Summit of the Americas
Foreign Ministers' Report on Summit Implementation
(Haiti, June 4, 1995)
The Summit of the Americas in Miami was an event of historic significance for the Western Hemisphere. Thirty-four democratically elected leaders, while faced with different development challenges, expressed their common determination to pursue prosperity through open markets, hemispheric integration and sustainable development. They recognized that building strong hemispheric partnerships was the key to the advancement of mutual interests and values, and declared their shared commitment to peace, democratic practices, economic integration, and social justice. In the months since the Summit, the governments of the hemisphere have given tangible expression to this commitment through many important activities, both multilateral and individual, to implement the Summit's Plan of Action with solidarity.
The Plan of Action, which initiated some actions and systematized and accelerated others already underway, is a comprehensive and valuable 'document, Its twenty-three items spell out a program of national and international action to improve the quality of life for all people in our societies.
The record of the initiatives and accomplishments of our countries, considered individually or collectively, reaffirms the seriousness of our purpose and our determination that implementation of the Plan of Action will be the lasting legacy of the Summit of the Americas.
Our hemisphere has vigorous multilateral institutions, chief among which are the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health Organization, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Each of these has specific tasks in implementing the Plan of Action. The reports of these organizations reflect their success in rapidly conforming their work programs to the mandates from the Summit and in dedicating substantial resources to achieving Summit goals. Sub-regional organizations for integration play a leading role in the achievement of these objectives.
Activities illustrative of the actions by our countries and the above-mentioned international organizations appear as an annex to this report.
The various sub-regional integration organizations, plus initiatives or agreements such as the Central American Alliance for Sustainable Development and the Amazon Pact, are also contributing to Summit implementation, with programs of work that complement and further the aims of the Summit Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.
So, too, our civil societies, individuals, the private sector, labor, political parties, academics and other non-governmental actors and organizations, have taken up the challenge of Summit implementation, working to improve the quality of public debate in our democracies, the vigor of our defense of human rights, the eminence of our cultural expression, the energy with which we develop our resources, the vigilance with which we protect our environment, and the determination with which we share equitably the benefits of our growth.
At the Summit of the Americas, the leaders recognized that drastic and rapid change in development policies can bring painful social adjustments and economic dislocations in the short -term. In the spirit of the Summit of the Americas, economic crises can be dealt with through cooperation by the countries of the Americas. It was in this spirit that, when faced with certain recent major crises, the hemisphere demonstrated what it is capable of doing to resolve them with solidarity and determination. Disputes among the American states can and must be settled peacefully.
Taking into account the inter-relationship between democracy and development and the need to take initiatives in a comprehensive and balanced manner in every area covered by the Plan of Action, certain issues will require redoubled attention:
The Summit dealt expressly with some of the major factors in alleviating poverty, especially education, health, employment, and the role of women, but poverty remains a continuing threat to sustaining economic reforms and consolidating democracy. We need to explore additional ways to expand social investments, examining as well such issues as hunger, sustainable agriculture, and the promotion of greater equity.
Heeding the urgency of the leaders' call for priority allocation of additional resources for infrastructure measures, we recognize the importance of adopting specific measures required to achieve progress in this area. Among such measures, it would be desirable to intensify actions by multilateral organizations and the private sector to facilitate credit and investment, for example by increasing financing for the modernization and perfection of telecommunications services. Steps should also be taken to improve cooperation in science and technology and reduce barriers to collaboration.
Our hemispheric discussions on trade are proceeding at a good pace and in consonance with the GATTAVTO and other international, regional, and sub-regional obligations. We support the June 30 Denver Ministerial that will start building the foundations for the eventual achievement of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Our governments will remain cognizant of differences in levels of development as we work toward economic integration in the hemisphere.
The Committee on Hemispheric Financial Issues should meet as soon as possible to examine all issues identified in the Summit Plan of Action Item on Capital Markets Development and Liberalization, including debt. Productive investment, identified in Miami as a driving force of economic development, and especially private investment, should be encouraged by the development and progressive liberalization and integration of financial markets, in accordance with national legislation.
Terrorism is a serious threat to our political systems and our societies. We need to design new strategies, with innovative mechanisms and systems of coordination, in order to guarantee close cooperation to ensure that this scourge is eliminated throughout the hemisphere.
Despite the intensification of efforts throughout the region in the battle against narcotics trafficking, illegal drugs remain a serious problem. In this regard, and with a view as agreed in Miami to the joint formulation of a counter-narcotics strategy for the 21st Century, we underscore the need to approach with unity and determination the attack on all aspects of this problem, including production, trafficking, and illicit use of drugs, and related crimes including money laundering.
Our countries are making strides in combating corruption-through new legislation, enforcement actions, and other innovative strategies to ensure the integrity of the procurement process. Likewise, at the hemispheric level, our countries have agreed in the OAS on a working schedule to consider a draft Inter-American Convention on Corruption culminating in a special conference during the last quarter of 1995.
Toward the Future
We recognize the need to intensify our collective and individual efforts to ensure realization of the full promise of the Summit of the Americas.
Our governments have scheduled important events in the coming months. Meetings of our fellow ministers concerned with trade, tourism, science and technology, and the fight against money laundering will deepen our understanding of these vital issues and give further impetus to national and international action.
The meeting of First Ladies in Paraguay October 16-20 will make a valuable contribution in vital areas of development, particularly those that have the greatest impact on the well-being of children and the family.
The Summit Conference on Sustainable Development next year in Bolivia will provide an opportunity of special importance to promote development programs and to broaden understanding of the interdependence between development and the environment.
Public and private cooperative efforts such as the Denver Trade and Commerce Forum will enhance the hemispheric flow of information and encourage wider participation in Summit implementation.
The efforts by the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health Organization, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean to reorient their activities in response to the Summit of the Americas should begin to show important results over the coming year. The resources provided to and through these institutions are a fundamental indicator of our political will to implement the Summit's Plan of Action.
The Summit of the Americas has given us a new frame of reference through which to tackle the most important issues facing us as individuals, as nations, and as the people of the Americas. The "Miami Process," characterized by open and intensive consultations, including the private sector and non-governmental actors and organizations, and a spirit of equality, solidarity and mutual respect among our nations, provides the best means for securing freedom and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere.
We await with optimism the results of the meetings to be held during the co year. We look forward ourselves to meeting again in a year to review progress in attaining the Summit's objectives and to make a recommendation to our Presidents and Prime Ministers concerning the desirability of convening another summit in the near future.[SIRG/1995/I_M/tracker.htm][SIRG/1995/I_M/tracker.htm]