office of the Summit Follow-up - OAS


OEA/Ser.G    CE/GCI- 125/97 add. 1
7 November 1997
Original: Spanish/English


I. Background

In the follow-up to the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development, the OAS was responsible for coordinating activities arising from the various decisions reached at the summit. Accordingly, the Secretary General is to present to the next Summit of the Americas, in Santiago, Chile, a progress report on the Plan of Action adopted in Santa Cruz.

II. The Situation to Date

Actions taken from the December 1996 summit to date are as follows:

1. The OAS has convened a number of interagency meetings with institutions working in the sustainable development area (World Bank, IDB, Andean Development Corporation, UNDP, UNEP, PAHO, IICA) to distribute responsibilities. Participating in these meetings were government cooperation agencies, such as USAID and Canada's CIDA, which provided the Technical Commission with financial support for the summit.

2. The Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development (CIDS) was formed during the recent CIDI meeting in Mexico, where Bolivia was elected as its chair.

3. Prior to the summit in Santiago, the OAS is to hold the special meeting of the CIDS at the ministerial level, as well as a meeting of ministers on sustainable development, which will yield a preliminary assessment of progress made since the summit in Bolivia for the report the Secretary General will present next year in Santiago.

4. A joint budget has been submitted for CIDI programs under the Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development and for coordination and follow-up to the Santa Cruz summit. The amount for the two areas is US$563,400.

5. The Secretary General has sent notes to the World Bank and the IDB asking that a tripartite fund be established for activities under the Plan of Action. Insofar as such a fund is concerned, the answer was no, but the idea of helping to fund specific projects that could be channeled through the OAS was accepted.

6. Progress is being made in some areas in the context of the interagency meetings:

— a UNDP project to establish a sustainable development network;

— means of funding biodiversity conservation;

— cooperation to improve access to and the quality of drinking water;

— sustainable cities and communities;

— establishment of a Hemisphere-wide network of officials and experts in the environmental law area.

7. Resolution AG/RES. 1514 (XXVII-O/97), concerning follow-up of the Santa Cruz summit, was adopted in Lima. In it the General Assembly supports the convening of the special meeting of the CIDS and the ministerial meeting of CIDI, to take place before the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, "to follow up on the implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action of Santa Cruz and the Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development." It also recommends that CIDI establish an ad hoc committee on sustainable development to support preparations for those meetings and coordination and follow-up of the Plan of Action of Santa Cruz. The committee has been established, and is chaired by the United States.

8. The President of Bolivia, in his final months in office, secured agreement by the World Bank and the IDB to fund specific projects that can be channeled through the OAS. The Andean Development Corporation, through its President, Enrique Garc�a, has expressed a willingness to do the same.

9. Negotiations with UNESCO have been completed and support has been received from its Director General, Dr. Federico Mayor, in Santa Cruz, for execution of the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development.

Initiatives Now Under Way:

  • The UNDP Hemispheric Initiative to Develop Sustainable Development Networks:

On March 31, 1997, officials at the United Nations Development Program announced the inception of a two-stage effort to realize the goals set forth in the Declaration of the Santa Cruz summit, particularly in terms of the mandated hemispheric network charged with sharing information between countries on economic, social, environmental, legal, institutional, scientific, and technological issues. The first stage of this effort will involve designing a strategy and plan of action, followed in the second stage by the creation of a hemispheric network of sustainable development information systems, taking appropriate actions within each country and region to construct such a network.

  • Establishment of a Hemispheric Network on Environmental Law, Enforcement, and Compliance:

The OAS chairs a working group on this topic in the Interagency Task Force. Extensive consultations have been held with UNDP, UNEP, USAID, and USEPA and several NGOs in an effort to develop this activity. A funding request for this activity has been approved by CEPCIDI, and will permit the OAS General Secretariat to start laying the groundwork for an initial technical meeting to discuss the establishment of the network. Funding will also cover some aspects of follow-up, including holding a subsequent workshop to assess initial performance of the network and introduce necessary adjustments and corrections. These activities will require additional actions by other supporters of the initiative.

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