Civil society asks for hearing with IIRSA Executive Steering Committee
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Source: Bank Information Center
Wed Nov 12 2008

Civil Society Organizations join efforts to request a hearing with IIRSA Executive Steering Committee towards achieving greater participation in the planning of regional integration and the implementation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for groups of IIRSA projects.

On November 3rd, 24 organizations from 8 countries of South America requested a meeting with IIRSA Executive Steering Committee at the annual meeting that will take place in Cartagena, Colombia in December 4-5, 2008. The request is a direct demand for more active participation of Civil Society within the context of IIRSA, which ensures the inclusion of different groups that are directly affected by these projects. The action even takes more strength to seek a more open analytical dialogue about the implementation of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) for groups of IIRSA projects. The request takes place in a context of lack of broader and institutionalized mechanisms for information flow and quality of time for the appropriate involvement of Civil Society.

It is important to highlight the efforts of Civil Society organizations in proposing the dialogue about the future implementation of SEA for measuring induced impacts arising as a result of the implementation of high-risk projects within integration processes. In this way and after 8 years, faced with growing voices of criticism about the legitimacy of IIRSA, other institutional mechanisms are in place and represent a new political space for dialogue and action in the regional integration process, such as UNASUR. Then the question is raised about the future of IIRSA.

This actual situation is deepened even more now that the future role of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) is under discussion within the Technical Cooperation Committee of IIRSA. The results of internal evaluations of the IDB on its participation in the integration progress of IIRSA are questioning their participation after the end of his mandate in 2010.

For these reasons, the request for CSOs to an audience with IIRSA Executive Steering Committee comes with great importance in defining new scenarios to better efficacy of dialogue and engagement with the 12 governments of the region in the process of regional integration.

Related Information:

* CSOs letter of request to IDB (pdf format in Spanish language)

* Evaluation of IDB Action in the Initiative for Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA)

* IDB rejects civil society dialogue (September, 2008)

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