This new edition of the OAS General Assembly took place in Cancun. For the first time in the history of that multilateral organization, Mexico hosted this hemispheric event that brought together all the authorities and Permanent Missions, as well as a large number of civil society organizations, social and political leaders and the private sector. The main theme of the Assembly was ‘Strengthening Dialogue and Concertation for Prosperity’, with three interactive panels that were created based on the four pillars of the OAS: multidimensional security, democracy and human rights, and sustainable development.
After a process of consultation with some organizations, which have regional work, together with the OAS General Secretariat, the Mexican government decided to propose new methodologies for participation and dialogue between civil society and government representatives. In short, each of the organizations and social actors who wanted to participate in the Assembly had to register, as the procedure always demands, but this time also they should register under a CSO coalition, which could be formed by at least 10 organizations qualified to participate in the Assembly. Then the coalitions had to indicate one of the segments to intervene (of the three panel of the Assembly) and collectively define a position, which would be presented to the OAS authorities and governments.
Considering the rules of participation, the Citizen Forum of the Américas was registered as a coalition, and presented its inputs for dialogue between civil society, the Secretary General Almagro and governments’ representatives.
The Forum’s position was built on the basis of dialogue process, leaded in Mexico by Equipo Pueblo, with organizations and other civil society actors in this country. The document has a social and political diagnostic in our region and concrete proposals to advance both in the debate and to find solutions to our problems. Among which we could point out:
- To guarantee measures for Democratic Governance by effectively and timely implementation of national public policies to eradicate corruption with all instances and resources.
- To guarantee the exercise and justiciability of Human Rights, in its integral perspective, including the defense of the land, territory and the conservation of the environment, within the framework of international instruments and human rights laws.
- To make effective the protection mechanisms for human rights defenders; guarantee freedom of association and the right to participate, beyond electoral processes.
- To demand compliance with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments to ensure transparency, accountability and active civil society participation in all countries.
- To promote public policies to eradicate poverty in all its dimensions, with clear, precise and according indicators to the reality of the country, with an institutional design that generates a comprehensive social policy, aligned with the 2030 Agenda, in all its dimensions: economic, legal, political and cultural.
- Comply with the Istanbul Principles and the Fourth High Level Forum to ensure an enabling environment for the development and advocacy of civil society organizations.
- Support the cohesion of civil society organizations at the regional level, for dialogue and positioning in multilateral spaces.
Click here if you want read the full document of the Citizen Forum of the Americas coalition at the 47th General Assembly of the OAS.
Link to the article in Spanish: https://proyectopasca.org/2017/06/30/el-foro-ciudadano-de-las-americas-en-la-47-asamblea-general-de-la-oea/