Media Center

Press Release


  March 30, 2004

The Inter-American Committee on Social Development (CIDES) is preparing to hold its first meeting in Santiago, Chile, April 5 and 6. The meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) body, organized with support from Chile’s Planning and Cooperation Ministry, will develop anti-poverty strategies and move forward with social development programs.

It will bring together representatives from the 34 OAS member states as well as international and regional organizations involved in fighting poverty in the Americas.

Chile’s Ambassador to the OAS, Esteban Tomic, noted “The fact that Santiago will host this First Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Social Development reaffirms the Chilean government’s view of how important it is for states to work together towards common goals in such a critical area as combating poverty and marginalization.”

Tomic cited remarks by Chile’s Planning and Cooperation Minister, Andrés Palma, at a recent meeting in Rio de Janeiro, where he declared that “social development is generated by a genuine combination of sustainable economic development, reduction of inequality and promotion of democratic institutions.” Ambassador Tomic stressed that under the purview of the OAS, the states of the Americas can “continue learning from one another and coordinating social development efforts” and at the CIDES meeting.

According to Sofía Leticia Morales, Director of the OAS’ Unit for Social Development and Education, CIDES was established as a mechanism to tackle the social development challenges facing the hemisphere. She said this first meeting will review and update the Inter-American Program to Combat Poverty and Discrimination, in order to better address the region’s social development needs. The delegates will also discuss the management of the Social Network, elect officers and approve the Committee’s rules of procedure.

The upcoming CIDES meeting will also review the commitments undertaken at the High-Level Meeting on Poverty, Equity and Social Inclusion, held on Margarita Island, Venezuela, last October. At that meeting, delegates underscored the important role of the Inter-American Committee on Social Development in formulating social policies and developing anti-poverty cooperation initiatives.

Established as a subsidiary body of the OAS’ Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), the Inter-American Committee on Social Development is among those anti-poverty mechanisms officially recognized by the heads of state and government at the Special Summit of the Americas, held in Mexico in January 2004.

Reference: E-045/04