November 15, 1999
OAS APPROVES INTER-AMERICAN
In an important move intended to bolster the hemispheric cooperation system, the Organization of American States on Monday approved the statutes of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development, which is expected to come into being on January 1, 2000.
United States Ambassador Victor Marrero presided over the one-day Twenty-Sixth Special Session of the OAS General Assembly where member country delegations hailed the decision as a historic one as they expressed optimism about the role the inter-American agency is to play.
In a message read to the participants at the meeting, OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria recalled that the idea stemmed from a proposal the United States delegation had put forward nearly two years ago to the annual meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "The creation of the Agency is a vital step forward as we try to make our instruments as effective as possible to assist member countries."
Approval of the statutes comes as Ambassador Marreros tour of duty at the OAS draws to an end. The member state representatives commended him for giving intellectual leadership not only in establishing the Agency but also in other major initiatives.
The purpose of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development is to promote, coordinate, administer and facilitate the planning and execution of programs, projects and activities as provided for under the OAS Charter and in particular under CIDIs Strategic Plan for Partnership. It will also administer and have oversight of OAS fellowship and training programs and will establish cooperation linkages with permanent observers, non-OAS countries and local and international organizations.
The development agency will have a board of directors and an Executive Secretariat for Integral Development. The nine-member board will be elected by member states, based on the principles of rotation and equitable geographic representation. The Executive Secretariat will help member states strengthen partnership through an initial evaluation of all requests submitted for cooperation activities.