Growth with Equity

The section on Growth with Equity made its appearance at the Quebec Summit of the Americas, yet it reflects many of the mandates set forth in the Santiago Summit. The section stresses the importance of a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth in order to eradicate poverty and inequity, which are two clear objectives of the Summit Plans of Action. Growth with Equity takes into account four separate issues: Development Financing, Enabling Economic Environment, Migration and Enhancing Social Stability and Mobility.



Monterrey, Mexico, 2004
Special Summit of the Americas

Development Financing

In March 2002, the United Nations held an International Conference on Financing for Development, in Monterrey, Mexico. Here, Heads of State and Government from throughout the world recognized the importance of development financing, reinforcing the Quebec City Summit initiative set forth a year earlier. 



Quebec City, Canada, 2001
Third Summit of the Americas

Development Financing

This Quebec City Summit topic acknowledges the need for development financing on appropriate terms for the countries in the Hemisphere.  This includes requesting aid from bilateral donors and multilateral development banks (MDBs) in order to promote policies for accessing international capital markets to finance sustainable development efforts.  The section also recognizes that debt servicing severely debilitates a country from attracting investment. 

Enabling Economic Environment

At the Quebec City Summit, the section on Enabling Economic Environment recognizes the need to create a positive environment for small and medium-enterprises.  This theme reiterates the importance of the activities set forth in the Santiago Summit and mandates new actions for fostering the economic environment for sustainable entrepreneurship and improved market access for young people, individuals and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs, particularly women, persons with disabilities and indigenous and rural peoples.  Governments in Quebec City also supported the improvement of social safety nets at the national and regional levels so that individual and household incomes can be stabilized.  Finally, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank (WB) and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) are called upon to lend financial and technical support to foster these goals.


And in the Third Summit of the Americas, which took place in Quebec City, Canada, in April 2002, the region's top authorities gave the OAS a special mandate to establish an Inter-American program, within the framework of the OAS, to promote and protect the human rights of migrants, including migrant workers and their families, keeping in mind the activities of the IACHR, and supporting the labor charged to the Special Rapporteur on Migrant Workers of the IACHR and the Special Rapporteur for Migrations of the United Nations. 

Enhancing Social Stability and Mobility

At the Quebec City Summit of the Americas, the Santiago mandates were reaffirmed and strengthened. Moreover, the Quebec City Plan of Action calls on different institutions to provide more research on the effects of economic policies on different populations, including on women and men, rural and urban populations, for indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, as well as in the informal and unpaid work sectors.  More specifically, governments agreed to support the unpaid domestic labor of women and their contributions to the subsistence and informal sectors.  Finally, in Quebec City, hemispheric leaders agreed to cooperate and promote a dialogue on those peoples displaced by violence, in an attempt to harmonize national legislation in accordance with the rules and standards of international humanitarian law.    


Santiago, Chile, 1998
Second Summit of the Americas

Enabling Economic Environment

In the
Santiago Summit of the Americas, Governments committed to ensure that the over 50 million micro, small and medium size enterprises have access to the appropriate financial services and can expeditiously register, obtain licenses and comply with labor and tax regulations.  Hemispheric leaders also promoted the forming of partnerships between these enterprises so they could mutually take advantage of cooperative assistance in business management.  Finally, governments agreed to, with the help of multilateral and bilateral development agencies, work towards policy reform and invest financial assistance to promote these Summit initiatives. 


In the Second Summit of the America's Plan of Action, held in Santiago in 1998, the Heads of State pointed out their intention to make special efforts to guarantee human rights to all migrants, including migrant workers and their families. 

Enhancing Social Stability and Mobility

Heads of State and Government at the Santiago Summit of the Americas addressed the issue of Property Registration by committing to streamline, decentralize and simplify property registration procedures.  This included facilitating the titling and registration process, disseminating information on property registration and utilizing state-of-the-art technology for mapping and record storage.  They asked the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank as well to provide technical and financial assistance in order to foster this commitment.  Countries were also encouraged to implement measures to protect the rights of indigenous peoples in this respect. 

In response to a Santiago Summit initiative in this area, the Organization of American States (OAS), together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are the hosts of a Web Site on property registration issues.  This Web site, which is called the Virtual Office of the Inter-Summit Property Systems Initiative (IPSI), was created to support the numerous on-going efforts to reform aspects of property information systems. 


Miami, Florida, USA, 1994 
First Summit of the Americas


The migration issue has acquired significant importance in the hemisphere within the last decade and has drawn the special attention of the states towards a group that, in view of its vulnerability, is particularly exposed to human rights violations. 

In the first Summit of the Americas, that took place in Miami in 1994, the States committed themselves to guarantee the protection of the human rights of all migrant workers and their families. And, taking into consideration the wide mandate that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has in this matter, it created in 1997 the Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers and their Families. 

Third Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada 2001


Recognizing that economic growth is fundamental to overcoming economic disparities and strengthening democracy in the Hemisphere, and that in order to achieve sustained economic growth and political and social stability, it is necessary to face the primary challenge that confronts the Hemisphere - the eradication of poverty and inequity - that requires an integrated and focused approach, which promotes better competitiveness, equity enhancing trade and more equitable access to opportunities, taking into account the difficulties that the countries of the region face, including those under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, in obtaining financing for their development; and that it is necessary to take measures at the national and hemispheric levels in order to create a positive environment for business, maximize the benefits of orderly migration, minimize the effects of economic volatility and natural disasters and encourage social stability and mobility in order to promote a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth:

Development Financing

Acknowledge the need for development financing, including aid from bilateral donors and lending from the MDBs on appropriate terms, and commit to support our Finance Ministers and the MDBs in promoting policies to develop and maintain access to international capital markets to finance our sustainable development efforts, recognizing that debt servicing constitutes a major constraint on investment for many countries in the Hemisphere;


Enabling Economic Environment


Design and implement, with the cooperation of the IDB, the World Bank, other donors, as appropriate, as well as the ILO, building upon the work begun in regional and sub-regional programs after the 1998 Santiago Summit of the Americas, legislation, policies and regulations that reduce startup costs, support the creation of new financial products for lower-income groups and youth, foster the development of credit unions, community finance institutions and supporting institutions such as credit bureaus and create conditions that encourage commercial banks and other appropriate financial institutions to broaden their client base to include more micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises and strengthen the capacities of micro, small- and medium-sized enterprise development agencies;

Provide and improve where necessary, both in rural and urban areas, access to quality information systems for micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises through the creation of non-discriminatory mechanisms with the cooperation of the IDB, the World Bank, other donors, as appropriate, as well as ECLAC, and establish programs aimed at promoting the use of computers and the Internet, based on public and private sector partnership, to gain greater access to information technology, to credit and markets and to instruments designed to assist them in all these areas;

Support and encourage, with the cooperation of the IDB and other donors as appropriate, the formation of business incubators, associative networks, joint projects, national competitiveness programs, credit unions and complementary agreements among micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises as part of a broader strategy allowing them to share best practices, to improve access to information, credit and adequate marketing systems and to break prevailing situations of isolation;

Increase access to opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship, productivity and employment among young people;

Improve, as appropriate, social safety nets at the national and regional levels to stabilize individual and household income and consumption by such means as stabilization funds, micro-credit schemes, crop insurance programs, job retraining and training in vocational, entrepreneurial and business skills, with the involvement of the MDBs and development agencies as well as non-governmental and community-based organizations and to establish regional networks to share best practices and experiences;

Promote, in cooperation with the CIM, IICA, other appropriate inter-American institutions and the World Bank, improved market access for disadvantaged entrepreneurs, particularly women, youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous and rural populations, by developing programs that generate local employment and provide training, retraining and life-long learning, particularly in new technologies, and affordable services in business management, product development, financing, production and quality control, marketing and the legal aspects of business; by establishing outreach programs to inform low-income and poor populations, particularly in rural and remote areas, of opportunities for market and technology access and by providing assistance, monitoring, mentoring , advisory and other support services to enable these groups to take advantage of such opportunities;




Recognizing the positive aspects and benefits of orderly migration in countries of origin, transit and destination as a factor contributing to economic growth and national and regional development:

Support initiatives designed to strengthen linkages among migrant communities abroad and their places of origin and promote cooperative mechanisms that simplify and speed up the transfer of migrant remittances and substantially reduce the costs of sending them;

Support voluntary initiatives designed by communities or individuals for the use of funds in investment and productive projects benefitting the general welfare in communities of origin;

Promote the discussion of the migration phenomenon at the hemispheric level with due regard for its multi-dimensional nature and regional differences and, in so doing, consider the inclusion of the topic of migration in discussions on trade and economic integration;

Support programs of cooperation in immigration procedures for cross-border labor markets and the migration of workers, both in countries of origin and destination, as a means to enhance economic growth in full cognizance of the role that cooperation in education and training can play in mitigating any adverse consequences of the movement of human capital from smaller and less developed states;

Strive to ensure that migrants have access to basic social services, consistent with each country's internal legal framework;

Create and harmonize statistical information systems and foster the sharing of information and best practices through the use of new information and communications technologies, with the aim of promoting the modernization of migration management;


Enhancing Social Stability and Mobility

Continue and deepen progress toward implementation of the agenda for improving property registration established at the 1998 Santiago Summit of the Americas with particular emphasis on regularizing informal property rights, in accordance with national legislation, to ensure that all valid property rights are formally recognized, that disputes are resolved, and that modern legal frameworks to legitimize property records and encourage marketable property titles are adopted; and that these actions include the formulation of institutional, political and regulatory reforms that would facilitate the use of property registration as a mechanism to enable property owners to access credit and allow commercial banks and MDBs to expand their customer base among lower income sectors; promote greater cooperation and exchange of information and technology to modernize the systems of registry and cadastre in the Hemisphere, and also request multilateral and bilateral cooperation institutions to continue supporting and strengthening, in a complementary manner, their financial and technical assistance programs;

Support, in cooperation with ECLAC and the World Bank, research at the hemispheric level to generate disaggregated data on the differential impact of economic policies and processes on women and men, rural and urban populations, indigenous and non-indigenous, and communities of high or low social mobility, and on their respective participation in economic growth;

Promote recognition of the social and economic contribution made by the unpaid work performed by women predominantly in the home, and consider providing innovative social safety nets in conformity with national law;

Promote greater recognition of the economic contribution of women's activities in the subsistence and informal sectors and provide, through the international and regional MDBs and the donor community, necessary assistance to communities participating in such activities, giving greater awareness at the national level to gender issues in macro-economic planning and policy-making;

Cooperate and promote dialogue on forced displacement, geared toward the improvement of the attention given to populations displaced by violence, taking into account the problems that these populations face; and harmonize national legislation in accordance with rules and standards of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention of 1951;

Invite the IACHR and its Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced Persons to continue to monitor and report on situations of forced displacement with a view to promoting durable solutions aimed at addressing the root causes of such phenomena;

Quebec Plan of Action (complete version):  English | Spanish | French | Portuguese




Payments in the Americas
October 7–8, 2004 Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, hosted the conference: “Payment Systems in the
Americas”, that was held on 7 – 8, October 2004. The meeting focused on the burgeoning remittance market and the policy objective of facilitating electronic payments and reducing costs to consumers.  

The conference comprised two panel discussions, followed by group work sessions divided by areas of interest; banking sector, remittance service providers, and regulatory aspects. Ms. Jane Thery, representing the Office of the Summit Process, made a presentation on the topic of remittances as one of the principal commitments of economic growth with equity; one of  the themes of the recent Special Summit of the Americas.  She explained the important aspects of the Summit Process of the Americas and the preparatory aspects for the Fourth Summit which will take place in Mar de Plata, Argentina, November 2005. The hemisphere leaders’ commitment in the issue of remittances was reflected in the Nuevo Leon Declaration during the Special Summit of the Americas in January 2004;

We recognize that remittances are an important source of capital in many countries of the Hemisphere. We commit to take concrete actions to promote the establishment, as soon as possible, of necessary conditions, in order to achieve the goal of reducing by at least half the regional average cost of these transfers no later than 2008 and report on progress achieved at the next Summit of the Americas in Argentina in 2005. We will adopt, as needed or appropriate, measures such as: the promotion of competition between the providers of these services, the elimination of regulatory obstacles and other restrictive measures that affect the cost of these transfers, as well as the use of new technologies, while maintaining effective financial oversight.” 

The first panel of the conference focused on the aspects of supply and demand and presented a study conducted in Mexico by the University of San Diego in which low cost payment systems are analyzed. The study also covered the traits of actors involved in the sending of remittances and the systems used for transfers. Manuel Orozco, researcher from Georgetown University and author of “Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean: Issuea and Perspectives of Development” a report prepared for the Office of the Summit Process, also contributed to the panel. He presented a report “Costs, Policies, and financial Institutions of the Remittances Market”, which complemented the study previously conducted for this office. 

During the second panel, there were presentations concerning the systems of payment exchanges in Asia and Europe. Some of the issues discussed included the factors that influence the decision to send money: cost, trustworthiness, time, and new technologies. This panel also examined the international ACH-(Automated Clearinghouse),  connections the Federal Reserve System has developed for making low-cost electronic cross-border payments to Canada, Mexico, and Europe. 

In addition, companies involved in crossborder payments discussed experiences in dealing with the challenges of the market, the increase in demand, relations with banks, the obstacles to reducing the cost, and the important role that the media and governments play in the system of international payment exchanges. Conference participants also assessed regulatory concerns and policy challenges that lie ahead. 

The conference was attended by financial sector leaders, payment system specialists, and representatives from international organizations, multilateral banks and other private sector areas. 

Presentations from the event as well as the meeting’s program can be found on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta at





Enhancing Social Stability and Mobility


World Bank Holds Workshop on Land Policy in the Americas


In preparation for the September publishing of the World Bank Report on Land Policy, a series of regional meetings were held throughout the spring of 2002. The Latin American and Caribbean workshop took place in Pachuca, Mexico, on May 19-22, and included the attendance of over 60 policy-makers from a dozen countries. Featured speakers included Mr. Miguel Urioste of Fundación TIERRA and Mr. Jaime Urrutia of the Confederación Empresarial Española de la Economía Social (CEPES).

The workshop reviewed land rights issues and facilitated discussions among policy-makers, academics, and representatives of civil society, donor organizations and regional governments. It further discussed methods in which broad land use policies could be tailored to fit regional realities in ways that successfully respond to specific problems confronting each country. Finally, the workshop assessed techniques in which land-related issues could be integrated into existing and/or proposed programs for poverty reduction and economic growth, which could be supported by donors in a coordinated way.





XXXIII OAS General Assembly
Santiago, Chile
June 8-10, 2003




XXXII OAS General Assembly
Bridgetown, Barbados
June 2-4, 2002


  • AG/RES. 1854 (XXXII-O/02) Poverty, Equity, and Social Inclusion
    This Resolution reiterates that the fight against poverty is a priority and constant concern of the Organization of American States, it calls for a high-level meeting to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, by the end of 2002 to work towards eradicating extreme poverty, a common and shared responsibility of the Member States.

  • AG/RES. 1855 (XXXII-O/02) Adoption of the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development 2002-2005
    This Resolution adopts the new Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development which establishes a framework for action by improving mechanisms for policy dialogue and by building and strengthening partnerships among governmental and non-governmental institutions among the Member States to enhance the capacity of this Plan. This Resolution addresses important areas for development such as education, economic diversification and integration, scientific development, the strengthening of democratic institutions, and sustainable development and tourism and the environment.

  • AG/RES. 1865 (XXXII-O/02) Follow-up on the International Conference on Financing for Development
    This Resolution calls for the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development and the Permanent Council of the OAS to evaluate how the OAS should link itself to the instruments and mechanisms for development identified by the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico, on March 18-22, 2002.




XXXI OAS General Assembly
San José, Costa Rica
June 3-5, 2001