Washington DC; Feb 6, 2014.
On Friday, February 6, the Organization of American States (OAS) organized its national consultation with US civil society, in order to prepare for the VII Summit of the Americas, to be held in Panama in April. After a presentation by Ambassadors Alfonso Quiñónez and Jorge Miranda, as well as a video conference with Ambassador Max López in Panama, American civil society organizations were invited to address open questions to the three ambassadors.
An afternoon OAS-organized open forum provided the opportunity for all accredited organizations to introduce amendments to the zero draft of the summit. Thanks to the presence of two WYA advocacy fellows in collaboration with the work of two ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) interns, the working document only includes one reference to reproductive rights, and it does so by mentioning a non-binding declaration released by a follow-up mechanism of the OAS. Amendments explicitly referencing the “essential role of parents in education” and support for the “cooperation that needs to be fostered among parents and schools, both public and private” were included in the document.
WYA was proud to be part of ensuring these very positive contributions at this event and is grateful for the support of the many delegates for these important positions. This document will be presented to the leaders of the summit representing the comments made by civil society organizations in the United States.