October 24, 2000
Translation: FTAA Secretariat
COMMITTEE OF GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES ON THE PARTICIPATION OF
CONTRIBUTION IN RESPONSE TO THE OPEN INVITATION
ELENA TORRES SEGUEL
ASONG . ASOCIACION DE ORGANISMOS NO GUBERNAMENTALES .
Item: Civil Society.
The association of non-governmental
organizations, A.S.O.N.G., considers that it would be advisable to discuss
the need to reduce the imbalance found in relations between the third
sector, government and business. Acknowledging that it is a fact that the
organizations require greater professional skills, specialization and the
ability to draw up strategies that will enable them to become a valid and
extremely efficient actor, work is being done in this regard. The
association also considers that it would be advisable and beneficial for
government agencies and the second sector to recognize civil society as a
valid actor and spokesman and, thus, help reduce existing imbalances.
The strengthening of civil society is a matter of interest for both civil
society organizations and for the governments, as the stronger and more
efficient civil society organizations are the stronger the collaboration,
contributions, alliances and programs with the government agencies can
On the issue of communication and dissemination of the process itself and
of the various items being discussed within the FTAA, civil society
organizations are in a position to make a very broad and efficient
contribution due not only to the fact that the international organizations
belonging to ASONG have a presence and are active in all FTAA countries,
but also because the social organizations are very close to, aware of and
welcomed by society, especially among social groups who must be made aware
of and interested in regional processes such as FTAA so as to make them
feel that concern for their lives and the quality of those lives exists.
Information and dissemination help change the attitude of the man in the
street towards summit meetings as something you read about in the press
that produce few results, or whose results are not well known or
There are three areas in which we the ASONG organizations believe that we
can and hope to be able to make a contribution and proposals on which we
-On the issue of the importance of allowing civil society organizations to
contribute to the FTAA,
- for people to be considered a top priority insofar as social policies
- for priorities to be assigned to social topics based on the needs and
requirements of the people in our countries;
- To conributes towards a rapprochement and sensitivity towards civil
society organizations, in having the man in the street feel close to this
process, and on how he views the efficiency of this type of process
- To contribute proposals on which we are working for communication and
dissemination, making use of all the media and technologies available,
regarding processes and issues on which the FTAA is working.
Elena Torres Seguel.