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

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DEMOCRACY: Good Governance
MANDATES

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

  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. 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).

  • 1.1 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).

  • 1.4 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).

  • 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).

  • 5.6 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).

 

 

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