Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
     
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates
 

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DEMOCRACY
MANDATES

  1. To promote and strengthen economic, political, social and cultural empowerment for women, ensure the protection and guarantee of all their rights, and redouble our collective efforts to end discrimination, child, early and forced marriage, recognizing that gender equity and equality is necessary and legitimate for the sustainable and democratic advancement of our societies. (Citizen Participation, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To strengthen democracy and the rule of law, the separation and independence of branches of government, respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, consistent with all relevant inter-American instruments, transparency, integrity and efficiency in public administrations, and the creation of conditions that enable the involvement of citizens in the entire public policy cycle. (Democratic Governance, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To support institution building and modernization of independent electoral organs, in order to strengthen their capacity to guarantee the integrity of electoral processes, and the holding of free, fair and periodic elections, in accordance with each country’s legal system, including, as appropriate, the regulation of financing of political activity. We ask the OAS and other organizations of the Hemisphere to provide advisory services and assistance for these purposes, when appropriate. (Democratic Governance, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To promote universality of civil registration and the rights related to identity, developing and strengthening programs that make it possible to reduce the levels of under-registration, so that more persons can partake of the benefits of state recognition. We request support from the OAS and the IDB in this effort. (Democratic Governance, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To promote open government and access to information as key tools for achieving greater transparency, better public administration, citizen participation and social inclusion, and to support initiatives currently under way in this regard. (Democratic Governance, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To strengthen regional and international mechanisms for combating corruption, recognizing the value and importance of national mechanisms and a multilateral approach based on reciprocal evaluations on equal terms. To request the OAS to continue supporting the countries in following up on the provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. (Democratic Governance, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the democratic countries of the Americas, guided by a renewed spirit of cooperation, integration and solidarity, have gathered in Port of Spain at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, with a firm commitment to protect and promote the political and civil liberties and improve the social, economic and cultural well-being of all our peoples by advancing joint solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our Hemisphere. Recognising the sovereignty and independence of each of our countries, we reiterate our will to strengthen national, regional and hemispheric efforts to create the conditions for justice, prosperity, security and peace for the peoples of the Americas, based on the protection and promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We reaffirm the principles and values of the Charter of the United Nations, the Charter of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development and the Millennium Declaration; and we are determined to intensify our fight against poverty, hunger, social exclusion, discrimination and inequality, and promote social inclusion and cohesion to improve the living conditions of our people to achieve development and social justice (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We reaffirm the importance of promoting cooperation among our States on the basis of solidarity in the different spheres of inter-American relations in accordance with the principles and essential purposes of the Charter of the OAS, recognising our social, political and economic diversity (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. Our aspirations and goals for the Americas depend on strong democracies, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. We believe that democracy is essential for the social, political and economic development of the peoples of the Americas. We therefore renew our commitment to fight poverty, inequality, hunger and social exclusion in order to raise the standard of living of our peoples and strengthen democratic governance in the Americas, and we will uphold the principles of and fully implement the Inter-American Democratic Charter. We reaffirm our commitment to fostering credibility and public trust in democratic institutions, in particular the legitimacy of electoral processes and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognise the role of governance at the local level as a tool for strengthening democracy and sustainable development. We affirm the importance of enhancing decentralisation, local government and citizen participation and we reiterate our commitment to supporting the work of the high level Inter-American Network on Decentralisation, Local Government and Citizen Participation (RIAD) and its continued engagement in initiatives that promote good governance principles and practices at the local level (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We will strengthen our fight against all forms of corruption, fraudulent practices and unethical behaviour by increasing transparency, integrity, accountability and efficiency in the public and private sectors. We reaffirm our commitment to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and declare our support for the ratification and effective enforcement of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. In the framework of applicable national and international law, we reiterate our commitment to deny safe haven to corrupt officials, those who corrupt them and their assets, and to cooperate in their extradition as well as in the recovery and return of the proceeds of corruption to their legitimate owners (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. Alarmed by the corrupt, illegal and fraudulent practices in the management of some national and transnational private enterprises, which have a negative impact on the economies of our countries and could present a threat to their political and democratic stability, we will continue to enhance legal mechanisms for information sharing, and we will develop and implement policies that foster a culture of integrity and transparency within public and private offices and institutions. We will therefore seek to ensure that important progress is made in providing access for our citizens to public information, particularly on government revenues, expenditures and budgets (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We reaffirm the principles contained in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which recognises that all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. We recognise that the universal promotion and protection of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as respect for international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law, are essential to the functioning of democratic societies. We further recognise that the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action reaffirms, inter alia, the importance of ensuring the universality and objectivity of the consideration of human rights issues (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We consider it essential to strengthen broad, transparent, and inclusive social dialogue with all concerned sectors of society, at the local, national, regional, and hemispheric levels. Social dialogue is an important and basic instrument to promote and consolidate democracy and to build societies with inclusion and social justice (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We reiterate our commitment to the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter and we reaffirm our resolve to strengthen their full and effective implementation (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We are convinced that representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace, and development of the region. We recognize that for democracy to prosper, governments must be responsive to the legitimate aspirations of their people and work to provide their people with the tools and opportunities to improve their lives (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. In this sense, we endorse the commitments undertaken in the Declaration of Florida adopted at the thirty-fifth regular session of OAS General Assembly held in June 2005. Likewise, we take note of the importance of what was agreed by the participants of the Community of Democracies at their Third Ministerial Meeting, held in Santiago, in April 2005 (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We reaffirm that the participatory nature of democracy in our countries in different aspects of public life contributes to the consolidation of democratic values and to freedom and solidarity in the Hemisphere (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Increased participation by citizens, communities, and civil society will contribute to ensuring that the benefits of democracy are shared by society as a whole (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. In this sense, we recognize the work of the Meetings of Ministers and of High Authorities of the Inter-American High Level Network on Decentralization, Local Government, and Participation by Citizens, in particular the III RIAD, whose central theme was the role of local and regional governments, citizen participation and regional development in combating poverty, the generation of work and income, and the strengthening of democratic governance (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To stimulate policies that improve income distribution.(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To cooperate with solidarity with the Haitian people in their efforts to revitalize the democratic institutions, fight poverty, and foster equitable socio-economic development, including, the creation of decent work through, among others, greater support from the international financial institutions and cooperation agencies, and implement disarmament, demobilization, and reinsertion programs (DDR), with the support of MINUSTAH and the Special Mission of the OAS for the Strengthening of Democracy in Haiti(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Recognizing the interconnection between democratic governance and the economic and social development of our peoples and the theme of the Mar del Plata Summit, we request the political bodies and the General Secretariat of the OAS to continue to advance in the effective implementation of the Declaration of Florida, “Delivering the Benefits of Democracy.”(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005)

  1. To encourage, through the OAS, regional training programs in e-government, and promote the exchange of experiences with the countries that have made progress in this field. (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. In the search for sustained and equitable economic growth that contributes to long-term development, reduces poverty, eliminates hunger, and raises the standard of living of the population, with special attention to the most vulnerable sectors and social groups, we commit to continue implementing sound macroeconomic policies, prudent fiscal and monetary policies, appropriate exchange rate regimes, prudent and appropriate public debt management, diversification of the economy, and the improvement of competitiveness. We also commit to the qualitative transformation of public administration through its modernization, simplification, decentralization, and transparency. Furthermore, we will redouble our efforts to improve the investment climate in our countries and promote corporate social responsibility (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We recognize that sound macroeconomic policies and prudent fiscal management are also central to achieving long-term fiscal sustainability (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We express our support for the Declaration of Santiago, 1998 on Democracy and Public Trust to define an agenda for good governance in the Hemisphere that enables us to address political, economic, and social challenges in order to foster credibility and public trust in democratic institutions (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We reiterate our commitment to the full application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which constitutes an element of regional identity, and, projected internationally, is a hemispheric contribution to the community of nations. We reaffirm our decision to coordinate immediate action whenever democracy is threatened in any of our countries. In addition, we will continue our efforts to strengthen mechanisms for the defense of democracy and to develop and promote a culture and education for democracy (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We recognize the participation of many countries of the Hemisphere in the Community of Democracies and call upon the Third Ministerial Conference to continue supporting the strengthening of democratic institutions, particularly political parties (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. The strengthening of and respect for the rule of law, the defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms, economic progress, well-being and social justice, transparency and accountability in public affairs, the promotion of diverse forms of participation by our citizens, and the development of opportunities for all are fundamental to promote and consolidate representative democracy (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. Democratic governance is strengthened through dialogue among all sectors of society. We will continue to foster a culture of democracy and development based on pluralism and the acceptance of social and cultural diversity (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We recognize that political pluralism and sound political parties are essential elements of democracy. We underscore the importance of rules to ensure the transparency of party finances, to prevent corruption and the risk of undue influence, and to encourage a high level of electoral participation. Therefore, we will promote the conditions that enable political parties to thrive, autonomous of government control. We will encourage political training and leadership development, including for women, youth, indigenous people, members of ethnic groups, and marginalized segments of the population. We acknowledge the important work of the Inter-American Forum on Political Parties in enabling political parties to share best practices and strengthen themselves, as well as promoting reforms of political party systems (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We will encourage the modernization of the State as an important element for strengthening democratic and good governance, combining effectiveness and efficiency with greater access to services, transparency, and responsibility in management and the consolidation and professionalization of the civil service. We undertake to promote the use of new information and communication technologies in public administration and to adopt strategies for the development of electronic government (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We, the democratically elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas, have met in Quebec City at our Third Summit, to renew our commitment to hemispheric integration and national and collective responsibility for improving the economic well-being and security of our people. We have adopted a Plan of Action to strengthen representative democracy, promote good governance and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.* We seek to create greater prosperity and expand economic opportunities while fostering social justice and the realization of human potential (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. We acknowledge that the values and practices of democracy are fundamental to the advancement of all our objectives. The maintenance and strengthening of the rule of law and strict respect for the democratic system are, at the same time, a goal and a shared commitment and are an essential condition of our presence at this and future Summits. Consequently, any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state's government in the Summit of the Americas process. Having due regard for existing hemispheric, regional and sub-regional mechanisms, we agree to conduct consultations in the event of a disruption of the democratic system of a country that participates in the Summit process (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Threats to democracy today take many forms. To enhance our ability to respond to these threats, we instruct our Foreign Ministers to prepare, in the framework of the next General Assembly of the OAS, an Inter-American Democratic Charter to reinforce OAS instruments for the active defense of representative democracy.* (Declaration of Québec, 2001)

    * The Venezuelan delegation wishes to reserve its position on paragraphs 1 and 6 of the Declaration of Quebec City, because, according to our government, democracy should be understood in its broadest sense and not only in its representative quality. We understand that the exercise of democracy encompasses, as well, citizen participation in decision-making and in government management, with a view to the daily formation of a process directed towards the integral development of society. Because of this, the Venezuelan government would have preferred and thus requested that, in this Summit, the text of the Declaration would expressly reflect the participatory character of democracy.

  1. Recognizing the relationship among democracy, sustainable development, the separation of powers, as well as effective and efficient government institutions, and, noting that the transparency and accountability of electoral systems and the independence of bodies responsible for the conduct and verification of free, fair and regular elections are essential elements in ensuring support for and involvement in national democratic institutions :.”(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Share best practices and technologies with respect to increasing citizen participation in electoral processes, including voter education, the modernization and simplification of voter registration and the voting and counting process, while taking into account the need to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and promoting the full participation and integration of all persons eligible to exercise the right to vote, without discrimination ; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Continue to enhance electoral mechanisms, using information and communications technologies where possible, to effectively guarantee the impartiality, promptness and independent action of agencies, tribunals or other bodies responsible for the conduct, supervision and verification of elections at national and sub-national levels, and strengthen and facilitate, with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) and other regional and international organizations, hemispheric cooperation and exchange of legislative and technological experiences in these areas, and the deployment of election observers when so requested; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Convene under the auspices of the OAS, and with the collaboration of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), meetings of experts to examine in more depth issues such as: political party registration, access of political parties to funding and to the media, campaign financing, oversight and dissemination of election results and relations of political parties with other sectors of society ; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Recognizing that good governance requires effective, representative, transparent and accountable government institutions at all levels, public participation, effective checks and balances, and the separation of powers, as well as noting the role of information and communications technologies in achieving these aims: (Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Promote cooperation among national agencies in the Hemisphere charged with the development and maintenance of procedures and practices for the preparation, presentation, auditing and oversight of public accounts, with technical assistance where appropriate from multilateral organizations and multilateral development banks (MDBs), and support exchanges of information on oversight activities related to the collection, allocation and expenditure of public funds;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Encourage cooperation and exchange of experiences and parliamentary best practices between national legislators of the Hemisphere, while respecting the separation and balance of powers, through bilateral, subregional and hemispheric vehicles such as the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA); (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Work jointly to facilitate cooperation among national institutions with the responsibility to guarantee the protection, promotion and respect of human rights, and access to and freedom of information, with the aim of developing best practices to improve the administration of information held by governments on individuals and facilitating citizen access to that information;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Create and implement programs with the technical and financial support, where appropriate, of multilateral organizations and MDBs, to facilitate public participation and transparency, using information and communications technologies where applicable, in decision-making processes and in the delivery of government services, and to publish information within time-limits established by national legislation at all levels of government;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Ensure the media is free from arbitrary interventions by the state, and specifically, work to remove legal or regulatory impediments to media access by registered political parties including by facilitating, where possible, equitable access during election campaigns to television and radio; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Recognizing that corruption gravely affects democratic political institutions and the private sector, weakens economic growth and jeopardizes the basic needs and interests of a country’s most underprivileged groups, and that the prevention and control of these problems are the responsibility of government as well as legislative and judicial institutions :(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as soon as possible and as the case may be, the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, in accordance with their respective legal frameworks, and promote effective implementation of the Convention by means of, inter alia, the Inter-American Program for Cooperation in the fight Against Corruption and associated technical cooperation programs and activities, including those of relevant multilateral organizations and MDBs, in the area of good governance and in the fight against corruption, as well as programs which each country designs and implements in accordance with national laws, by its own appropriate bodies that may require assistance ;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Support the establishment as soon as possible, taking into consideration the recommendation of the OAS, of a follow-up mechanism for the implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption by States Parties to this instrument;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Support strengthening the Inter-American Network of Institutions and Experts in the fight Against Corruption in the context of the OAS, as well as initiatives aimed at strengthening cooperation among ethics officials and members of civil society;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Strengthen, in cooperation with multilateral organizations and MDBs, where appropriate, the participation of civil society in the fight against corruption, by means of initiatives that promote the organization, training and linkage of citizens groups in the context of concrete projects which promote transparency and accountability in governance;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Continue to promote policies, processes and mechanisms that protect the public interest, the use of disclosure of assets mechanisms for public officials in order to avoid possible conflicts of interest and incompatibilities, as well as other measures that increase transparency;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Recognizing that citizen participation and appropriate political representation are the foundation of democracy, and that local governments are closest to the daily lives of citizens: (Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Promote mechanisms to facilitate citizen participation in politics, especially in local or municipal government;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001)

  1. Promote the development, autonomy and institutional strengthening of local government in order to promote favorable conditions for the sustainable economic and social development of their communities; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Strengthen the institutional capacity of local governments to allow full and equal citizen participation in public policies without any discrimination, facilitate access to those services fundamental to improving citizens’ quality of life , and strengthen decentralization and the integral development of these services in part through commensurate and timely funding and initiatives that permit local governments to generate and administer their own resources;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote sharing of information, best practices and administrative expertise among local government personnel, associations of local governments, community associations and the public, in part by facilitating access to information and communications technologies by municipalities and by encouraging cooperation and coordination among national, subregional and regional organizations of mayors and local government; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Stimulate international cooperation in training directors and managers of local government; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support convening a meeting in Bolivia of ministers or authorities at the highest level responsible for policies on decentralization, local government and citizen participation in municipal government, and consider closely the recommendations of the Sixth Inter-American Conference of Mayors and other relevant processes; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support the OAS Program of Cooperation and Decentralization in Local Government, including, with the support of the IDB, the development of programs and the effective inclusion of citizens in decision-making processes; ( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Consider developing cooperation with the media and entertainment industry with a view to avoiding the promotion and dissemination of a culture of violence, thus contributing to a culture of peace; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Propose measures designed to modernize national laws, as appropriate, based on principles such as: permanence of strong and independent regulatory bodies; a pro competitive approach, including the adoption of rules on dominant operators; a flexible regulatory framework consistent with technological convergence, and to develop human and institutional capacity in support of these principles; ( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. 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; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. 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; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. The strength and meaning of representative democracy lie in the active participation of individuals at all levels of civic life. The democratic culture must encompass our entire population. We will strengthen education for democracy and promote the necessary actions for government institutions to become more participatory structures. We undertake to strengthen the capabilities of regional and local governments, when appropriate, and to foster more active participation in civil society (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. Recognizing the importance of, and positive role played by hemispheric institutions, particularly the Organization of American States (OAS), we instruct our Ministers to examine the strengthening and modernizing of these institutions (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. We reaffirm our will to continue strengthening intra-hemispheric dialogue and cooperation within the framework of friendship and solidarity that inspires our nations. (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. The strengthening of democracy, justice and human rights is a vital hemispheric priority. In this Plan of Action, we endorse new initiatives designed to deepen our commitment to these important principles. Specifically, we will intensify our efforts to promote democratic reforms at the regional and local level, protect the rights of migrant workers and their families, improve the capabilities of our justice systems and labor ministries to respond to the needs of our peoples, and encourage a strong and active civil society. We further resolve to defend democracy against the serious threats of corruption, terrorism, and illegal narcotics, and to promote peace and security among our nations. Taken together, these measures consolidate our democratic gains, reaffirm our commitment to democratic institutions, and commit us to building a Hemisphere of shared values. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Support States that so request in the processes of promoting and consolidating democratic values, practices and institutions by strengthening the respective organs of the Organization, including the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD).(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Include in educational programs, within the legal framework of each country, objectives and contents that develop democratic culture at all levels, in order to teach individuals ethical values, a spirit of cooperation and integrity. To that end, the participation of teachers, families, students and outreach workers will be stepped up in their work related to conceptualizing and implementing the plans for shaping citizens imbued with democratic values (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Within their legal framework and within a reasonable time, establish or strengthen mechanisms for the participation of groups of society in the process of local and other subnational decision-making, such as open public hearings and public budget reviews, and promote transparency in local and other subnational Government finance operations. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. In accordance with legislation at all levels, provide for financing options for local and other subnational Governments, including groups of local Governments, such as through transfers of national revenue, access to private capital markets, and authority for raising revenue locally, in order to expand the delivery of quality services as well as provide for training opportunities to strengthen local and other subnational administrative capabilities. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. In accordance with circumstances and the legal framework of each country, study the possible transfer of additional national governmental functions to local and other subnational levels as well as the possibility for enhancing such authorities . (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Share their experiences and information from existing and future programs supported by multilateral and bilateral cooperation institutions such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, to facilitate the implementation of this initiative (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Resolutely support the "Inter-American Program to Combat Corruption" and implement the actions established therein, particularly the adoption of a strategy to achieve prompt ratification of the 1996 Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the drafting of codes of conduct for public officials, in accordance with respective legal frameworks, the study of the problem of laundering assets or proceeds derived from corruption, and the promotion of information campaigns on the ethical values that sustain the democratic system.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Sponsor in Chile a Symposium on Enhancing Probity in the Hemisphere to be held no later than August 1998, in order to consider, among other topics, the scope of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and the implementation of the aforementioned program. They will also resolutely support the holding of workshops sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS) to disseminate the provisions set forth in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Foster within the OAS framework, and in accordance with the mandate set forth in the Inter-American Program to Combat Corruption, appropriate follow-up on the progress achieved under the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Promote in their domestic legislation the obligation for senior public officials, and those at other levels when the law so establishes, to declare or disclose their personal assets and liabilities to the appropriate agency (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Encourage the approval of effective and specific measures to combat all forms of corruption, bribery, and related unlawful practices in commercial transactions, among others.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Propose the exchange of experiences that may be used as a support for each country so that, according to their own realities and legal systems, they adopt or develop internal rules that regulate contributions to electoral campaigns and independent internal control mechanisms.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Consider the proposals resulting from the Meeting of Government Representatives on Contributions to Electoral Campaigns, held in Caracas in February 1998, under the auspices of the OAS. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. Adopt or consider, as appropriate, measures to prevent financial contributions to electoral campaigns derived from organized crime and drug trafficking. Similarly, they will promote the adoption of measures designed to ensure transparency in the origin of all contributions. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998)

  1. The Charter of the OAS establishes that representative democracy is indispensable for the stability, peace and development of the region. It is the sole political system which guarantees respect for human rights and the rule of law; it safeguards cultural diversity, pluralism, respect for the rights of minorities, and peace within and among nations. Democracy is based, among other fundamentals, on free and transparent elections and includes the right of all citizens to participate in government. Democracy and development reinforce one another (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to preserve and strengthen our democratic systems for the benefit of all people of the Hemisphere. We will work through the appropriate bodies of the OAS to strengthen democratic institutions and promote and defend constitutional democratic rule, in accordance with the OAS Charter. We endorse OAS efforts to enhance peace and the democratic, social, and economic stability of the region (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. We recognize that our people earnestly seek greater responsiveness and efficiency from our respective governments. Democracy is strengthened by the modernization of the state, including reforms that streamline operations, reduce and simplify government rules and procedures, and make democratic institutions more transparent and accountable. Deeming it essential that justice should be accessible in an efficient and expeditious way to all sectors of society, we affirm that an independent judiciary is a critical element of an effective legal system and lasting democracy. Our ultimate goal is to better meet the needs of the population, especially the needs of women and the most vulnerable groups, including indigenous people, the disabled, children, the aged, and minorities (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. Recognizing the important contribution of individuals and associations in effective democratic government and in the enhancement of cooperation among the people of the Hemisphere, we will facilitate fuller participation of our people in political, economic and social activity, in accordance with national legislation (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  • 1.1 The strengthening, effective exercise and consolidation of democracy constitute the central political priority of the Americas. The Organization of American States (OAS) is the principal hemispheric body for the defense of democratic values and institutions; among its essential purposes is to promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect to the principle of non-intervention. The OAS has adopted multilateral procedures to address the problems created when democratic order has been interrupted unconstitutionally. In order to prevent such crises, the OAS needs to direct more effort toward the promotion of democratic values and practices and to the social and economic strengthening of already-established democratic regimes. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 1.2 Give expeditious consideration to ratifying the Cartagena de Indias, Washington and Managua Protocols to the OAS Charter, if they have not already done so. Strengthen the dialogue among social groups and foster grass roots participation in problem solving at the local level.
    Support efforts by the OAS to promote democracy by: (Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 1.3 Encouraging exchanges of election-related technologies and assisting national electoral organizations, at the request of the interested state.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 1.4 Strengthening the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy so that it can provide assistance at the request of the interested state on such matters as legislative and judicial processes, government reforms (including administration of justice, technical modernization of national legislative bodies, simplification of government regulations and promotion of participation by community organizations in local democracy), and other institutional changes.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 1.5 Encouraging opportunities for exchange of experiences among member states' democratic institutions, particularly legislature-to-legislature and judiciary-to-judiciary.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 1.6 Fostering understanding, dialogue and political reconciliation, at the request of the affected state and bearing in mind that national reconciliation comes from within.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 1.7 Requesting the OAS to promote and follow up on these commitments [Strengthening Democracy].(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 3.1 A strong and diverse civil society, organized in various ways and sectors, including individuals, the private sector, labor, political parties, academics, and other non-governmental actors and organizations, gives depth and durability to democracy. Similarly, a vigorous democracy requires broad participation in public issues. Such activities should be carried out with complete transparency and accountability, and to this end a proper legal and regulatory framework should be established to include the possibility of obtaining technical and financial support, including from private sources.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.1 The problem of corruption is now an issue of serious interest not only in this Hemisphere, but in all regions of the world. Corruption in both the public and private sectors weakens democracy and undermines the legitimacy of governments and institutions. The modernization of the state, including deregulation, privatization and the simplification of government procedures, reduces the opportunities for corruption. All aspects of public administration in a democracy must be transparent and open to public scrutiny.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.2 Promote open discussion of the most significant problems facing government and develop priorities for reforms needed to make government operations transparent and accountable .(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.3 Ensure proper oversight of government functions by strengthening internal mechanisms, including investigative and enforcement capacity with respect to acts of corruption , and facilitating public access to information necessary for meaningful outside review.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.4 Establish conflict of interest standards for public employees and effective measures against illicit enrichment, including stiff penalties for those who utilize their public position to benefit private interests.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.5 Call on the governments of the world to adopt and enforce measures against bribery in all financial or commercial transactions with the Hemisphere; toward this end, invite the OAS to establish liaison with the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.6 Develop mechanisms of cooperation in the judicial and banking areas to make possible rapid and effective response in the international investigation of corruption cases.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.7 Give priority to strengthening government regulations and procurement, tax collection, the administration of justice and the electoral and legislative processes, utilizing the support of the IDB and other international financial institutions where appropriate.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 5.8 Develop within the OAS, with due regard to applicable treaties and national legislation, a hemispheric approach to acts of corruption in both the public and private sectors that would include extradition and prosecution of individuals so charged, through negotiation of a new hemispheric agreement or new arrangements within existing frameworks for international cooperation.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 8.1 The expansion and consolidation of democracy in the Americas provide an opportunity to build upon the peaceful traditions and the cooperative relationships that have prevailed among the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Our aim is to strengthen the mutual confidence that contributes to the economic and social integration of our peoples.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 8.2 Support actions to encourage a regional dialogue to promote the strengthening of mutual confidence, preparing the way for a regional conference on confidence-building measures in 1995, which Chile has offered to host.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 19.2 Further pursue or initiate programs of deregulation and administrative simplification. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

 

 

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