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Virtual Consultation of the Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM)
Through the Summit Virtual Platform (SVP)
February 18 to 27, 2009


Invitation to civil society to contribute to the integration of a gender perspective 
in the Draft Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain - Fifth Summit of the Americas

The Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM) and the Summits Process

The Fifth Summit of the Americas will be held from 17th to 19th of April of 2009, in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, under the theme: "Securing our citizen’s future by promoting human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability". The Draft Declaration of Commitment Port of Spain has been divided into five (5) main pillars: Promoting Human Prosperity, Environmental Sustainability, Energy Security, Strengthening Public Security and Democratic Governance.

The referred Draft Declaration of Port of Spain was discussed in the landmark of the Third meeting of Ministers of the Highest-Ranking Authorities Responsible for the Advancement of Women in the Member States  - REMIM III (November 2008, Chile) and, as a result, a document was emitted in which it is recommended that governments integrate the gender perspective in each one of the themes of the Draft Declaration. The Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) also has emitted a specific document in the same sense.

In follow-up to these recommendations, CIM/OAS and the Summits of the Americas Secretariat are pleased to invite civil society to participate in a  VIRTUAL GENDER FORUM, to be held between February 18th to 27th, 2009.  The forum seeks to address, examine, discuss and suggest concrete recommendations to incorporate a gender perspective throughout the text of the Draft Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain, in its 5 pillars, and based on the value of the diversity of experiences of persons, organizations and networks with trajectory in this field in the Americas. The purpose, then, is to create an opportunity for civil society organizations that work with women’s rights and gender issues to make their contributions during the negotiation process of the outcome document of the Fifth Summit of the Americas.

Forum Structure and Methodology

IThe Forum will count with the collaboration of two moderators (Valéria Pandjiarjian and Elba Nuñez, from the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights - CLADEM) who, with the support of the Summits Virtual Platform coordinator (Claudia Salazar), are going to facilitate the debates in two separate bilingual virtual spaces (Spanish/English), which are going to be available in an ongoing manner (including weekends) for all participants during the period of the Forum. Access the moderators' brief bios here.

The final recommendations will be complemented with a report which will be elaborated by the Secretariat of CIM on the main comments and contributions made in the virtual forum. The Summit Secretariat will distribute the report broadly, will publish it in the Summits Secretariat’s website and distribute it as a reference material in the Hemispheric meeting with civil society to be held in the OAS headquarters, Washington DC, spring, 2009.

The Gender Virtual Forum will be undertaken through the Summit Virtual Platform of the Americas, a friendly manageable space, with access under previous registration, created by the Summit Secretariat, and that utilizes  information and communication technologies to broaden the opportunity for participation from civil society in the Summits Process.

We invite you to actively participate in this initiative, as well as to spread the word among other organizations and networks effectively committed with women’s rights and gender issues.

We wait and count with your participation !!!

How to participate in the forum?

If you are already registered in the SVP, simply login to the Platform where you may participate in the forum after February 18, 2009.
If you have not yet registered
, please click here and complete the ‘registration form’. Registration for membership in the SVP is open to anyone interested in participating in or knowing more about the Summits Process.

Questions, Comments?

If you have any questions regarding this initiative, please contact the following:
Yasmin Solitahe Odlum, CIM Specialist - yodlum@oas.org
Maria Celina Conte, CIM Specialist – mramos@oas.org

Additional information on the SVP is available in this Website or by contacting Claudia Salazar in the Summits of the Americas Secretariat at: csalazar@oas.org

Reference documents for the Consultation:

Recommendations of REMIM III to the V Summit of the Americas

-  Recommendations of the CIM to the IV Summit of the Americas

-  Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women's Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality




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