Contributions 2013

In the true spirit of partnership, Permanent Observers in 2013 continued to provide key technical and financial support to the OAS, which contributed significantly to the achievement of the Organization’s main goals in the areas of strengthening democracy, defending human rights, promoting access to justice, ensuring a multidimensional approach to security, fostering integral development, and furthering OAS outreach efforts to promote dialogue. Permanent Observers’ financial and in-kind contributions to OAS priority programs in 2013 totaled $18.4 million. 

In addition, the OAS continues to deepen political and technical dialogue among Permanent Observers, OAS member states, and the General Secretariat in order to advance our current cooperation efforts and identify additional opportunities to collaborate on common objectives in the Americas.

Contributions: 2014·2013·2012·2011·2010·2009·2008·2007·2006·2005

 Promoting Democracy

Promoting Democracy

Permanent Observers provided support to member state efforts to strengthen democracy and democratic sustainability in the Americas by contributing to OAS programs in the areas of electoral processes, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and effective public management in securing people’s rights to a civil identity.

With the support of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Japan, the OAS carried out successful Electoral Observation Missions in Grenada, Honduras, and Paraguay. In addition, OAS projects to strengthen campaign finance reform, establish electoral standards and integrate a gender perspective into electoral processes were supported by Korea, Serbia and the United Kingdom. The OAS Political Accompaniment and Electoral Observation Mission to the Republic of Paraguay also benefitted from the support of the United Kingdom, through which the OAS provided its good offices to facilitate the political dialogue between political and social actors in preparation for the general elections in Paraguay in 2013.

Contributions from the European Union, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom furthered the work of the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP) in Colombia to contribute to the efforts of the Colombian Government in the implementation of transitional justice; in particular through the strategic enactment of the Law on Victims and Land Restitution, as an overarching tool to establish a firm and lasting peace in that country. The MAPP worked specifically in 2013 to strengthen victim protection programs to guarantee the safe participation of all stakeholders in this process.

Financing from the European Union and the United Kingdom supported efforts of the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala to facilitate the resolution of the border dispute between those two countries through the promotion of confidence-building measures. In 2013, the Office conducted more than 100 acts of verification of incidents or difficulties that arose in the area; supported the resettlement of the last Guatemalan families who lived in the Adjacency Zone administered by Belize; carried out programs promoting a culture of peace; conducted training designed to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the youth of the two countries; held meetings of mayors, immigration and customs officials; and implemented various socio-economic projects with the communities in the area.

Through generous technical assistance provided by the European Union, the OAS developed a system for monitoring open, on-line and other electronic media in the Americas as part of a broader system designed to improve the Organization’s multi-dimensional analysis and understanding of political developments in OAS member states, as well as its capacity to prevent and react to situations where democracy might be at risk.

Through financial support given by Germany, Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and Luxembourg, the Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA) succeeded in providing documentation, including birth certificates, identification cards, and corrected erroneous identity documentation to more than 29,500 persons living in border communities in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. Likewise, these contributions permitted 2.5 million registries of vital statistics to be digitalized and catalogued in the Eastern Caribbean, while great strides were also made in improving cooperation and interoperability among civil registries in Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) and South America (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), including efforts to share best practices and ensure full identification of citizens in border areas. This funding also facilitated the initiation of a project to reconstitute the civil identity of 1.5 million citizens in Guatemala whose identities were lost due to the armed conflict there.  A contribution from Switzerland to the OAS Office in Haiti will enable the Organization to provide training to 141 offices of the Haitian National Identification Office and issue identification cards to more than 500,000 youth and people in rural zones, thereby allowing them to exercise their right to vote in future elections.

 Defending Human Rights

Defending Human RightsThe Inter-American Human Rights system, which includes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, benefited tremendously from the contributions of Permanent Observers to promote the observance and protection of human rights in the Americas. In 2013, the Netherlands, Denmark and France contributed to the IACHR Strategic Plan 2011-2015, through which the Commission was able to receive new petition cases, process existing cases, carry out on-site visits, produce country reports, and provide recommendations and precautionary measures to Member States.

With the collaboration of Finland, Sweden, the European Union, France and Switzerland, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression advanced in its work to monitor and report on violations against freedom of expression to the IACHR, with the goal of generating stronger commitments and improved legislation, policies and national practices related to this important issue.

The United Kingdom cooperated with the IACHR in 2013 by contributing to the establishment of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons (LGBTI) Rapporteurship, which works to promote and protect rights related to issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and body diversity. This Rapporteurship will publish and disseminate a Regional Report on Violence and Impunity against LGBTI Persons in the Americas as part of a first installment in a broader hemispheric study of the rights of LGBTI persons. 

Through support from the People’s Republic of China, the OAS provided training to more than 130 government officials from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay to increase awareness about international norms and their technical capacity to enforce non-custodial penalties for children and adolescents from a human rights perspective.


With significant contributions from the Netherlands and Italy in 2013, the Inter-American Judicial Facilitators Program continued to advance its objectives in seven countries: Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.  Last year, the program’s network increased to include 7,266 facilitators, 40% of which are women, and all of whom are local volunteer leaders selected by their communities and trained and supervised by local judges. In addition, 31,000 access-to-justice services were provided by judicial authorities or submitted by facilitators, while 80,000 prevention services (advisory and mediation) were given, and more than 202,000 persons were informed about juridical norms and their rights. The Program also trained over 1,200 justice facilitators at the postgraduate and masters level in an alliance with seven local universities.

Germany and Angola contributed to the OAS’ Program of Action on Indigenous Peoples to promote indigenous rights, including training in good governance practices, the political participation of women, human rights, and the design and management of development programs.


ENSURING A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO SECURITYSweden, the United Kingdom, and the Holy See reinforced the work of the OAS to provide innovative approaches, through its MAS Central America program, in reducing violence in El Salvador. In particular, the OAS Department of Public Security is working on the disarmament, rehabilitation and reinsertion of criminal gangs in El Salvador with the objective of reducing the short-term violence and the long-term lowering of crime rates, and is implementing efforts to use music as a tool for social change in El Salvador.

With the cooperation of Belgium and Italy, the Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines Program (AICMA) continued its work in providing administrative, technical, and logistical assistance in humanitarian demining, educating communities about mine risk, supporting the Bank on Antipersonnel Mines, and assisting victims. In 2013, AICMA carried out three different projects in Colombia and was successful in releasing 725,000 square meters; implementing 12 projects in 6 targeted municipalities, benefiting at least 100 families at risk; assisting 144 land mine survivors in their physical and psychological rehabilitation; and increasing by 55% the national capacity for manual demining operations.

Fostering Integral Development

Fostering Integral DevelopmentIn 2013, Spain, the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, Israel, and the United Kingdom contributed more than 250 scholarships for professional and academic development opportunities for citizens of the Americas, while also encouraging important intercultural exchanges between their countries and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Government of Israel continued its collaboration with the OAS to provide training opportunities for young entrepreneurs, with more than 1,000 young people trained in 2013 on topics including agribusiness, microenterprises and entrepreneurial innovation.

Turkey and the People’s Republic of China supported key OAS educational programs that are contributing to the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education in Latin America and the Caribbean by improving access to information and the transfer of knowledge on STEM Education best practices and lessons learned at all education levels. In addition, China contributed to an innovative training program for teachers to incorporate democratic values, principles, and procedures into their classroom practices so that students gain experiential learning on how to live in democratic, inclusive, and diverse societies.

With the assistance of the Principality of Monaco, the Organization was able to offer training programs to policymakers in the Dominican Republic and Panama to strengthen their capacity to protect children’s rights in disaster risk management.

The People’s Republic of China provided funding to advance the judiciary’s understanding of national and international laws regarding environmental protection and the relationship between environmental law and socio-economic issues. This project will also offer reference material tools to support training, and will foster a network of jurists, legal practitioners, and scholars to further the project’s objectives through the exchange of information and experiences.

Outreach and Institutional Strengthening

Outreach and Institutional StrengtheningGreece, Morocco and Serbia supported the Lecture Series of the Americas and OAS Policy Roundtables in order to bring together leaders and world-renowned experts on current issues of the hemispheric agenda, including access to quality education, migration and development, the rights of women and afro-descendants, economic and political trends in the region, peace and mediation, access to water, and addressing the drug problem from a human rights perspective.

These outreach programs serve to enrich the debate among the OAS Member States, promote the exchange of best practices, and increase awareness of the public-at-large of the diverse programs carried out by the OAS in benefit of the citizens of the Americas.

Korea, through its support to the OAS Internship Program, continued to foster exchanges and capacity building for young professionals pursuing careers in international affairs and diplomacy.

China contributed to the capacity-building of the OAS General Secretariat by offering professional seminars on emergency and disaster risk management, human resources and development, in addition to projects to modernize the work space and infrastructure of OAS headquarters with a view to increasing efficiency and productivity.