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OAS and Honduras Congress Sign Agreement of Understanding on Institutional Strengthening and Technical Assistance

  May 28, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the National Congress of Honduras today signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the hemispheric institution will support the Honduran legislature in institutional strengthening and reinforcing its image as well as training and technical assistance to his staff in issues of transparency, probity and accountability, among other issues.

During the ceremony, OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, said the agreement aims to support Honduras in its efforts toward the institutional strengthening of the Congress. "Today is difficult to imagine any democracy in Latin America that does not have a legislature in which all opinions are debated, as well as the views present in each country, where the task of enacting laws requires an ever increasing trust," he said.

Secretary General Insulza noted that Congresses, unlike the executive powers, often do not have sufficient resources to carry out their tasks. "This first agreement we signed with Honduras in this area will address two key aspects of the legislative function: first, political communication and the strengthening of the institutional image; and second, transparency and accountability," he said.

The OAS leader recalled that the promotion and defense of democracy is one of the pillars of the multilateral Organization, and that includes the task of institution building. "For the OAS it is very important that legislatures occupy the place assigned to them by democracy. All countries have executive powers and judicial powers that settle disputes between citizens. However, I would stress that what characterizes democracies are their congresses, so for the OAS it is a priority interest to encourage their development and help to strengthen them," added Secretary General Insulza.

The agreement also sets forth that the OAS will provide assistance to the Honduran legislature in its initiatives to promote education and training for members of Congress, congressional staffers and advisers. In addition, the hemispheric institution will advise Honduras in promoting cooperation initiatives with other congresses in the region and the world.

For his part, the President of the National Congress of Honduras, Mauricio Oliva, expressed his satisfaction and pleasure at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Secretary General Insulza at the OAS headquarters. "The agreement will be very favorable for the National Congress of my country, because it will help create a more open Parliament and one closer to the people, and will reaffirm its status of valid interlocutor that we have in our representative democracy."

President Oliva stressed that the agreement will allow the lawmakers of his country "to receive feedback from the people, in a way that allows them to access information promptly and effectively about the agenda of the National Congress."

"This memorandum of understanding will allow us to receive the consultation of this noble Organization to improve in the quality and the scientific production of laws," said the Honduran representative. The President of the Honduran legislature also argued that the advice of the OAS would help Honduran lawmakers to get financing to attain a technological platform "that allows more fluid communication, whether it is the information emanating from Congress or the information received," he added.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Permanent Representative of Honduras to the OAS, Leonidas Rosa Bautista; Honduran Congressmen Óscar Álvarez and Tomás Zambrano; the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Sherry Tross; the OAS Director of the Department of Sustainable Democracy and Special Missions, Christopher Hernández-Roy; and the OAS Head of the Section in Support of Representative Institutions, Moisés Benamor.

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-213/14