AG/RES. 1668 (XXIX-O/99)
STRENGTHENING COOPERATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS AND CIVIL SOCIETY
(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 7, 1999)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
The Declaration of the Second Summit of the Americas, held in Santiago, Chile in April 1998, which recognizes that representative democracy is founded upon the active participation of individuals;
The civil society initiative contained in the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas;
Resolution AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98), "The Organization of American States and Civil Society;" and
The Annual Report of the Permanent Council (AG/doc.3830/99), especially as regards the implementation of the provisions on civil society entrusted to the OAS in the Plan of Action of Santiago; and
That the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere made a commitment to stepping up education for democracy, promoting the necessary actions to make government institutions more participatory, strengthening the capacity of regional and local governments, and promoting more active participation by civil society;
That the civil society initiative in the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas recognizes the OAS as a suitable forum for the exchange of experience and information and instructs it to "encourage support among Governments and civil society organizations and to promote appropriate programs to carry out this initiative";
That in the Plan of Action, the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere agreed to request that the Inter-American Development Bank develop financial mechanisms for implementing programs designed to strengthen civil society and mechanisms for public participation;
That resolution AG/RES. 1539 (XXVIII-O/98) reaffirmed the role of the OAS as a policy forum for a community of democratic nations and instructed the Permanent Council to examine new ways to increase participation by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations in the activities of the Organization;
That the implementation of the Cooperation Program in Decentralization, Local Government, and Citizen Participation established by the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy has been particularly beneficial and has led to the holding of the First and Second Seminars on Frameworks and Policies for Citizen Participation at the Municipal Level, held in Cochabamba (July 1998) and Buenos Aires (May 1999); and
That the member states have an interest in strengthening dialogue and cooperation with civil society organizations,
1. To urge the member states to establish, or to continue to strengthen, mechanisms of cooperation between governments and civil society organizations at the state, provincial, and municipal levels.
2. To instruct the General Secretariat to provide advice and assistance to member states that so request, with a view to establishing or strengthening mechanisms for facilitating exchanges between governments and civil society organizations at the state, provincial, and municipal levels in the following areas, inter alia:
a. The establishment or enhancement of flexible and efficient communication systems, particularly by electronic means, between the member states and civil society organizations;
b. The establishment of communication networks among member states to foster the exchange of knowledge, experience, and innovations in this area, including periodic meetings under the aegis of the OAS; and
c. Support for interested states in holding conferences and seminars, sponsored by the General Secretariat, to acquaint civil society organizations with matters of interest to them in the national, regional, or hemispheric arenas.
3. To request the Secretary General to seek the necessary resources to make such cooperation possible with support from the IDB, interested states, and other relevant inter-American institutions.
4. To request the Secretary General to invite as well the member states, the permanent observers, and civil society organizations to make additional voluntary contributions to help fulfill the mandates envisaged in this resolution.
5. To instruct the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirtieth regular session on the progress made in implementing this resolution.