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Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development Concludes at the OAS

  October 23, 2014

The Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organization of American States (OAS), Sherry Tross, today concluded the Fourth Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development (CIDS), which took place at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington DC this week, with a call to take advantage of the current confluence of various processes and regional and global initiatives on how to achieve economic growth that is compatible with social and environmental wellbeing.

“What we see today is a confluence of different processes, whether we are talking about the “Samoa pathway” or the “future we want” document or the sustainable development goals, what we really see happening in all of these processes and here at the OAS is an opportunity to align what we are doing organizationally, hemispherically with what is happening at the global level,” said Executive Secretary Tross. “These opportunities don’t happen that often when you have this kind of alignment of the stars, so we can capitalize on that in a way that´s going to reap dividends for us in the future,” she added.

In the process underway in the CIDS to elaborate a new Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development (PIDS), the OAS official emphasized the importance of the following points: having action oriented goals, hemispheric in their nature, that take into account national circumstances; integrating economic, social and environmental issues; and recognizing the importance of reducing poverty and inequality.

The Director of the OAS Department of Sustainable Development, Cletus Springer, summarized some of the results of the meeting, among them agreement that the current areas of the PIDS “are still very much relevant;” the need to analyze the links between trade, development and natural disasters; to look into the possibility of integrating “natural capital accounting” into the new PIDS, who proposes the incorporation of wealth, including natural capital into national accounts; the need to have measurable results from the PIDS; recognizing the challenges to sustainable development; and analyzing and taking into account the unintended consequences of the process.

Director Springer summarized the consensus of the meeting that there have been advances “in areas of water, disaster risk management, sustainable cities, where we have made many grants for private projects in these areas, as well as in the area of environmental governance, environmental rule of law, and judicial rule of law.” Moreover, he highlighted the need to coordinate the new PIDS with the new sustainable development goals currently being debated by an open working group of the United Nations.

During the meeting, participants also approved the work timetable for revision of the current PIDS and preparations for the Third Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Honduras on October 22 and 23, 2015.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-458/14