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Permanent Council Receives Report on Trimming OAS Mandates

  June 28, 2012

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) heard the report of its Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) on the pilot plan to trim the mandates from the General Assembly, with the objective of ordering and simplifying the agreements reached by the Member States and make it possible for the hemispheric organization to meet its planned objectives.

The Chair of the CAAP and Permanent Representative of Barbados, John Beale, explained that the reorganization allowed a reduction in the total number of mandates from 1,249 to 649. Even so, he added that the ideal would be “to reach a minimum of 200 and maximum of 300 mandates.”

The report of the CAAP was sent now to the different commissions of the Permanent Council, which before the end of September must prioritize the mandates within their responsibilities, in agreement with the guide established in the Strategic Vision of the OAS presented by the Secretary General of the organization, José Miguel Insulza, in February of this year.

“I want to express my admiration and respect for those who have done this job, because they have changed something unmanageable into something manageable,” said Secretary General Insulza. “When one looks at the number of mandates that each commission must consider, I think the change should be made soon,” added Secretary General Insulza about the report presented by the CAAP.

The Secretary General added “if we are capable of ordering this, we’re on a good path to achieving the objectives we’ve set ourselves in terms of the reorganization of the work of this organization in its fundamental aspects.”

The Vice Chair of the CAAP and Alternate Representative of Mexico to the OAS, Alberto del Castillo, explained that the trimming process that eliminated 52 per cent of the mandates found that 35 percent of them “were expired” and 17 percent “were duplicates.”

Del Castillo related that it was decided the mandates were assigned to the pillars of democracy, governability and human rights (32 percent of the total number of mandates) will be analyzed by the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP); the mandates related to Multidimensional Security (29 percent) would go to the Committee on Hemispheric Security; the mandates related to integral development (22 percent) will be considered by the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI); those related to administration, infrastructure and common costs (11 percent) will be analyzed directly by the CAAP; another 3 percent corresponds to the Committee on Migration (CEAM) and the remaining 3 percent will be assigned to the Summits Committee (CISC).

In another order, the Permanent Council began the follow-up on the recommendations of the “Report of the Special Working Group of Reflection on the Functioning of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR),” approved in the General Assembly of Cochabamba. At the suggestion of several countries, it was agreed in first place to hold a meeting of regional groups to define the methodology of the work. The General Assembly gave six months to the Permanent Council, with the option to extend the period until March of 2013, to present its recommendations on the functioning of the IACHR.

In the same regular meeting, the Permanent Council paid homage to the Ambassador of Saint Lucia, Michael Louis, who today participated in his last session as representative of his country to the OAS. Similarly, the Ambassador of Honduras, Leónidas Rosa Bautista, today served his final day as Chair of the Permanent Council.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-237/12