OAS

DECISION 592
Creation of the Andean Council of Social Development Ministers

THE ANDEAN COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

HAVING REVIEWED: Article 3 of the Cartagena Agreement, coded through Decision 563 and Decision 553 (Guidelines for the formulation of the Social Development Integrated Plan); and Proposal 133 of the General Secretariat, and

WHEREAS: The Andean Presidential Council has defined in several opportunities that priority should be given to the execution of a Social Agenda that articulates the Andean Community social development programs, projects and activities, and enhances the socially positive effects of its economic and commercial integration;

At its 13th Regular Meeting, held in June 2001 (Carabobo Agreement), the Andean Presidential Council instructed the Ministers of the Member Countries responsible for the social policies to formulate a Social Development Integrated Plan (PIDS) "to confront the serious poverty, exclusion and social inequality problems in the subregion";

Within the framework of the 14th Regular Meeting of the Andean Presidential Council held in June 2003 at Recinto Quirama, Antioquia, Colombia, the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs defined in Decision 553 the guidelines for the PIDS and established the method and procedure for its preparation;

Between September 2003 and March 2004, 5 workshops were conducted, one in each Member Country, to formulate the PIDS, with the coordination provided by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the government authorities of the social sector, and the support of the General Secretariat of the Andean Community, and with the Executive Secretariat of the Andean Health Organization – Hipólito Unanue Convention, for health topics;

On April 30, 2004, the proposal for the creation of the Andean Council of Social Development Ministers was submitted, discussed and accepted in a working meeting held at the General Secretariat on the opportunity of the UNESCO V Consultation Forum of the Social Area Ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Based on the proposals formulated in the five workshops, the General Secretariat prepared the document "Preliminary Draft of the Andean Community Integrated Social Development Plan", which was submitted to the consideration of the Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on July 10, 2004;

The Andean Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs has decided to commission the review of the aforementioned document to the Ministers responsible for the coordination of the social policies, in order to recommend its approval and implementation;

The development of the PIDS and other topics of the Andean integration Social Agenda have made increasingly necessary the creation of a permanent mechanism for the coordination of government authorities with the social sector of the Member Countries;

DECIDES:

Article 1.- To create the Andean Council of Social Development Ministers.

Article 2.- The Andean Council of Ministers of Social Development will be formed by the Ministers commissioned by their governments with the national coordination of the execution of the Social Development Integrated Plan and other social development programs and projects devised by the Andean Community.

Article 3.- The Council will be additionally in charge of the following specific tasks and responsibilities:

a) Discuss and formulate proposals of policies, strategies or programs that contribute to strengthen the social benefits of the Andean integration, and develop its social scope "to strive for the consistent improvement of the living standards of the subregion population", as set forth in the Cartagena Agreement.

b) Contribute to the gradual convergence of social policies in the Member Countries through the joint evaluation and follow-up of the commitments of the United Nations Millennium Summit and the analysis of the human, technical and financial resources required for its total fulfillment.

c) Coordinate with the Advisory Council of Economy and Finance Ministers, Presidents of Central Banks and the Andean Community planning organizations responsible for the identification and design of innovative financial mechanisms for the fight against poverty, the strengthening of democratic governance and the establishment of justice and equity.

d) Implement in coordination with the Andean Committee of Heads of International Cooperation Organizations, a strategy for the management of resources with donor countries and international financial organizations for purposes of ensuring the technical and financial cooperation required for the execution of the programs and projects contemplated in the PIDS, and other initiatives agreed to within the framework of the Andean Social Agenda.

e) Facilitate the adoption of common or concerted positions on social topics in international forums and negotiations.

f) Promote the participation of the organized civil society in the execution of the PIDS programs and projects and, in general, in the Andean social integration efforts.

Article 4.- The General Secretariat of the Andean Community will collaborate with the Andean Council of Social Development Ministers in the preparation of the PIDS action plan.

Article 5.- The Andean Council of Social Development Ministers will establish consultation and coordination links with Councils and Committees with similar or related social development objectives presently in existence or to be created in the future in the Andean Community. In special, it will establish links with the Advisory Council of Ministers of Labor, the Ministers of Health, in coordination with the Andean Health Organization – Hipólito Unanue Convention, and the Ministers of Education and authorities responsible for the cultural policies in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Andean Community and the Andrés Bello Convention.

Article 6.- The Andean Council of Social Development Ministers will meet at least once every year when convened by the Minister that presides over the Council following the rotary system adopted by the Andean Community, or at the request of the General Secretariat.

The General Secretariat of the Andean Community will assume the functions of Technical Secretariat of the Council.

Given in the city of Quito, Republic of Ecuador, on July 10, 2004.