Helena T.M. Richards

This Committee came into existence after we were accredited by the OAS as a Civil Society, able to participate in OAS activities. The Alliance was accredited on October 17, 2001, after a long process during which our application was accepted and reviewed by a special OAS Committee.

We have initiated a period of close cooperation with the OAS and we hope to be able to offer our input in matters that will benefit the development of our continent. We are in close contact with Mr. Joaquin Tamayo, who is in charge of the Summit Dept. and coordinates the Committee on Civil Societies. As a matter of fact, we have been invited and will attend a special meeting of the Civil Societies, which will take place at the OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the latter part of March 2002. At that time, we will be discussing strategies to facilitate the relationship between the OAS and Civil Societies and how to fulfill the mandates from the last Summit Conference.

Currently, we have been included in the Web page of the OAS and we encourage all of you to visit it as soon as possible. The address is: You will find us under ; "Accredited Civil Societies" and we have already contributed with the publication of some articles. There is much information to be found on that Web page and we surely will be enlightened by its contents, such as, special meetings to be held and activities occurring around the hemisphere. One of the documents which I found of particular interest is the "Inter-American Democratic Charter". Its article #28 is closely related to our objectives.

In January 2002, our Director General attended a Conference organized by the "Forum of the Americas", which took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay. At that time, she presented a Resolution, on behalf of the Alliance of Pan American Round Tables. This paper was written by the Chairperson of this Committee, with valuable input from our Parliamentarian, Gladys Simpson and it has been published in the Alliance Web page: Other related items about our Committee have also been published there. Luchy will inform us about the Conference in her "Circular #5", but at the moment, I should mention that her contribution to such a forum was great and she has certainly made it possible for our Alliance to be highly recognized and appreciated within an elite group of professionals and authorities of the Americas.

Before this biennium is over we hope to accomplish several of our objectives and we are counting on the cooperation of each one of our committee members and our advisor. Some of these objectives are:

  1. Write the guidelines for this Committee.
  2. Prepare the proposal to be presented to the General Assembly at our next convention requesting approval of our permanent status as an Alliance Committee.
  3. Review regularly the OAS Calendar of Events (in the net) in order to keep abreast of any important session that we would like to attend.
  4. Request a special space in our Alliance website for news about our Committee.
  5. Keep everybody informed about our activities through the net and also by mail, via the Zone Directors.
  6. Prepare a report to be presented at the Alliance Convention.
  7. Send written material for the OAS Web page.
  8. Participate actively at the Special Session which will allow all accredited Civil Societies to offer our input to the OAS. (Late March, 2002)

We are indeed very fortunate to have received much cooperation from the members of the Washington D.C. Table. Mrs. Fabiola Chiriboga, Table Director, has offered much support during the accreditation process and beyond. Other very capable members of her Table have assisted Fabiola in her efforts to initiate our relationship with the OAS. As our Director General mentioned before, some of the dreams of our Founder, Mrs. Florence Terry Griswold, have been fulfilled, through our accreditation by the OAS. After all, she founded our Organization, using as a model the spirit and structure of the OAS.

As ever, we continue to strive towards the achievement of our goals and the progress of the Alliance. We will appreciate your help and any suggestions that will bring us closer to a better partnership with the OAS. With all my love, "One for All and All for One".


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