AG/RES. 1661 (XXIX-O/99)
THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES AND CIVIL SOCIETY
(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 7, 1999)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
RECOGNIZING the increasingly important role of civil society organizations in public life in all member states of the Organization of American States;
ALSO RECOGNIZING the significant contribution of civil society organizations to the activities of the Organization of American States and its organs and related agencies throughout the inter-American system, and in specific technical cooperation projects;
HAVING SEEN the resolution of the Permanent Council on the status of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the OAS [CP/RES.704 (1129/97)], the report by the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Permanent Council on the status of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the OAS (CP/doc.2946/97) and 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)];
RECALLING THAT, in the Plan of Action of the First Summit of the Americas, held in Miami in 1994, leaders declared that "A strong and diverse civil society, organized in various ways and sectors, including individuals, the private sector, labor, political parties, academics, and other non-governmental actors and organizations, gives depth and durability to democracy";
ALSO RECALLING that the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas noted that the OAS could serve as a forum for the exchange of experiences and information on the formation of responsible and transparent, non-profit and other civil society organizations, and entrusted the Organization to promote appropriate programs to foster greater participation of civil society in public affairs;
RECOGNIZING that AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98) instructed 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";
BEARING IN MIND that the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) on the Strengthening and Modernization of the OAS has held substantive discussions on the implementation of AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98);
CONSIDERING that the General Assembly requested the Permanent Council to present a progress report on the implementation of AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98); and
BEARING IN MIND the progress made on the draft Guidelines for Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities, in particular those related to Chapters I, II, III, IV, and VI, attached to the progress report of the Permanent Council on the fulfillment of resolution AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98) (GETC/FORMOEA-101/99 rev. 3), prepared by the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) on the Strengthening and Modernization of the OAS,
1. To welcome the progress report of the Permanent Council on the implementation of AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98).
2. To resolve to establish within the Permanent Council a Committee on Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities, composed of all the member states of the Organization.
3. To instruct the Permanent Council to prepare, by way of that committee, and bearing in mind the attachment to the report presented by the Permanent Council, guidelines for civil society participation in OAS activities, for adoption before December 31, 1999.
4. To thank the Secretary General for complying with the requests set out in resolution CP/RES. 704 (1129/97), in particular the preparation of a register of NGOs with which the OAS has relations.
5. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly on the implementation of this resolution at its thirtieth regular session.