28 September 1998
Original: Spanish


(Document prepared by the General Secretariat)


September 1998


I have the honor to transmit to Your Excellency the General Secretariat document "Hemispheric Summit Mandates of the Organization of American States" for consideration by the member states.

This document was prepared to provide background information for the discussions of the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development on the process of strengthening and modernizing the OAS. The document is part of a package on institutional reform to which I referred in the note I sent you this past July 31.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

C�sar Gaviria

His Excellency
Ambassador Antonio Mercader
Permanent Representative of Uruguay
to the Organization of American States
Chair of the Permanent Council
Washington, DC

Hemispheric Summit Mandates of the Organization of American States

The Organization of American States has been providing support to the Summit process that was launched in Miami, and is helping to give effect to the initiatives agreed in the Action Plans of Miami, Santa Cruz and Santiago.

This interrelationship of the OAS with the Summits has led to the progressive alignment of the Organization’s agenda with that established by the Heads of State and Government of the Americas. Thus, the inter-American programs of the OAS (Education, Science and Technology, Sustainable Development) are now fully and consistently in keeping with mandates from the Summits. Similarly, sectoral ministerial meetings held within the OAS framework are today being used to provide follow-up to specific initiatives in the Action Plans, as has been the case with meetings of Ministers of Justice, Education, Science and Technology, Labor, and Environment and Sustainable Development.

In the Santiago Plan of Action, the Heads of State and Government assigned the OAS specific mandates that were ratified at the General Assembly of the OAS held in Caracas, and that are currently serving to guide the Organization’s objectives and goals. Those mandates relate both to the execution of thematic initiatives and to technical support for the political process of follow-up to the Summit.

Support for thematic initiatives of the Summit of the Americas

The objective is to relate the sectoral actions and activities of the OAS to the Summit agenda, by establishing a coherent working link for providing information and support between the Organization and the ministerial and governmental experts meetings in each sector. The OAS will offer technical support to ministerial meetings, at the request of governments, through its various units or through CIDI. It will also work jointly with other inter-American agencies in areas such as trade, where the OAS, together with the Inter-American Development Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, is providing technical support to the FTAA process.

Technical support to the SIRG and Institutional Memory for the Summit Process

The mandates to serve as the record-keeping mechanism or "institutional memory" of the Summit process, and to provide technical support to the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), will be carried out through a Office of Summit Follow-up, created by the Secretary General, which is designed to fulfill these mandates with a minimum of bureaucracy and to serve as an information center on all Summit-related OAS activities, as detailed below.



1.1 Summit mandates to the OAS

1.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. The meeting of representatives of the Education Ministries of the Hemisphere was held in Mexico City, June 26 to 30 1998, to prepare the Meeting of Education Ministers. The UDSE served as technical secretariat for that meeting.

2. The Meeting of Education Ministers was held in Brasilia, July 20 to 22, 1998. It was held under the aegis of CIDI and was convened by the OAS. The UDSE and SEDI shared the technical secretariat duties for the meeting. Ministers reviewed the "Implementation plan for the Education initiative of the Santiago Summit" and took decisions as to future activities and working methodology. They also decided to expand the group of coordinating countries by adding Brazil and Canada to the original list of coordinators (Mexico, Argentina and Chile), and to include five other countries, in accordance with the principles of annual rotation and geographic representation. The group will meet on a regular basis, at the invitation of the responsible coordinator, who will advise all countries of the agenda and the documents for discussion, so that those wishing to attend meetings of the Coordinating Group may do so on an equal footing.

1. They also decided to request the OAS for provide technical support for their work, as established in the Santiago Plan of Action.

2. As well, they approved the Inter-American Education Program. That program defines objectives and activities in various areas of education, including the development of policies to support education among the region’s most disadvantaged citizens; professional development and skills upgrading for teachers and administrators; strengthening educational administration and institutional development; training for the labor market; and promoting strategies for the promotion of civic values.

3. At that meeting the following decisions were taken that will involve the Organization, through the Executive Secretariat of CIDI and the Social Development and Education Unit:

Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)

The CIM will work jointly with UDSE to prepare and execute multilateral projects on "Education with a gender focus" pursuant to Resolution CIDI/RES. 45 (III-O/98).

Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD)

Fellowship and exchange programs for students, teachers, researchers and education administrators. To fulfill this mandate, UPD plans to expand the current Inter-University Program of Studies in Democracy.

1.3 Responsible bodies:


2.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

2.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD)

The UPD will continue providing support to states that so request in the design and execution of programs and projects to:

1. Strengthen democratic institutions and values both in governmental entities and in those of civil society. To this end, projects are being developed with national institutions to strengthen their institutional and technical capacities, and to promote democratic values and practices.

2. Design and execute projects for strengthening legislative institutions by providing technical training for their personnel and developing legislative support services. Support and technical training for local government officials and promoting citizen participation.

3. Support electoral institutions in member States in order to strengthen their technical capacity and the efficiency of the electoral process.

Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM):

Strengthening democracy:

The CIM will participate in the PROLEAD program with the IDB, under which more than four million dollars will be channeled to developing the political leadership capacities of women in Latin American and the Caribbean.

Human rights:

The CIM has undertaken action to support the Judicial Education Program – towards a jurisprudence of equality, of the International Foundation of Women Judges. This program, which the IDB is sponsoring in five Latin American countries, provides training to judges in the use and application of international human rights instruments for cases of violence and discrimination against women.

2.3 Responsible bodies


3.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

3.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Establish a forum where stakeholders can meet to:

2. Disseminate and promote work on the principles and recommendations contained in the Strategy for Public Participation. To this end, the second meeting of the Advisory Committee for the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation was held in Kingston, Jamaica, from August 31 to September 2 of this year.

3. Hold meetings of national and subregional focal points to identify mechanisms to foster joint work between governments and civil society organizations.

Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment:

Unit for the Promotion of Democracy:

Office of Summit Follow-up:

Since this initiative does not fall under the responsibility of any one area within the Organization, and its implementation will involve the participation of various units, departments and offices, the Office of Summit Follow-up, in coordination with the Office of External Relations, will serve as the coordination mechanism for OAS activities in response to this mandate.

3.3 Responsible bodies:


4.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

4.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

    1. Disseminate and promote the conclusions and proposals contained in the Special Rapporteur’s Report.
    2. Prepare, through the Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers, actions directed at publicizing the rights of migrant workers.

4.3 Responsible bodies:


5.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

5.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Prepare and carry out subregional programs to strengthen sub-national governments.

2. Convene expert meetings to examine and assess the processes of administrative decentralization, and identify successful policy experiments.

3. Prepare programs for evaluating the processes of decentralization and strengthening of local governments from an integral perspective that draws on experiences in the implementation of sectoral policies (decentralization of education and other public services).

Unit for the Promotion of Democracy:

Continue to implement the cooperation program on decentralization, local government and citizen participation, with the holding of six new technical meetings and seminars during 1998.

5.3 Responsible bodies:


6.1 Summit mandates:

6.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

Secretariat for Legal Affairs:

1. Symposium on strengthening probity in the hemisphere: Santiago, Chile. The secretariat will prepare the working documents and will provide technical services for the meeting.

2. Workshops to publicize the Convention.

3. Electoral campaigns: second meeting of government representatives, at a date to be determined. The secretariat will prepare the working documents and will provide technical and juridical support to the meeting.

6.3 Responsible bodies:


7.1 Summit mandates to the OAS

7.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Continue with meetings of government experts to develop, negotiate and put into effect a multilateral mechanism for evaluating efforts in the anti-drug campaign. Two meetings of the working group on this topic have been held at OAS headquarters. The second meeting was held in Washington, D.C., on August 19 to 21. That meeting examined and agreed upon the principals, objectives and features of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM). The next meeting of the working group will be held in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, October 26 and 27, 1998, and will address, among other items, the procedure and timing for designing and implementing the MEM, as well as indicators and communications policies.

2. Convene a meeting of experts to develop concrete initiatives to institutionalize the initiatives contained in the Anti-Drugs Strategy.

3. Design, within the CICAD context, specific initiatives to support the tasks identified in the Plan of Action relating to the production, trafficking and consumption of drugs and related substances; the production, traffic and illicit use of firearms and explosives; and money laundering.

7.3 Responsible bodies:


8.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

8.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Convene a meeting of experts to prepare guidelines for implementing the agreements and actions contained in the Plan of Action.

2. Convene the Second Inter-American Specialized Conference on Terrorism to assess progress and define new actions. The Argentine Delegation offered to host this event, which will take place on November 23 to 25, 1998.

Secretariat for Legal Affairs:

8.3 Responsible bodies:


9.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

1. Follow-up and intensify measures for confidence- and security-building.

2. Analyze the meaning, scope and projection of the concept of international security in order to develop approaches to such aspects as disarmament and arms control.

3. Define ways to strengthen the institutions of the inter-American system as they relate to hemispheric security.

4. Hold a special conference on security n the OAS context, early in the coming decade.

9.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Convene a meeting of experts to prepare guidelines for implementing the agreements and actions established in the Plan of Action.

2. Hold the third inter-American conference on this issue, to evaluate progress and define new actions.

Secretariat for Legal Affairs:

The Secretariat provides technical and legal advisory services to the Commission on Hemispheric Security; prepares substantive documents as requested, and cooperates in preparing and holding the conferences recommended.

Unit for the Promotion of Democracy:

1. Demining program in Central America.

2. Currently developing a support program in the area of rehabilitation of victims and socioeconomic recovery of demined regions.

9.3 Responsible bodies:


10.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

10.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Create a permanent support team for ministerial meetings. Develop a working plan and activities for implementing agreements under the Plan of Action.

2. Convene an experts meeting to evaluate the judicial reforms undertaken to date and prepare proposals that build upon positive experiences in such reforms, to be presented to ministers at their respective meetings.

Secretariat for Legal Affairs

10.3 Responsible bodies:


11.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

11.2 Follow-up and panned activities:

1. Strengthen the General Secretariat/UDS to provide technical support to the tasks set out in the Plan of Action.

2. Identify programs that will reflect, combine and give effect to labor-related measures called for in the Plan of Action of the CIMT meeting of 1995.

Social Development and Education Unit (UDSE)

A preparatory session for the Ministerial Meeting was held at OAS headquarters on August 26 and 27, 1998.

The OAS convened the Eleventh Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor, to be held under CIDI auspices, in Chile, October 19 to 21, 1998. UDSE and SEDI will share secretariat responsibilities for the conference.

11.3 Responsible bodies:


12.1 Summit mandates to the OAS

12.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Prepare and set up an Administrative Secretariat to support the FTAA negotiation process.

2. Provide technical support through the Trade Unit to nine of the 12 FTAA negotiating groups.

Trade Unit

1. Meetings scheduled for the period May 1998 to May 2001.

a. 2 ministerial meetings (October 1999 and April 2001).

b. 7 meetings of the Trade Negotiations Committee (CNC) (to be held between June 1998 and June 2001).

2. Meetings of FTAA negotiating groups.

Meetings of the negotiating groups will be held at a single site, which will rotate in the following manner:

Miami, USA, September 1998 to February 28, 2001

Panama City, Panama: March 1, 2001 to February 28, 2003

Mexico City, Mexico: March 1, 2003 to December 2004.

Each of the nine negotiating groups will meet at least three times a year.

3. Other FTAA meetings.

These meetings will be held at the headquarters of the administrative secretariat, beginning with Miami during the month of October, 1998. Each group will meet at least three times a year:

Consultative Group on Small Economies OAS, ECLAC, SELA

Committee on Civil Society OAS

Committee on Electronic Trade IDB

12.3 Responsible bodies:

Meeting of Trade Ministers


Tripartite Committee

General Secretariat/Trade Unit (UC)


13.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

13.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

In the CIDI context, and in fulfillment of the Summit mandate endorsing the actions called for in the Cartagena Plan of Action, governments decided to establish the Inter-American Commission on Science and Technology (COMCyT), the first meeting of which took place in Bariloche, Argentina, August 10 and 11, 1998. That meeting considered the Draft Rules of Procedure of COMCyT, its relationship to MERCOCYT, to the organs of CIDI and to the General Secretariat. The Inter-American Program for Science and Technology was submitted to governments for consideration, and a deadline of November 15, 1998, was set for the presentation of comments and observations.

Office of Science and Technology:

1. Continue the Internet connection for institutions in the region via the Hemispheric Inter-University Network (RedHUCyT). Continue development of the regional Science and Technology Information System, INFOCyT.

2. Continue the inter-American program of diagnostic methodologies and tools for improving compliance with environmental regulations by small and medium-size businesses, while promoting clean production methods. Continue as well with roundtables on environmental technology cooperation in key industrial sectors.

3. Strengthen the Science and Technology Commission for Central American and Panama.

4. Continue work on Regional Indicators for Science and Technology, under the coordination of the Universidad de Quilmes, in Argentina.

5. Launch the Inter-American Program of Chemical Metrology, in accordance with the strategic plan that was prepared as part of the work program of SIM for 1997-1998. The Chemical Metrology Program stresses health and environmental concerns.

6. Conduct activities to monitor the impact of El Ni�o on biological systems.

7. Continue support for MERCOCYT meetings.

13.3 Responsible bodies:


14.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

14.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Develop programs to support implementation of CITEL guidelines on value added services and the development of community information services to provide basic value-added telephone services, computers, Internet services, etc.

2. Develop programs to support member States in the exchange and distribution of information on regulatory issues, consistent with existing international commitments.

3. Prepare studies on coordinating the standardization of telecommunications infrastructure.

The OAS, through CITEL, will participate and provide technical support for a series of meetings of the following working groups:

a. Universal service

b. Value-added services

c. Certification procedures for telecommunications equipment

d. Spectrum management

e. Global information infrastructure

f. Coordination of standards

g. Human resource development

14.3 Responsible bodies:


15.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

15.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Develop programs with member States and representatives of civil society to implement and examine commitments on the status and condition of women.

2. Disseminate the conclusions of the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Women, prepared by the IACHR, with respect to legal barriers to the equal participation of women in political, economic, social and cultural life.

3. Assist, when so requested, in the process of legal reforms to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women, and to guarantee the protection of children’s rights.

Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM):

The CIM will carry out a pilot project on micro-enterprises for women in St. Lucia.

15.3 Responsible bodies:


16.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

16.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Develop programs to support member States in their efforts to compile and exchange information on fundamental labor standards.

2. Support the preparation and holding of CIMT meetings and develop programs to implement the agreements reached in that forum on this matter.

Social Development and Education Unit:

The OAS has convened the Ninth Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor, which will be held in Chile, October 19 to 21, 198. That conference will be held under CIDI auspices. UDSE and SEDI will share secretariat duties.

16.3 Responsible bodies:


17.1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

17.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

Secretary of Legal Affairs and UPD:

17.3 Responsible bodies:


18.1 Summit mandates:

18.2 Follow-up and planned activities:

1. Continue to coordinate compliance with the mandates of the Santa Cruz Summit. UDSMA chairs the Inter-Agency Working Team for execution of the initiatives of the Bolivian Summit. The Working Team has set up seven working groups on the major initiatives contained in the Santa Cruz Plan of Action.

2. Creation of the Forum of the Americas on Sustainable Development. This forum will discuss regional, subregional and national policies in this area; will help to define regional positions on global issues; will support execution of the initiatives of the Santa Cruz Plan of Action; and will sponsor a structured dialogue on national experiences in matters relating to sustainable development.

3. Development of programs for implementing the proposals put forth in the OAS General Secretariat’s report, with respect to coordination and implementation of the Santa Cruz accords.

4. Execution of the activities identified in the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation in Decision-Making on Sustainable Development.

5. Support for the Biodiversity Initiative.

6. Creation of the Hemispheric Network of Officials and Experts in Environmental Law.

7. Support for the Inter-American Dialogue on Water Resource Management.

8. Identification of response mechanisms and means for strengthening public and private funding for sustainable development activities.

9. Support for the Sustainable Cities and Communities Initiative.

18.3 Responsible bodies:


In an effort to make inter-American Summitry into a cumulative process of consensus and actions for articulating an overall scheme of hemispheric relations that will allow us to take advantage of acquired expertise and the comparative advantages of international organizations, give coherence to and ensure follow-up of all the mandates within the Organization, the Secretary General has created the Office for Hemispheric Summits Follow-up.

In addition to participating in the Santiago follow-up meetings (SIRG), and the organizational process for the Canada Summit, organizing the institutional memory, coordinating with other international agencies, and providing support for SIRG and the OAS Committee on Summits Management, the Office for Hemispheric Summits Follow-up is responsible for monitoring, coordinating and reporting on all of the tasks being performed in the various OAS bodies, in compliance with the mandates set forth in the Santiago Plan of Action.

II. 1 Summit mandates to the OAS:

II. 2 Planned activities:

The Office for Summit Follow-up has the following tasks:

II. 3 Responsible bodies:

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