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XLII General Assembly of the OAS

Dialogue of the Heads of Delegation and Secretary General with the Representatives of workers, private sector and civil society in the framework of the XLII General Assembly of the OAS

Dialogue of the Heads of Delegation Dialogue of the Heads of Delegation

Date: June 3, 2012 – 9:00 am to 12:00 p.m.
Venue: Hotel Regina Resort y Convenciones, Tiquipaya – Room B, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Relevant Documents

A common space for dialogue among workers, private sector and civil society with the Heads of Delegation and the General Secretary of the OAS was held for the first time in the General Assembly of the OAS. Under this new format, two rounds of interventions of social actors were followed by responses of government representatives.

The workers presented a declaration entitled "Food Sovereignty and Agricultural Reform: Instruments with Social Development and Environmental Justice" . In this document the workers expressed that family and country-based production constitutes the most critical point of food provision for the peoples of the Americas. They additionally highlighted that the food crisis is a result of speculation rather than a shortage. Moreover, workers claimed and demanded the urgent regulation of food markets, the promotion of decent work in the agriculture sector, the need to implement an agrarian reform in the hemisphere, and apply state policies to promote family and rural farming, develop policies that restrict transferring lands to foreigners, and demonstrate a clear and compelling commitment in the RIO+20 Conference to develop concrete and viable actions toward a new model of sustainable

Furthermore, the workers underscored some arguments of their Declaration presented during the Sixth Summit of the Americas, emphasizing the urgent call to respect freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The Heads of Delegations from Canada, Chile, Mexico, United States, Bolivia, Panama, Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago, San Kitts and Nevis, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala and Peru agreed on affirming that this space for dialogue strengthens the inter-american system, and referred to the participants as partners and allies to face regional challenges. The delegates underlined that this dialogue facilitates an awareness of the opinions, needs, recommendations and demands of the people and, in that sense, allows the States and the OAS to address those needs. Additionally, the Member States expressed their gratitude for the recommendations presented and affirmed that they would be taken into consideration during their deliberations, and pointed out that food security is a pressing matter that must be addressed collectively by governments, workers, private sector and civil society.

The dialogue was inaugurated by the OAS Secretary General, Jose Miguel Insulza, and the Foreign Minister of Bolivia, David Choquehuanca; moderated by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Juan Carlos Alurralde; and closed by the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin. These authorities congratulated and thanked the numerous participating organizations, and by providing this space, they also reaffirmed the institutional commitment for dialogue that they consider necessary for democracy.

Workers' spokemen

First round:
- Francisco Quijano, Chair of the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE) and representative of the Central Autónoma de Trabajadores Salvadoreños (CATS)
- Oscar Olivos, Chair of the Central Autónoma de Trabajadores (CAT) of Chile

Second round:
- Marita Gonzalez, representing the COSATE's Vice chair and the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) of Argentina
- Adolfo Montoya, Secretary of Education and Culture of the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB)


Workers' Preparatory Meeting

Date: June 3, 2012 – 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Hotel Diplomat, Cochabamba, Cochabamba, Bolivia

This meeting was organized by the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) with the objectives of coordinating the interventions during the dialogue, sharpening the position document and considering any other areas of interest of the trade union sector of the region. The agenda of this meeting was managed by TUCA and COSATE.

Workers' Preparatory Meeting Workers' Preparatory Meeting