Press Release E-029/00
CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATES IN OAS MEETING
Representatives of various civil society organizations from across the Americas took part in a meeting today at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, where the Special Commission on Hemispheric Summits was in session.
Delegates to the meeting chaired by Canada's Ambassador to the OAS Peter Boehm heard civil society representatives express their views on six basic topics: democracy and human rights, indigenous populations, migrant workers, financial markets and registry of property.
Ambassador Boehm said the meeting was part of the first phase of reviewing the follow-up on issues outlined in the Plan of Action from the Summit of the Americas in Chile in 1998. He described it as an important step in preparing for the next Summit of the Americas, to be held next year in Quebec, Canada. "It was a very useful meeting where views were shared on several items on the hemispheric agenda," the Canadian diplomat observed. "It was also an excellent opportunity to introduce civil society organizations to the OAS agenda."
Civil society participants emerged from the discussions saying they were pleased with this new opening the OAS has created, allowing them to convey their views to the governments and to learn first-hand about what the OAS is doing on issues included on the agenda.
OAS member state governments will take up the issues raised in today's meeting next month, when the Summit Implementation Review Group convenes.
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