SPECIAL JOINT WORKING GROUP OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL AND THE INTER-AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE STRENGTHENING AND MODERNIZATION OF THE OAS
6 October 1998
PROPOSAL OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE UNITED STATES FOR MODERNIZATION OF THE OAS AND RENEWAL OF THE INTER-AMERICAN SYSTEM
THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO THE
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
October 6, 1998
TO: Ambassador Antonio Mercader
FROM: Ambassador Victor Marrero
SUBJECT: Working Group on OAS Modernization
I enclose some specific proposals of the U.S. Mission to the OAS for consideration by the Joint Working Group on Modernization of the Inter-American System. I request that this list be translated into the OAS languages and circulated to all Missions.
Proposals of the U.S. Mission for Modernization of the OAS and Renewal of the Inter-American System
Inter-American System Coordination
-- Establish an administrative mechanism convoked by the OAS Secretary General to promote on a regular basis improved communication, coordination and exchange of experience among the heads of the various units, agencies, commissions and other entities of the OAS and the, Inter-American System.
Permanent Council, CIDI and General Assembly
-- Items which do not require specific action by the General Assembly should be reported on to the Permanent Council or the Inter-American Council for Integral Development, as appropriate.
-- Reports on existing mandates should be sent to the Permanent Council or CIDI, as appropriate, in order to determine if they should be considered by the following regular session of the General Assembly based on (1) technical nature of the mandate, (2) whether a political decision or other specific action is required by the General Assembly, and (3) their implementation status.
-- Establish sunset provisions for projects and programs, requiring full approval of the PC or CEPCIDI to renew any project or program.
New Conference Facilities
-- Proceed with consideration of (1) conditions of and improvements required for headquarters building; (2) current and projected conference needs; (3) estimated costs of conference facilities needed; (4) potential sources for financing new OAS conference facilities.
-- Improve access of permanent observers to OAS meetings and events.
-- Seek enhanced participation by permanent observers.
-- Continue to improve communication with permanent observers.
-- Reaffirm the general principle of open access for civil society to observe OAS meetings, making open access the rule rather than the exception.
-- Incorporate into the Rules of Procedure of the Permanent Council and CIDI/CEPCIDI guidelines and conditions for civil society participation.
-- Create a mechanism for accreditation of nongovernmental organizations to observe and, when appropriate, to participate in the work of the G.A., Permanent Council, CIDI and OAS-sponsored conferences and events.
-- Convoke at the General Assembly the first government-civil society dialogue on democracy and development.
Restructuring of Technical Cooperation
-- Establish an OAS development entity to implement Technical Cooperation Programs as a semi-autonomous management function with distinct programmatic identity, but within the framework of the OAS and under the overall policy direction and program coordination of CIDI.
-- Place administration of all scholarship and fellowship programs as well as other OAS activities that qualify as technical cooperation under the responsibility of this entity.
-- CIDI/CEPCIDI to provide broad policy guidance, leaving day-to-day management of the entity to its chief executive with operational guidance from a management board and assistance of the CENPES.
-- Authorize and direct the new entity to begin a vigorous effort to attract outside financing from private and other public sources to expand significantly technical cooperation-programs and eventually replace regular budget financing.
-- Strengthen the principle of cooperation so as to ensure that while all members participate in the benefits of the partnership allocation of resources is better prioritized to more accurately reflect relative country needs and size and strength of the national economy.
-- Consolidate Secretariat services into two functional areas: Administration/Management and Programs/Policy, each under the direction of an Undersecretary.
-- Assign conference and meeting services to the Management Secretariat and development cooperation/project implementation to the Programs/Policy Secretariat.
-- Strengthen the independence of the Inspector General.
-- Create a 2% reserve for contingencies to stabilize the cash flow and provide emergency funding which can only be accessed by request of the SG and approval of the PC.
-- Make offices and units cost centers, "charging" all costs to the office or unit, to allow the true costs of any activity to be transparent.
-- Reduce number of National Offices to those located in the countries with the greatest relative need and, where possible, regionalize these and place them under the management of the new technical cooperation entity.
-- Include in all draft GA, PC or CIDI resolutions with budgetary implications that the activity is subject to the availability of funds in the final approved budget and all proposals for new activities after the budget is approved must be accompanied by a proposed trade-off(s), not left to CAAP to determine priorities.
-- Extend personnel evaluations to all personnel.
-- Design a targeted buy-out program.
-- Review OAS benefits and compare with those of other International Organizations.
-- Establish an OAS Code of Conduct consolidating conflict of interest rules of the General Standards and extending to deal with issues such as financial disclosure by senior OAS Secretariat officials, refusal from participation in issues of potential conflict, OAS employment of mission officials.
Human Rights Commission
-- Strengthen the functioning and independence of the Human Rights Commission through enhanced personnel and budget authority.
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