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October 5 – 6, 2000 6 October 2000

Washington, D.C. Original: Spanish




The Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology, at its Third Regular Meeting, decided to present its decisions in a document containing the agreements reached by the delegates present at the meeting.

This document complies with that requirement and lists the agreements reached during the plenary sessions of the Committee.

Approved agreements:

  1. Regarding the matter of the Meeting of Ministers of Science and Technology under the aegis of CIDI, COMCYT agreed to recommend that this meeting should take place after the April 2001 Presidential Summit. This would enable the science and technology decisions reached by the Summit to be taken and put into practice, drafting priorities and projects that will have an important impact on the people of the Americas. Regarding the agenda for the Ministerial Meeting, it was agreed that although drafting could begin, as of now, it would be best to await the results of the Presidential Summit so that its key components could be determined in light of the decisions reached at the Summit.
  2. With respect to the positive input needed in science and technology for the Presidential Summit, so that the Summit can deal with these issues not only horizontally but also in an explicit way, COMCYT agreed to recommend that Colombia, as pro-tempore secretariat, continue leading the coordination efforts in the development of information to be input to the Presidential Summit, in tight collaboration with Chile and Canada. It was also agreed that the delegates could send their comments and contributions to the Technical Secretariat of COMCYT, which could then distribute that information to the COMCYT authorities and the coordination in Colombia. It was also agreed that these proposals should be drafted in such a way as to be feasible, fundable during the period between Summits, and with easily measurable results.
  3. Regarding procedures for the election of the authorities of COMCYT, it was agreed that at any Regular Meeting of COMCYT, the First Vice Chair elected during the previous Regular Meeting would perform the functions of Chair for that Meeting. It was also agreed that, if the First Vice Chair, due to compelling reasons (such as change of government, etc.), could not serve as Chair, then the Second Vice Chair would carry on that duty. In the event that the Second Vice Chair were unable to perform the duty, the Committee would proceed to vote for a new Chair according to the terms specified in the current rules of procedure. It was also agreed that the Technical Secretariat will proceed to consider the agreements and present the Committee with the relevant modifications reflecting these changes to the rules of procedure, and that said modifications will be approved by COMCYT at its next meeting (notwithstanding the fact that this mechanism is now in place under the present agreement).
  4. To facilitate the exchange of information between the political body and the science and technology authorities and to establish clear communication channels, COMCYT agreed to recommend that all member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) designate, through their National Liaison Organ (ONE), a National Organ on Science and Technology (ONCYT), whenever possible, which will be the institution or person that will represent that member state at COMCYT meetings. It was also agreed to recommend that the OAS Permanent Missions designate a point of contact for science and technology issues within their Missions and, if possible, a backup for when the first contact is not available. Finally, the Committee agreed that the information on these contacts (institutions or people) should be sent, as soon as possible, to the Technical Secretariat of COMCYT at the OAS Office of Science and Technology, so that these lists could be drawn up and published on a web page. If possible, all points of contact should provide e-mail addresses (several if possible) to facilitate the communication flow.
  5. With regard to the different stages in the evaluation of project proposals, the Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology agreed to recommend that the first stage should be the reception of proposals by each ONCYT (as defined in the previous paragraph by the ONEs of each member state), with the ONCYT responsible for making a first selection of pre-proposals of projects (Profile 1 according to the definition provided by the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development, these proposals involve the ideas for possible projects) according to the priorities defined by each country. Of course, proposals that are sub-regional in nature should receive higher priority than national ones, and proposals that are regional in nature should receive higher priority than sub-regional ones. However, national proposals can also be presented to and evaluated by the ONCYT. Once the ONCYT performs this exercise, it will pass on these Profile 1 pre-proposals to the corresponding ONE of that member state, which will in turn send these pre-proposals to the General Secretariat of the OAS through the appropriate channels, according to the provisions already established in existing agreements in that respect.
  6. In a second stage of project proposal submission, COMCYT agreed to recommend that the Management Board of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD) consider the participation of COMCYT in the pre-selection process of technical cooperation proposals (Profile 1, provided by the ONEs according to the previous point) that could ultimately be formulated as technical cooperation projects to be presented for financing (Profile 2, projects designed in full). In this way, COMCYT, together with the IACD, would collaborate in the formulation of projects, and these projects would be evaluated by the corresponding CENPE. It was agreed to recommend that IACD consider making good use of the experience and capacity of COMCYT in all issues related to science and technology.
  7. For the project proposals that will be presented for analysis by the Science and Technology CENPE during the 2000 programming period for execution during 2001, COMCYT agreed to recommend the IACD to present to the CENPE all the science and technology multilateral project proposals meeting the pre-selection criteria received by the Agency by August 15, 2000. This recommendation arises from the concern, expressed by several delegations, that there are good project proposals in the original list received by August 15, which for some reason or other do not appear in the integral programming proposal. In this way, CENPE will have the option of selecting, from that longer list, proposals that are deemed to have technical merits and to comply with all the other criteria established in the CIDI Strategic Plan.
  8. COMCYT recommended that IACD consider naming a contact within the Agency, who will work with COMCYT authorities on science and technology related issues. Also, it was agreed that the Presidency of COMCYT will be the point of contact for the Committee.
  9. COMCYT agreed that when IACD formulates its new procedures for project design, it contemplate the need to establish benchmarks for an evaluation at the end of the project to be performed by outside evaluators and the mechanism to disseminate the results of the evaluation.
  10. COMCYT agreed to highlight the importance that the evaluation of Science and Technology policies should acquire in the Western Hemisphere, in the context of a globalized economy of knowledge and of the competitive insertion of the Region in that globalized economy.
  11. With respect to its next Regular Meeting, COMCYT agreed to wait for a more clearly defined schedule of activities of the IACD in the programming of technical cooperation projects to define in due time the date and place for the Fourth Regular Meeting of COMCYT.