FUNGLODE, GFDD and UNA- RD participated in the OAS General Assembly held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

June 4, 2005

Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic (UNA- RD) participated in the OAS General Assembly held in Fort Lauderdale,

Representatives of the 34 nation members of the Organization of American States (OAS) gathered
in Florida for a three-day summit to discuss the topic of "Delivering the Benefits of Democracy". Apart from the official delegations, led by Ministers of Foreign Affairs, more than 130 civil society organizations were present, reaffirming the already established tradition of lively and vibrant NGO participation in the process.

GFDD and FUNGLODE were represented by Ms. Natasha Despotovic, GFDD Executive Director, and
Asunción Sanz, its Projects Coordinator. At the same time, Ms. Pilar Sandoval, represented the United Nations Associations of Dominican Republic (UNA-DR) as its Executive Director.

On Saturday, June 5, a two-hour dialogue was held between the Heads of Delegations, the OAS Secretary General and civil society representatives. At the beginning of the session, civil society representatives presented results from the Civil Society
Hemispheric Forum on "Delivering the Benefits of Democracy", held in Washington , DC , USA , on April 11 and 12 this year. The presentations referred to the following issues: Challenges to Democracy, Social and Economic Development to Confront Poverty, Multidimensional Security and Promotion of Human Rights. Following the reports, representatives of numerous civil society organizations intervened with their organization’s remarks, positions and concerns.

During the entire course of the XXXV General Assembly, the nations’ representatives highlighted the participation of the civil society in the democratic processes of the region. Mr. José Miguel Insulza, recently elected OAS Secretary General, stated that he civil society has "an essential role to ensure the public policies’ efficacy in building a democratic culture".

The high level
meeting was inaugurated by the Governor of the State of Florida , Mr. Jeb Bush, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Mr.Luigi Einaudi, the OAS Secretary General, Mr. José Miguel Insulza, and the Secretary of the US State Department, Ms. Condoleezza Rice. President George W. Bush addressed the audiences during the first day of the summit.

It is
important to note that the Assembly approved the proposal submitted by the Dominican Republic to host the next year’s meeting.

FUNGLODE, GFDD, and UNA-RD participate actively in the OAS and UN processes and events open to civil society. They strive to promote the civil society’s participation in important international venues in order to support and encourage the formation of relevant policies towards the social, economic and political
development of not only the Dominican Republic but the entire region.