GFDD/FUNGLODE participates in OAS GA in Lima

June 10, 2010
The GFDD/FUNGLODE, represented by GFDD’s Washington office director, Asunción Sanz, among 150 or so other NGO representatives of civil society organizations from the member countries of the (OAS), participated in a dialogue with Heads of Delegation attending the 40th OAS General Assembly from June 6 to 8 in Lima, Peru.
The expediential role and presence of NGO civil society, such as GFDD/FUNGLODE, in OAS procedures, has dramatically increased during the last decade. This input augments both the quality of debate, the provision of accountability and furtherance of transparency   for the decisions made. This also assists in ensuring a better outcome through the input and multiplicity of views expressed by the informed experiences of the representatives.
OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin spoke on the occasion and restated the organization’s commitment to promoting this exchange and underlined the imperative of enabling this ongoing discourse and exchange of views between the OAS and the civil society NGO’s such as GFDD, and
to seek some resolution to the region’s problems. He asserted that “this is a sustained commitment that we have been developing for many years, and it recognizes the key role of civil society.
The gathering considered various options and ideas concerning both government and civil society NGO’s, including GFDD, regarding matters relating to the Assembly’s agenda, which this time concentrated on the theme: “Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Americas.” In this context, OAS Secretary General Insulza said that “the presence of the representatives from Member States and civil society demonstrates the new dynamic of consensus in which we live in the Americas and that defines civil society organizations as agents of democracy and as actors in the decision-making process.
The representatives of the various nongovernmental organizations expressed their disquiet concerning apparent limitations that might impinge upon their participation   and asked from governments “a clear, firm and expressed rejection” to any plans that have potential ramifications or stipulations regarding the partaking of social stakeholders in countries’ internal legislatures. The NGO representatives also highlighted access to information and considered approving a new approach for the participation of Civil Society NGO’s that includes “permanent consulting mechanisms in all the institutional activities and spaces of the OAS.”
Civil Society Organizations in the area of peace and democracy urged the governments and the OAS “to prioritize the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, preserve the peaceful resolution of conflict through political and diplomatic means and avoid any call for war, consolidating a climate of cooperation for peace in the hemisphere.
After hearing a variety of intercessions from civil society organization representatives regarding human rights, equality, and gender issues, member countries responded to the proposals by detailing and headlining the stances their own governments have adopted regarding these matters. The delegates took the opportunity to identify the particular steps taken in bringing together the event’s participants and reaffirmed their collective will to continue to create open spaces of dialogue and sustain participation.
The GFDD/FUNGLODE, along with other representatives of Civil Society, took part in previous discussions within the Organization of American States ( OAS) and takes pride in the subsequent escalation of contributions that the Civil Society NGO’s have made to the decision making process in the OAS.   There are 308 non-governmental entities currently taking part in the conduct of the Organization, and membership has been increasing at a remarkable level since formally regulated in 1999.