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OAS Permanent Council Receives Report on Prioritizing Mandates

  November 28, 2012

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today heard the latest report on the progress of the Review of the OAS Programs to prioritize the mandates of the OAS General Assemblies, in a regular meeting in which condolences were sent to the government of Panama for the deaths and damage caused by recent torrential rains, and other matters of importance to the organization were reviewed.

Luis Alberto Del Castillo, Alternate Representative of the Mission of Mexico, in his capacity as Chair of the Working Group of the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) on the Review of OAS Programs, briefed the Council on consultations held between the Chairs of the Working Groups of the various committees of the Permanent Council and CIDI, on the subject of mandates. The Mexican diplomat explained that "the work of the revision and validation of the information has made uneven progress" in the commissions due to time constraints, the holding of other activities and "unequal amount of mandates assigned to each committee." Therefore, he anticipated that an extension to the deadline for submission of the final report to prioritize mandates would be requested.

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS, Ambassador Joel Hernández, spoke on behalf of the institution to send its condolences to the people of Panama for the loss of life and the damage caused by heavy rains in the provinces of Colon and Panama and requested that the Permanent Representative of Panama "convey the feelings of solidarity of this Permanent Council."

The Council also welcomed the Permanent Representative of Paraguay, Ambassador Martin Sannemann, who presented his credentials to the Secretary General on October 19. Ambassador Sannemann expressed his gratitude for the reception, and said his government "will continue to work to overcome the obstacles we face, to extend and strengthen the growing ties of friendship and cooperation that have strengthened the relations of our countries over many decades, which has allowed us to offer our people a region of peace, harmony and brotherhood." He also offered the support of his country "to face the challenges that the future will bring as an organization, with the conviction that our government has to see the democratic system in our region strengthened."

In another matter, the Council discussed the participation of Civil Society organizations in the meetings to be held on December 7 in the Hall of the Americas as part of the second stage of the recommendations of the Working Group on Strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights. Of the organizations that have applied to participate in the sessions, said the Chairman of the Board, 26 are organizations registered with the OAS "in accordance with the guidelines for the participation of civil society organizations," another 26 organizations are not registered, and five organizations have not yet submitted the documentation required in the guidelines.

To ensure maximum participation of civil society and also adhere to the guidelines above, the Council approved a proposal by Canada to ask the Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities (CISC) to review applications and make a list of recommendations to circulate to Members.

Finally, at a joint meeting of the Permanent Council with the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) chaired by José de Jesús Martínez González, Alternate Representative of Panama, participants heard a report on the activities assigned to the organization by the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.

The Chair of the CISC and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the OAS, Ambassador Andrés González Díaz, said the report "refers to identified mandates and programs and related actions being carried out by the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) of the OAS, in regard to poverty, inequality and inequity; the Secretariat for Political Affairs in relation to the use of ICTs to improve governance, public management, transparency and efficiency in government affairs; the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, with regard to public safety and transnational organized crime" and organizations like the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission. It also includes, said Ambassador González Díaz, "the activities related to the analysis of the results of the current anti-drug policies in the Americas, and the exploration of new approaches."

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event will be available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-429/12