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OAS to Support the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador in its Institutional Strengthening

  September 16, 2011

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of El Salvador today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework of cooperation for the hemispheric organization to support strengthening efforts of the Salvadoran legislative institution.

At the signing ceremony, held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, the President of the Legislative Assembly, Siegfried Othon Reyes Morales, explained that the agreement seeks to channel the technical cooperation to strengthen the legislative branch, thereby "contributing to the modernization of their institutions through the improvement of the legislative process."

"I am convinced that within the principles of the Inter- American Democratic Charter, the strengthening of democratic institutions is a relevant issue. The OAS, during these 10 years of application of the Charter, has been pretty consistent and systematic in the support of democratic processes in our countries," said the Central American parliamentarian. He also stated that "in El Salvador we are committed to strengthening our parliament, giving it greater legitimacy, credibility and authority and therefore enabling it to produce quality legislation," adding that it "is very important to rely on institutions like the OAS, which have a great disposition to cooperate."

The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, recalled that for the Organization the independence of the legislative branch is "a cornerstone of representative democracy and for the balance of power", a concept, he said, that still needs to be strengthened in many countries of the region, which in some cases still "lack the technical resources to carry out its tasks properly." In this sense, he advocated for the need to "change this trend, giving the Parliament the management capacity required to do its job."

The leader of the hemispheric organization also welcomed the initiative of El Salvador to create an Academy of Legal Studies that will contribute to the professionalization of the Assembly’s staff. "I hope that with this initiative we can introduce a series of projects in this area. El Salvador has the virtue of being a country that radiates to other places their own initiatives and, as so, I hope that the project we are launching today succeeds in a way that will lead other countries in the region to replicate it and hence we can help them to strengthen democracy in the same way we are doing today," he said.

The agreement signed today establishes the creation of joint projects and activities between both institutions, including: courses and seminars for upgrading and training legislators, advisers and officials; the organization of forums and meetings to exchange successful practices; the facilitation of horizontal cooperation activities with other legislative bodies of Member States; and support in the identification of financing that allows the implementation of such activities.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-844/11