Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)

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XLVI General Assembly of the OAS

Dialogue of the Heads of Delegation, the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General with the Representatives of the workers, private sector, civil society and other social actors in the framework of the XLVI General Assembly of the OAS

Date: June 13, 2016 – 9:00am to 12:00pm
Venue: MIREX Convention Center, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The main objective of the Dialogue, which is part of the 46th General Assembly of the OAS, is to provide the representatives of the different groups to present their recommendations to the Heads of Delegation, Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the OAS on the theme of the General Assembly “Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development in the Americas".

After welcoming addresses from the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, and the Chair of the General Assembly and Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, Andres Navarro, representatives of youth, civil society, workers, and private sector carried two rounds of interventions. Following each round, the Heads of Delegation shared their remarks on the themes discussed.

The spokesmen for the workers were: Amanda Villatoro, Secretary of Trade Union Policy and Education of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), Francisco Quijano, Vice-Chair of the Trade Union Advisory Council (COSATE), and Francisca Jimenez, Vice-Chair of TUCA. During their interventions, the delegates reflected on the current economic deceleration and recent threats to democracy in the region, including the rise of technical coup d’états. They also emphasized that these setbacks, paired with the emergence of more conservative governments, generate strong pressure against workers’ rights, trade unions’ freedom, and lead to the precariousness of work in the region. They concluded their remarks restating their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and manifesting their concern and support for the financial crisis that the OAS and the IACHR are currently facing.

John Craig
from the Canadian Employer’s Council represented the Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor (CEATAL). During his intervention, Mr. Craig highlighted the importance of social and economic progress to achieve sustainable development. He emphasized that addressing poverty, inequality and other social deficits depends on growing local and regional economies and creating decent and productive jobs for people. He also underscored the private sector’s importance in addressing youth unemployment and highlighted that partnerships with local, national, and international institutions can promote youth employment and a sustainable future


Dialogue of the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General with the representatives of Civil Society and other social actors

Date: June 12, 2016 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue:Hotel Catalonia, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 12, 2016, a conversation took place between the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General with civil society, workers, and other social actors’ representatives.

This meeting provided an opportunity for participants to have a dialogue with the OAS Secretary General to offer their points of view and ask concrete questions.

Argentina Abreu
, representing COSATE, raised her concern about the current setbacks in democratic rights, citing Honduras, Paraguay, and Brazil as examples of “technical coups”, and asking about the OAS’ position on these new threats to democracy. Gregorio Santana, representing TUCA, asked about the current financial status of the OAS and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, manifesting their support for the work both of these entities do for human development, human rights, and education and employment, and questioned how civil society and workers could help find a solution to this problem.

Coordination Meeting with the representatives of civil society, workers organizations, the private sector, youth and other social actors

Date: June 12, 2016 – 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Venue: Hotel Catalonia, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The objective of the Coordination Meeting was to provide a space to civil society and workers’ representatives as well as other social actors, to discuss and coordinate their stance for this year’s Dialogue. In this meeting, workers’ representatives finalized the Trade Union’s declaration, chose their spokesmen for the Dialogue with the heads of delegation the next day, and defined the questions that they wanted to ask the Secretary General in the Dialogue with him.