Third Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada 2001



Transparency and Good Governance
Making Democracy Work Better


Recognizing that good governance requires effective, representative, transparent and accountable government institutions at all levels, public participation, effective checks and balances, and the separation of powers, as well as noting the role of information and communications technologies in achieving these aims:

  • Promote cooperation among national agencies in the Hemisphere charged with the development and maintenance of procedures and practices for the preparation, presentation, auditing and oversight of public accounts, with technical assistance where appropriate from multilateral organizations and multilateral development banks (MDBs), and support exchanges of information on oversight activities related to the collection, allocation and expenditure of public funds;

  • Encourage cooperation and exchange of experiences and parliamentary best practices between national legislators of the Hemisphere, while respecting the separation and balance of powers, through bilateral, subregional and hemispheric vehicles such as the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA);

  • Work jointly to facilitate cooperation among national institutions with the responsibility to guarantee the protection, promotion and respect of human rights, and access to and freedom of information, with the aim of developing best practices to improve the administration of information held by governments on individuals and facilitating citizen access to that information;

  • Create and implement programs with the technical and financial support, where appropriate, of multilateral organizations and MDBs, to facilitate public participation and transparency, using information and communications technologies where applicable, in decision-making processes and in the delivery of government services, and to publish information within time-limits established by national legislation at all levels of government;

Quebec Plan of Action (complete version):  English | Spanish | French | Portuguese

Archive of Events that have taken place in the area of Transparency and Good Governance



Seminar “Democracy and the IV Summit of the Americas”
March 11, 2005 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of the Republic of Argentina and the OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat, in collaboration with the Office for the Promotion of Democracy, organized the seminar "Democracy and the IV Summit of the Americas" as part of the preparatory activities leading to the IV Summit of the Americas that will be held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on November 4 – 5, 2005. This seminar was held on March 11, 2005, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and addressed the theme of the IV Summit of the Americas: "Creating Employment to Confront Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance"  This seminar contributed substantially to the preparatory debates for the next Summit of the Americas by giving Governments and representatives from different sectors of society the opportunity to present their opinions and recommendations on the theme "Creating Employment to Confront Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance" proposed by the Government of Argentina.  

The objective of this seminar is to analyze the pending challenges for the strengthening and defense of democracy and to promote an open debate with civil society regarding the implementation of democracy mandates from the Quebec Summit and the Special Summit of the Americas that took place in Monterrey, Mexico. The event was organized in three panels: the first panel addressed the contents and relevance of the Inter-American Democratic Charter as an instrument for the defense and strengthening of democracy; the second panel will analyze the participation of civil society in the strengthening of democracy; and the third panel will address the theme of the IV Summit of the Americas. This session sought to reflect on and analyze this subject from the economic, social, and political points of view in order to make substantive recommendations to the National Summit Coordinators. (for more information, see the seminar’s program) 

This seminar was attended by national summit coordinators, ambassadors, representatives from the institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group, authorities from the Government of Argentina, members of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, political parties, as well as the academic and civil society sectors. In this occasion, the OAS Interim Secretary General suggested to create a multilateral evaluation mechanism for democracy following on the example of the multilateral evaluation mechanism for the fight against drugs.


Second Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA)
February 20-21, 2003 (Panama City, Panama)


The Second Plenary Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) took place on February 20-21, 2003 in Panama City, Panama. Over 200 parliamentarians attended the meeting to analyze issues in security and trade. The meeting also addressed progress in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the state of democracy and human rights in the continent. 

The meeting was attended by parliamentarians from Uruguay, Brazil Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Surinam, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama.

Discussions were divided into three Panels, as follows:

First Panel: In this Working Group, parliamentarians analyzed how new trade liberalization could be better incorporated in tax reform and invigorate social and economic development. Recommendations were made regarding concerns in these areas and for reducing the impact of globalization on fiscal policies in countries of the Americas. The Working Group also presented a general panorama of the different tax systems in the Americas and evaluated the relationship between fiscal policies and trade competitiveness, economic growth and social development.

Second Panel: This Working Group debated the causes and effects of economic and financial crises.  The Group formulated recommendations to address these concerns and examined the globalization process with a view to improve the role of democracy in economic, political and social development. The Group also presented the latest news on financial and economic crises that are currently gripping the region and analyzed the role of multilateral organizations such as the IMF in anticipating and preventing such crises. Furthermore, the group analyzed the adverse effects on countries classified as high risk due to such crises and the political instability generated by economic upheaval.

Third Panel: In this Working Group, parliamentarians analyzed the progress made in FTAA negotiations with a view to prepare recommendations for Negotiating Groups. Particular attention was paid to minimizing distortions to trade in the Americas and the establishment of transparent, just and effective mechanisms to resolve trade disputes, based on the example provided by other free trade agreements.

For more information on this and other FIPA activities, please click here.


The Second Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies
November 10-12, 2002 (Seoul, Korea)


The Community of Democracies held the Second Ministerial Conference in Seoul, Korea on November 10-12, 2002. The guiding theme of the Conference was “Democracy: Investing for Peace and Prosperity.” The Conference was attended by ministers of foreign affairs and civil society representatives from around the world.

Ambassador Denise Antoine, the President of the OAS Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Granada to the OAS made a presentation at the Roundtable on "Regional Cooperation to Promote Democracy" entitled “The Role of the OAS in the Defense and Promotion of Democracy.”  Ambassador Antoine informed participants of the hemisphere’s gradual transition to democracy during the last thirty years and highlighted the essential elements of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

The Conference included four Roundtables, on “Consolidating Democratic Institutions,” “Regional Cooperation to Promote Democracy,” “Media and Democracy,” and “Coordinating Democracy Assistance.” The participants reaffirmed the democratic principles of the Warsaw Declaration, the Charter of the United Nations and other international instruments on human rights.  They adopted the “Seoul Plan of Action”, which provides guidelines for “the worldwide protection and consolidation of democracy and fostering cooperation for upholding democracy against emerging threats of the twenty-first century.”

For more information on the Second Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies please click here.


Joint Mission (OAS, UN, Carter Center) Travels to Venezuela to Promote Dialogue for Democracy
September 9-13, 2002 (Venezuela)


The representatives of the OAS, the United Nations and the Carter Center traveled to Venezuela on September 9-13, 2002. The primary purpose of the visit was to analyze, together with government representatives, the opposition, the Catholic Church, mass media, private sector and civil society, the consolidation of democracy in Venezuela by renewing the suspended dialogue between the government and the opposition in Venezuela.

Following the initial meetings, President Chávez affirmed that there exists a possibility of stepping down from the presidency based on the results of a referendum, and that there is a possibility of establishing a permanent mission to Venezuela. The opposition also agreed to the proposal.

The mission left Venezuela on September 13, 2002, having submitted a negotiation proposal for permanent follow-up and consultation.


Workshop on Peace-building Practices in Guatemala
May 29-31, 2002 (Guatemala)

On May 29-31, 2002, a workshop on peace-building experiences in Central America was carried out in Guatemala.  Co-sponsored by the UPD Special Program for the Promotion of Dialogue and Conflict Resolution and the Collaborative for Development Action, Inc. (CDA), this workshop is a part of the Reflecting on Peace-building Practices (RPP) Project and was the first of the series to take place in Latin America.  RPP is a collaborative effort of over 100 agencies worldwide focused on peace and conflict that are seeking to collect, analyze and compare peace programs and interventions in situations of conflict escalation, open conflict and post-conflict reconstruction.  Participants at the Guatemalan workshop included government representatives from the national and local levels, as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other donors involved in post-conflict and peace-building activities.  They were asked to provide feedback on RPP findings regarding what kind of interventions are effective for building peace and democracy in the region.

For more information on the RPP Project, please click here.  


First Meeting of Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA)
March 13-16, 2002 (Mexico)


On March 13-16, 2002, the first plenary meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) took place in Mexico City, with the participation of approximately 100 parliamentary delegates, representing more than twenty-one countries from the hemisphere. The meeting "Security in the New Millennium: the Role of Legislators in Enhancing Security in the Hemisphere" realized part of its work through the following working groups: legal mechanisms in the area of security, organized crime, migration and the FTAA.

This meeting also emphasized the importance of FIPA as a mechanism for discussion and the exchange of experiences in the parliamentary framework on common themes in the hemisphere.

The plenary session launched the "Virtual Parliament of the Americas" project, which was initiated in its first phase by the UPD, and which will subsequently be coordinated by the Parliamentary Center, the Institute for Connectivity and Belanet, in Canada. On the other hand, the working groups analyzed the legal instruments related to security issues, studied the draft of the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention and Elimination of Terrorism and discussed problems associated with organized crime, migration and the FTAA.

Finally, they agreed to meet again at Panama City on 2003.

On the request of the FIPA Chairman, the General Secretariat of the OAS was present at the meeting, through the participation of the UPD and five officials from distinct areas of the Organization (Trade Unit, CICAD and a Special Advisor to the Secretary General). This group lent technical support to the Chairman and the Working Groups.

For more information, please refer to the UPD website


Securing the Civil Registries of the Caribbean
November 29 - 30, 2001 (Grenada)


On November 29 through 30, 2001 the Electoral Technical Assistance area of the UPD sponsored a roundtable discussion called "Securing the Civil Registries of the Caribbean" in Grenada with assistance from the National Office of the General Secretariat of OAS. The Civil Registries will be responsible to keep records on births, deaths and marriages of Member States, which will be an interchange of communication and experiences that are vitally important to UPD projects. This roundtable discussion permitted maximum flexibility to encourage the representatives of the registries to be open in their exchanges of information, opinions and discussions of ways to resolve similar challenges.

In the conference each participant from the twelve OAS member States that attended described their registries so that they could determine the next step to provide better services to citizens, strengthening the registries through improved records management and computerization.

On the general conclusions in the conference, an urgent need to reform the legislation was identified relating the civil registries of each participant State with the purpose of creating an operative system to fulfill the present needs and to maximize financial capacity, human resources and autonomy.

OAS considered funding a regional study of civil registries with the goal of modernizing legislation and at the same time establishing parameters based on model legislation of civil registries, drawing on the experiences of Jamaica, Barbados and Honduras.

For more information refer to the web page