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

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DEMOCRACY: Human Rights
MANDATES

  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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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).

 

 

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