United Nations

A/53/272


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

17 October 1998

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH




                                                       A/53/272
       
                                                       Original: English
       
       
General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Item 21 of the provisional agenda*
Cooperation between the United Nations 
  and the Organization of American States

     * A/53/150.


            Cooperation between the United Nations and the
                   Organization of American States

                   Report of the Secretary-General


Contents         

                                                    Paragraphs  Page

 I.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1       2

II.  Implementation of General Assembly resolution 51/4  2-81     2

     A.  Joint activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    2-3      2

     B.  Consultations and exchange of information. .    4-10     2

     C.  Information received from the United Nations 
         system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   11-81     3

         1.  Secretariat of the United Nations. . . .   12-18     3

         2.  Office of the United Nations High 
             Commissioner for Human Rights. . . . . .   19-29     3

         3.  Economic Commission for Latin America 
             and the Caribbean. . . . . . . . . . . .   30-34     5

         4.  World Food Programme . . . . . . . . . .     35      6

         5.  United Nations International Drug Control 
             Programme. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   36-41     6

         6.  United Nations Educational, Scientific 
             and Cultural Organization. . . . . . . .   42-50     7


         7.  International Labour Organization. . . .   51-63     8

         8.  Food and Agriculture Organization of the 
             United Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . .     64      9

         9.  The World Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . .   65-68     9

        10.  United Nations Environment Programme . .   69-81    10


        I.     Introduction


1.   The present report on cooperation between the United
Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) has
been prepared pursuant to paragraph 10 of General
Assembly resolution 51/4 of 24 October 1996 and outlines
the measures taken to implement that resolution.


       II.     Implementation of General
               Assembly resolution 51/4


        A.     Joint activities


2.   The joint United Nations OAS International Civilian
Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) remains the main vehicle of
cooperation between the two organizations. The
coordination of MICIVIH operations continued to be
carried out by the Joint Working Group on MICIVIH,
comprised of representatives from the Secretariat of the
United Nations (Departments of Political Affairs,
Peacekeeping Operations and Administration and
Management, and the Office of Legal Affairs) and
representatives of the General Secretariat of OAS.

3.   The Executive Director of MICIVIH reports directly
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the
Secretary-General of OAS. The Special Representative of
the Secretary-General for Haiti is responsible for
coordinating the work of the United Nations Civilian Police
Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH), which replaced the United
Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) and the
earlier United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH)
and MICIVIH. MICIVIH's knowledge of local issues, field
experience and linguistic skills have been of considerable
utility to MIPONUH and its predecessors. Mechanisms have
been put in place at all levels of the mission to facilitate
coordination and the exchange of information. MICIVIH
works closely, in particular, with the civilian police
component of MIPONUH on matters pertaining to the
detention and treatment of prisoners, as well as other human
rights issues, including human rights training of the Haitian
National Police. MIPONUH provides administrative and
logistic support to MICIVIH, while the Departments of
Peacekeeping Operations and Political Affairs support both
missions from New York.


        B.  Consultations and exchange of information


4.   During the reporting period, the Secretary-General of
the United Nations and the Secretary-General of OAS met
on several occasions. The Secretary-General of the United
Nations assumed office in January 1997 and visited OAS
headquarters shortly thereafter. He was invited to address
the Permanent Council of OAS on 18 June 1997. In his
statement, he emphasized the important role played by both
organizations in Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and
Guatemala in the tasks of institution-building, strengthening
of democracy and human rights and building a society ruled
by law.

5.   On 29 and 30 April 1998, in Santa Fe' de Bogota',
Colombia, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United
Nations attended the special meeting commemorating the
fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of OAS and the
adoption of the American Declaration of the Rights and
Duties of Man.

6.   On 28 and 29 July 1998, the Secretary-General of
OAS attended the third meeting between the United Nations
and regional organizations, which was convened at
Headquarters by the Secretary-General of the United
Nations to discuss practical and more effective ways of
establishing "Cooperation for Conflict Prevention". In his
opening address, the Secretary-General stated that "the need
for increased cooperation between the United Nations and
regional organizations had never been greater and that ...
[they] have an obligation to enhance [their] cooperation for
the prevention of deadly conflicts".

7.   The Department of Political Affairs is the focal point
for cooperation between the United Nations and regional
organizations. In this capacity, the Department coordinates
the implementation of General Assembly resolution 51/4,
including the preparation of the Secretary-General's report
to the General Assembly.

8.   The Department was also responsible for the
substantive organization of the third meeting between the
United Nations and regional organizations. The meeting
examined the potential for greater interaction and
cooperation between the United Nations and regional
organizations in the field of conflict prevention within the
framework of the Charter of the United Nations and the
mandates of regional organizations. While recognizing that
no single model of cooperation will cover all eventualities,
various possible modalities for co-operation were
considered on the basis of the existing strengths and
capabilities of the organizations.

9.   Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 49/ 5 of 21
October 1994, the Department contacted the heads of all
components of the United Nations system requesting them
to identify, in their respective offices, officers responsible
for OAS affairs to be OAS focal points in various areas of
work. Subsequently, the Department established and
continues to maintain a list of United Nations focal points,
which was communicated to OAS in order to facilitate more
pragmatic and cost-effective cooperation between the two
systems.

10.  The United Nations was represented at a conference
on "Governance, Democracy and Civil Society in the
Caribbean Community", co-sponsored by OAS, the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Secretariat
of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the
Inter-American-Development Bank (IDB), and the
University of the West Indies, held at Christ Church,
Barbados, on 9 and 10 September 1997. The Department
of Political Affairs of the United Nations was also invited
to observe the second OAS-CARICOM general meeting,
which took place at OAS headquarters, Washington, D.C.,
on 23 and 24 April 1998.


        C.     Information received from the United
               Nations system


11.  In response to a request by the Department of Political
Affairs, the heads of agencies, programmes, departments
and offices of the United Nations system supplied the
information summarized below.


        1.     Secretariat of the United Nations

               Office of Internal Oversight Services

12.  At the request of the Inspector General of OAS, the 
Office of Internal Oversight Services (through its resident
auditor in Haiti) carried out an audit in 1996 and provided
a report on the expenditures incurred by the International
Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH), a mission jointly
financed by the United Nations and OAS. The audit
indicated that the mission exercised effective internal
controls over its expenditures.


               Department of Public Information

13.  During the period under review, a wide range of issues
and events concerning cooperation between the United
Nations and OAS were covered extensively by the
Department's multimedia services, particularly through
press releases, radio magazines, daily news bulletins and
feature programmes. The topics included: support of the
United Nations for broadening the "excellent working
relationship" with OAS, expressed by Secretary-General
Kofi Annan in his statement to the Permanent Council of
OAS in June 1997; the recommendation of the
Secretary-General to extend the joint United Nations/OAS
Human Rights Mission in Haiti; and a situation report by
Mr. C. Granderson of the OAS Electoral Mission in Haiti.

14.  The radio programmes covering these and other topics
of interest for OAS Member States, such as the preference
of Latin Americans for democracy, were produced in the
official and non-official languages for regional and
worldwide distribution. The office of OAS in Washington,
D.C., one of the regular recipients of DPI radio productions,
continued to broadcast all programmes produced in Spanish
by United Nations Radio in New York.

15.  Through the Dag Hammarskjo"ld Library, the
Department has intensified its effort to collect all the
documents and publications issued by the Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
(ECLAC), the main United Nations office in the OAS
region, as well as materials produced by United Nations
information centres and the field offices of UNDP located
in Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas. All United
Nations materials collected have been indexed in the Dag
Hammarskjo"ld Library documentation database
(UNBIS/Horizon).

16.  As part of the Department's efforts to enhance the
availability of, and access to, electronic sources of
information, the Dag Hammarskjo"ld Library has been
involved in the continuous development of the United
Nations web site in the Spanish language, which provides
the Spanish speaking population in the OAS region with the
opportunity to get up-to-date information on the activities
of the United Nations.

17.  A Dag Hammarskjo"ld Library workshop for United
Nations depository librarians in the region on the use of
United Nations documents is being planned for mid-1999
in Santiago.

18.  In its coverage of recent peacekeeping operations, the
Department's latest edition of Basic Facts about the United
Nations draws attention to the importance of cooperation
between the United Nations and regional organizations,
giving special emphasis to cooperation with OAS in respect
to Haiti. Both the Yearbook of the United Nations and the
UN Chronicle covered developments regarding cooperation
between the United Nations and OAS, either by including
the full texts of General Assembly resolutions on the
subject, or in the context of reporting about General
Assembly proceedings and deliberations of other legislative
bodies.
     
   2.     Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
          for Refugees

19.  The cooperation between the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and
OAS started in the early 1970s when UNHCR expanded its
presence and programmes in the Americas in response to
the refugee exodus that took place during that decade in the
Southern Cone. However, it reached a peak on the occasion
of the launching in Central America of the Esquipulas II
agreements, which included the search for durable solutions
for the hundreds of thousands of Central American refugees
and the displaced as an integral part of the pacification and
democratization process in that region.

20.  Though joint efforts have been undertaken, mostly at
the operational level, in the context of implementation of
the respective programmes of both organizations in the
field, the outcome of such collaborative efforts are also to
be found in a number of important events which constitute
landmarks in the managing of refugee situation in the
Americas. In this regard, the 1984 Colloquium on the
International Protection of Refugees in Central America,
Panama and Mexico, at which the Cartagena Declaration on
Refugees was adopted, the International Conference on
Central American Refugees (CIREFCA) and the San Jose'
Declaration on Refugees and Displaced Persons of 1994 are
only a few of the instances upon which both organizations
have successfully developed their cooperation.

21.  Since 1985, the plight of refugees and other uprooted
populations has found a place in the agenda of the OAS
General Assembly. Every year since 1985, the countries
represented at the OAS General Assembly have called upon
member States and the OAS's principal organs to pay
special attention to the protection and assistance needs of
these categories of particularly destitute people. This year
was no exception. The OAS General Assembly, at its
twenty-eighth regular session, approved a resolution on the
situation of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in the
Americas, in which the General Assembly, inter alia,
expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between OAS
and UNHCR, and requested the office of the Secretary-General 
of OAS to "intensify this cooperation in support of 
efforts made by member States to find solutions for these
populations, with particular emphasis on the specific needs
of refugee, displaced and returnee women, elderly persons
and children".

22.  As a follow-up to a meeting between the Secretary-General 
of OAS and the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees, held in Washington, D.C., on 30 April 1997,
during the 1997 regular session of the OAS General
Assembly, a UNHCR delegation met with the Under-Secretary-General 
for Legal Matters of OAS to further discuss an agenda on issues 
of mutual interest. As a result, a number of themes were 
identified for cooperation between the two organizations which 
have occupied our joint work plan during the reporting period.

23.  In North America, a meeting between UNHCR and the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was held in
Ottawa, on 20 October 1997, at which the Commission's
expert advice was sought on issues pertaining to its
competence within the inter-American human rights system
in relation to international refugee protection. More
recently, the UNHCR office in Mexico invited the OAS
representation to that country to join efforts in a human
rights dissemination programme being launched in
commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights in 1998. A joint dissemination
plan has been prepared with the objective of further
promoting both the Universal Declaration as well as the
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man,
which also celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 1998.

24.  Under the auspices of OAS, and with the participation
of representatives of OAS member States, UNHCR and the
International Organization of Migration (IOM), a
conference, entitled "Regional responses to forced
migration emergencies in Central America and the
Caribbean", was held in Washington, D.C., in September
1997. The conference, co-organized by the Open Society
Institute and the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights,
was made possible also thanks to the support provided by
the Department of Legal Cooperation and Information and
the secretariat for Legal Affairs of OAS.

25.  In Nicaragua, until the closing of the office of
UNHCR in March 1998, the organization collaborated
closely with the International Support and Verification
Commission of OAS (CIAV) in its efforts to support the
disarmament and integration of members of armed groups
in Nicaragua. The successful implementation of the OAS-CIAV 
programme permitted hundreds of families, who
benefited from CIREFCA financed projects, to finally
achieve their reintegration in the central and northern
regions of Nicaragua in a new peaceful environment.

26.  In Guatemala, during 1997, UNHCR contributed,
together with OAS and other actors, in the inter-institutional
effort to assist the ex-combatants of the Unidad
Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG) in their
demobilization and reintegration. UNHCR focused its
activities on a personal documentation programme and
provided logistic support for URNG members returning
from outside the country, while OAS was involved chiefly
with education and training programmes.

27.  Also in Guatemala, UNHCR developed close ties with
the OAS programme "PROPAZ", directed at strengthening
local capacities in the fields of conflict analysis,
management and resolution, as it covers the municipality
of Ixcan in Quiche, also a returnee region and, hence, a
geographical area in which the programmes of both
organizations overlap. Within this framework, in May 1997,
OAS-PROPAZ organized a highly appreciated workshop
on "third parties in the context of local conflicts" addressed
to UNHCR staff. In coordination with the Mission for the
Verification of Human Rights and of Compliance with the
Commitments of the Comprehensive Agreement of Human
Rights in Guatemala (MINUGUA), OAS-PROPAZ and
UNHCR, Guatemala collaborated in the elaboration of a
"map of internal conflicts" in communities of the Ixcan
Grande region. Furthermore, a series of workshops on
conflict management addressed to local community groups
in Ixcan are to be conducted this year, prior to UNHCR's
withdrawal from the region by the end of 1998.

28.  In South America, the OAS delegation in Venezuela
has been invited to participate in the United Nations
thematic group on human rights chaired by UNHCR. The
purpose of the group is to provide the Government of
Venezuela with a coordinated response on human rights
issues.

29.  In addition to the aforementioned instances of
cooperation, UNHCR has, on numerous occasions,
expressed its willingness to further strengthen links with
OAS, an appeal which was recently reiterated during the last
regular session of the OAS General Assembly, held in
Caracas from 1 to 3 June 1998. In this regard, the UNHCR
bureau for the Americas will continue exploring avenues of
collaboration with OAS and its principal organs in areas of
mutual interest, inter alia, through the joint promotion and
dissemination of refugee law and the undertaking of
research programmes to further develop regional protection
mechanisms for refugees and other uprooted populations
within the legal and institutional framework offered by the
inter-American human rights system.


   3.  Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

30.  Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 51/4, on
cooperation between the United Nations and OAS, the
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
(ECLAC) has maintained and strengthened its working
relations and contacts with OAS.

31.  In addition to the growing participation of OAS
officials in fora organized by ECLAC, and vice-versa, and
general exchanges of information during the period under
consideration, joint activities were carried out in the areas
of social policies, statistics and regional integration.

32.  In the area of social policies, on 1 March 1998, both
organizations renewed, for another two years, the joint
programme on social policies for Latin America
(PROPOSAL), created in 1989 to support the design and
implementation of social policies through applied research,
training and technical assistance. During the period under
consideration, the following activities were carried out
through the PROPOSAL programme:

               (a)     Applied research: The research developed by
PROPOSAL has generated important methodological
contributions to the formulation, monitoring and evaluation
of social programmes and projects. The development of the
Cost Impact Analysis (CIA) has allowed for a more rational
allocation of resources, reducing the cost per impact unit
in basic health and primary education. Several studies aimed
at identifying the determining factors of academic success
in basic education have been compiled in a book, entitled
"Educacio'n, Eficiencia y Equidad", jointly published in
June 1998 by ECLAC and OAS. During 1997 and 1998,
PROPOSAL has been carrying out a research programme
funded by Germany and the five participating countries, i.e.,
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Paraguay. The goal
of the programme is to identify, systematize and propose
strategies and policy tools for increasing the efficiency and
impact of social programmes. The research has focussed on
the "Proyecto Joven", the main component of the Support
to Productive Reconversion Programme of the Ministry of
Labour and Social Security of Argentina; the AIDS
programme of the Secretary for Special Projects of the
Ministry of Health of Brazil; the Support to Micro-Enterprises 
Programme of the Fund for Social Investment
and Solidarity of Chile; the Community Schools Restaurants
of the Secretary for Social Welfare of the Municipality of
Medelli'n, Colombia; and the Social Investment Programme
of the Secretary for Social Action of the Presidency of
Paraguay.

               (b)     Training: Courses on formulation, monitoring
and evaluation of social programmes and projects for civil
servants in charge of formulating social policies,
programmes and projects were organized in Buenos Aires
in June 1997, in collaboration with the Secretary of Social
Development and the Latin American Faculty on Social
Sciences, and in Brasilia from 14 to 25 April 1997, in
collaboration with the Instituto de Pesquisa Economica
Aplicada and the Centro de Trenamiento para o
Desenvolvimiento Economico e Social. In addition to those
courses, two seminars on ex post facto evaluation of social
projects were organized in Santiago from 24 to 26
September and from 29 to 31 October 1997, in collaboration
with the Ministry of Planning and Cooperation.

               (c)     Technical Assistance: Activities were concluded
in 1997 on the evaluation of the nutritional and educative
impact of the school lunches programme in Uruguay; the
evaluation of the food subprogramme of the solidarity
support for the elderly programme in Argentina; and the
impact evaluation of the support to micro-enterprises
programme of the Fund for Social Investment and Solidarity
carried out by the Ministry of Planning and Cooperation of
Chile. In addition, it is expected that new technical
assistance activities, consisting of the development of a
monitoring system for the labour reconversion programme
of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Argentina,
will begin in 1998. In addition to this, possible technical
assistance activities are under study with the Ministry of
Planning and Cooperation of Chile.

33.  Within the framework of the Agreement on Technical
Cooperation in Statistical Matters between OAS and
ECLAC, signed on 7 October 1993, the second Joint
Meeting of High-Level Statistical Experts took place at
ECLAC headquarters from 15 to 18 October 1996. During
the meeting, both organizations presented their programmes
of work on statistical matters for the years 1997 and 1998,
and delegates from 27 countries reviewed international and
regional cooperation programmes and debated issues such
as the effects of globalization on statistical systems,
innovation and competitiveness, as well as the
dissemination of statistical information and training. In
addition, the seventeenth meeting of the Permanent
Executive Committee of the Inter-American Statistical
Conference, held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on 10 and 11
April 1997, presented a follow-up to the agreements reached
at the second Joint Meeting between OAS and ECLAC on
statistical matters. ECLAC prepared for the chair of the
nineteenth meeting of the Permanent Executive Committee
of the Inter-American Statistical Conference, which took
place in Washington, D.C., on 19 and 20 November 1997,
a report of the activities from the programme of work
presented at the second Joint Meeting between OAS and
ECLAC on statistical matters carried out between 1
November 1996 and 31 October 1997. Lastly, ECLAC is
currently organizing the third Joint Meeting of High-Level
Statistical Experts, scheduled to take place in late October
1998.

34.  Together with the Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB), and within the framework of the Tripartite
Committee OAS-IDB-ECLAC, ECLAC and OAS have
continued assisting Governments in the implementation of
the new hemispheric agenda resulting from the Summit of
the Americas, held in Miami, Florida, from 9 to 11
December 1994, in particular with regard to the Free Trade
Area of the Americas (FTAA). So far, ECLAC has been
particularly active in the working groups dealing with
competition, services and access to markets by smaller
economies. During 1997 and 1998, it participated in and
hosted the third, fourth, fifth and sixth meetings of the
Working Group on Services, in March, July and October
1997, and January 1998. It also participated in the third,
fourth, fifth and sixth meetings of the Working Group on
Competition in January, July and September 1997 and
January 1998; and in the sixth, seventh, and eight meetings
of the Working Group on Smaller Economies in February,
August, and October 1997. ECLAC also participated in the
Ministerial Meeting in San Jose', Costa Rica, in March 1998,
which decided to establish the Committee on Trade
Negotiations (CTN), and in the first meeting of CTN, in
Buenos Aires, in June 1998. This meeting began a new
phase centred on the negotiation process of establishing the
Free Trade Area. The rules and procedures adopted by CTN
include the participation of the Tripartite Committee,
supporting the administrative secretariat and providing
technical assistance to the different entities of FTAA (CTN,
negotiating groups, committees and consultative groups).
On this basis, ECLAC is presently assessing the areas in
which it could continue to assist -- as part of the Tripartite
Committee, together with OAS and IDB -- the FTAA
process according to its competitive edge and resources
available. The Plan of Action of the second Summit of the
Americas, held in Santiago in April 1998, also requested
ECLAC and OAS to strengthen regional cooperation in the
area of education. Both organizations are already active in
the Working Group on follow-up to the commitments on
education of the Summit.


        4.     World Food Programme

35.  No official formal cooperation agreement exists
between WFP and OAS, but, at the country level, there is
informal interchange, including seminars and workshops.
Representatives of OAS attend WFP food and coordination
meetings, which are chaired by WFP (with CARICOM), and
contacts are made through the representatives of member
States.


   5.  United Nations International Drug Control Programme

36.  During the biennium 1997 1998, the United Nations
and OAS continued their close collaboration in the field of
international drug control. Specifically, this work was
carried out by the United Nations International Drug
Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Inter-American Drug
Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

37.  UNDCP and CICAD meet twice yearly to consult on
regional drug control strategies, and trends and
programming priorities, and to set forth the highest
practicable level of coordination in project planning,
information-gathering and analysis.

38.  Both organizations were associated in regional and
subregional programmes, projects and workshops aimed at
the harmonization of national drug control legislation,
strengthening of essential chemicals and precursors control
departments, drug abuse prevention and money laundering.
Overall priority is assigned to the capacity-building of
national drug control commissions, through technical
support at the technical, legal and managerial levels.

39.  By way of example, UNDCP and CICAD collaborated
in the organization of Caribbean technical task group
meetings on subjects such as regional law enforcement and
maritime cooperation, held in October 1997, and
collaborated in the second Regional Meeting to Review the
Implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action on Drug
Control, Cooperation and Coordination in the Caribbean,
held in December 1997. Both CICAD and UNDCP are in
the process of implementing selected recommendations of
that Plan of Action on the basis of respective comparative
advantages. Further, UNDCP and CICAD are jointly
supporting subregional programmes in both the Caribbean
and South America aimed at establishing uniform
information-gathering and processing systems for the
measurement of drug abuse prevalence and incidence.
Uniform drug abuse measurement tools are essential for
cross-country comparability and the assessment of trends
at national and regional levels.

40.  UNDCP is currently supporting, at the technical level,
the elaboration of a regional multilateral drug control
evaluation system, a task entrusted to CICAD by the Summit
of the Americas at its April 1998 meeting in Santiago.
UNDCP's contribution is focused on the development of
standards and criteria for the measurement of effectiveness
of national and regional drug control policies and
programmes.

41.  CICAD and UNDCP routinely exchange information
on their operational activities in the field. On the basis of
a joint aide-me'moire of 3 August 1995, UNDCP and
CICAD conduct joint appraisals of regional and subregional
programme and project ideas before they reach the level of
implementation, thus ensuring complementarity, optimal
division of labour and the avoidance of duplication.

        6.     United Nations Educational, Scientific and
               Cultural Organization

42.  At the Summit Conference on Sustainable
Development, held at Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in
December 1996, OAS was entrusted with coordinating
follow-up to the Plan of Action of the Summit Conference.
The Plan of Action represents a new commitment on the part
of the Heads of State and Government of the Americas to
carry out specific initiatives through a collective effort by
countries and international agencies to promote sustainable
development in the region. In October 1997, UNESCO
decided to participate in the Plan of Action by providing
cooperation in the amount of $250,000.

43.  Within the framework of this joint UNESCO/OAS
cooperation, the following projects were agreed as part of
the follow-up to the Summit Conference:

               (a)     A document entitled "Education for a viable
future in the Americas" is being prepared, which reflects
international thinking on the subject, following the meeting
on that theme organized by UNESCO in Thessaloniki,
Greece, in December 1997. This document will be
considered at a seminar/workshop to be held in Bogota' in
1998.

               (b)     Both organizations will cooperate in the
development of an international network of institutions to
train specialized teachers; this will lead to the production
of the guides and guidelines needed for the establishment
of new training programmes at the national and local levels.

               (c)     The development of an international register is
intended to promote knowledge of and information on
innovative practices in the field of sustainable development
through the Internet.

               (d)     A project on "Education for democracy and
democratic management" is intended to disseminate
democratic practices in the Americas through educational
systems at the national and local levels in order to promote
sustainability in communities and local schools. The project
output will be the publication on innovative experiences in
educational management.

44.  In the field of science, OAS accepted UNESCO's
invitation to participate, either as a co-sponsor or as a
partner, in the World Conference on Science, to be held in
June 1999.

45.  In the area of communication, information and
informatics, a workshop in networking technology for Latin
America and the Caribbean was scheduled for Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, from 13 to 18 July 1998. UNESCO and
OAS are co-promoters of the workshop.

46.  From 1986 to 1992, OAS was represented on the
Executive Committee of the Regional Programme to
Strengthen Cooperation among National Information
Networks and Systems for Development in Latin America
and the Caribbean (INFOLAC). OAS is regularly invited
to attend meetings organized by the UNESCO regional
offices and these efforts will be continued, allowing OAS
staff members to benefit from information and informatics
activities in the region.

47.  The UNESCO office in El Salvador provided the OAS
Inter-American Commission of Women with technical and
financial support for a seminar/workshop on the theme
"Salvadoran Women and the Culture of Peace", which was
held in San Salvador from 22 to 24 January 1996. The
objective of the seminar was to integrate Salvadoran women
in the establishment of a genuine culture of peace and to
promote a clearly defined leading role for women in the
consolidation of peace and democracy.

48.  An international seminar on "Women in Central
America, Panama, Mexico and the Dominican Republic for
a Culture of Peace", held in Guatemala City from 21 to 23
August 1997, adopted the outline of a project to be
developed by UNESCO and the Inter-American
Commission of Women. The objective of the project was
promotion of the region's women leaders in their
incorporation of and in the development of a culture of
peace.

49.  Since June 1997, UNESCO and the OAS Office of
Cultural Affairs have been strengthening institutional ties
in the areas of culture through regular meetings and
communications with a view to identifying common areas
of interest for developing projects and activities and
avoiding any duplication of work. OAS participated in the
Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for
Development, sponsored by UNESCO in late March 1998
in Stockholm. OAS will also participate in the next meeting
on culture and development to be organized by UNESCO
and IDB in Paris in 1999.

50.  During the period under review, it should be noted that
OAS has published the papers presented by participants at
the UNESCO workshop held at Cuenca, Ecuador, in 1995
on the theme "Illicit trafficking of cultural property in Latin
America". UNESCO also financed the publishing of a book
entitled "One hundred missing objects: looting in Latin
America".


        7.     International Labour Organization

51.  In October 1995, the tenth Inter-American Conference
of Ministers of Labour was held in Buenos Aires as one of
the activities of the inter-American labour system of OAS.
At that Conference, the Ministers of Labour adopted a
declaration, which included a request that the International
Labour Organization (ILO), among other international
organizations, should provide such analytical support,
technical assistance and relevant reports, within its area of
competence, as might be requested by the four Working
Groups established by the Conference to study the following
issues: modernization of ministries of labour, social
dialogue and collective bargaining, the labour force of the
future and the impact of economic integration on
employment.

52.  During the Conference, at which ILO participated as
an observer, the Regional Office presented two technical
papers: one on the employment situation in the region, "The
employment challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean",
and the other on labour standards and integration, "The
labour dimensions of economic integration in Latin America
and the Caribbean".

53.  Since then, ILO has participated in all the meetings
of the four Working Groups and has responded to the
requests of the member countries belonging to each Group.
Likewise, it has supported and participated in the meetings
and seminars convened by the Business Technical Advisory
Committee on Labour Matters (CEATAL) and the Trade
Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE).

54.  The members of Working Group 1 on "Economic
integration and its effects on employment and labour
migrations", meeting in Washington, D.C., in November
1995, adopted the terms of reference for a comparative
study of employment policies in the context of hemispheric
integration. Under subsequent arrangements between OAS,
IDB and ILO, it was agreed that the study would be
conducted by ILO and funded jointly by IDB and ILO.
Owing to financial constraints, it was agreed that the study
would focus exclusively on the analysis of direct
employment policies in seven countries. Each of the country
reports was to be submitted by the end of 1996 and the
comparative study by the end of the first quarter of 1997.
ILO has discharged this obligation, having already
submitted to IDB, OAS and the respective Ministries of
Labour the reports on programmes to improve employment
and income in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica,
Jamaica, Mexico and Peru. In March 1998, the studies were
published jointly by ILO and IDB, along with a comparative
analysis of employment and income policies and
programmes in the seven countries.

55.  In relation to the issue dealt with by Working Group 1,
ILO conducted two more studies during 1996 1997: one,
on the effects of trade liberalization on employment and
wages in Brazil, Chile and Peru, and the other on labour
costs and competitiveness in the manufacturing sector in
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. In addition,
a study is being completed on the effects of trade
liberalization and labour reform on labour productivity.
Although these activities were not among those which ILO
had projected to carry out for Working Group 1, these
studies may be useful for the countries belonging to that
Group and, in general, for all the countries of the region,
since the selection of the countries in which the studies were
conducted has made it possible to draw some conclusions
in relation to the effect of liberalization on employment and
to differences in the structure of labour costs, recent trends
in such costs and their relationship to competitiveness.

56.  As a participant in Working Group 2 on "Social
dialogue and collective bargaining" which met in Bogota'
in October 1996, ILO presented a paper on updating and
conceptualizing social dialogue and cooperation in
processes of economic liberalization, modernization and
globalization. This paper and the document prepared by the
Ministry of Labour of Colombia and the OAS General
Secretariat were the basic documents for the meeting.

57.  Prior to this meeting, COSATE organized a workshop,
in Buenos Aires in May 1996, on "Social dialogue and
collective bargaining in the Americas". ILO also
participated in this workshop and presented a paper on the
subject.

58.  In April 1996, in Washington, D.C., ILO also
participated in Working Group 3 on "Modernization of the
Ministries of Labour and information on labour markets"
and was requested to prepare a study on the modernization
processes being carried out in Ministries of Labour in the
region, including policy recommendations and guidelines
for action. ILO worked on both a diagnostic study of the
development of the Ministries of Labour and an analysis of
the new roles of future Ministries in the context of the
current reform of labour administration and completed a
diagnostic study of all the Ministries of the region, which
described their development up to 1992. In response to the
Group's request, at the beginning of July 1997, ILO
undertook to update the study on the basis of each
Ministry's reply to its survey. As of April 1998, replies had
been received from Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia,
Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

59.  ILO began to analyse current trends in labour
administration and their effects on the roles and functions
of future Ministries before the tenth Conference of Ministers
was held in Buenos Aires in 1995. In this connection, ILO
sought the collaboration of experts both within and outside
the region and prepared a document reflecting the main
aspects of the issue. This document was submitted for
consideration to the ILO members in the region during a
tripartite meeting held in May 1997. The policy guidelines
established at that tripartite meeting are being considered
by countries in the process of modernizing their labour
administration systems and the relevant Ministries.

60.  ILO participated in the seminar held by CEATAL in
Buenos Aires in April 1996 on "Modernization of the
Ministries of Labour and information on labour markets"
and made a presentation on the subject matter.

61.  The ILO Inter-American Centre for Research and
Documentation on Vocational Training (CINTERFOR)
prepared one of the basic documents and participated in the
organization and conduct of the meeting Working Group 4
on "The labour force of the future: Productive restructuring
and vocational training" which met in San Jose', Costa Rica,
in August 1996.

62.  In addition, OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral
Development and the statistical institutes of the countries
of the region are beginning to implement the inter-American
labour market information system (SISMEL) project. ILO
will take part in the project's design and implementation as
a participant in the working group established for this
purpose.

63.  Lastly, the ILO area office for Central America is
supporting various activities of the OAS Inter-American
Institute of Human Rights and of the Inter-American
Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture, a regional agency
affiliated with OAS.


        8.     Food and Agriculture Organization of the
               United Nations

64.  The collaboration between the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and OAS has
covered a wide spectrum of activities ranging from
reciprocal representation at meetings, exchanges of
information and experiences, exchanges of documents and
publications and the implementation of joint actions.


        9.     The World Bank

65.  The President of the World Bank, Mr. Wolfensohn,
has emphasized the importance he places on partnerships
with other institutions in enabling the World Bank to use
its resources most effectively in assisting our member
countries. Given the significance the World Bank accords
to its partnership and cooperation with OAS, the President
of the Bank meets regularly with the heads of OAS and IDB
to discuss matters of common interest and to coordinate
activities.

66.  Since the first Summit of the Americas, held in Miami
in 1994, relations between the World Bank and OAS have
intensified. OAS was given a lead role in the organization
of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), in
which the World Bank participates as an observer. In
October 1997, the Bank hosted the tenth meeting of SIRG,
demonstrating its commitment to the summit process and
to cooperation with OAS.

67.  Bank relations with OAS will continue to strengthen
and intensify as a result of the second Summit of the
Americas, held in April 1998 in Santiago. The Regional
Office has assisted in the preparation for the Summit,
notably by intensive participation in a working group on
education. As a follow-up to the Summit, the Bank was to
host a conference on education in the Americas in June
1998. The conference will bring together ministers of
education and finance, along with key business leaders, and
will highlight the importance of better educational outcomes
in the achievement of regional development and poverty
reduction goals.

68.  An additional focus of cooperation has been the area
of sustainable development, in which the two institutions
have worked together on both preparation of and follow-up
to the Summit Conference on Sustainable Development,
held in 1996.


       10.     United Nations Environment Programme

69.  The Summit Conference on Sustainable Development
identified the key challenges for the development of the
Latin American region in the next five decades and its main
urban problems. It also requested the participation and
cooperation of development agencies. Subsequently, an
Inter-agency Task Force was created under the coordination
of OAS to assist in achieving the objectives decided on at
the meeting and, to this end, established five Working
Groups, respectively on sustainable cities and communities,
innovative financing for sustainable development, a
hemispheric network of legal experts on the environment,
coordination of technical cooperation on water supply and
on cleaner production. UNEP heads the Working Group on
cleaner production and chaired the "First Meeting of the
Cleaner Production Working Group of the Inter-agency
Task Force to Support the Bolivia Summit Follow-up", in
Washington, D.C., on 20 April 1998. The objectives of the
meeting were to identify the current cleaner production
activities undertaken in the region by various agencies and
to define specific tasks the Working Group will be focusing
on to promote the implementation of cleaner production.
The Working Group decided to develop a regional
programme on cleaner production in hospitals, to establish
an executive committee to identify priority areas to be
addressed by the Working Group and to convene the
"Cleaner Production Conference of the Americas", which
was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in August, 1998.

70.  The eleventh Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the
Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean was held
in March 1998, in Lima. Subsequently, the Forum of
Ministers established an Inter-agency Technical Committee
where "UNEP will encourage the participation of both the
agencies and programmes of the United Nations system and
bodies of the inter-American system" in order to facilitate
the technical coordination of programmes that these
organizations undertake in Latin America and the
Caribbean.

71.  The 1997 Source Book of Alternative Technologies
for Freshwater Augmentation was prepared by the Unit of
Sustainable Development and Environment of the General
Secretariat of OAS, as part of a joint UNEP Water Branch
and International Environmental Technology Centre effort,
with the purpose of providing water resource managers and
planners with information on used technologies, especially
in developing countries and economies in transition.

72.  The Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management,
held in Miami, Florida, in October 1992, called for the
establishment of the Inter-American Water Resources
Network (IWRN) -- a hemispheric network to improve
cooperation among organizations with activities in water
resources management in the Americas. OAS was one of the
sponsors of the Miami meeting and was also invited to
house the technical secretariat of IWRN. UNEP is a member
of the Network's Advisory Council and has provided
financial support.

73.  The management plan for the San Juan River
commenced in 1996 and consists of a diagnostic study and
environmental zoning and identification of projects.
Technicians from OAS and UNEP undertook joint missions
and prepared a technical document, which was sent to the
Governments of Costa Rica and Nicaragua for assessment.
OAS and UNEP also financially supported the first phase
of this project. In 1998, the proposal for the second phase
of the project, prepared by OAS and UNEP, was also
submitted to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for
approval.

74.  At the request of the Governments of Argentina and
Bolivia for technical assistance in the elaboration of a
strategic action programme (SAP) for the bi-national basin
of the Bermejo River, a grant was approved by GEF for the
initial phase of the project. The main objective is to promote
environmentally sustainable development within the
bi-national basin, taking into account investment plans
elaborated by the "Bi-national Commission for the
Development of the Upper Bermejo and Grande de Tarija
River Basins", in order to reverse environmental
degradation of land and water resources of the basin. The
action programme is expected to be completed in 1999.

75.  In the case of the San Francisco basin, UNEP, in
collaboration with OAS, has been providing technical
support for the elaboration of a project proposal for a
watershed management plan at the request of the
Government of Brazil. For the Paraguay River basin, the
Governments of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay also requested
UNEP and OAS assistance in the development of the first
phase of a sustainable watershed plan. The project proposals
were to be completed and submitted to GEF by July 1998.

76.  A medium-sized project, to be funded by GEF, for the
implementation of a river basin information system to
support water resources management (Brazil, Bolivia and
Paraguay) is currently under discussion.

77.  The objective of the regional mesoamerican system
of protected areas, buffer zones and biological corridors'
programme is to facilitate connections among the regional
system of protected areas, as well as a migratory route for
species that move through southern Mexico, Belize,
Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
and Panama. Additionally, the strategic programme intends
to create an equilibrium between biodiversity conservation
and sustainable development in the region. It was developed
by the Central American Commission on Environment and
Development (CCAD). UNDP and UNEP were approved
as the implementing agencies for the execution of the
programme and OAS was involved in the elaboration of its
first proposal.

78.  At the Summit Conference on Sustainable
Development, Heads of State adopted a declaration
expressing their support for the integration of civil society
into the design and implementation of sustainable
development policies in Latin America and the Caribbean
at regional and national levels. OAS prepared and submitted
the initial project proposal to GEF for funding through
UNEP. A 15-month project, ending in 1999, was afterwards
approved by GEF and by OAS, the United States Agency
for International Development and UNESCO. Non-governmental 
organizations have been integrated into the
project through various mechanisms, which include national
focal points in OAS member States. The Inter-American
Strategy for Public Participation in Environment and
Sustainable Development Decision-Making in the Americas
has several components, such as an information network,
technical assistance and training, consultative fora to build
public-private partnerships, among others.

79.  A project proposal, entitled "Environmental
Information System for the Common Market of the Southern
Cone (MERCOSUR) region", was elaborated and submitted
to OAS for approval by the Government of Uruguay in
1997, with the support of the OAS office in Uruguay and
UNEP, in order to develop and propose alternatives that
optimize the use of existing information in the MERCOSUR
region (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and
systematize the permanent updating of the information. The
proposed implementing agencies are OAS and UNEP.

80. OAS invited UNEP to make a presentation on the
existing international environmental agreements in August
1998, in Brazil, during the annual inter-American course on
international law.

81. A project proposal will be elaborated by UNEP and
OAS in the next few weeks, with the objective of creating
a data bank on environmental legislation in the Americas
as follow-up to an informal agreement initiated between
both organizations at the "Workshop on the State of
Juridical Information databanks in Mesoamerica",
organized by UNEP in Mexico City in November 1997.

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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
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