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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T

AG/RES. 85 (II-0/72)

STANDARDS FOR INTER-AMERICAN SPECIALIZED CONFERENCES 

(Resolution adopted at the eleventh plenary session
held on April 21, 1972)  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT: 

Resolution AG/RES. 46 (I-0/71), in which it requested the Permanent Council to prepare "a draft of new standards for the inter-American specialized conferences"; 

HAVING SEEN the draft of new standards for inter-American specialized conferences approved by the Permanent Council (resolution CP/RES. 58 (63/72) of February 11, 1972); and 

CONSIDERING: 

That in the preparation of this draft, attention was paid to the articles in the Charter of the Organization concerning the specialized conferences, the standards now in effect for these conferences approved by the Council of the Organization on June 20, 1962, as well as other pertinent provisions appearing in the Statutes of the Councils and the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and the Councils; 

That pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 6 (I-E/70), representatives of the Permanent Executive Committees of the Inter‑American Economic and Social Council and the Inter‑American Council for Education, Science, and Culture participated in preparing this draft, with the General Secretariat providing advisory services; and 

That the Permanent Council has fully carried out the mandate given to it by the General Assembly in resolution AG/RES. 46 (I-0/71) since the draft presented by the Council to the General Assembly contains the necessary stand­ards for proper implementation and coordination of the provisions of the Charter relating to the inter-American specialized conferences,

 RESOLVES: 

To approve the following 

STANDARDS FOR INTER-AMERICAN SPECIALIZED CONFERENCES 

I.        SCOPE OF APPLICATION OF THE STANDARDS 

Article 1.  The organs, agencies, and other entities of the Organization of American States responsible for functions related to holding specialized conferences shall observe the following standards. 

II.          CHARACTERISTICS OF SPECIALIZED CONFERENCES 

Article 2.  Specialized conferences shall be convoked in accordance with the Charter of the Organization and these standards and have the fol­lowing characteristics: 

a.       They must be intergovernmental, that is, all delegations must represent their respective government and participate in their name. 

b.       They must deal with special technical matters or develop specific aspects of inter-American cooperation. 

Article 3.  It is the function of the General Assembly, the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs or, if appropriate, the corres­ponding Councils to determine whether the conferences to be held meet the requirements of specialized conferences. 

III.          CONVOCATION OF SPECIALIZED CONFERENCES 

Article 4.  Inter-American Specialized Conferences shall be held when so decided by: 

a.       The General Assembly, on its own initiative or at the request of one of the competent organs; 

b.       The Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, on its own initiative or the request of one of the competent organs; 

c.       Each Council, on its own initiative, in urgent cases and on matters within its competence, after consulting with the member states. 

Article 5.  The report that the General Secretariat must present to each regular session of the General Assembly shall indicate, with the date, place, and agenda of each, the specialized conferences that are proposed for the following fiscal year and whose holding must be decided upon by the General Assembly, in accordance with Article 128 of the Charter. 

Article 6.  When a specialized conference is to be convoked in accordance with Article 72 of the Charter, the corresponding Council, after consulting with the member states, shall decide by majority vote, whether an urgent case is involved, and if so, it shall then convoke this specialized conference. 

Article 7.  When the competent organ has decided to convoke a special­ized conference, the Secretary General of the Organization shall transmit the notice of convocation to the governments of the member states.  It is the function of the specialized organizations to transmit this notice of convocation to states that are members of those specialized organizations but that are not members of the Organization. 

Article 8.  When the participation of observers is called for or has been expressly authorized by the competent organ, the invitations shall be issued by the General Secretariat or, if appropriate, by the specialized organizations. 

IV.          PARTICIPANTS 

Delegations 

Article 9.  The following may accredit delegations to specialized conferences: 

a.       The governments of member states of the Organization; and 

b.       The government of any other American state that is not a member of the Organization but is a member of the specialized organiza­tion concerned. 

Permanent observers 

Article 10.  Permanent Observers[1] may attend the specialized conferences in accordance with the resolution of the Permanent Council that determines criteria on this matter.[2]  The presence and participation of such observers at these conferences shall be governed by the regula­tions that the conference in question has established in this respect. 

Other observers 

Article 11.  Except for the cases specified in basic instruments establishing special procedures, the following may accredit observers to the specialized conferences: 

a.       Inter-American specialized organizations and intergovernmental regional agencies of the Americas; 

b.          The United Nations and its specialized agencies; 

c.       International or national organizations that maintain cooperative relations with the Organization or with the inter-American spe­cialized organizations sponsoring the conference or, in other cases, when the organ at whose initiative the conference is con­voked expressly decides to do so; 

d.       Governments of states that are not members of the Organization or of the specialized organization within whose jurisdiction the conference has been convoked, when these governments have expressed an interest in participating and meet the requirements for participation of observers called for in the rules of procedures of the organ that has convoked the conference, provided that the resolution on the convocation does not contain express provisions on the matter.  When the conference has been convoked by the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the requirements for participation of observers set forth in the rules of procedure of the General Assembly shall be observed, if applicable. 

Special guests 

Article 12.  Persons of recognized competence in the topic or topics to be considered at the specialized conference may attend as special guests, when so decided or authorized by the organ that convokes the conference or at whose initiative it is being held.  If none of these organs makes a de­cision on the attendance of special guests prior to the holding of the conference, the Permanent Council shall do so, if it deems this appropriate.  Invitations shall be extended by the General Secretariat or by the specialized organization concerned. 

Other participants 

Article 13.  The Secretary General of the Organization or his repre­sentative shall attend the specialized conferences. 

Article 14.  Representatives of organs or entities of the Organization whose spheres of competence are related to the topic or topics to be discus­sed may also attend the specialized conferences. 

Article 15.  The participants referred to in Articles 13 and 14 shall have the right to voice but not to vote. 

Article 16.  The privileges and immunities of the delegations accred­ited to the conferences and those of other participants, essential for the independent performance of their duties, shall be specified in the agree­ments for the holding of the conferences, concluded by the General Secretar­iat of the Organization and the host country.  

V.          AGENDAS AND RULES OF PROCEDURES OF SPECIALIZED CONFERENCES 

Article 17.  The agendas and rules of procedure of the specialized conferences shall be prepared by the corresponding Council or the specialized organizations concerned and shall be submitted to the governments of the member states for consideration sufficiently in advance of the opening date of the conference.  The governments may make the observations that they deem pertinent or propose the inclusion of additional topics, in which case the reasons for the request should be stated. 

Article 18.  The rules of procedure of specialized conferences shall establish that any proposed activity presented to these conferences having financial implications for the Organization of American States must be accompanied by an estimate of its cost. 

Article 19.  The General Secretariat of the Organization shall advise the appropriate organs in the preparation of the agendas and rules of pro­cedure of the specialized conferences. 

Article 20.  The governments of the member states may present studies, proposals, and drafts of international instruments to the specialized conferences. 

Article 21.  In matters within their respective fields of action, the Councils and specialized organizations may present studies, proposals, and drafts of international instruments to the specialized conferences. 

VI.          ORGANIZATION OF SPECIALIZED CONFERENCES 

Article 22.  The General Secretariat of the Organization shall provide the specialized conferences with adequate secretariat services.  However, when the conference has been convoked at the initiative of an inter-American specialized organization that has its own budget, that organization, with whatever cooperation the General Secretariat can provide, shall attend to the organization of the conference, including the preparation, publication, and distribution of its documents.  The specialized organization shall also take the principal responsibility for providing the conference with such secretariat services and technical personnel as may be agreed to with the General Secretariat. 

Article 23.  When the conference is to be held away from the headquarters of the General Secretariat or of the specialized organization at whose initiative it has been convoked, the General Secretariat or the specialized organization concerned shall reach agreement with the government of the host country as to the forms of cooperation and the contribution of each of the parties to the holding of the conference.  Such an agreement shall deal with the services, equipment, and installations that the government of the host country can offer to the conference. 

VII.          DOCUMENTS, REPORTS, AND ARCHIVES 

Article 24.  The documents intended for the conferences may be the following, among others: (1) working documents on the topics of the agenda, (2) reference documents related to the topics of the agenda; (3) drafts or proposals presented; and (4) any other document that the conference itself may decide to include. 

Article 25.  Unless its rules of procedure provide otherwise, the General Secretariat or the specialized organization concerned, as the case may be, shall be responsible for preparing, publishing, and distributing the following: (1) summary minutes of the plenary sessions of the confer­ence; (2) reports of the committees and of the working groups; (3) conclusions approved; and (4) the final report, act, or document of the conference. 

Article 26.  The General Secretariat shall take custody of the documents and archives of the specialized conferences and shall serve as depository for inter‑American treaties and agreements emanating from them, and also for the corresponding instruments of ratification. 

VIII.  FINANCIAL ASPECTS 

Article 27.  In the resolution convoking a specialized conference, the pertinent organ of the Organization shall indicate the source of financing that will be used to defray the expenses of that conference. 

IX.          GENERAL PROVISIONS 

Article 28.  Attendance at specialized conferences shall be determined in accordance with their multilateral nature and shall, not depend upon the bilateral relations between the government of any member state of the Organiza­tion or the specialized organization concerned and the country that is host to the conference. 

Article 29.  At the request of a specialized conference that is held periodically, the corresponding Council shall submit the organization plan to govern the structure and functioning of the corresponding series of confer­ences to the General Assembly for approval. 

Such organization plans shall be in accordance with these standards. 

Article 30.  These standards may be amended only by the General Assembly.



[1].     Resolution AG/RES. 50 (I-0/71). 

[2].     Resolution CP/RES. 52 (62/72) of January 19, 1972.