PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION
OF AMERICAN STATES
ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY THE OAS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF CIDI IN
COMPLIANCE WITH THE MANDATES OF THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS HELD IN MIAMI IN DECEMBER 1994
This report has been prepared at the request of the Permanent Representative of Chile to the Organization of American States and the Chair of the Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management of the Permanent Council of the OAS, Ambassador Carlos Portales.
November 11, 1997
The purpose of this document is to report on the activities conducted within the framework of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the OAS, as a follow-up to the Miami Summit, to examine the experience gained through application of CIDI mechanisms and to review the possibility of applying those mechanisms to follow-up of the Santiago Summit.
Section I of the document reviews the mandates of the summit in the terms under which they were incorporated into the OAS by the 1995 General Assembly, based on the document entitled, "Matrix: Topics of the Plan of Action in which the OAS shall Play a Particularly Important Support Role," prepared by the Working Group on the Summit of the Americas, of the Permanent Council. The discussion of the mandates is accompanied by a very brief summary of the follow-up activities conducted under the framework of CIDI of the OAS. Since the substantive aspects of the action taken with respect to each subject are discussed in detail in reports issued by the secretariat, unit, office, or other entity that deals with them within the General Secretariat, the presentation of them in this section will illustrate with examples of specific activities some of the possible ways of applying the mechanisms that have been incorporated into the framework of CIDI.
Section II contains comments sought about the results of applying CIDI mechanisms to following up on the Miami Summit. It should be pointed out that each one of the mechanisms mentioned in the report has been used by the Organization for many years. Consequently, the examination does not refer to each instrument, but focuses on the way in which the mechanisms of forum, information exchange, promotion of cooperation, and multilateral funding are integrated and work with each other under the framework of CIDI, and how useful the group of mechanisms can be for following up on the Santiago Summit.
Bearing in mind that, for the purposes of this report, it might be of value to have some additional information about the nature of the mechanisms the member states have set up within the framework of CIDI, the annex includes a description of each of them and their possible specific contributions to preparing and following up on summit meetings. As has been pointed out, several combinations of these mechanisms are also used in other OAS action areas.
SECTION I. MANDATES, ACTIVITIES, AND RESULTS
Promotion of Cultural Values
As a follow-up to the Miami Summit, CIDI was requested, within the framework of the OAS, to strengthen its plans and programs to assist in cultural exchanges and flows of cultural and historic information in and between the nations of this Hemisphere.
CIDI decided to convene a high level meeting of experts that would prepare an inter-American program on culture and present it to CIDI for consideration in 1998. The meeting was to bear in mind the work already done on the relationship between culture and development in other competent forums.
Free Trade in the Americas
According to the Miami Summit, the Special Committee on trade of CIDI was entrusted with the work of helping to systematize data in the region, continuing the study of economic integration arrangements in the hemisphere and preparing activities reports for the meeting of ministers. The committee was also instructed to assist the host country in organizing ministerial trade meetings and supporting the working groups of the FTAA.
The Special Committee on Trade of CIDI submitted to the Meeting of Ministers of Trade in Colombia, in 1996, the Analytical Compendium of Integration and Trade Agreements in the Western Hemisphere, prepared by the OAS Trade Unit. On this same occasion, and at the request of Colombia, the Trade Unit organized a business forum with the private sector that was held immediately prior to the meeting of ministers. In 1997, the ministers of trade at the Belo Horizonte meeting adopted four technical documents prepared by the OAS Trade Unit and placed them at the disposal of all the member states. In addition to recognizing the work of the Tripartite Committee made up of the IDB, ECLAC, and the OAS, the ministers requested it to continue providing analytical support, technical assistance, and related studies, as required by the pertinent working groups. Furthermore, and on the instructions of the CEC, the Trade Unit prepared a document entitled, "Observations on the Smaller and Less Developed Economies and Integration in the Western Hemisphere."
The OAS Trade Unit provides technical support to 9 of the 12 FTAA working groups for each one of its consultation and analysis sessions. For these purposes, it prepared ten technical documents and a bulletin on trade that is distributed every two months. It is also developing databases to support the trade negotiations. In this context, collaboration mechanisms with other regional institutions, in particular with the IDB and ECLAC, have been refined under the framework of the Tripartite Committee.
The OAS General Secretariat has also organized seminars and other joint initiatives with sub-regional agencies in the Caribbean and Central America, and with international organizations. These include a seminar-workshop on trade and environmental management in the context of integration schemes. It has also supported interconnection with the Internet by academic and technical institutions of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Paraguay as well as interconnection with the academic networks of Central America.
Under the framework of CIDI and using FEMCIDI resources, support is also being given to cooperation for development projects in the area of trade. Among these is a training program on multilateral and regional trade policy for governmental officials, particularly from the smaller economies of the region, coordinated by the Trade Unit.
Cooperation in Science and Technology
According to the Miami Summit, CIDI-MERCOCYT was instructed to support the convocation of a Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Science and Technology.
On the instructions of the General Assembly, the OAS supported the organization and holding of the Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Science and Technology, held in Cartagena, Colombia, in 1995. At the Cartagena meeting, the ministers adopted a Plan of Action on Science and Technology of the Hemisphere, and requested OAS support in organizing future ministerial meetings, within the framework of the new CIDI. The responsibility for following up on the plan lies with the Permanent Committee of the MERCOCYT Program of the OAS. This committee is made up of high level representatives from all the member states. Since the Cartagena meeting, the OAS has provided support for two committee meetings held to discuss institutional and programming arrangements for following up on the meeting of ministers.
CIDI is sponsoring projects that support meetings of the MERCOCYT Program Committee and specific initiatives such as indicators of science and technology, metrology and standards, electronic communications on the Internet, with the support of RedHUCyT, and clean technologies for small enterprises.
The General Secretariat supports meetings of the ministers and provides technical secretariat and administrative services to the MERCOCYT Program Committee. It also supports the work of the Committee for the Scientific and Technological Development of Central America and Panama.
The summit declared that tourism is important for our economies and valuable in promoting understanding among the peoples of the Americas. It also said the governments should undertake initiatives to stimulate tourism throughout the Hemisphere.
The Inter-American Travel Congress is a specialized conference within the OAS. Through this congress, the tourism ministers have identified priority areas and proposed that the full participation and commitment of the private sector be sought, that functional and cooperative ties that exist with sub-regional, regional, and international travel agencies be strengthened, and that exchange of knowledge, information, and mobilization of association activities be promoted. The Inter-American Travel Congress has a permanent executive committee that meets twice each year.
In 1996 the General Assembly requested that the OAS support the Inter-American Travel Congress in formulating a plan of action for integral and sustainable development of tourism. The XVII Inter-American Travel Congress held in April 1997 sent to CIDI for consideration the Declaration of San Josť and the Plan of Action for Sustainable Development of Tourism in collaboration with the private sector.
The Intersectoral Tourism Unit of the General Secretariat provides technical secretariat services to the congresses and support to OAS cooperation activities related to sustainable development of tourism. This work is conducted in coordination with the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development.
Eradication of Poverty and Discrimination
The Miami Summit confirmed its support for the strategy set out in the "Commitment to encourage joint cooperation and eradication of poverty," adopted by the OAS General Assembly, and requested that the OAS undertake actions to implement major initiatives.
CIDI established a Social Development Committee and instructed it to prepare an Inter-American Program to Combat Poverty and Discrimination. The Social Development Committee of CIDI organized a High Level Meeting on Combatting Poverty and Discrimination, held in Washington in 1997. At this meeting ministers and other high level representatives formulated an Inter-American Program to Combat Poverty and Discrimination which, with the support of CIDI and the approval of the General Assembly, became part of the Strategic Plan of CIDI.
Within the framework of this inter-American program, the OAS will support the holding of a high level meeting focused on the topic, "Development and Modernization of Public Institutions and Social Management," in 1998. The OAS will also support the Social Network of Latin America and the Caribbean, an organization that brings together 24 social investment funds and similar institutions throughout the region and conducts studies and joint activities with ECLAC, the IDB, PAHO, the World Bank, and other agencies.
With funds from the FEMCIDI, CIDI is sponsoring cooperation projects that support the preparation of high level meetings and the implementation of other initiatives within the framework of the Inter-American Program to Combat Poverty and Discrimination.
The Unit for Social Development and Education of the OAS General Secretariat provides technical secretariat and administrative services and prepares technical documents and program proposals for consideration by the policy-making bodies. It also provides technical secretariat services to the social network. It performs this task in coordination with the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development.
The Miami summit instructed the existing agencies to provide a forum of consultation to reform policies and to guide resources more effectively. In a variety of sections, the agencies were requested to support programs and projects related to primary education, trade education of workers, quality of higher education, promotion and observation of human rights, democratic values and practices, and campaigns against drugs, in addition to other matters.
The ministers of education have met under the framework of the OAS since 1948 to exchange experiences on policies, identify common problems and support projects and other joint activities. Their most recent meeting was held in Buenos Aires in 1995.
CIDI has authorized the convocation of a meeting of ministers of education in 1998. Brazil, the host country, proposes that the meeting be held after the Santiago Summit. CIDI supports the holding of two preparatory meetings with the participation of the ministers of education from the coordinator countries, and has participated in these meetings by contributing documents for the dialogue.
The General Secretariat has provided support to the meetings of the ministers by acting as technical secretariat and administrative secretariat, and by supporting the organization, implementation, and follow-up of the meetings and their mandates. On the instructions of the General Assembly, the General Secretariat has been cooperating in the education initiatives related to the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas, and with the other educational issues on the agenda of the Second Summit of the Americas. In this field, the General Secretariat acts primarily through the Unit for Social Development and Education, and with the coordination of the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development.
Within the framework of CIDI and with resources from the FEMCIDI, the member states are supporting the holding of preparatory meetings and have approved execution of one project for follow-up activities on the Santiago Summit in the area of education, in addition to numerous other activities associated with the mandates from the Miami Summit.
The Guarantee of Sustainable Development and Protection of Our Environment for Future Generations
The Miami summit entrusted to the OAS the task of supporting the Summit Conference on Sustainable Development and the later annual ministerial meetings on sustainable development and participating in the financing, preparation, and execution of priority projects.
CIDI created the Inter-American Commission of Sustainable Development (CIDS) which guided the technical contributions from the OAS to the Summit on Environment and Sustainable Development held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in December 1996. The Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development entrusted to the OAS the task of coordinating follow-up of the many decisions of that summit. The Inter-American Commission of Sustainable Development (CIDS) of CIDI will review progress made in this area and will also promote execution of the Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development which identifies the actions through which the OAS will help execute the decisions of the Santa Cruz Summit.
The Commission will give priority to the tasks of coordination and follow-up and to the high level meetings, both regional and subregional, that will take place under the framework of the Santa Cruz Summit. The heads of state and government also requested the organs and agencies to support efforts in behalf of sustainable development and to develop adequate cooperation and coordination mechanisms with the OAS.
In accordance with the mandates of the Summit, CIDI authorized the convocation of a ministerial meeting on the environment and sustainable development in 1998. The OAS General Secretariat provided technical support for the preparation of the Santa Cruz Summit and was responsible for providing technical support to the CIDS. It is performing this work primarily through the Unit on Sustainable Development and with the coordination of the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development.
SECTION II. COMMENTS
1. From the description of the mandates, activities, and results, it is clear that the member states, acting with the support of the General Secretariat, have succeeded in starting to carry out the tasks that were entrusted to the OAS in the sphere of action of the new Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the OAS. Although CIDI mechanisms are still taking shape on the basis of improvement through action, the initial results appear to indicate that these mechanisms are enabling the member states to link the inter-American dialogue with collective action for development.
2. CIDI mechanisms have helped the OAS to advance progressively, and, with flexibility and in an increasingly coherent manner, in the implementation of the guidelines set out in the Declaration and Plan of Action of Miami. The actions carried out in connection with the topics that have been covered under the framework of CIDI are sketching a process that can be characterized by the following stages:
--Organization of ministerial and high level technical meetings associated with the mandates of the heads of state and government;
--Formulation of inter-American cooperation programs that integrate policy and technical activities, exchange of information and promotion of cooperation activities for development;
--Coordination of follow-up with other regional and subregional institutions; and
--Funding and start of execution of projects and other multilateral activities to follow up on the Summit and the ministerial meetings, making use of the Special Multilateral Fund of CIDI (FEMCIDI) and in particular, its multilateral sectoral accounts.
3. Coherence between the political will expressed at the Miami Summit, the ministerial dialogue, and the arrangement and funding of multilateral cooperation actions is being facilitated by the institutional characteristics of the OAS in general and CIDI in particular. These enable CIDI to provide both a policy-making and technical forum of the highest level in this Hemisphere as a body of multilateral cooperation mechanisms for development that have been updated by the member states very recently on the basis of lengthy work experience.
4. The modernization and complementation of CIDI mechanisms appear to be contributing also to better use of resources within the Organization. Although the application of the group of CIDI mechanisms is still in the infant stage, the facts would appear to indicate that a positive synergy is being shaped between the activities conducted by a variety of offices of the General Secretariat to support the forum actions, exchanges of information, and arrangement and funding of cooperation projects. This synergy should ultimately lead to higher quality and lower cost of the services that the General Secretariat provides to the member states.
5. At the thematic level, the relationship between the Miami Summit, the ministerial dialogue and the cooperation action for development supported by the OAS have been particularly clear in the cases of combatting poverty and discrimination, guarantee of sustainable development and protection of the environment, and cooperation in science and technology. A similar process is occurring in education.
6. Although there would appear to be advantages in making mechanisms complementary under the framework of CIDI, the progress made in other cases shows that very positive results can also be obtained by using only a few of these mechanisms and by supplementing efforts with other international agencies. One example of this is the action in the area of free trade in the Americas. In this area, the OAS contribution has focused on preparation of studies and advisory assistance to ministerial meetings and their working groups. This has been the work of the OAS Trade Unit, in close collaboration with the IDB and ECLAC.
7. Tourism, while not a topic expressly assigned to CIDI in the matrix prepared by the Working Group, has been included in this report because it has become one of CIDI's priorities. In this sector, the action of organizational and technical support to the meetings of ministers and to the preparation of an inter-American work program developed by the OAS Tourism Unit follows very closely the mandates of the Miami Summit. It should be pointed out that in both tourism and trade, several of the most structured cooperation actions have been developed with the private sector.
8. Qualitatively, the results achieved by the member states, with the support of the OAS General Secretariat, in terms of policy-making and technical dialogue, formulation of programs, coordination with other agencies, and funding and start-up of execution of cooperation activities for development, as follow-up on the Miami Summit, appear to be positive.
9. It should be pointed out, however, that the great policy-making and organizational energy has still not found higher allocations of technical and financial resources for the actions of cooperation for development by the member states.
10. In several cases, the initial phase of the work has been completed. In this phase, available resources have been used to support the dialogue and to start cooperation actions. In this initial stage, the OAS in general and CIDI in particular have made a difference. In several cases, however, the follow-up phase of action has implied a substantial increase in the magnitude and complexity of the activities as well as in the technical support and financial requirements for development of the actions. In these cases, the technical and financial resources available to the Organization as a whole and the General Secretariat in particular have proven to be insufficient to undertake an action of the quality and minimum scale needed to make a significant impact. This situation has several precedents in the OAS.
11. The shortage of resources to move on to higher levels of results and attainment of significant impact could become the principle constraint on a policy making and technical dialogue on cooperation for development that would prove constructive and effectively supplementary to the political cooperation. This is because it limits to the extreme the possibility of arranging and carrying out relevant action programs that justify the policy making and technical dialogue for development and reaffirm the will of political cooperation within the framework of the OAS.
12. The experience of the OAS and other agencies appears to show that it is not viable to sustain a policy-making and technical forum on cooperation for development at a high level if the institution itself, or in an associated system of institutions, does not have the resources to convert policy and technical decisions into reality. At this time, no increase of resources has been seen for action either under the framework of the CIDI of the OAS or under the framework of the other international and national institutions that participate in inter-American cooperation.
13. Few references exist to examine action alternatives in the area of multilateral cooperation for development and the experiences observed in general pertain to very different sets of circumstances. However, and keeping these limits in mind, in terms of coherence between policy ideas, formulation of programs, and allocation of resources to cooperation, the experience of the European Community is of interest. In the collective action of those countries, policy dialogue incorporates global matters and sectoral matters, and the existing mechanisms have contributed to integrating the political will effectively into the design of programs and the allocation of resources for cooperation. Besides the coherence among these three aspects, it is interesting to observe how programs are specialized as a function of the specific needs of the countries or the national regions that have relatively lower levels of development. Other interesting points are private sector participation and diversification of funding mechanisms, as well as others.
14. The recent experience of the OAS and, to some extent, advances made in other parts of the world, appear to suggest that member states have integrated into CIDI a body of mechanisms that helps to move from dialogue to joint action. The greater participation of sector authorities who can identify problems and specific opportunities of common interest, establish guidelines for the specific cooperation activities, allocate resources and convene the institutions of their countries to work together using CIDI mechanisms, creates new possibilities for inter-American cooperation.
15. The development of harmonized cooperation programs funded by the sector authorities and executed by the institutions of the member states, with the support of the General Secretariat, are capable of contributing to stronger inter-American cooperation for development and reaffirming at the same time the willingness to cooperate in policy matters under the framework of the guidelines established by the heads of state and government in Santiago.
DESCRIPTION OF CIDI MECHANISMS THAT COULD BE USED TO FACILITATE THE FOLLOW-UP OF SUMMIT MEETINGS
The specialized or sectoral meetings at the ministerial or equivalent level, as well as the associated technical and preparatory meetings, constitute the mechanisms of CIDI that can make an effective contribution to collective action in the Hemisphere. This will help to articulate the mandates of the summits with the inter-American ministerial and high technical level dialogue and cooperation actions for development in each one of the sectors of common interest.
For this work, CIDI has a legal framework approved by the congresses of this Hemisphere. It supports a number of activities funded by country contributions and carried out with the support of the General Secretariat of the Organization.
In the priority topics of CIDI, the OAS has been promoting and facilitating the holding of meetings of ministers in education, labor, social development, sustainable development, science and technology, culture, and tourism.
To give shape to collective action in response to the guidelines set up at the summit meetings and the ministerial meetings, and to make it a reality, CIDI has a body of mechanisms that facilitates the arrangement, multilateral funding and execution of specific activities of cooperation for development on the issues of the inter-American agenda.
The ministerial meetings of CIDI enable the member states to incorporate into the work of the OAS the mandates of the summit meetings and to make proper use of the resources that they contribute to the Organization. For the holding of ministerial and high level policy meetings, the regular budget of the Organization includes specific items that are allocated by joint decision of the member states.
The member states can also contribute resources to voluntary multilateral and specific funds, and allocate those resources to activities in cooperation for development associated with the summit meetings. These activities can include technical, preparatory, or follow-up meetings, as well as specific actions of cooperation involving the institutions of the member states that help to convert the mandates of the summit meetings into reality.
For the development of these activities, the Organization has the services of a General Secretariat that can contribute:
--technical secretariat services, including preparation of studies,
information exchanges, and
--coordination among the several inter-American sectoral forums;
--coordination with subregional and regional institutions; and
--mechanisms for information exchange, as well as others.