The Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum
The Carter Center and International IDEA are supporting a dialogue forum between the five Andean countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia) and the United States. The Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum consists of groups of influential citizens from a variety of sectors within each country. The Carter Center and International IDEA are uniquely suited for implementing this project with each bringing years of experience in the region to the table.
Forum participants attend the first dialogue session in Atlanta in February 2010.
Photo credit: Carter Center /D. Hakes
The forum strives to increase mutual understanding between civil society and governments in the region; create collaborative initiatives around issues of mutual concern; and promote cooperation and exchange of information between individuals, organizations and governments in the United States and the Andean nations. Ultimately, the forum provides crucial support and reinforcement of diplomatic efforts through a civil society process. (Click here to read more background information.)
The Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum proposes to:
As a result of the first two dialogue sessions, each of the U.S. forum members committed to visiting at least one of the five Andean countries in order to gain a deeper understanding of their fellow forum members' home countries as well as the prevalent issues therein. (Read more about visits to the Andean countries.)
Misperceptions and misunderstandings among countries in the western hemisphere have often been inflamed by politicians who use microphone diplomacy rather than direct communication to pursue foreign relations, and have at time been reinforced by polarized or politicized media. Members of the Andean U.S. Dialogue Forum recognized that media sometimes report distorted information related to bilateral and regional policy concerns and thus may constitute an impediment to constructive dialogue between the Andean countries and the United States. To encourage a more balanced reporting on contentious issues, The Carter Center organized four meetings between Colombian, Venezuelan, and, later, U.S. journalists, media directors, editors, and academics between November 2010 and June 2011. (Read more about the media dialogues.)
Carter Center Blog: Forum Identifies Solutions to Improve Cooperation Among Andean Countries and the United States >
Carter Center and International IDEA Launch Initiative to Strengthen Andean-U.S. Relations, March 2, 2010 >
Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum to Strengthen Relations, Feb. 24, 2010 >