegration of former combatants. The objective of the second is to strengthen human rights in Nicaragua, within the framework of peace and democratization. The emphasis of both components is on strengthening both local and national democratic institutions in Nicaragua as a way of reaching the stated goals. Funding for the current program will run out in July, 2000; during the first quarter of the year, the program will be assessed to determine whether there is a need for continuing it beyond that date, and if there is, the ways and means available for doing so.

‘Special Support Program for the Peace Process in Guatemala’. As set forth in resolution AG/RES. 1533 (XXVII-O/98). "Special Program of Support for Guatemala," UPD will continue implementing this program in 2000, focusing on supporting the efforts to consolidate democracy, peace, reconstruction, and national reconciliation. In 2000, the program will continue working on the five principal components: the program on Culture and Dialogue: Development of Resources for the Construction of Peace (PROPAZ); the Program to Provide Legal Support to the National Congress; the Program for Demining and the Destruction of Explosive Devices; the Supreme Electoral Tribunal Technical Advisory Program, and the Program for Political Management and Democratic Values.

The PROPAZ program is intended to increase the capacity of government and of civil society alike to engage in dialogue and to resolve conflicts peacefully. During 2000, a strategy will be developed for institutionalizing the program and for pursuing training in such areas as communication, negotiation, mediation, conciliation, dispute analysis and settlement. The program will focus on three areas: facilitating informal dialogue, training courses in the peaceful settlement of disputes, and technical assistance for strengthening government and nongovernmental institutions serving as counterparts under the program.

The program of legal support to the national Congress of Guatemala has been coordinated by UPD since 1997, with financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through non-reimbursable technical cooperation. The third consecutive phase was completed in 1999. The objectives of the project are: 1) to conduct studies and prepare draft legislation in areas that must be addressed by Congress pursuant to the Peace Treaties, and other areas that the President of the Legislative Body considers pertinent; 2) to guarantee continuity of efforts to design a project to implement the National Legal Registry and other components of the modernization program for the Congress; and 3) to consolidate intra-regional technical cooperation between the Guatemalan Congress and the Library of the National Congress of Chile.

The President of the Congress has requested the OAS to broaden UPD cooperation in the year 2000. In response, UPD is supporting the application of the Congress to the IDB for financing the program, through a new non-reimbursable fund intended to ready the Congress Modernization Program for financing by the IDB, in time to have it confirmed by the new legislature that will be installed on January 15, 2000.

The technical advisory project has as its counterpart the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Activities in the year 2000 call for strengthening the Cartography Unit and the Training and Civic Education Unit of the Tribunal in order to enhance citizen participation in the election process. As well, the project will provide advisory services to the Tribunal for updating the voters' list and the civic registry. The latter will serve as the source for introducing a new, single identification document.

The project on democratic values and political management has been working with the Rafael Landivar University to establish the Political Management Institute (INGEP). In cooperation with UPD, INGEP will provide training and guidance for officials and leaders of the various political parties and movements, and will help recently elected officials to work their way into their new responsibilities. It should be noted that beneficiaries under this project come for the most part from departments in the interior of Guatemala.

‘International Civilian Mission to Haiti’. At the request of the Government of Haiti, the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission (ICIVMIH), which was scheduled to end on December 31, 1999, has been extended until the middle of March, 2000. During this time, ICIVMIH will continue to observe the human rights situation in Haiti and will provide training in the areas of human rights, judicial reform and civic education. Upon completion of the ICIVMIH mandate, the United Nations will establish a new mission, for one year, which will continue many activities of the International Civilian Mission, as well as those carried out by the UN for the Civilian Police in Haiti, pursuant to resolution 1277 (1999) adopted by the United Nations Security Council. During 2000, UPD will continue to work with the Government of Haiti and with potential donors to explore the possibility of continuing OAS support through a supplementary program on human rights, promotion of dialogue, and peaceful settlement of disputes.

‘Special Mission to Suriname’. The Special Mission to Suriname was established in 1992, at the request of the government, to support efforts to promote peace and the strengthening of democracy. In consultation with the authorities of Suriname, the mission established a Plan of Activities for the 1997-2000 period, which provides for the implementation in 2000 of several programs in these areas, as detailed below

First quarter:

1. Individual training sessions in tasking/logical flow.

2. Design and development of a web site for the National Assembly.

Second quarter:

Finalization of the automated system.

First quarter:

The CDI Secretariat will be set up and equipped, and a study will be conducted for a possible population database (cartography).

3. Cooperation program with recently-elected governments

In this program, the Organization, through UPD, will cooperate with recently elected governments that request assistance in the transformation of their program priorities into government actions. The program includes: a) short-term consultancies to develop the specific objectives agreed by the government and the OAS; and b) seminars and round tables for exchanging experience and promoting horizontal cooperation. The program also provides for the possibility of supporting activities aimed at institutional strengthening, in which other multilateral entities that are providing assistance may participate. Financing of the program will depend on external funding.

In a note of 25 June, 1999, the OAS General Secretariat received from the Permanent Mission of Ecuador a project dealing with a citizen information system on public management, under the National Anti-Corruption Plan of the Government of Ecuador, and seeking UPD's cooperation under the Program.

As a result of that approach, UPD responded to the Government of Ecuador proposing an initial component for a Citizen Information System on Public Contracting. The form in which the proposal is submitted presented was intended to help the government to seek financing from institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

In 2000, UPD will continue to support negotiations between the Executive Control Office and the IDB to obtain funding for a first component of the System that would benefit from other experiences with information systems on government procurement, through horizontal cooperation or with UPD technical support, financed by the IDB resources.


In 2000, UPD will continue providing specialized agency services in connection with bidding and contract processing to the National Program for Governance in Bolivia (PRONAGOB). Through this program, and with IDB financing, institutional strengthening activities are conducted on behalf of the National Congress, the Electoral Court and the Vice Ministry for Popular Participation and Municipal Strengthening.

5. Program to strengthen democracy in the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean

The history of the Caribbean nations, in terms of democratic development, has in general been different from that of other parts of the Hemisphere. These countries have enjoyed a long history of democratic stability thanks to their parliamentary systems. They have demonstrated great capacity to meet the need for citizen participation and to manage the few cases of interruption of the democratic process, within the context of legitimate mechanisms of collective action. However, in recent years, phenomena such as increased organized crime related to drug trafficking have begun to threaten the democratic stability of the countries of the region. Regional support to strengthen the capacity of the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean to face these scourges is essential.

In 1999, UPD drafted a working document setting out a general program to strengthen democracy in the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean, which was then submitted to the member states of this region for their consideration. During the 29th General Assembly of the OAS, the final document was approved through passage of resolution AG/RES. 1675, "Cooperation between the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States and the General Secretariat of the Caribbean Community." That resolution calls for a donors' meeting to be held. The program will be carried out as a special UPD program in 2000, with the Unit acting as activities coordinator, in close collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat and financed with external funding. To this end, discussions will be pursued with the CARICOM Secretariat for joint hosting of the donors' meeting, during the first half of the coming year.

  2. In 2000, UPD will continue to forge links and develop cooperative relations with entities inside and outside the Organization that work in the area of democracy. Within the Organization, UPD will work closely with other areas of the General Secretariat, its committees and other agencies, such as the executive secretariats of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the Unit for Social Development and Education, the Unit for Sustainable Development and the Environment, the Inter-American Juridical Committee, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs, among others. UPD will make additional efforts in fields and with bodies whose mandates are in line with or overlap those of the Unit. UPD will also collaborate with the Office of Summit Follow-Up.

    Such efforts should improve coordination and cooperation among all actors and help make the Organization’s approach a truly integrated one. The impact of actions will thus be all the more enhanced.


Financing of UPD programs in 2000 will come from two areas: the Regular Fund and external sources.

A. The Regular Fund

The budget approved by the Permanent Council for 2000 shows a total amount for UPD of US$3,493,200. Of this amount, US$1,602,800 consists of funds for personnel expenses and US$1,891,400 represents funds earmarked for programs. Resources from the regular fund will be used mainly as start-up funds to initiate processes of institutional strengthening and consolidation, to support forums for dialogue and/or to contribute to the generation and exchange of knowledge. Moreover, these resources serve as important seed funds that help the Unit to seek additional external resources for its activities.

The distribution of program funds by area is provided below, with data for previous years provided as a basis of comparison. Figures include both personnel and program costs.






2000 Approved Funds

1999 Approved Funds

1998 Approved Funds*

Office of the Executive Coordinator




Strengthening of Democratic Institutions




Electoral Technical Assistance




Information and Dialogue/Democratic Forum




Special Programs




Program for Studies on Democracy




Comprehensive Programs against Antipersonnel Mines












* The figures for 1998 include the amounts approved in the program-budget of the Organization, less the overall reduction approved by the Permanent Council in CP/doc.3035/98, dated March 31, 1998.

** Pursuant to instructions from the General Assembly, these amounts would remain available for use in this Program.

B. External Sources

In 2000, external funds will constitute the major source of financing of UPD programs. Based on the amount of external funding obtained in previous years, UPD estimates that some US$15,000,000 can be obtained in external funding for specific programs during the course of the year 2000. These funds include contributions from member states, permanent observer states, and other countries and institutions, and are mainly intended to finance specific initiatives in the areas of Special Programs and the Comprehensive Action Program against Anti-Personnel Mines.



Parliamentary Network of the Americas


MORECIV Specialized Agency

PRONAGOB Specialized Agency


$ 300,000



$ 340,000

$ 192,000


Political Database of the Americas


Electoral Observation Missions

Special Program of support for Guatemala:


Democratic values and political management

Technical assistance to Guatemala

Legal support to the Guatemalan Congress

Suriname mission

Special Support Program for Nicaragua:

Technical cooperation program

Hijos del Rio program


$ 223,000





$ 800,000

$ 500,000

$ 100,000

$ 75,000

$ 112,000


$ 886,000

$ 380,000



Possible implementation of the Ecuador/Peru program

Preventive education for the civilian population against mine hazards

Implementation of the Ottawa Treaty

Database on anti-mine action






$ 500,000

$ 50,000

$ 45,000