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The OAS and IDEA Sign New Cooperation Agreement on Democratic Consolidation

  June 29, 2010

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen inter-institutional cooperation in the promotion and consolidation of representative democracy in the Americas.

During a ceremony held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza highlighted the objectives the two organizations share regarding their commitments to promote democratic values. “We intend to further our collaboration in several areas, including promoting the transparency and efficiency of electoral processes, the role and functioning of political parties, the link between democracy and development, fostering debate and discussion on the implementation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and increasing the political participation of women at all levels of democratic governance,” he said.

Secretary General Insulza also indicated that “all of these were issues that were present in the discussion and preparation of our recent General Assembly, and that shows the importance the OAS has assigned to them.”

Secretary General Insulza expressed concern for the fact that the role of political parties in society is still questioned in the region. “In this region, where many people are very much in favor of democracy, they are suspicious or in doubt about the role of political parties and they are not giving the importance that they deserve,” he said, while at the same time welcoming the fact that this is a central subject in the memorandum signed with IDEA.

For his part, the Secretary General of IDEA International, Vidar Helgesen, said the agreement “marks a new phase in the cooperation between both institutions,” adding that it “will help to shape a more strategic, more long-term, and more results-focused action.”

“With this MOU comes an increase in dialogue about the challenges facing the Americas in the area of democracy building,” Helgesen said, adding that one of the most important points of the new phase of cooperation will be the collaboration of the OAS with other regional organizations like the European Union. “We believe that an interregional dimension to international support for democracy is very important,” he added.

In this respect, Secretary General Insulza asserted that “regardless of all the problems they may face, our two continents are the two democratic continents of the world, and that is what should provide the basis for common action on democracy and institutional cooperation among themselves.”

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today by the topmost authorities of the OAS and IDEA also addresses subjects such as the strengthening of democratic institutions in the Member States, and specific initiatives for the countries of the Caribbean, especially Haiti.

A photo gallery of the event will be soon available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-259/10