|Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA
COMMITTEE OF GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES ON THE PARTICIPATION OF
CONTRIBUTION IN RESPONSE TO THE OPEN AND ONGOING INVITATION
The following participated in this roundtable: Norma
Castañeda of the NGO “Equipo Pueblo”; José Rodolfo Carvajal of the NGO
“Compañeros de América”; Sandra Aguilera of the NGO “Contracorriente”; Dr.
Yolanda Trápaga of the School of Economics Graduate Program of Universidad
Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); Sergio Mastretta of “La Radiante” radio
station of Puebla; and Professor José Miguel Gómez de Alvear of the NGO “Aula
Civil society in each country demands the opportunity to participate so that the national interest can be better defined. National interest here is understood as the interests of the majority without ignoring the interests of the minority. State institutions everywhere need to formally establish channels of participation, but the dilemma of how civil society is to be represented also needs to be resolved. Representative participation should occur through public reports, seminars, consultations and any other means that guarantee transparency and participation, but always through concrete proposals, and building henceforth on the achievements reached so far in the various agreements on continental integration. This means making a greater effort to implement the mandates issued by the ministers in their various declarations, including the Miami Declaration of 2003.
During the debate, it was commented that, in Mexico, the fact that information from the government has not been forthcoming has been a constant problem in the negotiations, as has the lack of consultations held to hear the proposals of the various sectors of civil society in the different forums and representative organizations.
As the official interlocutor, the Secretariat of the Federal Economy should address the concerns of civil society. NAFTA will necessarily be the country's point of reference for future negotiations.
An urban policy needs to be implemented to lay the foundations for a system that is based on fairness and justice. It has therefore been proposed that the debate on urban areas be incorporated through the Committee on the Participation of Civil Society in the FTAA as an indispensable tool for improving the quality of life and the working conditions of all the peoples of the Americas.
Based on the experience of Compañeros de las Américas (Companions of the Americas) as a non-governmental organization, the agenda among the peoples of the Americas needs to be expanded and deepened, especially regarding the handling of social issues.
With respect to the relationship between poverty-social participation and education, which shows that poverty is associated with lack of social participation, work needs to be undertaken on improving education as a factor in social development, which means that any trade agreement must take education into account if it is to further social progress.
Nowadays there is no self-standing and democratically aligned state strategy at the national level. In order to link up national processes with the FTAA, local governments need to foster economic development ties with national governments.
|governmental contact points