Innovation, Collaboration and Democracy: Main Topics at the OAS’ 49th General Assembly

June 28, 2019

Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), as a civil society organization member of the Organization of American States (OAS), attended the forty-ninth regular session of the General Assembly of that entity, titled “Innovating to Strengthen Hemispheric Multilateralism”, held at Medellín, Colombia, June 26-28, 2019. Maria Victoria Abreu, GFDD’s International Affairs and Socioeconomic Development Program Manager, represented the institution in the regional gathering.

The main activity planned at the General Assembly for civil society is the “Dialogue of Heads of Delegation, the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General and Representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Workers, the Private Sector and Other Social Actors”, which this year took place on Wednesday, June 26th at the Green Pavilion of Plaza Mayor, Expo Center of the Colombian city.

More than 30 coalitions of civil society organizations had the opportunity to present their most important demands to the OAS, including worries about human rights and institutional weakness in the region.

This activity aimed to provide civil society, social actors and workers an opportunity to interact with the Heads of Delegations of the OAS Member States, the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General. The objective of the event was to foster an open and proposition-based dialogue between social actors, Member States and the General Secretariat. The main topics discussed during this dialogue included: a) Strengthening the dialogue between the OAS, Member States, civil society organizations and social actors to perfect institutions and the Rule of Law; b) Tripartite Governance: States, Private Sector and citizens as catalysts for integral development in the Americas; and c) Representation and responsibility: civil society organizations and social actors, the Inter-American System and citizenry.

In addition and as part of the parallel activities of the OAS’ General Assembly, GFDD also attended the Interamerican Forum on Political and Social Innovation, held on June 25th. The event was coordinated by the OAS’ Civil Society Coalition for an Inter-American Laboratory on Political and Social Innovation and among other topics presented the alliance made between them, the OAS Department of Social Inclusion and the Permanent Mission of Venezuela to promote a space for regional dialogue and action to foster social and political innovation.

For more information about the General Assembly of the OAS, visit: