AG/RES. 1915 (XXXIII-O/03)
INCREASING AND STRENGTHENING CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATION IN OAS ACTIVITIES
(Resolution adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 10, 2003)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly (AG/doc.4156/03 add. 6), on inter-American summits management and civil society participation in OAS activities;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT resolution AG/RES. 1852 (XXXII-O/02), “Increasing and Strengthening Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities”;
BEARING IN MIND the Guidelines for the Participation of Civil Society Organizations in OAS Activities (the Guidelines), approved by the Permanent Council in its resolution CP/RES. 759 (1217/99) and endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution AG/RES. 1707 (XXX-O/00);
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ALSO that the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas established that, among other initiatives, the governments would develop strategies at the national level and through the OAS to increase the capacity of civil society to participate more fully in the inter-American system;
RECOGNIZING the importance of the participation of civil society organizations to consolidating democracy in all member states and the significant contribution that they can make to the activities of the OAS and of the organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system;
RECOGNIZING ALSO that civil society participation in OAS activities should take place within a framework of close cooperation among the political and institutional organs of the Organization;
NOTING WITH SATISFACTION the recommendations and the dialogue arising from the special meeting of the Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities on March 28, 2003, in which there was broad participation by civil society organizations from the Hemisphere; and
NOTING ALSO WITH SATISFACTION resolution CP/RES. 840 (1361/03), which, among other strategies to increase and strengthen civil society participation in the OAS, instructed the above-mentioned Committee to recommend to the Permanent Council measures aimed at institutionalizing the informal dialogue that takes place at every General Assembly session among heads of delegation, the OAS Secretary General, and the civil society organizations invited to attend,
1. To endorse the Strategies for Increasing and Strengthening Participation by Civil Society Organizations in OAS Activities, approved by the Permanent Council on March 26, 2003 [CP/RES. 840 (1361/03)], and to instruct the Permanent Council, the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), and the General Secretariat, in coordination with all organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS, to facilitate their implementation.
2. To include on the draft schedule for regular sessions of the OAS General Assembly, before the inaugural session, as a regular activity, the informal dialogue that has been taking place thus far between heads of delegation and representatives of civil society organizations.
3. To invite the host country to offer its support, in coordination with the General Secretariat, to registered civil society organizations, which will coordinate the organization of this dialogue of heads of delegation with representatives of civil society organizations and the preparation of its agenda and format, in accordance with the provisions established in resolution CP/RES. 840 (1361/03).
4. To urge member states to:
a. Participate in the dialogue of heads of delegation with representatives of civil society organizations; and
b. Continue their efforts to open broader windows of participation in OAS activities to civil society organizations.
5. To instruct the General Secretariat to continue to support member states that so request in their efforts to increase the institutional capacity of their governments to receive, absorb, and act on civil society input and advocacy, if possible through the use of information and communication technologies.
6. To recommend to the Permanent Council the creation of a specific fund for voluntary contributions, the “Fund for Civil Society Participation,” to support the participation of civil society organizations in OAS activities, including the dialogue of heads of delegation with representatives of civil society organizations, and to urge member states, permanent observers, and other donors to contribute to it.
7. To instruct the General Secretariat to carry out the activities mentioned in this resolution within the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.
8. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth regular session on the implementation of this resolution.