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Department of Conferences and Meetings Management. Report on Language Services and Measures to Achieve Savings in the Provision of Conference Services for OAS Meetings. November 30, 2010/AGC. Mandate. AG/RES. 1 (XL-E/10) III.A.12.a 12. Conference and meeting services

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Department of Conferences and Meetings Management

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Department of Conferences and Meetings Management

Report on Language Services and Measures to Achieve Savings in the Provision of Conference Services for OAS Meetings

November 30, 2010/AGC


AG/RES. 1 (XL-E/10) III.A.12.a

12. Conference and meeting services

a)To reiterate to the General Secretariat the need to expand its review of the Organization’s interpretation and translation services to include the whole area of conferences and meetings services, and to present for consideration of the CAAP, progress reports on the current services and needs of the Department of Conferences and Meetings Management, including information on the most efficient and cost-effective means of delivering these services, at headquarters and away from headquarters, taking into consideration member states’ requirements and overall needs and limitations of the Organization in fulfilling its mandates .

Language Services SectionDCMM

  • Provides in-house translations of 45% of the documents requested by all the areas of the GS/OAS, giving priority to the PC and GA

  • Coordinates outside translations of the remaining 55%

  • Identifies the best translator for each document, based on his or her experience and specialty

  • Reviews translations and/or original documents at the request of the areas

  • Exercises quality control of all translations

  • Tests translators before adding them to the roster of freelance translators

  • Advises the delegations of the member states at Style Committee meetings

  • Compiles and updates glossaries and style manuals in order to unify and preserve OAS vocabulary and style

Language Services SectionDCMM

  • Coordinates interpretation services for all GS/OAS meetings at and away from Headquarters

  • Advices the areas on the most appropriate and efficient ways of hiring interpreters

  • Identifies interpreters certified by professional associations in the member states

  • Provides in-house interpretation services for:

    • Meetings of the Chair of the PC and regional coordinators

    • Meetings of a highly confidential nature

    • Missions of ministers and/or ambassadors

    • Ambassadors’ private and negotiation meetings

    • Private meetings of the SG and ASG


Translation flow chart

Translation statistics

January – October 2010

*Equivalent to 25,320 source pages requested. The number of words delivered was higher (10,884,499) because the same source document is sometimes translated into more than one target language.

Requests for translation

In-house vs. freelancers’ translations

In-house translators by language

English: 1 translator/reviewerSpanish: 1 translator/reviewer

1 translator

Portuguese: 1 in-house translator/reviewerFrench: 3 translator/reviewers

1 translator/reviewer (CPR)

Translation requests by language

Translation requests by GS/OAS area

In-house translations = Savings for the area

Total savings $879,293.72


Interpretation flow chart

Meetings with interpretation (month)

Meetings with interpretation (area)

Types of service used in CP/CEPCIDI

Types of interpretation services

Regional Program to Expand the Number of Interpreters and Translators

  • Objective:

  • To identify qualified translators and interpreters in the member states in order to reduce the cost of providing translation and interpretation services at meetings away from headquarters and to comply with requests by governments to hire local professionals.

Regional Program to Expand the Number of Interpreters and Translators

  • Results:

  • PeruInterpreters, June 2009: 10

  • BrazilInterpreters, December 2009: 12

  • ColombiaInterpreters, July 2010: 7

  • ColombiaTranslators CITEL, November 2010: 5

  • MexicoTranslators and interpreters, November 2010: currently being evaluated

  • Ecuador Translators and interpreters, February 2011: currently being organized

Conference Services

Measures to enhance efficiency in the provision of conference services

Green meetings

  • Promotion of a “Paper Light Policy,” to reduce the use of paper by distributing documents electronically.

  • Promotion of a “Printing on Demand" policy and printing on both sides of the paper.

  • Minimizing the quantity of participants’ supplies (notebooks, print-outs, pencils, folders, etc.)

  • Use of biodegradable or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-approved materials.

Measures to enhance efficiency in the provision of conference services

Green meetings

  • Implementation of separate waste collection, recycling or re-use practices wherever meetings are held.

  • Setting the air conditioning systems in meeting rooms at levels at which they consume as little energy as possible.

  • Promoting the use of tools, such as social media (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or RSS) to access meetings.

  • Greater use of technology as a support tool (document links, websites for each meeting, laptops for each participant).

  • Involve participants directly and promote their role as multipliers of this effort to generate greater environmental awareness.

Measures to enhance efficiency in the provision of conference services

Videoconferences 2009 – 2010

Sir Arthur Lewis Multimedia Room

* Since April 2009, when the Sir Arthur Lewis Room was inaugurated.

** Until October 15, 2010.


The savings calculation is based on a conservative estimate of four airfares per videoconference and an estimated maximum of a three day stay per videoconference.

When more than one country is involved, the calculation has been based on the country with the lowest costs.

DCMM budget allocationsin 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011

DCMM personnelin 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011

Measures to enhance efficiency in the provision of conference services

New videoconferencing capacity in the Simón Bolívar Room

Joint effort by DOITS and DCMM

New capabilities include:

  • Video / Teleconference (VTC) with capacity for up to 5 simultaneous connections

    • Six cameras in the room

    • Each delegate can speak from his/her own microphone

    • Visualization of the other parties on all screens and monitors in the room

    • IP (via Internet) and ISDN (via telephone line) connections

  • Audio Teleconferencing (ATC)

  • Control panels for video – teleconferences and local presentations

  • Recording

  • Local presentation capabilities


  • Update Resolution 872:

    “Update of the Costs of Conferences and Meetings”

  • Limit the number of pages per report: 15 -20 pages: A common practice in international organizations

    Translation costs: 10 pp. = 2,500 words = US$425

    15 pp. = 3,750 words = US$637.50

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