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OAS and the Congress of Peru Sign Agreement to Organize Inter-American Meeting of Legislative Powers

  March 31, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Congress of Peru today signed an agreement for the organization of the First Meeting of Legislative Presidents of OAS member countries, to be held in Lima later this year.

After signing the Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General, Hugo de Zela, said the agreement will allow the General Secretariat of the Organization "to collaborate with the Peruvian legislature, providing them with the technical support they have requested to carry out this initiative to conduct the first meeting of the legislative powers of the member states of the OAS."

Ambassador De Zela recalled that the OAS is and has been committed to the legislature powers of the region for more than 20 years to carry out concrete actions and, on several occasions, the General Assembly of the Organization has raised the need for a meeting of this type. He stressed that, during the discussions on the subject over the years in the OAS, a consensus has emerged that "having strong, modern and efficient legislative powers is positive for strengthening democracy in the Americas."

"Bringing together, for the first time since the OAS was created, the heads of the Congresses of member states will provide, without a doubt, an excellent opportunity to bring our legislators closer together and to allow for a fruitful exchange of experiences" said Chief of Staff De Zela. "This space for dialogue that will now be offered by the Peruvian Congress is the realization of the aspiration of several years within the framework of the OAS. We are very happy to finally see this aspiration taking shape," he said.

For his part, the President of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, Fredy Otárola, who signed the document in representation of his institution, emphasized the importance of promoting closer relations between the parliaments of the Americas. The meeting, he said, will seek to "establish a common agenda based on specific issues and common interest, and aims to move forward in the creation of capacities that contribute to institutional modernization and strengthening of the legislatures of the Americas and create a space to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices."

During the meeting, said the Peruvian congressman, "issues of great importance to the legislative bodies of the Hemisphere will be debated, such as generating credibility and confidence in legislatures, transparency and accountability in parliamentary management, the role of legislators in public-private partnerships and their growing influence in the development of policies and programs linked to development and social inclusion, as well as the role of female legislators."

The Ambassador of Peru to the OAS, Juan Jiménez Mayor, expressed his gratitude for the presence of the delegations of several member states of the Organization at the ceremony and said the meeting in Lima will aim "to address the problems of our parliaments, and in that way to seek ways to strengthen democratic institutions in our countries."

The parliamentary meeting will be organized by the Congress of the Republic of Peru with the technical support and assistance of the General Secretariat of the OAS, through its Support to Representative Institutions Section of the Secretariat for Political Affairs.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Chair of the Permanent Council of the OAS and Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the OAS, Pedro Vergés; Peruvian Congressman Josué Gutiérrez; Chief Adviser to the President of the Peruvian Congress, Alfonso Adrianzén; the Secretary for Political Affairs of the OAS, Kevin Casas- Zamora; the Secretary for External Relations of the OAS, Alfonso Quiñonez, and representatives of several member states of the Organization.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-Roll of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-120/14