On the occasion of the forty-eighth regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, held in Washington, DC, United States, from June 3 to 5, 2018, the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) , was invited, along with 306 civil society organizations, 2 workers' organizations, 14 from the private sector and 27 organizations or representations of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities, to participate in the "Dialogue of the Heads of Delegation, the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General and the Representatives of the Civil Society, the Workers, the Private Sector and other Social Actors".
The event, which was chaired by the President of the Permanent Council of the OAS, Dr. Andrés González Díaz and by the OAS Secretary General, Dr. Luis Almagro Lemes, aimed at fostering an open dialogue among civil society, the States Members and the General Secretariat, where actions were proposed on the contribution of the OAS in the global advancement of human rights, democracy and the Rule of Law; Integral Development and prosperity in the hemisphere; and Multidimensional Security.
Coalition for an Inter-American Environmental Charter
In its participation before the Member Countries of the OAS, Mrs. Gabriela Lara, general director of GEAP, coordinating the coalition for the Inter-American Environmental Charter proposed to take action and make effective decisions to stop the destruction of ecosystems, and educate present and future generations to take responsibility for planet Earth.
Among its considerations, the GEAP stated as a determining factor to broaden participation spaces with environmental citizen monitoring and control, interactive, permanent, consultative and binding dialogue to deal with environmental issues. In addition, to request the conclusion of a continental agreement that strengthens regional integration.
Regarding this continental agreement, which it described as an instrument of environmental principles, values and actions, the GEAP proposed the beginning of the discussion on the draft of an INTER-AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER, which establishes the current commitment of the OAS Member States to the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of each of the natural resources of planet Earth, recognizing that she is a living being with rights.
The Inter-American Environmental Charter has been being built since 2016 with the participation of different sectors of civil society, experts in environmental and legal material and with the indigenous peoples and nations of the Americas.
The GEAP also called on the States present to take up the challenge of proposing this document before the Permanent Council and the General Assembly of the OAS. (Access the full speech)
Support for the GEAP proposal in the intervention of the OAS Member States
The delegation of Paraguay, headed by Dr. Elsa Ruiz Díaz, Ambassador of their country to the OAS, thanked the presentation made by Civil Society on issues such as democracy, social development, and the environment. Especially the proposal of the GEAP stating "We receive with great expectation the different proposals made within the framework of this day, such as the proposal to promote an Inter-American Environmental Charter."
This meeting for dialogue, held in the house of the Americas, gave voice to the voices of the entire continent, who came together in ideas, proposals and inputs of the work developed on the 4 pillars of the Organization of American States with a perspective towards the future of the human family and of Mother Earth, as a way to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the OAS at the same time.