The Organization of American States (OAS) and the National Registry of Persons (RENAP) of Guatemala today extended their partnership with the signing of a technical cooperation agreement aimed at removing barriers to the effective registration of people who lack identity documents in the Central American country.
The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, said the goals of the agreement are to promote the universality and accessibility of civil registration and the right to identity; strengthen the policies of RENAP; encourage citizen participation and awareness and promote international cooperation. "The OAS hopes that the signing of this cooperation agreement will allow it to continue supporting the efforts of RENAP to achieve the registration and identification of all Guatemalans," said Secretary General Insulza, who stressed that the most vulnerable sectors of the population will benefit most from the collaboration, because when they have access to an identity document, they can receive support from the government.
The head of the hemispheric institution recalled that the 2008 OAS General Assembly created the Inter-American Program for Universal Civil Registry and the Right to Identity, and instructed the OAS General Secretariat to provide the assistance required by member states for the universalization and strengthening of systems of civil registration and among its aims, set a goal of one hundred percent registration for children under-five by 2015. "Two years before the deadline and, thanks to the efforts of the civil registry institutions, the percentage of underreporting has been reduced from 18 percent to 7 percent," said Secretary General Insulza.
The OAS leader also indicated that between 2011 and April 2013, and with support from the OAS Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA), 20 civil registry branch offices in Guatemala national public hospitals were established. "These offices provide coverage to 73 percent of births in Guatemala and promote birth registration before the newborns leave the hospital. Upon completion of the project with the OAS, RENAP will continue to install branch offices with the goal of achieving 100 percent registration of births in public health centers," added Secretary General Insulza.
For his part, the Executive Director of RENAP, Rudy Gallardo, expressed his satisfaction with the progress the agreement will enable regarding civil registration in Guatemala. "I firmly believe that the experience of the OAS through PUICA in civil registration will contribute to capacity building on issues such as the identification of people at borders and the exchange of information with other countries."
Executive Director Gallardo said the deal will also strengthen the training offered by the school registered with RENAP, and urged "further strengthening of the work that has been developed in other agreements of RENAP with the OAS through PUICA, such as timely registration and fighting underreporting."
The signing ceremony, held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, was attended by the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin; the Ambassador of Guatemala to the OAS, José Rodrigo Vielmann; the OAS Secretary for Political Affairs, Kevin Casas-Zamora; and the Director of the Department for Effective Public Management, Maria Fernanda Trigo, among others.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
The B-roll of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org