AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98)
THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES AND CIVIL SOCIETY
(Resolution adopted at the third plenary session, held on June 2, 1998)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
The Standards on Cooperative Relations between the Organization of American States and the United Nations, Its Specialized Agencies, and Other National and International Organizations [AG/RES. 57 (I-O/71)];
The Report by the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs on the status of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the OAS (CP/doc.2946/97);
The resolution "Status of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the OAS" [CP/RES. 704 (1129/97)]; and
The civil society initiative contained in the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas;
That through informal practice that has developed and expanded in recent years, and via groundbreaking formal arrangements in the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) and elsewhere, many NGOs have made and are continuing to make valuable contributions to the Organization by participating actively, as appropriate, in the deliberations of several OAS bodies and by assisting in the implementation of OAS-sponsored technical cooperation projects;
That member states and various OAS bodies have considered this experience with NGO involvement very favorable;
That the Summit of the Americas, held in Miami, the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development, in Santa Cruz, the Second Summit of the Americas, in Santiago, and the inter-American programs adopted in the priority areas contained in the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development 1997-2001 [adopted by the General Assembly through resolution AG/RES. 1511 (XXVII-O/97)] all acknowledge the importance of civil society; and
That the civil society initiative contained in the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas states that "the Organization of American States (OAS) may serve as a forum for the exchange of experiences and information" and entrusts "the OAS to encourage support among Governments and civil society organizations, and to promote appropriate programs to carry out this initiative"; and
That as a policy forum of a community of democratic nations, the OAS should reflect in its practices and procedures the values of openness, transparency, and participation by interested parties, which are basic principles of democracy; and
That implementing the mandates assigned to the OAS by the Heads of State and Government at the Summits of the Americas is a high priority,
1. To instruct the Permanent Council to examine ways to increase the degree to which appropriate nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations may become more closely involved in, and contribute to, the activities of the Organization, and ways to implement the tasks entrusted to the OAS in the Santiago Plan of Action with respect to civil society. In this process, representatives of civil society organizations may be asked for their views on the matter.
2. To instruct the Permanent Council to present a progress report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth regular session.