Organización de los estados americanos oea/Ser. G consejo permanente cp/acta 1257/00

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The document, entitled “Advancing the Issues of Children in the Americas: Framework in Preparation for the Third Summit of the Americas,” is available for your information today. You will note that the issues are analyzed according to the three baskets and their subsets for the Third Summit.
The document makes specific recommendations in its “Children and Youth” section, D.6. These recommendations have contributed to the development of the Third Summit’s Declaration and Plan of Action. Yesterday, at the invitation of the OAS Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management (CEGCI) and following up on a good discussion that we held there, it was determined that the Institute, in cooperation with others, will draw together some of the conversations and provide them to the SIRG before the end of December.
I would just like to point out a couple of examples of the content. The document outlines and maps the main opportunities for children relative to the framework of the Summit of the Americas. For example, the culture of democracy will be strengthened by creating opportunities for leadership and participation of children and young people in our institutions, societies, and events. Prosperity is created by investing in early childhood development that provides children with a strong start in life and ensures a safe environment that permits them to survive and be physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally secure, and socially competent. Human potential is realized by ensuring the promotion of gender equality, the eradication of domestic violence, and the active participation of men in their families.
The recommendations of this contribution are part of the discussion for the Third Summit’s Declaration and Plan of Action. We believe that the final recommendations on Section VI, “Children and Youth,” should be focused and capable of implementation and should require limited resources of the OAS. We intend to bring that perspective to the task that we were assigned at the meeting yesterday, in consultation with others with expertise in children and youth issues.
I would like now to turn to one important insert to this discussion. In a recent document provided by UNICEF’s Regional Office, they canvassed the opinions of children and youth about their expectations of governments, and this is what we found. Young people want:

  • greater efficiency in government;

  • more follow-through on electoral promises;

  • an end to corruption;

  • the prohibition of the use of drugs;

  • the combat of crime;

  • the dedication of greater resources for education and recreation; and

  • more supportive help for the needy.

These views expressed by the young people of our region also reflect the priorities of the OAS, the Summit the Americas, and our member governments.

For your consideration, we would specifically ask your support for the recommendation to the SIRG that the IACI, your technical instrument of the OAS, and PAHO be appointed as technical advisors on children and youth for this and future summits of the Americas. We also ask you to recognize that the connectivity between inter-American agencies, researchers, civil society organizations, and international organizations, which is a mandate of the Institute, will enhance our capacity to share quality information and develop strong partnerships among sectors. As the OAS develops the next Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development, we ask you to recognize the horizontal, cross-cutting nature of children’s issues, as pointed out by the OAS Permanent Council last year and as reflected in the IACI’s paper to the SIRG.
For your own governments, as our job is partially to provide useful and helpful information, we would like to ask you to consider the following.
The first is really a note of appreciation to all of you, because the experts who have joined the Institute over the last four years have been of exceptionally high quality, and the Council has been considerably strengthened by the appointments that you have been making to it. We ask you to continue this and to work with them.
Second, the experts are very capable and in touch with the major issues. We hope that you will seek their counsel as you brief your heads of state in preparation for the Special Session of the General Assembly in 2001 for follow-up to the World Summit for Children. They have good contributions to make to you.
Third, at the next regular session of the General Assembly we would like to suggest that you support a proposal to establish a standing committee of the OAS on children and youth to facilitate further multisectoral planning and collaboration on activities that will impact children. We have had ad hoc groups here in Washington, but we think now is the time to establish a permanent subgroup on children to keep you in touch with our actions.
In summary and review: Children do have friends in high places. At the closing of the Ministerial Meeting in Jamaica, the Honorable John Junor put it this way:
May it be said 10 years of now that the generation born in the first decade of the 21st century found a world more generous in meeting their developmental needs, more skilled in providing them opportunities for their fulfillment, and more ready to listen and to improve them in shaping the world they will inherit.
Throughout these years, it has been demonstrated that in the Americas children, indeed, have friends in high places. Those friends have opportunities to help children and youth in these coming years.
The last slide is just for you to see what you may want to focus on in terms of the discussion. With that, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for this opportunity.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you very much, Brian Ward, Chairman of the Directing Council of the Inter-American Children’s Institute, whose day job is Director of the Childhood and Youth Division of Health Canada in Ottawa.
The floor is open to delegations who may wish to make comments. The Representative of the United States has the floor.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to start by thanking Dr. Ward for his excellent presentation. It is very useful to receive a firsthand view of a significant budget item that we examine here at headquarters. I encourage you to keep us informed. I am particularly happy that you were here for the previous discussion, as we struggled, as I hope you did, with the budget of this organization and the need to streamline and develop new tests of efficiency and relevancy.
The United States has a very strong and substantial financial commitment to children’s issues throughout this hemisphere and the world. I have a special interest myself in the issues of children. In fact, that led to me to visit your headquarters in Montevideo recently while on a trip to South America.
Mr. Chairman, I have a question on procedure, and perhaps it is more appropriately addressed to you. I’m a stickler for discipline to make sure that all our organizations are working in some degree of cohesiveness. The proposal that was addressed to the meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) yesterday, which I had the honor of co-chairing with you and Chile, had some sort of political foundation within the Organization of American States or, at the minimum, within the Directing Council of the Institute. It draws to my attention, for example, the elaborate proceedings before the SIRG meeting by the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) when our national representative presented the paper.
I am a little bit confused about the procedures of subsidiary organizations of the OAS, if one can call them that for this purpose, and their going directly to the SIRG to therein get specific mandates.
It’s not that we oppose those mandates, but as a question of discipline, we’re a little bit confused as to how we can correct that as we move forward towards April. I thought I heard you say that you would propose that this be forwarded to the Committee that you chair within the OAS.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador. In fact, I did not propose that. This item was put on the order of business today as an information item. I indicated that in the letter that I sent to permanent representatives, and it also refers to a resolution adopted in Windsor regarding the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI), so I thought that it would be for the benefit of the Council. In terms of the way the substantive decisions and recommendations were made, I would ask Mr. Ward to respond to that question briefly, please.
El PRESIDENTE DEL CONSEJO DIRECTIVO DEL INSTITUTO INTERAMERICANO DEL NIÑO: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to review how we proceed with our work.
The decision to provide information to the Summit process was taken here a year ago. When I finished the presentation, we asked for that mandate. The Directing Council then dealt with this issue in Canada in June. We were then conscious of the procedures of the SIRG team and the OAS Committee that represents the OAS before the SIRG process. We developed a paper that was finally vetted by the Executive Committee in Jamaica. The Executive Committee is made up of regional representatives chosen by the regions within the Directing Council.
On the invitation—which I understand was a general invitation—of the Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management (CEGCI), we forwarded a copy, following an opportunity for all of those who had expressed an interest in our work to deal with it. That was submitted to a number of delegations on October 17. We did get some feedback, and then we were prepared to speak with the Committee, which had requested an October 31 deadline, I believe, for the information.
Had this been a perfectly timed environment, Ambassador, we would have been here today, as we are, and we would have made the presentation to the SIRG in February at basket 3. However, schedules do change, and priorities and timing have taken an accelerated step.
Consequently, yesterday we had the opportunity to raise these issues, among others, at the SIRG meeting. Today we are discussing it with the Permanent Council, which can send such instructions as it wishes to the Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Mr. Ward, for your answer. I do not want to get into the specifics of what Ambassador Lauredo is suggesting regarding the various authorities involved here. I think that puts Mr. Ward in a bit of an unfair position, because he has not been privy to some of our internal debate on that, but I think that clarifies the question that you had asked, Ambassador.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS: It does clarify it very well, and I thank you for it.
El PRESIDENTE: I recognize the distinguished Representative of Grenada.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DE GRENADA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The initiative to advance children’s issues in the Third Summit of the Americas could prove to be one of the most important initiatives of the Summit.
My delegation wishes to express its appreciation to the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI) for the meaningful activities conducted in the past to the benefit of all children of our hemisphere, especially with reference to democracy education and drug avoidance. Children and youth remain the most universal concern of all peoples of the Americas. Grenada is pleased to reaffirm its support to the work of the Institute.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you very much. I give the floor to the Representative of Jamaica.
La REPRESENTANTE ALTERNA DE JAMAICA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. My delegation would like to thank Dr. Brian Ward for his presentation on advancing the issues of children in the Americas.
On behalf of the Vice Chair of the Directing Council of the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI), Ambassador Marjorie Taylor of Jamaica, I express our appreciation for the efforts and initiatives of the Institute in showing the feasibility of issues related to the rights of the child and inserting them into the Summit process. The inclusion of the category of children and youth in the third basket, “Realizing Human Potential,” is certainly a testimony that children must receive priority attention by our leaders. We are also gratified that the issue is recognized as a horizontal and cross-cutting theme and is therefore reflected in other pertinent sections of the Plan of Action.
During the recently concluded meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), CARICOM member states presented a comprehensive package of recommendations relating to children and youth for inclusion in the Plan of Action of the Summit. I should point out that these recommendations were the product of consultations with children and youth in the region, who are very assertive in making their views known. Indeed, many of the proposals emerged from a youth summit held a few months ago in Nassau, The Bahamas.
We are particularly pleased that the draft Plan of Action makes reference to and endorses the Kingston Consensus of the Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Children and Social Policy in the Americas, which was held in Jamaica in October. The Government of Jamaica was very pleased to welcome ministers and government officials from all member states of the OAS, along with representatives of nongovernmental organizations. At that meeting children had an opportunity to have their voice heard once again, as over 150 children representing each member state of the Organization were present.
The Kingston Consensus expressed the political will of hemispheric governments to develop and implement long-term integrated and sustainable policies and programs to benefit children and youth. The Consensus, as Dr. Ward indicated, will be submitted as a regional contribution to the United Nations Special Session on Children, which will be held next year.
Mr. Chairman, the Government of Jamaica intends to collaborate with the Institute, as well as with other relevant agencies, in the promotion of children’s issues. In this regard, my delegation wishes to indicate that our government will give careful and serious consideration to the proposal by Dr. Ward that the IACI and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) be appointed as official technical advisors on children for this and future Summits of the Americas.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you. The distinguished Representative of Paraguay has the floor.
El REPRESENTANTE PERMANENTE DEL PARAGUAY: Gracias, señor Presidente. No he pedido la palabra. Ha sido un error.
El PRESIDENTE: Disculpe. Usted estaba en la pantalla.
If there are no other comments, I would like to reiterate the Council’s thanks to Brian Ward, to Alejandro Bonasso, and to the staff of the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI). We have taken note of their report and we will send it on to the Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management (CEGCI) for further consideration, as appropriate. It is so agreed.
We now move to item 8 on our order of business today, and this is “Other business.” I propose the following approach to the order of business.
I have received a request from the Delegation of Haiti to take the floor on the issue of elections in Haiti, which I touched upon in my preliminary remarks. We are also saying farewell to two of our colleagues. The hour is also very late, so I would suggest that we follow our discipline as much as we can so that we can conclude “Other business” in a professional and businesslike way, and that includes the despedidas to our colleagues. I know everyone would wish to speak on the issue of the departure of our colleagues, but we do have a decision by this Council that the Chair should do that. We will see how our discussions proceed.


El PRESIDENTE: At this point I give the floor to the distinguished Representative of Haiti.
El REPRESENTANTE INTERINO DE HAITÍ: Merci, Monsieur le Président. J’ai l’honneur d’informer le Conseil permanent que conformément aux articles 134.2 de la Constitution de la République d’Haïti stipulant que les élections présidentielles ont lieu le dernier dimanche de novembre de la cinquième année du mandat présidentiel et 95.1, le peuple haïtien a été convoqué en ses comices le dimanche 26 novembre dernier pour élire un président de la République, neuf sénateurs, ainsi qu’un député et une commission municipale pour la commune de Lancelet. Treize mille bureaux de vote ont accueilli les électeurs et selon les données fournies par le Conseil électoral provisoire, instance chargée de l’organisation du scrutin, le taux de participation avoisinait 60%.
Les opérations électorales se sont déroulées pratiquement sans incident. Elles permettent d’assurer une solution de continuité dans l’application de la Constitution en établissant l’alternance démocratique et une transition paisible et ordonnée. Les résultats officiels donnent l’ex-Président, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, chef du parti La Famille Lavalas, gagnant avec 91.69% des voix.
Dans sa première déclaration à la Presse, Monsieur Aristide a souligné qu’il y avait de la place pour tous dans son gouvernement, que l’opposition était indispensable à un Haïti en paix et qu’elle faisait partie du destin démocratique du pays. Ceci constitue la confirmation que le prochain gouvernement restera ouvert pour poursuivre le dialogue avec l’opposition et réussir à surmonter les difficultés émanant du processus antérieur.
Le Président élu prendra ses fonctions le 7 février 2001 selon les vœux de la Constitution de la République. Mon gouvernement est heureux que l’OEA, par sa déclaration suite au déroulement du scrutin, préserve l’option du dialogue qui conduit nécessairement au rétablissement de l’harmonie politique en Haiti et s’engage à poursuivre sa coopération avec tous les secteurs intéressés en vue de dégager toutes les voies du renforcement de la démocratie. Merci, Monsieur le Président.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you very much for your statement. I reiterate that I had received and agreed to a previous request by the Delegation of Haiti, as I had indicated in my preliminary remarks. I ask for the indulgence of those delegations who had indicated a desire to speak—I believe they were the representatives of El Salvador and Paraguay.


El PRESIDENTE: The Representative of El Salvador has the floor.
He tomado la palabra para hacer un anuncio en consonancia con la convicción de mi país con los principios que rigen nuestra Organización, y su inquebrantable fe en la democracia, la paz, el desarrollo, la integración y la solidaridad, que debe existir entre la gran familia interamericana.
En ese sentido, quisiera anunciar que mi Gobierno ha decidido hacer una contribución financiera al Fondo Específico Voluntario de Apoyo a la Misión de Alto Nivel al Perú, conforme lo decidieron nuestros cancilleres en Windsor. Quisiéramos expresar a todos los peruanos, a través de su Delegación y de la Embajadora Ramacciotti, quien ha luchado tanto por la democracia en su país y a quien estaremos despidiendo próximamente, la solidaridad de El Salvador, la formulación de nuestros mejores votos para que el Perú alcance el bienestar, el progreso, la prosperidad y la consolidación de la democracia.
Muchísimas gracias, señor Presidente.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you, Ambassador, for that very welcome announcement.


El PRESIDENTE: The distinguished Chairman of the Working Group on Representative Democracy has the floor.
Quiero aprovechar esta oportunidad para informar al Consejo Permanente que, en cumplimiento del mandato contenido en la resolución AG/RES. 1721 (XXX-O/00) emanada de la pasada Asamblea General de Windsor, el Grupo de Trabajo sobre Democracia Representativa realizará una sesión especial el próximo martes 5 de diciembre a las diez de la mañana, en el Salón Padilha Vidal. Allí se considerará el tema “La problemática de la representación: Partidos políticos, sistemas electorales y participación ciudadana”. La sesión especial contará con la participación del distinguido doctor Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera, ex Presidente de la República Oriental del Uruguay, quien compartirá la mesa de expertos con el profesor Eduardo Pizarro León-Gómez, quien es miembro del claustro de investigadores del Kellogg Institute for International Studies de la Universidad de Notre Dame.
Señor Presidente, a esa sesión hemos invitado también a representantes de organizaciones no gubernamentales y miembros de la comunidad académica. Quiero hacer una invitación muy especial a los señores representantes permanentes, así como a los observadores permanentes, para participar en esta sesión que nos dará la oportunidad de intercambiar opiniones y puntos de vista sobre un tema de gran importancia, que estoy seguro contribuirá al desarrollo de los trabajos de la Organización en materia del fortalecimiento de nuestras democracias. Muchas gracias, señor Presidente.
El PRESIDENTE: Thank you very much, Ambassador Abente, for bringing to the attention of the Council this very important meeting of the Working Group. I would reiterate the call made by our distinguished colleague from Paraguay that we be well represented at this very important meeting and seminar. I thank you for that.


El PRESIDENTE: The Representative of Canada has the floor.
El REPRESENTANTE ALTERNO DEL CANADÁ: Merci, Monsieur le Président. La Délégation du Canada remercie le distingué Représentant d’Haïti d’avoir bien voulu informer le Conseil permanent sur le déroulement des élections dans son pays. Cependant, le Gouvernement canadien déplore les actes de violence qui ont précédé ces élections occasionnant blessures et pertes de vie.
Nous nous inquiétons également des menaces qui pèsent toujours contre certains journalistes haïtiens. La démocratie saura-t-elle se développer dans un climat où la violence a libre cours et où la liberté d’expression est en doute? Le Canada invite les autorités haïtiennes à assumer leurs responsabilités afin de garantir un climat permettant aux Haïtiens et Haïtiennes de vaquer à leurs occupations en toute sécurité.
L’engagement du Canada à soutenir le développement d’Haïti est sincère et profond. C’est donc avec une grande déception que nous prenons note que les élections présidentielles haïtiennes ont eu lieu à la fin de la semaine dernière sans que des réponses constructives aient été apportées aux préoccupations des observateurs nationaux et internationaux sur les élections du 21 mai et sans que des mesures concrètes aient été prises pour éviter des problèmes similaires dans le futur.
Nous souhaitons souligner le dévouement et l’habileté avec lesquelles le Secrétaire général adjoint, Luigi Einaudi, a dirigé la Mission d’observation de l’OEA qui a précédé la tenue des élections. Nous regrettons, toutefois, que cette mission n’ait pu permettre le consensus souhaité. Nous croyons que l’OEA peut continuer de jouer un rôle important au cours de cette période post-électorale afin de continuer à encourager le Président élu et son gouvernement à renforcer la démocratie en Haïti.
Le Canada reste convaincu que le peuple haïtien a le désir et la volonté de continuer à travailler au développement démocratique de son pays. Le Canada souhaite continuer à appuyer les Haïtiens dans leurs efforts, mais les circonstances de l’entrée en fonction du Parlement et Gouvernement haïtiens auront inévitablement un impact sur notre façon de le faire. Merci, Monsieur le Président.
El PRESIDENTE: Merci. Je donne la parole au Représentant permanent des Etats-Unis.
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