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Security of small island states

 

Reports

 

PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

COMMITTEE ON HEMISPHERIC SECURITY

OEA/Ser.G
CP/CSH-274/00
23 February 2000
Original: English/Spanish

REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT IN RESPONSE TO THE SPECIAL SECURITY CONCERNS OF SMALL ISLAND STATES

[Document prepared by the General Secretariat pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 1640 (XXIX-O/99), operative paragraph 13]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

I. THE LINK BETWEEN TRADE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND SECURITY 1

A. Trade 1 B. Tourism 4 C. Ports 5

II. PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND ECOLOGICAL DISASTERS 6

III. THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN AND PROTECT DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, WHICH ENSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY 8

A. Strengthening of Democratic Institutions 9 1. Support to Legislative Institutions and Processes 9 2. Promotion of Democratic Values and Practices 10 3. Program of Cooperation in Decentralization, Local Government and Citizen Participation 10

B. Electoral Technical Assistance 11 1. Modernization and Strengthening of Civil and Electoral Registries. 11

C. Democratic Forum 12

D. Special Missions 12

E. Collaboration with Other Organizations 13

IV. COOPERATION FOR THE ERADICATION OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND DRUG ABUSE 13

REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT IN RESPONSE TO THE SPECIAL SECURITY CONCERNS OF SMALL ISLAND STATES

[Document prepared by the General Secretariat pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 1640 (XXIX-O/99), operative paragraph 13]

This report describes the activities conducted by the General Secretariat pursuant to resolution AGRES. 1640 (XXIX-O/99), operative paragraph 13, which instructed the General Secretariat to “continue to implement appropriate action to address the special security concerns of small island states, including those identified at the High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States, held in San Salvador in February 1998, and at the special meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security held in October 1996.” Through operative paragraph 15 of the same resolution, the General Assembly also instructed the General Secretariat to “report to the Permanent Council, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security and prior to the thirtieth regular session, on its compliance with the provisions of the resolution.”

In 1999, the OAS member states, under the auspices of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), financed several activities that respond to the special security concerns of small island states, as they were expressed in February 1998 at the High Level Meeting in San Salvador.

These projects are multilateral in nature; that is, they are executed by two or more countries. Also, cooperation activities are grouped in different categories such as trade, economic development, regional security, environmental protection, ecological sustainability, and the strengthening of democratic institutions through regional cooperation and education. (See Annex 1).

The other activities conducted are organized according to topic, as follows: economic aspects, the environment and natural hazards, the promotion of democracy, and cooperation in the eradication of drug trafficking and illicit drug use.

I. THE LINK BETWEEN TRADE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND SECURITY

A. Trade

One of the Trade Unit’s main mandates is to assist the smaller economies in their economic development and in enhancing their trade capacity and resources. Pursuant to this mandate, the OAS´ Trade Unit provides technical assistance to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Negotiating and Consultative Groups of the process and supporting the smaller economies in their participation in these negotiations. As such, the OAS Trade Unit has worked with the FTAA Consultative Group on Smaller Economies (CGSE), as well as the former Working Group on Smaller Economies (WGSE) during the preparatory phase of the FTAA process. This work is reflected in last year report on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States (Document CP/CSH-174/99 rev. 1). In 1999, the Trade Unit prepared a study on the relationship between Trade and Financial Liberalization for the CGSE as well as a number of documents aimed to facilitate the smaller economies’ efforts to follow the progress of the FTAA negotiating Groups.

Also as part of its efforts in support of the FTAA CGSE, the Trade Unit is continuing to compile information on the technical assistance needs of the smaller economies and has put this information in database form. This database is now available to the public – including donor organizations – through the FTAA homepage. The Trade Unit also compiled a database of trade-related technical assistance programs available to the smaller economies in each of the areas that will be negotiated in the FTAA. This database is also now available to the public and will be continually updated. Additionally, as part of a joint effort with USAID, the OAS Trade Unit has constructed a database of trade-related training programs. All three of these databases can be found on the FTAA homepage under the “technical assistance” button at the following address: http://www.ftaa-alca.org/tecass/tapindex.asp

In addition to the CGSE, the OAS Trade Unit provides support to the smaller economies in their work for the FTAA negotiating groups on: Investment; Services; Intellectual Property; Subsidies, Antidumping and Countervailing Duties; Competition Policy; and Dispute Settlement. It is also supporting the Market Access Negotiating Group in the area of Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade and the Joint Government-Private Sector Committee of Experts on Electronic Commerce. In the Negotiating Group on Market Access, the Trade Unit prepared a document on the needs and supply of technical assistance in the area of Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade, and in the Negotiating Group on Competition Policy, the Trade Unit, along with the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America (ECLAC), prepared a paper entitled “Competition Policy in Small Economies: Issues and Options.”

Over the course of 1999, the Trade Unit carried out a number of regional seminars on FTAA-related issues that emphasize the participation of the smaller economies. In the context of the Trade Unit’s technical cooperation projects organized with the financial assistance of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), three regional seminars were organized to address specific issues of relevance to the Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations. All of these activities are oriented towards the smaller countries of the Americas.

In July 1999, the Trade Unit, in conjunction with IDB/INTAL and Costa Rica’s Ministry of Foreign Trade, organized the “Global Services Trade and the Americas” conference with the participation of trade officials, leading private sector executives from prominent services industries, representatives of national services coalitions, and academics, including participants from the Caribbean island states. This activity was of particular importance to the island states of the Caribbean as their economies are highly service dependant. This conference examined the critical issues of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations, analyzed the approach towards services liberalization in the various sub-regional trading agreements and explored the services discussions in the FTAA process. A book with the contributions of this conference will be published this year.

On 13-15 September 1999, the OAS Trade Unit along with the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Ministry of Trade of Paraguay held a seminar on Technical Regulations in the Americas in Asuncion, Paraguay. The seminar was open to all Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas, and funding was granted for the participation of the smaller countries, among which was the Dominican Republic. The objective of the seminar was facilitate the participation of the smaller countries of the Americas in the FTAA discussions on standards and technical barriers to trade and to help them to comply with their obligations under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. It also aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the key issues by government officials, private sector and civil society participants.

On October 25-26 in Bridgetown, Barbados, the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery and the OAS Trade Unit hosted a seminar on investment for the English-speaking Caribbean. The aim of the seminar was to familiarize government officials from Caribbean countries with existing investment arrangements and their main concepts. It was also designed to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between investment and issues such as competition policy and services in the WTO discussions and in the FTAA negotiations. Speakers were drawn from academia, international institutions, the private sector and think tanks.

The third regional seminar was entitled “Intellectual Property in the New Millennium”, and held in Caracas, Venezuela, December 6-7. Organized by the OAS, with funding from CIDI, and co-sponsored by the Servicio Autonomo de la Propriedad Intelectual (SAPI) and the postgraduate program of the Universidad de los Andes. The seminar included over 150 participants from governments, the private sector, and academia, including participants from Dominican Republic. The program was designed to address the most current issues in the intellectual property debate that promise to be part of what will be negotiated in the context of the FTAA.

In addition, Trade Unit staff participate frequently as invited guests in a number of events organized in the small island states of the Caribbean by providing briefings on the FTAA process. On March 29-30, 1999, the OAS Trade Unit participated in a workshop held in Nassau, the Bahamas, entitled “Global and Regional Trade Negotiations and their Impact on Smaller Economies”. Co-sponsored by SELA and the WTO, topics on the agenda included the WTO and the upcoming millennium round of negotiations, the FTAA , and regional trade negotiations in the context of globalization.

The Trade Unit also continues to offer a training course entitled “Multilateral and Regional Trade Issues for the Americas: Advanced Training Course for Government Officials.” Held for the first time in the summer of 1998, the training program is a joint effort of the OAS, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Georgetown University, and will be held again in summer 2000. The course offers sessions, taught by high-level trade analysts and practitioners drawn from the WTO, OAS Trade Unit Georgetown University faculty, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, sub-regional institutions, as well as universities, law firms and think tanks.

Course sessions cover the main issues that are under negotiations in the FTAA (market access –tariffs, non-tariff measures, rules of origin, customs procedures, safeguards and standards/technical barriers to trade–, agriculture, services, investment, government procurement, competition policy, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, subsidies/antidumping and countervailing measures) as well as regional trends in economic integration and the status of multilateral and regional trade talks. The course aims to enhance the participation of small country negotiators in the FTAA and other trade negotiations. In the summer of 1999, 13 officials from the English-speaking Caribbean countries participated in the course, and received a textbook prepared by the Trade Unit for the course, along with other materials. A CD-Rom with the full contents of the Foreign Trade Information System (SICE) web site was distributed to all course participants. The tentative course dates for the 2000 sessions are June 19-30 for the Spanish language session and July 10-21 for the English language session. A textbook, incorporating papers presented by a number of experts on the various subjects, is being prepared for distribution to the participants.

B. Tourism

In view of the remarkable natural and cultural attractions of the Caribbean, tourism plays a fundamental role in guaranteeing the security of the economic systems of the region.

Analyses of the economic impact of tourism indicate that it is a major industry for the small Caribbean states and provides large and significant direct and indirect benefits to their economies. Direct benefits include employment, foreign exchange earnings, fiscal revenue enhancement, and generation of production and employment in other sectors of the economy. The indirect benefits vary widely but generally include increases in agriculture, fisheries and handicrafts production, new construction, and impulse to commercial and services industries, such as duty free shopping, banking and entertainment.

The assistance offered by the OAS to the Caribbean tourism sector has focused on various aspects of sustainable tourism development, such as: tourism product development, formulation of projects of infrastructure and attractions, marketing and promotion, management of small local tourism establishments, and tourism public awareness. Our assistance in the various fields has involved training and institutional development.

Current regional efforts by the Inter-Sectoral Unit for Tourism are concentrated in two multilateral projects for tourism development, and the financial and technical support provided through the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The first multilateral project is entitled "Caribbean Tourism Competitiveness and Sustainability (CTCS)" and has three critical components: (1) assistance for small hotels, (2) technology transfers and, (3) tourism awareness.

The Small Hotels Assistance component is aimed at improving the quality of the tourist services provided by the hotel sector, with particular emphasis on smaller hotels. With the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, our efforts targeted : (1) the development of Caribbean hotel brands and market driven standards; (2) the presentation of an application for funding support to CIDA Canada for the creation of a "Technical Secretariat" within the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) to underpin this activity; and (3) the continuation of negotiations with the Washington based Inter-Agency Group (IMF, IDB, IFC, World Bank) on the creation of a Caribbean Tourism Investment Fund.

The Technology component focused on a program aimed at introducing information technology to the small hotel owners/managers. The following activities were carried out: (1) The launch in June 1999 of a Caribbean website: www.caribbeaninnkeeper.com; (2) The creation of Technology Walk-In Centers with the installation of computer work stations; and (3) The deployment of volunteers from the US Peace Corps, the Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO), the Canadian Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), and the Retired Dutch Executive Organization to work with the small hotel owners/managers on technology use and Internet web-site development. The Tourism Awareness component has focused on seeking funding for the creation of a Tourism Awareness Foundation that would fulfill a mandate to: (1) establish a resource center for tourism awareness programs, media and support material; (2) manage a tourism awareness web-site now under development for the region; (3) develop and implement “train the trainer” programs to support national tourism awareness efforts; and (4) develop, fund, and implement programs to support national tourism awareness programs.

The second multilateral project is aimed at the establishment of a “Caribbean Heritage Foundation” dedicated to the support and advancement of awareness, preservation and tourism potential of the rich built and cultural heritage of the Caribbean. Based on a request from St. Lucia, through the Office of the Governor-General, the OAS funded the development of a strategy and business plan for the creation of the Foundation.

Another conduit for OAS assistance and support to Caribbean tourism has been through the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). During the past year, the CTO has (1) provided continued support for the Regional Tourism Marketing Program in the North American travel markets; (2) participated in the preparation, publication, and distribution of a Guide to Tourism Careers, Education and Training in the Caribbean; (3) developed a program to sensitize the general public in the area of Health and Tourism; (4) prepared a study on the Intra Regional Tourism Market. This market has been identified by most national tourism organizations in the Caribbean as having the potential to improve hotel occupancy rates and boost tourism receipts in the off season when international visitation is low; and (5) prepared a study of Tourism Education and Training Needs in the Caribbean.

C. Ports

The Secretariat of the OAS Inter-American Committee on Ports held the following activities for small island States:

1. A Course on Port Security, which was held November 16-20, 1998 in Barbados. Thirty-five port officials from the following OAS member countries participated (the majority of which are small island States): Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The aim of the course was to assist participants with the improvement of port and cargo security. The course covered the following topics: the maritime industry and security, staff or contracted security forces, control of access to ports, methods of preventing cargo theft, measures for preventing drug smuggling, port security rules, and training of port personnel. Port experts from Miami and New York/New Jersey and the United States Customs Service assisted with this activity.

2. Distribution of the following technical material and specialized leaflets on port security: “Sea Port Security”, “Port Security: Security Force Management”, and “Port Security: A National Planning Guide”. These documents (written in English and translated into Spanish) were distributed, in 1998 and 1999, to all port authorities of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

3. Another intensive port security course for the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean was scheduled to take place in September 1999 in Saint Lucia. Due to the prolonged nature of the hurricane season in that area, it had to be postponed and rescheduled for the first half of the year 2000, at the same venue.

II. PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND ECOLOGICAL DISASTERS

During 1999, Floyd and Lenny have again demonstrated the vulnerability of the Caribbean Small Island Developing States to hurricanes and tropical storms. The disruptive effects of these events threaten the social welfare and sustainable development of many of the smaller OAS Member States. The vulnerability to these known climatic hazards is being compounded by the growing effects of global climate change, which may be causing increases in frequency and intensity of climatic extremes. While storms and related flooding and landslides are the most frequently experienced hazards, earthquakes and volcanoes also pose significant risk to the region.

The threat posed by natural and environmental disasters to the Small Island States was an important topic at the UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (UN/SIDS), held in Bridgetown Barbados, 1994. The resulting Program of Action calls for regional and national initiatives to reduce vulnerability to natural and environmental disasters by strengthening the institutional capacity to monitor and assess risk and to formulate cost-effective measures for risk reduction. Important social and economic aspects of these initiatives were included in the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 1996. More recently, may 1997, Caribbean Member States and the United States of America joined in a Partnership for Prosperity and Security in the Caribbean, which calls for, among other actions, for an effective cooperation in disaster preparedness and response.

The High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States, held in San Salvador in February 1998, concluded, inter alia, that a fundamental aspect of the security of these States is their protection against environmental phenomena and ecological hazards that can threaten their integrity. This Meeting recommended the review and strengthening of cooperation programs to prevent and respond to natural disasters. These programs are, of course, subject to the authorization and conducted at the behest of the countries involved. The conclusions and recommendations of the meeting were compiled by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in resolution AG/RES. 1567 (XXVIII-O/98).

Last year, the OAS member States established the Inter-American Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction during the twenty-ninth regular session of the General Assembly in Guatemala. This decision stems from the keen awareness of all member States of the need to step up efforts to design global strategies that permit a reduction in natural disasters and reduce their impact on the lives of the peoples of the Hemisphere and on the economic and social infrastructure of their countries. The Committee, which has met twice, decided to form three working groups: 1) mechanisms for the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance, chaired by PAHO; 2) assessment of financial mechanisms for natural disaster reduction, chaired by the Inter-American Development Bank; and 3) evaluation of the vulnerability of social and economic infrastructure, chaired by the OAS. In addition, pursuant to the mandate contained in operative paragraph 8 of AG/RES. 1682 (XXIX-O/99), the Secretary General ordered the establishment of the OAS internal committee to address natural disaster situations.

In response to the concerns of member states, and in accordance with the Program of Action of the United Nations Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (UN/SIDS), held in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1994, the GS/OAS, acting through the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment, has financed, planned, and developed a series of technical assistance programs aimed at reducing natural hazards, preventing natural disasters, minimizing the damage caused by them, and promoting adaptation to global climate change.

Under these programs, the technical support of the GS/OAS consists of providing assistance with policy formulation, evaluating risk and vulnerability, providing training in techniques to mitigate the effects of disasters, and preparing investment projects. In general, the activities are carried out as part of the technical cooperation programs under way at the national or regional levels, with the assistance of national and regional institutions. In response to a mandate from the Summit on Sustainable Development, inter-American dialogue has been initiated with a view to the reduction of the effects of disasters, in order to encourage an exchange of ideas on this topic at all levels.

In order to finance these programs, funding has been obtained from the European community, UNDP, and USAID. The Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project, financed by USAID and executed by the GS/OAS, amounted to US$5 million and took place over a five-year period. This project had several objectives. The first was to promote sustainable development by reducing the vulnerability of infrastructure to natural risks. The second was to prepare maps of zones at-risk, in order to build awareness of the problem, and improve decision-making related to development projects. The third was to improve risk management by the insurance industry, in order to improve coverage of the region in the event of disaster. The fourth and final objective was to involve the private sector in community activities related to natural risk prevention and response. In order to achieve these objectives, the GS/OAS promoted community activities related to risk prevention and response, prepared risk maps, worked towards the standardization of construction protocols and practices that reduce the risk of buildings to natural hazards, promoted incentives for loss reduction and risk mitigation in the insurance industry, provided technical training, and disseminated information on all these subjects. In 1999, at the end of the project, regional institutions such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) , the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) assumed responsibility for several of the programs.

In response to the damage caused by Hurricane Georges in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis, la GS/OAS is carrying out a damage mitigation project in these States. The project, financed by USAID, will cost US$1,150,00, and will last eighteen months. The aim of the project is to reduce long-term risk by integrating preventive measures into development planning, adopting codes and practices for proper construction, improving the refugee system, and expanding information and education on this subject.

Global climate change poses special risks for those States that form part of the Caribbean. In fact, global warming will likely increase the temperature of the oceans, a factor that will lead to extensive damage in coastal areas. In order to examine the level of risk, determine the zones that will be seriously affected, assess their vulnerability, suggest strategies for adapting to these changes, and encourage planning in this area, the project “Caribbean: Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change” (CPACC) was formulated. CARICOM and the GS/OAS worked together to secure funding for it. It was agreed that the International Monetary Fund would provide the $6.7 million needed for the Project, that the World Bank would coordinate it, that the GS/OAS would execute it, and that the Unit for Project Implementation would be established within the Center for Environment and Development of the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

Considerable progress has been made with the project. The Government of Barbados has made the West Indies Commission building available to it to house the Implementation Unit. From a technical standpoint, the installation of 18 advanced technological stations for gathering information on meteorological conditions and ocean temperatures has been completed in the 12 countries participating in the project. This information is available on the Project’s webpage. The collection of information to prepare an inventory of the coastal resources of each participating country is beginning. A program to evaluate the impact of climate change on the coral reefs of Jamaica, Belize, and Bahamas has been established. Barbados, Grenada, and Guyana have completed the first study on the effects of climate change in their coastal zones. Plans are being made to begin pilot programs to study coastal resources in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and St. Lucia. Antigua, Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis will begin pilot programs to determine the most appropriate economic mechanisms for managing coastal zones. Assistance with these projects was provided by the Permanent Council of the Organization, which urged its members to participate actively in the projects. Lastly, the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development approved a resolution, based on the Project, for the establishment of the Caribbean Center on Climate Change.

III. THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN AND PROTECT DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, WHICH ENSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY

For small island states, security is related, inter-alia, to their capacity to deal adequately with numerous governance challenges posed by a rapidly changing international environment and complex internal socio-economic issues. In the period under review, the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD) continued to respond to requests for assistance to the small island states of the OAS, in accordance with the Unit’s 1999 work plan contained in CP/CAJP-1436/98 rev. 2. corr. 1, and mandates of the OAS General Assembly.

In this context, in May 1999 the Unit completed an analysis of the governance challenges of the OAS Commonwealth Caribbean small island states, a study begun in 1998 with the contracting of a consultant to examine these issues, possible UPD support in critical areas of governance, and to identify possible sources of additional funding for this purpose. The consultant submitted recommendations and an updated working document of March 1999 entitled “Program of Support for Democracy and Governance in the Caribbean”. This document had first been presented for the review of the Permanent Representatives of OAS Commonwealth Caribbean member states in April 1998, and subsequently to the Second Coordination Meeting between the General Secretariat of CARICOM and the General Secretariat of the OAS on April 23-24, 1998. Drafted and subsequently refined on the basis of ongoing and wide-ranging consultations with Caribbean member states, the CARICOM Secretariat and international, regional and bilateral donor and financing agencies, the program recommends sub-regional activities in: education for democracy (civic education); improvement of the justice system; legislative drafting; decentralization, local government and citizen participation; training of young political leaders; strengthening electoral processes; and, Caribbean studies on democracy and governance.

This working document was endorsed by the OAS General Assembly of June 1999 through AG/RES. 1675 (XXIX-O/99) “Cooperation between the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States and the General Secretariat of the Caribbean Community”. This resolution was transmitted by the Secretary General of the OAS to the Secretary General of CARICOM, and in accordance with the commitment expressed in that communication, UPD in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary General, has been consulting with the CARICOM Secretariat on the content of the proposed program, as well as the venue, timing and methodology for organization of a donor’s meeting to seek funds for its implementation.

In addition to its efforts at proposing an integral program of support to the small island states of the Organization, the UPD also continued to respond to specific requests for support from those states. Following are the activities undertaken by the Unit at their request between the period January 1999 and January 2000.

A. Strengthening of Democratic Institutions

1. Support to Legislative Institutions and Processes

Workshop in Legislative Drafting

The need to improve legislative processes by strengthening the capacity of central legislative drafting units in the small states of the Caribbean is evidenced in areas such as delays in promulgating important legislation and the contracting of skilled personnel from extra-regional sources. In 1997 and 1998 UPD responded to the request of these states for entry to mid-level workshops in legislative drafting for government personnel, workshops both executed with the collaboration of the Faculty of Law at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados. Formal evaluations of these workshops and consultations with the offices of the Attorney General/Ministries of Legal Affairs which had participated in the preceding activities confirmed the need for a follow-up activity. With the support of a contribution by the Permanent Observer Mission of the United Kingdom to the OAS, and following the requisite consultations and arrangements in 1999, an intensive workshop in legislative drafting is confirmed for February 7-11, 2000. The workshop is again conducted with the support of the Faculty of Law of the Cave Hill Campus of UWI in Barbados, and is aimed at senior technical legislative drafting personnel from the twelve Commonwealth Caribbean member states. The objective is to enhance the in-house capacity of these legislative drafting units by upgrading the knowledge and professional skill of the technical personnel with intensive training in state-of-the-art techniques of legislative drafting.

2. Promotion of Democratic Values and Practices

a. Civic Education/Education for Democracy in the OECS and Trinidad and Tobago

The fostering of a democratic political culture is an important underpinning of governance in virtually any state. In small island states it is especially important for political institutions and processes to be supported and enhanced by a solid civic culture. The CARICOM Secretariat collaborated with the UPD in the area of civic education by acting as executing agency for the conducting of a study on Civic Education/Education for Democracy in six member states of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), and Trinidad and Tobago. The study was conducted in accordance with mandates on the subject area issued by the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM at their summit of July 1997, and supported with resources approved by the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the OAS. The basic purpose of the study was to assess the adequacy of the content, methodology and impact of civic education programs in the target countries in terms of the objective of contributing to fostering a democratic political culture. The report and the consultant’s recommendations are to be presented to the countries involved for comment and decisions on required action.

b. Seminar on Analyzing and Managing Conflicts: Tools for Strengthening Democratic Systems

The UPD has been working with national and regional institutions of government and civil society to support the development of knowledge and skills, especially among young people, in relation to democratic values and culture. In this context, on June 23-30, 1999 the Dominican Republic hosted the seminar “Analyzing and Managing Conflicts: Tools for Strengthening Democratic Systems”. The seminar was organized jointly by the UPD and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), in collaboration with Santo Domingo’s Madre y Maestra Catholic University and the United States Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. An important objective was to promote greater understanding of the dynamics of social and political conflicts and the development of skills to prevent, deal with and peacefully resolve them. The seminar brought together some thirty representatives of the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, Central America and Colombia, from the government sector (foreign affairs, defense, justice, education) as well as civil society.

3. Program of Cooperation in Decentralization, Local Government and Citizen Participation

In the small island states of the OAS as in the hemisphere as a whole, local governance and the participation of civil society in public policy-making at the local and community level are important planks in the democratic consolidation process. In this regard, the report of the sub-regional meeting for the Caribbean entitled "Local Government, Communitarianism and the Citizen: Opportunities and Challenges" (Kingston, Jamaica, June 7-8, 1998), held within the UPD Program of Cooperation in Decentralization, Local Government and Citizen Participation, was published in the first quarter of 1999. The research papers presented in the publication as well as the record of the meeting’s policy discussions constitute a significant contribution to the very small stock of information available on Caribbean local governance, and this, together with contacts made through its distribution among international agencies, has led to two partnerships for activities on local level participation in the small island states of the Caribbean. These activities (seminar and training course) are to be executed in the year 2000.

B. Electoral Technical Assistance

1. Modernization and Strengthening of Civil and Electoral Registries.

Reliable civil and electoral registries and, in general, electoral systems with sound technical support play an important role in supporting transparent and credible elections, a vital part of the democratic process. During the period covered by this report, the UPD provided support in the following areas:

a. Modernization of the Civil Registry: Belize, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Since 1996, the UPD has assisted the General Registry of Belize with the computerization of the country’s civil registry system. In 1999, UPD technical experts continued providing assistance to the General Registry in its computerized database of demographic information including deaths, births and marriages. The experts reviewed with the officials of the General Registry methods to improve the accuracy of the information being entered.

Requests were also received from Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for technical assistance to modernize the civil registry information systems in their countries and some of the funding for purchasing necessary hardware and software has been secured through specific contributions. Thus a UPD consultant was stationed in Grenada for four months to formulate a program in which the General Registry Information can be stored. Additionally, the UPD provided the necessary hardware and software for the General Registry.

b. Electoral Technical Assistance: Belize, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The UPD has assisted in the computerization of the electoral registry of Belize used in two different elections. UPD is now working with the Elections and Boundary Commission to decentralize the input of voter registration information to link the Electoral and General Registries and to improve the capability of the system to generate needed reports.

During the period under review, requests were also received from Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for electoral technical assistance to modernize the voter registration system in their respective countries, along similar lines as the support provided to Belize. Some of the funding required to support execution of these requests was secured through specific contributions and a technical consultant has begun work in Grenada. In addition to its work on the General Registry, the OAS has provided technical assistance to improve the security of the computerized voter registry and to make the electoral registry more compatible with the General Registry.

c. Reform of the Electoral System: Saint Lucia

The Unit responded to a formal request of February 1999, presented by the Government of Saint Lucia through its Permanent Mission, for assistance in re-drawing the country’s electoral boundaries. Following a technical mission to define the scope and nature of the assistance, and the securing of some of the required financing, work has begun on this project with the contracting of a consultant whose technical study will provide baseline data to support re-drawing of the constituency boundaries.

C. Democratic Forum

On May 24, 1999, the UPD held a session of the Democratic Forum, its periodic discussion series to examine salient governance issues in the Hemisphere. The objective of the May session was to examine the role of civil society in consolidating democracy and in contributing to the formulation of public policy in the hemisphere. Experiences from small island states were highlighted in the presentation of the speaker from Trinidad and Tobago (Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago), and these were contrasted and compared with other experiences from the region, including Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama.

D. Special Missions

1. OAS/UN International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH) and Electoral Observation

The UPD has supported efforts to defend and promote democracy in Haiti, principally through the activities of the joint OAS/UN International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH). Established in 1993 and initially focussed on the promotion and defense of human rights and support for the consolidation of democracy, following the return of constitutional order, MICIVIH’s mandate was expanded to include the provision of technical assistance to democratic institutions, including the initial development of a conflict resolution program within a broader plan of action which also focussed on civic education and activities designed to promote the respect for human rights. In the period under review, the UPD continued to utilize its considerable experience in peace-building and conflict resolution to provide technical expertise to the MICIVIH program.

In 1999, the Secretary General, responding favorably to a request for an electoral observation mission to observe Haiti’s legislative, municipal and local elections, charged the UPD with organizing this mission. The OAS, through the UPD, will observe the elections, slated for March 19, 2000, during, the pre- and post-electoral phases as well as on election day. The core group of the mission is scheduled to arrive in Port-au-Prince in early February. It will be recalled that the OAS has observed various electoral processes in Haiti since 1990.

2. Electoral Observation – Grenada

In the period under review, the OAS through the UPD also organized an electoral observation mission to Grenada which had been requested by that country’s Government. The mission was present in Grenada January 12-22, 1999 to observe the general elections held on January 18, 1999. Ambassador Joseph Edmunds was appointed Chief of Mission, and OAS Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Christopher R. Thomas was present for these elections.

E. Collaboration with Other Organizations

Association of Caribbean Electoral Organizations (ACEO)

In keeping with its mandate to foster and facilitate exchanges of information and specialized knowledge among institutions and technical personnel of the Hemisphere, the UPD has been collaborating in the work of the Association of Caribbean Electoral Organizations (ACEO), an Association whose founding session took place at a conference in Puerto Rico convened for that purpose in March-April 1998. UPD and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) were designated co-Secretariats to the Association, with UPD exercising that office in the final quarter of 1998 and first quarter of 1999. During that period collaborative technical support activities were initiated, including a feasibility study on providing Internet access to the 20 ACEO member countries, and compilation of electoral norms (codes, legislation, constitutions and codes of conduct) to be made available to all members through the Political Database of the Americas, a joint project between the UPD and the University of Georgetown. The Association’s executive committee meeting held in Washington, D.C. June 21-22, 1999 also agreed on a number of operational strategies, regular publication of an information bulletin, a diagnosis of the status of electoral rolls and a study to assess electoral observation experiences in the sub-region. The first information bulletin was published in January 2000.

IV. COOPERATION FOR THE ERADICATION OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND DRUG ABUSE

Resolution AG/RES. 1640 (XXIX-O/99) “Special Security Concerns of Small Island States,” resolves, inter alia, “to urge member states to cooperate with the small island States in the eradication of transnational criminal activity that threatens the stability and security of the said small island States; and to instruct the Permanent Council and its appropriate committees and working groups, in collaboration with the General Secretariat, to identify ways in which to combat such criminal activity and to support the small island states in their efforts to eradicate the said activity. In fulfillment of these mandates, in 1999, CICAD:

1. Conducted work aimed at formulating and updating the National Anti-Drug Plans of all the countries of the region, through the development of CICAD’s Program for Institution Building, the objective of which is to provide technical support to the national authorities in updating and improving their national anti-drug strategies, as well as the entities responsible for their implementation, in particular the National Drug Control Commissions. In 1999, technical assistance missions were conducted in the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia. In the year 2000, these missions will be conducted in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

2. Continued to provide operational assistance to the Telecommunications Network for Drug Control (through national councils) RETCOD, which fosters the exchange of anti-drug information among member States. This effort includes facilitating access to equipment and Internet services and the training of network operators.

3. Continued implementation of its training program for professionals and technical experts involved in the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts in the region. In that context, an intermediate-level training course was held in Tobago last August for community workers and churches of the entire English-speaking Caribbean. In addition, a training workshop was held in the Dominican Republic on “Women and Drug Abuse.” In conducting these activities, consideration was given to increased drug consumption in small island States.

4. Carried out a number of training and education activities in the area of drug prevention and control. In that framework, police officials from all the Caribbean countries participated in the course held in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ottawa in July 1999. Also, customs officials from 15 countries and territories of the region received training in the drafting of risk profiles and the location of illicit products that are trafficked by concealment in the human body. The training course was held, with the assistance of the Caribbean Customs Cooperation Council (CCLEC), at the facilities of the Inter-Ministerial Anti-Drug Training Center of France, CIFAD, headquartered in Fort de France, Martinique.

5. Initiated, in October 1999, the project entitled “System for the Control of Chemical Substances in the Caribbean,” the objective of which is to improve coordination and communication among the institutions responsible for the control of chemical substances in the region. This project, which is being funded by the European Commission, will be carried out during the year 2000 and involves 12 Caribbean countries and States. During its implementation, the individual and collective needs of the participating countries and territories will be identified, the necessary technical support for the implementation of their national control systems will be provided, equipment will be made available, and specialized training will be provided for officials responsible for the control of chemical substances.

Lastly, it should be mentioned that CICAD decided to conduct activities in the areas of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, control of chemical substances, port security, and anti-drug maritime cooperation in the countries of the Caribbean during the year 2000.

Annex 1. COOPERATION PROJECTS EXECUTED BY SEDI/IACD

Area Topic Project Title Brief Description/Objective SEDI/IACD The link between trade and equitable economic development Trade and Integration in the Americas: Advance Training Program for Government Officials To increase understanding of regional and multilateral trade issues among trade officials in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to improve negotiating capacity SEDI/IACD The link between environmental protection, ecological sustainability and security for small island states Climate Change and Adaptation Planning for the Coastal Zone of Caribbean States To assist Caribbean member states to acquire technical skills and improve their technical capacity to cope with potential impacts of climate change SEDI/IACD The link between environmental protection, ecological sustainability and security for small island states Freshwater Resources Management in the Small Island Developing States A)To review existing regional and national assessments of Freshwater resources problems and management strategies; B) To mobilize additional resources from Global Environment Facility (GEF) SEDI/IACD The link between economic development and domestic tranquility DMS/CTCS Technology Based Learning To achieve support for economic diversification and employment generation through increased sustainable tourism SEDI The link between trade and equitable economic development Trade and Integration in the Americas: Advance Training Program for Government Officials To increase understanding of regional and multilateral trade issues among trade officials in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to improve negotiating capacity SEDI The strengthening of sustainable democratic institutions through regional cooperation Strengthening Strategic Capability of CARICOM Member States in National Security Policy Issues To develop the requisite skill of national security policy formulation as well as the application of innovative lobbying techniques SEDI The link between technology and economic development Cooperation in Development and Transfer of Biotechnologies for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean To enhance the productivity of Caribbean agro-based industries with the ultimate goal of improving domestic economies to facilitate trade and preserve and improve environment integrity SEDI The link between technology and economic development Small and Medium Food Enterprises in the Caribbean: Transfer and Development of Technologies for Industrial Food Processing and Preservation To facilitate and promote the preservation of agricultural raw material for the purpose of integrated development

Note: SEDI projects were executed in 1999. SEDI/IACD projects will be executed in the year 2000. All resources are from voluntary contributions to FEMCIDI

 


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