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Engaging with Civil Society: Lessons from the OAS, FTAA, and Summits of the Americas

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Engaging with Civil Society: Lessons from the OAS, FTAA, and Summits of the Americas

Published: January 5, 2000

This discussion paper addresses a theme that has generated heated debate among policymakers and representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) throughout the Americas: how and whether to incorporate civil society views into multilateral instruments and processes. The paper considers how the views of CSOs are being incorporated within the Organization of American States (OAS), the Presidential Summits of the Americas, and within the current negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). By offering an independent review of these efforts, this paper serves both as a record of early efforts at CSO inclusion, as well as a tool for deepening the discussion and moving the process forward.

Author: Yasmine Shamsie

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