Support for Legislative Institutions and Processes
During the second semester of 1998, studies of parliamentary management
were conducted, seminars and workshops on legislative techniques were held, and meetings
to analyze the modernization of parliaments and democratic governance were organized.
A regional seminar on Parliamentary Management and Civil Society was
held on October 30, 1998 in Chile. The seminar was attended by 90 participants including
legislators from the chambers of deputies of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, Chilean
deputies, local authorities, academics, representatives of interested NGOs, UPD delegates,
The UPD and the Inter-American Dialogue worked
together on the development of an informal hemispheric network of legislative leaders from
the USA, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The network brings together
distinguished legislative leaders in order to study how to enhance legislatures
contributions to foreign affairs-related issues and in order to exchange experiences and
The first meeting of the Network of Legislative Leaders of the
Americas, which was held on November 21-22, 1998, in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, was
attended by national legislators from 30 of the Hemispheres nations. The issues
discussed included the situation of legislatures in the Americas, the role of legislatures
in foreign affairs, the problems of international trade, and the international financial
crisis and its impact on the region.
A workshop on legislative drafting techniques was held
from July 27 to August 24, 1998 in Barbados. The workshop was organized by the UPD in
cooperation with Law Department of the University of the West Indies. Its objectives were
to strengthen the operational capacities of the legislative drafting offices in the
Caribbean member states of the OAS by improving the knowledge and professional skills of
technical staff in these offices.
A seminar to present the Computer Program for a Legislative Information Network
for Central America and the Dominican Republic (RILCA) was held in San Salvador, El
Salvador, on December 3-4, 1998 under the aegis of the joint support program for
legislative processes and institutions in the Central American region.
Citizen participation is fundamental to the goal of assisting the
return of governmental authority and decision-making to the local level. Therefore, the
UPD has been very active in efforts to decentralize decision-making and strengthen local
governmental. structures, at the request of member states. With the governments of
Bolivia, Ecuador, and Honduras, the UPD works with national and multilateral institutions
to bring together mayors, city officials, legislators, and other local leaders to increase
attention to local government and citizen participation in the national and Inter-American
Some of the seminars and meetings which the UPD
conducted or supported in 1999 and in early 2000, included:
- Regional Seminar: Legislation for the Reconstruction of Central
America. This seminar took place February 18-19, 1999, in
Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It was jointly organized with the Forum of
Presidents of the Legislative Branch of Central America (FOPREL), and
the Congress of Honduras.
- Meeting of the Central American Inter-parliamentary Committee on
This seminar occurred on
November 29, 1999, in Guatemala and was jointly organized with FOPREL.
- Regional Seminar: Institutional Dimension of MERCOSUR. This
seminar took place November 18-19, 1999, in Montevideo, Uruguay, and was
jointly organized with the Program for Legislative Studies of the Latin
American Center for Human Economy (PEL-CLAEH), the Joint Parliamentary
Commission of MERCOSUR (CPC), and the Congress of Uruguay.
The following list details some of the technical assistance programs
to strengthen legislative institutions in which the UPD is involved and its
activities during the period of 1999 through the beginning of 2000:
- Juridical Support for the Congress of Guatemala.
initiative consists of the participation of five experts in a technical
assistance program in support of the Presidency, the Vice Presidency and
the legislative commissions of the Congress, in order to write the Peace
Accords into law. The program is executed with financing from the
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
- Support for the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, the Congress of
Honduras, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.
of the UPD to the above-mentioned institutions, in general terms,
consists of providing supervision and advisory services for the
development and implementation of the modernization plans of these
national parliaments. This assistance focuses particularly on the
modernization of the administrative, legislative management and
information system aspects of these legislatures. Various activities
undertaken are done in coordination with the IDB and other cooperating
- Support for the Forum of Presidents of the Legislative Bodies of
Central America (FOPREL).
UPD's assistance consists of
coordination, supervision and advisory services to support the work of
the Presidency, the Executive Secretariat and the Central American
inter-parliamentary commissions of FOPREL (e.g., of Anti-Corruption y
Narcotics Activity (CICONA), and of Legislative Modernization). This
support includes research, seminars, publications and development of the
Legislative Information Network for Central America and the Dominican
- Support for the Andean Parliament. The UPD provides
coordination, supervision and advisory services for the development and
implementation of a work plan that includes research, seminars,
publications and development of the Andean Legislative Information
- Support for the Joint Parliamentary Commission of MERCOSUR (CPC).
Includes research, workshops, publications and development and the
presentation of the Prototype of the Inter-parliamentary Network of
Legislative Information (RIIL).