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

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HUMAN RIGHTS: Strengthening inter-American Systems
MANDATES

  1. We reiterate our commitment to protect and promote human rights in our Hemisphere, and to the strengthening of the inter-American human rights system, with due respect for its autonomy and independence. We express our support to continue furthering the constructive dialogue with the participation of all actors, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in the framework of the reflection process which contributes to enhancing its effectiveness, universalisation, and the adequate financing of the bodies of the system. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We also reaffirm that all forms of discrimination inhibit the full participation of all persons in society and commit to taking continued steps to combat them. We will continue our efforts to conclude negotiations on the draft Inter-American Convention Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. Recognising the diversity and the traditional and ancestral nature of the cultures, histories and demographic, socio-economic and political circumstances of indigenous peoples, we reaffirm our commitment to respect their rights and we will promote the successful conclusion of negotiations on the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples is essential for their existence, welfare and integral development. In accordance with the domestic laws of each State, we will promote the exercise of their rights, their full participation in national activities and the creation of the conditions that allow them to overcome poverty, social exclusion and inequality. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  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. To continue supporting and strengthening the functioning of the bodies of the Inter-American System of Human Rights, promoting within the political bodies of the OAS, in the framework of the ongoing reflection process, concrete actions to achieve, among other objectives, greater adhesion to the legal instruments, an effective observance of the decisions by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and due consideration of the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and the improvement of access of the victims to the mechanisms of the system, and the adequate financing of the bodies of the System, including the fostering of voluntary contributions.(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005)

  1. To urge member states, as necessary, to consider signing and ratifying, or adhering to the additional Protocol of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, “Protocol of San Salvador” and to collaborate in the development of progress indicators in the area of economic, social, and cultural rights, in accordance with resolution AG/RES. 2074 (XXXV-O/05) of the thirty-fifth period of regular sessions of the General Assembly. (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Our commitment to full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is based on shared principles and convictions. We support strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of the Inter American human rights system, which includes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. We mandate the XXXI General Assembly of the OAS to consider an adequate increase in resources for the activities of the Commission and the Court in order to improve human rights mechanisms and to promote the observance of the recommendations of the Commission and compliance with the judgments of the Court (Declaration of 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. Recognize the importance of the Regional Preparatory Conference of the Americas against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance held in Santiago, Chile, in December 2000, and undertake to participate actively in the World Conference to be held in South Africa in 2001, promoting its objectives and stressing that political platforms based on racism, xenophobia or doctrines of racial superiority must be condemned as incompatible with democracy and transparent and accountable governance; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support efforts in the OAS to consider the need to develop an inter-American convention against racism and related forms of discrimination and intolerance; ( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Continue promoting concrete measures to strengthen and improve the inter-American human rights system, in particular the functioning of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), focusing on: the universalization of the inter-American human rights system, increasing adherence to its founding instruments, complying with the decisions of the Inter-American Court and following up on the recommendations of the Commission, facilitating the access of persons to this protection mechanism and substantially increasing resources to maintain ongoing operations, including the encouragement of voluntary contributions, examining the possibility that the Court and the IACHR will function permanently, and entrust the XXXI General Assembly of the OAS, which will take place in San Jose, Costa Rica, in June of this year, to initiate actions to meet the above-mentioned goals; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Strengthen the capacity of governmental institutions mandated with the promotion and protection of human rights, such as national human rights institutions, thereby recognizing the important function they perform, and contribute to the successful establishment of a network of all such institutions of the Hemisphere, using information and communications technologies to promote and give effect to sustainable cooperation and better coordination; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Continue to support the work of the inter-American human rights system in the area of freedom of expression through the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, as well as proceed with the dissemination of comparative jurisprudence, and seek to ensure that national legislation on freedom of expression is consistent with international legal obligations; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Invite the IACHR and its Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced Persons to continue to monitor and report on situations of forced displacement with a view to promoting durable solutions aimed at addressing the root causes of such phenomena; ( 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. Strengthen the inter-American human rights system through concrete initiatives and measures which aim to reinforce its institutional structure and promote its links with national systems and regional entities that promote and protect human rights. In this context, Governments consider important the institutional strengthening of the Inter-American Human Rights Institute. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Strengthen the exercise of and respect for all human rights and the consolidation of democracy, including the fundamental right to freedom of expression and thought, through support for the activities of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in this field, in particular the recently created Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • 2.1 Great progress has been made in the Hemisphere in the development of human rights concepts and norms, but serious gaps in implementation remain. While courts ultimately have the responsibility for enforcing legal rights and obligations, reforms in other institutions are needed to contribute to the further development of a climate of respect for human rights. There must also be universal access to justice and effective means to enforce basic rights. A democracy is judged by the rights enjoyed by its least influential members. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 2.11 Call on the OAS and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to establish or to reinforce programs, as appropriate, to support national projects for the promotion and observance of human rights in the Western Hemisphere. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 2.12 Further strengthen the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

 

 

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