OAS :: SPA Newsletter
             Edition 5 – 2016     January - February - March
GCRSP trainings in the OAS HQ
The European Union sponsored, Global Crisis Response Support Programme, has provided the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with the opportunity to receive first-hand training on conflict and early-warning capabilities vis-à-vis tailored, country-specific, human capacity development measures. From January to March 2016 staff stationed at the OAS Headquarters received four specialized trainings in Risk Analysis, Early Warning Systems, Leadership and Strategic Management and the Gender Perspective in Early Warning Systems. The program’s training will continue to expound on the key concepts of conflict analysis and information management. By including a variety of multilateral organizations focused on the LAC region, including the OAS, the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the Regional Security System (RSS), the GCRSP seeks to improve the interconnectivity between crisis response centers throughout the region.

The Government of Belize pays Tribute to Ambassador Raul Lago The parliaments of Mexico and Chile signed Memorandums of Understanding with the OAS Meeting of the Group of Friends of Belize and Guatemala
On March 23, 2016, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington paid tribute to the outgoing OAS Secretary General's Representative for Belize-Guatemala Affairs and highlighted his distinguished career as a diplomat and mediator of the dispute. He further stressed Ambassador Lago's invaluable contributions to the process and thanked him on behalf of the government and people of Belize for having served with distinction, objectivity and the utmost professionalism and efficiency. The fifth of February and eight of March respectively, the Secretary General underwrote with the Committee of Political Coordination from the House of Representatives of Mexico and the Senate of Chile two Memorandums of Understanding. The objective is the implementation of initiatives oriented towards institutional strengthening, legislative formation and parliamentary transparency. Within the context of the signing of these agreements, the Secretary General took the opportunity to advocate for the promotion of democratic values, pointing out the importance that parliaments have in the formulation of solutions to tackle current challenges affecting democracy in the region. On March 15, 2016, OAS Headquarters, Washington, D.C. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala, together with the Chief of the OAS Peace Fund, addressed the members of the Group of Friends of Belize and Guatemala, as well as other representatives of the international community and made an impassioned plea to the pool of donors to help maintain the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone. The Parties spoke about the crucial role that the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone plays to maintain peace on the ground, ease tensions and thus facilitate the ongoing political dialogue.

Launching of the Inter-American Program to Support Legislative Institutions Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala with OAS Secretary General 7.The SAIR/OAS participated in the Open Parliament Working Group Meeting
The Unit for the Strengthening of Representative Institutions launched the Inter-American Program to Support Legislative Institutions with the purpose of consolidating the interaction between the SG/OAS and the Legislative Powers from the Member States. The goal is to strengthen spaces for parliamentary diplomacy, dialogue and political negotiation as well as to support efforts towards the modernization, capacity formation, advocacy and research of these institutions. On March 15, 2016, at the OAS Headquarters, the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala met with OAS Secretary General to reaffirm their commitment to submit Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. The ministers also addressed the need to avoid incidents and tensions between the two countries, as well as to continue to strengthen the bilateral relationship. In the city of Buenos Aires, with representatives from the World Bank and the NDI, Moises Benamor presented the working guidelines articulated by the OAS to keep promoting parliamentary openness, parliamentary accountability and citizen participation in the issues.

Technical Meetings of the Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission The Inter-American Forum of Young Legislators presented report about Digital Leadership The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala meet at the OAS/AZ Office
On February 25, 2016, more than eighty delegates from Belize and Guatemala gathered at the OAS Office in the AZ to examine three of the thirteen bilateral agreements adopted in Placencia, Belize in 2014. Specifically, the working groups examined the “Agreement on the Harmonization of Operating Hours at Legal Entry Points;” “the Agreement for Sustainable Tourism” and the “Agreement for the Protection of the Environment.” The Peruvian congresswoman, Ana Maria Solorzano, president of the Forum, met with the Secretary General and presented the report: “Digital Leadership in political representation”, which gathers the analysis of surveys conducted to 80 legislators of the Americas in relation to innovation, accountability and connection with the citizenry. On January 22, 2016, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala along with the Special Representative of the OAS SG met at the Office of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone (AZ) on Friday, January 22, 2016 to discuss the status of the bilateral agenda and reactivate the Belize – Guatemala Joint Commission as established under the Framework Agreement on Confidence Building Measures of 2005.

OAS/EOM recommends in-depth electoral reform in Peru following observation of Peru´s General Elections OAS/EOM presented in Paraguay the recommendations formulated after the municipal elections Mission deployed for municipal elections in Costa Rica highlighted quick transmission of results
In a preliminary technical report, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission to the April 10 general elections and representatives of the Andean Parliament recommended an in-depth electoral reform. On Election Day the Mission deployed 79 international observers, who visited 463 voting centers across the different regions of the country. In addition, two observers followed the voting in Virginia and Washington DC, United States.
The Chief of the Electoral Observation Mission for the Paraguay municipal elections held on November 15, 2015, Ambassador Hugo de Zela, travelled to Asunción to present the report containing the main observations and recommendations formulated by the Mission to the Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE). The document was presented before the OAS Permanent Council on February 3.
The OAS Electoral Observation Mission, headed by the Uruguayan former vice minister Edgardo Ortuño, congratulated Costa Rica for the quick and trustable transmission of preliminary results of its February 7 municipal elections. It was the first time that all electoral authorities were chosen on a same day. The OAS/EOM deployed 21 experts and observers across the seven provinces of the country, visiting 152 voting centers during the day.

OAS/EOM commends high turnout in the Constitutional Referendum observed in Bolivia OAS Mission that observed Jamaica´s parliamentary elections highlighted good practices OAS Mission for the 2015 Guatemala general elections presented report to the Supreme Electoral Court
The OAS Electoral Observation Mission congratulated the people of Bolivia for their civic spirit and democratic commitment expressed in the constitutional referendum held on February 21. A total of 61 international observers were present in the 9 departments of Bolivia and two people observed voting in three centers in Virginia and Washington DC, United States.
The OAS Mission deployed for the general parliamentary elections held in Jamaica on February 25 highlighted the good practices and formulated recommendations to further assist the country in its efforts to continue strengthening its electoral process. Headed by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Mrs. Janet G. Bostwick, the team of 23 observers visited 367 polling stations in 13 parishes of the country on Election Day.
The Chief of the OAS Mission deployed in Guatemala to observe the 2015 general elections, Juan Pablo Corlazzoli, handed in to the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) the report containing the observations and recommendations formulated by the Mission. In his visit to the capital of the country, Corlazzoli also held meetings with civil society representatives, political parties and government authorities.

Permanent Council received report of the Haiti Electoral Observation Mission OAS Permanent Council received reports of the electoral missions in Costa Rica, Bolivia, Belize and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines The OAS Peace Mission condemned the murder of social leaders in Colombia
On January 27 the OAS Permanent Council received a report on the situation of the Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti after the second round of the presidential elections, scheduled to be held on January 24 was postponed two days before the voting. The OAS Permanent Council received the verbal reports of the electoral observation missions that the Organization deployed to Costa Rica last February and to Bolivia, Belize and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2015. The Chiefs of Mission presented the main conclusions and recommendations resulting from the work of the experts on the field.

Verbal Reports from:
- Costa Rica
- Bolivia
- Belize
- Saint Vincent
   and the Grenadines
In a public statement, the Mission condemned the recent killings of farmers, indigenous and community leaders. The Mission called on the authorities to provide prompt and timely justice, and requested security guarantees for the population.

The International community is informed about cases of collective reparation in Colombia More women, more territorial peace in Colombia MACCIH agreement signed by the SG/OAS and the President of Honduras
Groups of journalists, community action councils, councilors and deputies held a dialogue with the international community on the progress and challenges they face in their reparation processes, as victims of the armed conflict. With the occasion of the International Women's Day, the MAPP / OAS accompanied various women's organizations in activities throughout the country. The Mission stressed the central role they play in building peace in their territories and their communities. On January 19th 2016, the SG/OAS and the government of Honduras signed the agreement. The objectives are strengthening the Honduras judicial system and active collaboration to the national institutions working to fight corruption and impunity

The MACCIH presented publicly, the agreement signed between the SG/OAS and Honduras Government The MACCIH was installed in Honduras on April 19th, 2016 Launch of the Practical Guide: Early Warning and Response Systems Design for Social Conflicts
The presentation of the scope and objectives of the agreement was made. The MACCIH is an initiative to combat corruption and impunity, constituted with and for Hondurans. The Special Representative of Secretary General and Spokesperson of the Mission, Juan Jimenez, presented a timeline of the 10 points on which the Mission will focus in the coming months. The Special Representative of Secretary General and Spokesperson of the Mission, Juan Jimenez, presented a timeline of the 10 points on which the Mission will focus in the coming months. This Guide is the result of a collaborative work between the SG/OAS and UNDP. It aims to developing an early warning and response system to prevent the escalation of violence that could jeopardize the integrity of individuals and democratic governance.

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