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OAS WORKSHOP EXPLORES LOCAL GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY IN CENTRAL AMERICA

  June 6, 2004

Efficiency and transparency in local government featured as overarching themes of a workshop that brought experts and more than 140 participants to Guatemala City, to examine cadastre and land registry issues in Central American municipalities. The May 31 to June 3 event took place just ahead of the three-day Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly that opens in Quito, Ecuador, today.

Municipal government experts from Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Spain shared experiences and expertise in cadastre and land registry issues with participants from more than 50 municipalities in Central America, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The workshop drew active participation from municipal associations from all the countries as well as from United States, Guatemalan and Spanish private sector enterprises.

The participants shared experiences on which they will draw when developing their own cadastre and land registry projects and plans. Specific recommendations emerging from the meeting underscored the need for legislation on cadastre and land registry to be enacted and enforced. The lack of legislation in the subregion was determined to be a major obstacle to transparent and efficient cadastre and land registry activities.

Other recommendations emphasized the need to engage the citizenry in projects and programs from the beginning, as citizen participation remains indispensable to understanding the costs and benefits involved in implementing cadastre and land registry systems.

Participants will continue collaborating on specific projects, through the IACD’s virtual working group on the Educational Portal of the Americas platform. A CD containing all presentations—audio and written—along with other documentation, including conclusions and recommendations, will be made available to the workshop participants as well as municipalities and municipal associations in all Member States.

An initiative of Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD), the four-day workshop was organized with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Federation of Municipalities of the Central American Isthmus (FEMICA) co-sponsored the event, for which the Municipality of Guatemala City and the Guatemalan Association of Municipalities provided logistical support.

For further information, please contact Sheila Donovan (SDonovan@oas.org) or Antoine Chevrier (AChevrier@oas.org).

Reference: GA-007-04