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

HUMAN RIGHTS: Adherence to International Agreements

  1. We reaffirm our strong commitment to confronting the scourge of racism, discrimination, and intolerance in our societies. These problems must be fought at all levels of government and the wider society. The Inter-American System also has a vital role to play in this process by, among other activities, analyzing the social, economic, and political obstacles faced by marginalized groups and identifying practical steps, including best practices, on how to combat racism and discrimination. To this end, we support the implementation of the OAS Resolution AG/RES. 2126 (XXXV O/05) that led to the establishment of a Working Group in charge of, inter alia, the preparation of a Draft Inter-American Convention Against Racism and all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance, and lend encouragement to that Working Group to combat racism, discrimination, and intolerance through available means as a matter of the highest priority. We also recall our commitment to fully implement our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We recognize that the universal promotion and protection of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights on the basis of the principles of universality, indivisibility, and interdependence, 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. Accordingly, we reaffirm the need to continue the process of strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of the inter-American human rights system, in particular, the functioning of and access to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Recognizing that the universal protection and promotion of human rights, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, as well as respect for the norms and principles of international humanitarian law based on the principles of universality, indivisibility and interdependence are fundamental to the functioning of democratic society, stressing the importance of respect for the rule of law, effective and equal access to justice and participation by all elements of society in public decision-making processes:(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as soon as possible and as the case may be, all universal and hemispheric human rights instruments , take concrete measures at the national level to promote and strengthen respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, including women, children, the elderly, indigenous peoples, migrants , returning citizens, persons with disabilities, and those belonging to other vulnerable or discriminated groups, and note that the use of the term “peoples” in this document cannot be construed as having any implications as to the rights that attach to the term under international law and that the rights associated with the term “indigenous peoples ” have a context-specific meaning that is appropriately determined in the multilateral negotiations of the texts of declarations that specifically deal with such rights; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Combat, in accordance with international law, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes wherever they might occur, and in particular, call upon all states to consider ratifying or acceding to, as the case may be, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Create and strengthen national human rights action plans, in accordance with the mandate of the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and foster independent national human rights institutions by seeking, where appropriate, technical and financial support from multilateral organizations, MDBs and specialized multilateral agencies; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Seek to promote and give effect to the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [also referred to as the United Nations (UN) Declaration on Human Rights Defenders]; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Respect for and promotion of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all individuals is a primary concern of our governments. In commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we agree on the need to promote the ratification and implementation of the international agreements aimed at preserving them and to continue strengthening the pertinent national and international institutions. We agree that a free press plays a fundamental role in this area and we reaffirm the importance of guaranteeing freedom of expression, information, and opinion. We commend the recent appointment of a Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, within the framework of the Organization of American States (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. Define and develop, with the participation of civil society, comprehensive policies aimed at promoting and protecting human rights at a domestic level, in accordance with relevant international norms and principles, incorporating those policies, where appropriate, into national human rights plans and programs, as recommended by the World Conference of Vienna, 1993; and underscore as well the importance of promoting respect for the universally recognized principles of international humanitarian law. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Promote the signature, ratification and accession to international human rights instruments to which they are not party, as well as observe the provisions contained in the instruments to which they are party. Governments will also enhance cooperation with and support for the activities of the Organization of American States (OAS) in order to: (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • 2.2 Give serious consideration to adherence to international human rights instruments to which they are not already party. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 2.3 Cooperate fully with all United Nations and inter-American human rights bodies. Develop programs for the promotion and observance of human rights, including educational programs to inform people of their legal rights and their responsibility to respect the rights of others. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).



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