office of the Summit Follow-up - OAS


PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THEORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN SUMMITS MANAGEMENT

OEA/Ser.G CE/GCI-125/97 add. 2
26 November 1997
Original: Spanish

FOLLOW-UP TO THE BOLIVIA SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
(Document presented by the General Secretariat)

I. THE MIAMI SUMMIT

The Miami Plan of Action committed the governments in the following environment-related initiatives listed in Title IV, The Guarantee of Sustainable Development and Conservation of our Environment for Future Generations:

1. The alliance for sustainable use of energy

2. The alliance for biodiversity

3. The alliance for the prevention of pollution

II. THE SANTA CRUZ SUMMIT

The Santa Cruz Summit was not designed as an Environmental Summit. Specifically, the complex nature of the negotiation stemmed from the proposal to incorporate the environmental dimension into a view of integral development.

As is evident from the content of the documents approved at Santa Cruz, the consensus as to the concept of sustainability made it possible to define hemispheric initiatives predicated on a new development paradigm.

In the course of that process in Santa Cruz, we discovered that any attempt to protect the ecosystem without taking human needs into account would be "a moral, political, and practical impossibility." At the same time, we agreed on a statement that the benefits of prosperity cannot be attained unless we adopt policies which ensure adequate interaction between man and nature.

In Bolivia we arrived at one basic consensus after another in such sensitive areas as financial resources, the transferral of technology, differentiated responsibilities, cooperation and biodiversity, among others. Each consensus was reached as a result of complex discussions within the OAS which underscored the Organization's importance as a political forum for attaining such agreements in regard to technical as well as political areas.

In the course of these discussions, it became clear that the success of such initiatives will depend also on the governments' willingness to adopt the sustainable development paradigm as the overall framework for their public policies in order to ensure effective and coherent integration of social, economic, and environmental goals.

The heads of state and government at the Santa Cruz de la Sierra Summit UNDERTOOK A COMMITMENT TO PURSUE 65 initiatives in the fields of: health care, education, agriculture and rain forests, sustainable cities, water resources and coastal areas, energy, and minerals. Also included were various aspects of institutional matters; financing; technology and cooperation; and public participation.

III. MANDATES CURRENTLY BEING IMPLEMENTED

The Plan of Action of Santa Cruz entrusts the OAS with duties in the following areas:

III.1 Institutional Arrangements

The Governments have decided:

1. To entrust to the Organization of American States (OAS) the role of coordinating follow-up on the various decisions of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development. To this end, the OAS will convene the necessary meetings at the appropriate level. In particular, the OAS, through the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development (CIDS), will review progress on this Plan of Action as part of its agenda. The Secretary General of the OAS will prepare a report on such progress, to be made available prior to the 1998 Summit of the Americas, and in order to do so he should:

Gather the relevant final documents from all ministerial and other high-level and technical meetings which take place in the context of this Plan of Action; and

The Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development was installed in March of 1997 as a subsidiary agency of the CIDI, and Bolivia was elected to serve as its chair, and given the responsibility for complying with those mandates.

Collect any national reports prepared voluntarily under this Plan of Action as well as other reports on the fulfillment of commitments and agreements adopted in the relevant fora on sustainable development, when these reports include references to initiatives undertaken in the context of this Plan of Action.

Collaboration of the governments is required in order to establish effective focal points from which the sectoral information can be recovered and reports sent to the OAS on the progress attained in the initiatives at the national level.

2. Request that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), among other organs, agencies, and organizations of the United Nations system, develop adequate mechanisms to cooperate and coordinate with the OAS, within their areas of action and mandates so as to support national, regional and hemispheric efforts on behalf of sustainable development.

3. Request that the organs, agencies and entities of the inter-American system, such as the IDB, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), as well as regional and subregional agencies, institutions, and programs in the Hemisphere, develop adequate mechanisms to cooperate and coordinate with the OAS, within their areas of action and mandates, to support national, regional, and hemispheric efforts toward sustainable development.

The document presented by the Sustainable Development and Environment Unit reports that the Inter-Agency Group has been formed and has now held a number of meetings; also that methodologies have been identified for joint endeavors with the UNDP, the IDB, the UNEP and others. This group is working under the efficient guidance of the Unit's Director, Kirk P. Rodgers.

4. Promote coordination and complementarity between the processes for follow-up and implementation of the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas and the Plan of Action on Sustainable Development. To achieve this objective the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development (CIDS) and the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) should exchange the relevant information.

It is within the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) that the decision was made to apprise the heads of state and government of a report that will be presented by the Secretary General, which examines the progress achieved and the problems encountered in execution of the Santa Cruz Plan of Action.

5. Cooperate in the establishment of a hemispheric network of officials and experts in environmental law, enforcement, and compliance in coordination with the OAS to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences and to provide a focal point, as appropriate, for carrying out cooperative efforts to strengthen laws, regulations, and implementation, as well as training in these areas for those states seeking such assistance, taking into account the studies prepared by the Inter-American Juridical Committee.

Action relevant to these mandates is being responsibly conducted by the Unit for Sustainable Development and the Environment led by Director Kirk Rodgers within the structure of the Secretariat.

III.4 Public Participation

15. In order to support the specific initiatives on public participation contained in the Plan of Action, entrust the OAS with assigning priority to the formulation of an inter-American strategy for the promotion of public participation in decision-making for sustainable development, taking into account the recommendations of the Inter-American Seminar on Public Participation held in Montevideo in 1996.

16. The strategy should promote the exchange of experiences and information among government representatives and civil society groups with regard to the formulation, implementation, and improvement of sustainable development policies and programs, legal and institutional mechanisms, including access to and flow of information among the relevant actors, training programs, and consultation processes used at the national level to ensure civil society involvement. Establish consultation processes at the regional level, such as regular fora for government-civil society dialogue at relevant high-level meetings convened by the OAS and when necessary support the integration and strengthening of national sustainable development councils, drawing on the experience of Central America and other existing councils in the Hemisphere.

In response to Mandate III.4, Public Participation, the OAS has drawn up a document the financing of which was approved by the World Environment Fund. The objective targeted in this proposal is to formulate the Inter-American Strategy for Participation (ISP): Strengthening of Public Participation in Decision-Making Regarding the Environment and Sustainable Development in the Americas. The procedure for formulating the proposal in an open and transparent manner was launched with a consultation meeting of experts held in Miami from February 5 through February 7, 1997 at the University of Miami's North-South Center. In similar proceedings, the UPD has conducted two seminars—one in Caracas, the other in the Caribbean—relative to citizen participation, community strengthening and decentralization.

IV. THE OAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN LIMA

For its part, the OAS General Assembly that took place in Lima issued the following resolutions in regard to the Summit:

  • AG/RES. 1513 (XXVII-O/97), (Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 5, 1997)  INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

2. To entrust the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) with supporting the execution of the Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development, as well as with coordinating and following up on the various decisions of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development. To this end, the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development shall coordinate the necessary support tasks with the relevant offices of the General Secretariat and in particular with the Unit for Sustainable Development and the Environment.

  • AG/RES. 1514 (XXVII-O/97), COORDINATION AND FOLLOW-UP OF THE DECLARATION OF SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA AND THE PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AMERICAS
    (Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 5, 1997)

RESOLVES:

1. To take note of the report of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) on coordination and follow-up of the Declaration of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and the Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of the Americas.

2. To assign high priority to the tasks of coordination and follow-up of the decisions reached at the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development entrusted to the Organization of American States; and to study the progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action, in compliance with the agreements contained in the Declaration of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and the Plan of Action on the Sustainable Development of the Americas, as well as those in CIDI's Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development (1997-2001).

3. To note with satisfaction the efforts made by CIDI, the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development, and the Working Group of the Permanent Executive Committee of CIDI (CEPCIDI) to support coordination and follow-up on the programs and activities that the Organization develops in this area.

4. To support the convening of the Special Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development (CIDS) and the ministerial meeting of CIDI on sustainable development, 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 on Sustainable Development.

5. To recommend to CIDI that, through CEPCIDI, it establish immediately an ad hoc committee on sustainable development to support the preparation of the meetings mentioned in the preceding paragraph, including the development of the respective draft agendas and consideration of the pertinent documents, and that it support coordination and follow-up of the decisions of the Declaration and Plan of Action of Santa Cruz and other mandates entrusted to CIDS and to the Working Group on Sustainable Development through CIDI/RES. 11 (II-O/97).

6. To instruct the General Secretariat to give its full support to the ad hoc Committee in carrying out the mandates entrusted to it. To this end, the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development shall coordinate the necessary support tasks with the pertinent entities within the General Secretariat and, in particular, with the Unit for Sustainable Development.

7. To support the Secretary General's efforts to prepare the report on progress made in implementing the decisions of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development, to be made available prior to the 1998 Summit of the Americas.

With respect to these mandates, and in compliance with the General Assembly resolution, the CEPCIDI Ad Hoc Committee for Sustainable Development was set up. Under the efficient leadership of Ambassador Horsey-Barr, it has now held a number of meetings at which the subject of the CIDS meeting of high-level experts and the Ministerial Meeting determined by the Santa Cruz Plan of Action and by the General Assembly has been addressed. The draft agendas for both of those meetings were discussed at that time.

In addition, the United States Mission to the OAS announced at the Permanent Council's meeting on Thursday, November 20, that $2.1 million was earmarked for CIDI at the meeting in March of this year. These funds will be used to support the "institutional strengthening" of that Council.

V. THE SANTIAGO SUMMIT

Plans for the Summit in Santiago, the capital of Chile, include consideration of the Political Declaration that will be signed by the heads of state and government, acknowledging the progress made to date.

The OAS Secretary General will also present a report on implementation of the initiatives approved at the Santa Cruz Summit for the consideration of the heads of state and government.


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