PADF and CEDA Host First-Ever Civil Society Side Event with Participation of Governments and International Organizations on the Margins of the LA Declaration’s Third Ministerial Meeting in Guatemala City.

In a pivotal gathering on the margins of the third Ministerial Meeting for the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Center for Engagement and Advocacy in the Americas (CEDA, formerly known as CDA) hosted an inclusive dialogue among civil society, government officials, and international organizations in Guatemala City. Conversations took stock of the LA Declaration’s progress to date since its launch in June 2022, while identifying concrete steps that signatories should take to include civil society as they develop and implement policies within the LA Declaration’s framework.

During the session held on May 6, 2024, over 25 civil society leaders from 13 of the 22 signatory countries deliberated on crucial issues such as refugee integration and resettlement, family reunification, and labor mobility. Participating civil society stakeholders included representatives of migration-response coalitions, religious networks, as well as Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Haitian diaspora leaders. The Vice President of Guatemala Karin Herrera, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Antonio Escobero, UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes provided opening remarks at the PADF-CEDA event, and all underscored the importance of civil society as a partner in furthering the objectives of the LA Declaration.

“This meeting marks a significant step forward in our collective efforts to ensure a seat at the table for civil society, which is uniquely positioned to monitor the impacts of national and regional commitments on displaced populations in real time—as well as catalyze their implementation. By embedding civil society into the LA Declaration’s structure, the lived experiences of the most vulnerable are elevated”

The side event resulted in four key conclusions, which PADF and CEDA presented foreign ministers during a private session immediately preceding the Ministerial on the morning of May 7, 2024: 

  1.  Establish a dedicated technical secretariat to oversee the coordination and implementation of the LA Declaration’s objectives by the end of 2024. The secretariat should incorporate civil society into its formal structure. 
  2. Organize a regional meeting between the LA Declaration’s 22 special coordinators and civil society by October 2024 to develop a joint work plan to strengthen national-level engagement of civil society in the LA Declaration’s implementation.
  3. Create a formal mechanism to monitor the LA Declaration progress through quantitative and qualitative indicators, through which civil society can hold states accountable.
  4. Reactivate Pillar IV, which focuses on promoting a coordinated emergency response to crises and has seen no commitments since the LA Declaration’s launch.


“We urge all stakeholders, including government officials, international organizations, and civil society, to support the adoption of these recommendations and build on the momentum of this meeting. A government-civil society partnership is critical to the success of the LA Declaration’s goals, including new commitments announced at the Ministerial.”

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