RECOMMENDATIONS BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
FOR THE 2001 QUEBEC CITY SUMMIT
(Hemispheric meeting, Miami, January 18-20, 2001)
document contains proposals drafted at the "Final Meeting of
the Consultation Process with Civil Society Organizations", on
themes to be discussed at the III Summit of the Americas to be held
in Quebec City in April 2001. They are presented in the form of
action items, similar to those included in the Action Plans of prior
Summits. The meeting took place in Miami on January 18-20, 2001.
presented in this Final Document arose from a six month long
consultation process, organized and coordinated by Corporación
PARTICIPA of Chile, in partnership with the ESQUEL Group Foundation
(United States) and FOCAL (Canada). This process included 18
national consultations and 6 with networks, besides the functioning
of the web page http://www.sociedadcivil.org
created for this purpose. Nearly 900 organizations took part in
these consultations and 243 proposals on the Thematic Areas of the
Summit Action Plan were elaborated. A summary of the proposals was
published as a Working Document in preparation for the Miami event
which was disseminated before and during the meeting.
The Miami meeting
brought together representatives of civil society organizations who
guided the consultations in their countries, along with
representatives of regional thematic civil society networks. The
participants discussed and prioritized the proposals of the Working
Document, and then agreed upon the proposals for this Final
Document. In this meeting there were also representatives from
governments, international organisms and cooperation agencies.
The document does not
pretend to be representative of civil society in its entirety, and
the final version does not necessarily reflect a complete consensus
among the meeting participants or the organizations that took part
in the consultation process. It is, however, an accurate reflection
of the opinions and priorities of the individuals consulted.
proposals are organized by thematic area and issue:
1. Towards a more Effective
democracy in the Americas is a fundamental condition for economic
prosperity and human development, we, the Heads of State and
Governments, commit to further strengthen democracy in our
countries, to collectively address at the highest political level
any interruption of democratic institutional processes in any of the
parties involved in the Summit of the Americas process, including
the FTAA, and to recommend appropriate mechanisms to reestablish the
Request that the OAS
continue its support for democracy in the continent
2. Transparency and Good
and, in accordance with resolution 1080, when events occur that
result in an
interruption of the democratic process, they will take measures to
reestablish democracy in the affected country. Events that merit
such a response are: the systematic elimination of independence of
judiciary, holding electoral processes that do not meet minimum
international standards, the practice of systematic violations of
expression and human rights, and the interference of the armed
Transparency is a
necessary responsibility, value and practice among institutions and
citizens. Lack of transparency has become a daily practice in many
of our societies, too often leading to corruption.
Creating a culture of
transparency requires the decisive and sustained action by the state
as well as an active and committed citizenry to participate in and
monitor public activity.
Heads of State have
made important commitments to fight corruption at the two Summits of
the Americas and in the Inter-American Convention Against
Corruption. To translate these commitments into concrete action,
leaders commit to:
- Call for the universal
ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
by the year 2002.
- Implement an OAS Mutual Review
Mechanism and ensure that it has adequate authority and funding
as well as a clear mandate for consultations with civil society.
Submit an annual progress report on implementation of the
Convention to the OAS General Assembly.
- Establish legal requirements to
regularly publish laws, regulations, judicial and administrative
actions, and other information, including on procurement, all
budgets and expenditures, and audits. Make best efforts to place
such information on-line and call on the IDB to provide
financial and technical assistance. Guarantee access to
information and promote meaningful citizen participation through
suitable mechanisms, such as public hearings.
- Institute procedures to promote
independence and integrity of judges and prosecutors including
merit-based criteria for selection, public review of candidates,
ethics training, disclosure of assets and oversight mechanisms.
- Carry out and publish at all
levels audits for all public institutions. Adopt accounting and
auditing practices that meet or exceed international standards.
- Enact legal requirement for the
timely disclosure of income and expenditures of political
parties and candidates in order to enhance the transparency of
the electoral process.
- Enact legal requirements for
implementation by 2002 of procedures to enhance transparency in
public purchases of goods and contracting of services,
establishing competitive bidding systems and public awards of
contracts. Support the use of "integrity pacts" in
public procurement and support the prompt adoption of uniform
documents and policies of the highest standards by all
multilateral development banks.
- Create and fund an independent
agency to promote, monitor and coordinate anti-corruption
- Propose legislation to create and
use civil society councils to monitor and promote transparency
in government programs, backed by the necessary resources and
- Call for an annual report to the
OAS General Assembly on steps taken to implement these
3. Human Rights
3.1. Strengthening Human Rights
Mechanisms for the protection of
human rights must be strengthened in order to provide an integral
guarantee of citizens’ rights in the region. Leaders commit to:
implement a National Program for the Promotion of Human Rights in
accordance with the commitments made at the 1993 Vienna World
Conference. In addition, present an annual report to the OAS
Permanent Council and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
on advances in the implementation of that program and the status of
Human Rights Systems
The implementation of
the decisions of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human
Rights is indispensable for the existence of an effective system of
protection and for the credibility of the Inter-American system
improve the Inter-American Human Rights System in terms of its
overall operation, effectiveness, funding and universality of its
instruments. Provide support to the Plan for the Promotion of the
Inter-American Human Rights System, prepared by the Inter-American
Institute for Human Rights.
3.3. Human Rights of
Women, Youth and Children
The vulnerability and
exclusion suffered by numerous sectors of the population works
against the very essence of democracy. The discrimination that
exists against women, children and youth represents a violation of
the principle of equality before the law and respect for their
rights and dignity.
Inter-American Program for the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights
and Gender Equality and Equity, and develop indicators to monitor
fulfillment of this and other commitments made in various
Freedom of Expression
The right to freedom
of expression is fundamental in the democratic process and the
guarantee of access to information leads to transparency in
Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression that were
approved by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights during its
3.5. Strengthening the Justice System
and other Judicial Entities
In order to reduce human rights
violations, levels of impunity must be reduced and the justice
- Restrict the immunity of military
justice to crimes typically committed by the military.
- Sign and ratify the International
Penal Court Treaty.
- Review and improve local and
constitutional systems of access to justice, placing special
emphasis on the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of
Participation in National Processes
Citizenship, as the
exercise of rights and responsibilities, should be a basic element
of the social and political reality of our countries. Therefore, the
construction of citizenship is of primary importance to achieve
democracy at all levels of our societies.
organizations, as a group of diverse actors and social expressions
characterized by political, ideological and cultural plurality, play
a fundamental role in this process. Strengthening these
organizations implies increasing operational skills as well as the
effectiveness of their work to solve problems in our countries in a
context of shared responsibility with the public and private
society in this framework requires promoting PARTICIPATION and
ASSOCIATION, guaranteeing social inclusion and equity.
To this end, leaders
- Adapt, and where necessary,
establish legal and regulatory frameworks to strengthen:
- PARTICIPATION. These frameworks should:
- Guarantee equal access to objective, frequent
and systematic information for citizens.
- Institutionalize a partnership between the
state and civil society to make participation effective.
B. ASSOCIATION, based on the
Plan of Action of the Santiago Declaration in relation to Civil
Society and under the principle of free association.
should be agile and effective and recognize the autonomy of civil
society, its diversity and the public interest in its objectives.
2. Ensure adequate application of
the legal and regulatory frameworks, avoiding discretionary
C. The flow of resources in
support of PARTICIPATION and ASSOCIATION. This would require
adapting and/or introducing mechanisms to facilitate fundraising.
These could include, for example, contracting services, fiscal
incentives, subsidies and donations.
3. Because of
the importance of strong and participatory local governments in the
creation and sustainability of an effective civil society, we urge the
Presidents to implement in their policies, concrete measures for the
immediate strengthening of local governments.
4.2 Strengthening Participation in
Ensure dissemination, among the
citizens of the signatory countries, of information on the Summits
of the Americas Process and the commitments assumed by the Heads
Call for an annual progress report
on Summit commitments to be presented to the appropriate bodies.
This report should be publicly available and should seek to
reflect, in addition to information provided by the Governments,
reports made by Civil Society Organizations, academic centers and
others with relation to the Summit.
Continue and strengthen the
participation mechanisms established at the OAS, especially the
Accreditation System for Civil Society Organizations, the Special
Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and the Committee
on Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities.
Establish a mechanism for Civil
Society participation in the actual Quebec City Summit.
Establish, with Civil Society,
mechanisms to monitor and evaluate progress with the Agreements.
Consolidate the State-Civil Society
relation within the Summit process, which will provide for a
constructive exchange around the priorities of the national
Encourage media coverage to provide
information on efforts by Civil Society and the Governments
before, during and after the Quebec City Summit.
2. CREATING PROSPERITY
1. Commerce and Investment
Synchronize the FTAA negotiations
with the Summit Process through a mechanism in which Civil Society
Participation is transparent, inclusive, effective and permanent,
allowing for Civil Society involvement in the processes which define
policies and the monitoring of their implementation.
- Establish clear rules of access to
complete and timely information for civil society on the
negotiating text and process.
- Support independent research,
financed at least by a Tripartite Committee, which will examine
the global implications of the FTAA process and not just of
trade, and place special emphasis on the impact on small
economies, taking into consideration the recommendations of the
Consultative Group on Small Economies (included in the Santiago
Plan of Action) as well as orient and inform the establishment
of a Regional Development Fund to assist the more vulnerable
2. Financial Mechanisms
Review the efforts
being made to reform and strengthen the international financial
system, with a framework conducive to accessing to long-term
resources and assisting in support of sustainable development, with
new and innovative funding mechanisms in coordination with the
responsible implementation bodies of the strategies of the
hemispheric sustainable development agenda.
commitments made in Miami, Santa Cruz and Santiago with respect to
the domestic implementation of multilateral environmental
agreements and international environmental standards and practices
cooperatively and in partnership with civil society.
2. Recognize that
environmental security is an increasing regional priority and that
frameworks for environmental governance should be strengthened to
address growing concerns over resource claims, depletion and
degradation that can imperil the health and well being of
citizens, impede or disrupt economic prosperity, and threaten
national and regional stability.
3. Establish a
high-level policy dialogue in the environment, defense and finance
communities to explore the linkage between environmental and
development concerns and the security of citizens and states in
the Americas with a view to:
- defining priorities at a
regional and domestic level,
- strengthening governance
frameworks to meet those priorities,
- monitoring progress through
measurable indicators, and
- pursuing projects in
environmental governance as a means to address environmental
security concerns, including through technical assistance.
opportunities for creating prosperity amongst all segments of
society, taking affirmative action to support vulnerable groups
(including women, children, indigenous communities and racial or
ethnic minorities), and support the comprehensive sustainable
development of all productive sectors in rural life in order to
create an urban-rural balance for the well-being of all the
citizens. This includes:
- Creating and supporting
mechanisms for dialogue among all elements of civil society
- Encouraging social
responsibility within the private sector.
- Strengthening the promotion of
policies which facilitate the generation of new
microenterprises and their ability to flourish in a
- Facilitating increased and
equitable access to information technology and
Initiate or reinforce educational
reform programs to offer quality education to all children, from
Decentralize education and provide
municipal and local levels with greater autonomy and facilitate
the participation of parents and other local actors in the
administration and development of the educational process.
Promote and improve the
professionalization of agents of the educational system through
the development of training programs that encourage greater
consideration and valuation of the sector.
Develop programs of formation in
values to shape responsible citizens.
- Encourage governments to heighten
their efforts to provide universal coverage in elementary and
secondary education, and also increase pre-school education, which
was not included as a priority in the Santiago Summit.
- Call a meeting including representatives of
governments, civil society and cooperation agencies to examine the
fulfillment of the goals of the educational Action Plan of the
- Promote the development of partnerships among
different actors to share responsibilities in educational
administration involving the public and private sectors, providing
greater levels of school autonomy in financial, administrative and
- Increase investment in public education to a
recommended minimum of 5% of GDP and increase the expenditure per
student to narrow gaps in equity and quality between public and
- Promote and facilitate the effective
participation of civil society organizations in the definition and
implementation of policies and programs of educational
- Create channels that allow participation of the
most diverse range of civil society actors in the monitoring,
follow-up and evaluation of the results of Summit Accords.