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

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DEMOCRACY: Transparency
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 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 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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).

  • 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).

 

 

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