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

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JUSTICE AND RULE OF LAW
MANDATES

  1. To promote transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption initiatives in the private sector, with the support of ICT programs, activities, and projects, as appropriate, to improve the capacity of stakeholders to participate and access information, as permitted by law. (Access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To strengthen and promote bilateral, subregional, regional, and international cooperation to prevent and combat violence, corruption, and transnational organized crime in all its forms and manifestations, and to promote institutional strengthening and, where applicable, rehabilitation and social reintegration, within the framework of the international conventions and instruments in force, with full respect for the rule of law, domestic and international law, and human rights, and, to that end, call upon all citizens to participate and lend their support. (Citizen Security and Transnational Organized Crime, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To strengthen the administration of public security by governmental agencies through promotion of citizen and community participation, institutional coordination, and training and education of civilian and police personnel, with full respect for the rule of law, domestic law, gender equality, and human rights. (Citizen Security and Transnational Organized Crime, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To implement public policies in the realm of citizen security that make the human being their primary focus, within a framework of democratic order, the rule of law, and observance of human rights. (Citizen Security and Transnational Organized Crime, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. We reaffirm that democratic governance based on respect for the rule of law and which is stable, transparent, effective, inclusive, and accountable, contributes to creating the enabling environment to attract investment, build economic prosperity, foster the creation of decent work, and achieve social justice (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Accountability is a key instrument to achieve transparency and efficiency in the use of resources administered by our governments. fighting corruption is a key aspect of strengthening democracy and economic growth. For this reason, we call upon states to implement the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and participate fully in the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. We stress the importance of the oversight role of legislatures, as appropriate, in the fight against corruption and the importance of promoting inter-parliamentary exchanges to encourage the development of national and international strategies to fight against corruption (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To stimulate the design or strengthening of mechanisms or initiatives for access to credit by, among other measures, the fostering of the property registry and cadastre, in which legal certainty is expressed, among other means, through the verification of the title and the use of it, ensuring that the property rights benefit all people without discrimination.(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To consolidate the Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition, support the actions for the implementation of a strategic plan for the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA ), and strengthen the institutional development of the General Secretariat of the OAS in these issues, in accordance with the framework of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA).(Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We will take all necessary and feasible legal, regulatory, and institutional measures, by the next Summit of the Americas to be held in 2005, to simplify the procedures and significantly reduce the time and cost of establishing businesses in each country of the region.(Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. Therefore, we commit, where necessary and appropriate, to: strengthen property rights and expand the use of property as collateral, ensuring enforceable, efficient, transparent, comprehensive, and equitable rules governing property contracts; and improve or promote the related measures governing the transfer of property, property registries, the use of property as collateral, and the rights and responsibilities of debtors and creditors (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. With regard to these measures, we commit to undertake concrete actions prior to the next Summit of the Americas to be held in Argentina in 2005, and to report at that time on progress achieved. We will seek to ensure that property rights benefit all people without discrimination (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We recognize that corruption and impunity weaken public and private institutions, erode social values, undermine the rule of law, and distort economies and the allocation of resources for development. Therefore, we pledge to intensify our efforts to combat corruption and other unethical practices in the public and/or private sectors, strengthening a culture of transparency and ensuring more efficient public management (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We express our concern regarding corrupt, illegal, and fraudulent practices in the management of some national and transnational enterprises that may have a negative impact on economies, in particular those of developing countries and on their producers and consumers (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. The Inter-American Democratic Charter states that the peoples of the Americas have the right to democracy and that their governments have the obligation to promote and defend it and it establishes that transparency in government activities, probity, and responsibility in public management are key components of the exercise of democracy. We will therefore increase our cooperation within the framework of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, particularly by strengthening its follow-up mechanism. We charge the upcoming meeting of the Conference of States Parties to the follow-up mechanism of the Convention with proposing specific measures to strengthen this mechanism. These recommendations will be evaluated at a meeting of the States Parties to the Convention, to be held in Managua, Nicaragua in mid-2004. That meeting will also consider additional concrete measures to increase transparency and combat corruption. We instruct our foreign ministers to report on the progress achieved to the Fourth Summit of the Americas (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We agree to hold consultations in the event that adherence to our shared transparency and anticorruption objectives, as articulated in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, is compromised to a serious degree in any of our countries (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We undertake to promote transparency in political processes, in public financial management, and in government transactions, procurement processes, and contracts, in accordance with domestic legislation, in order to, inter alia, prevent abuse and maintain public confidence (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. In the framework of applicable national and international law, we commit to deny safe haven to corrupt officials, to 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. We also commit to enhance regional mechanisms for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and their implementation (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is a valuable instrument to confront this scourge, and therefore we commit to consider signing and promoting its ratification (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. Access to information held by the State, subject to constitutional and legal norms, including those on privacy and confidentiality is an indispensable condition for citizen participation and promotes effective respect for human rights. We are committed to providing the legal and regulatory framework and the structures and conditions required to guarantee the right of access to information to our citizens (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We renew our commitment to the full implementation of the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere, based on the principles of shared responsibility, a comprehensive and balanced approach, and multilateral cooperation. We welcome the development of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism and reiterate our commitment to make this mechanism, unique in the world, one of the central pillars in effective hemispheric cooperation in the struggle against all the factors that constitute the global drug problem. We express our support for effective alternative development programs aimed at the eradication of illicit cultivation and will strive to facilitate market access for products resulting from these programs (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. We reaffirm the importance of an independent judiciary and our determination to ensure equal access to justice and to guarantee its timely and impartial administration. We commit ourselves to increase transparency throughout government (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Reaffirm their determination to combat and eliminate impunity at all levels within their societies by strengthening judicial systems and national human rights institutions; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Ensure that national legislation relating to freedom of expression is applied equitably to all, respecting freedom of expression and access to information of all citizens, and those journalists and opinion leaders are free to investigate and publish without fear of reprisals, harassment or retaliatory actions, including the misuse of anti-defamation laws; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing that equal access to independent, impartial and timely justice is a cornerstone of democracy and economic and social development, welcoming more frequent meetings, consultations and collaboration among our justice ministers, supreme court justices, attorneys general, ombudsman officials, law enforcement officials and others, and noting with satisfaction the increased interest in collaborating and sharing experiences to develop and implement judicial and law enforcement reforms: (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support public and private initiatives and programs to educate people about their rights relating to access to justice, and promote measures that ensure prompt, equal and universal access to justice ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote cooperation to exchange experiences in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to expedite the administration of justice, including among indigenous peoples, for which they may request the support as appropriate of the OAS, the IDB and other entities ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Encourage measures to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, including transparent judicial selection, secure tenure on the bench, appropriate standards of conduct and systems of accountability ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Continue to support the work done in the context of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of the Americas, whose Fourth Meeting will take place in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as subsequent meetings, and the implementation of their conclusions and recommendations ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Develop a funding plan for the Justice Studies Center for the Americas that takes into account the interests and resources of both governments and other likely donors, and that will enable the Center to contribute not only to the modernization and formulation of public policy in this area, but also to the institutional development of judicial systems in the region;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Develop an exchange of best practices and recommendations, through the Meetings of Ministers of Justice and other appropriate mechanisms, seeking the technical and financial support of other multilateral organizations and MDBs where appropriate, that are consistent with international human rights standards, to reduce the number of pre-trial detainees, institute alternative forms of sentencing for minor crimes and improve prison conditions throughout the Hemisphere; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Establish, in the OAS, an Internet-based network of information among competent legal authorities on extradition and mutual legal assistance to facilitate direct communications among them on a regular basis and to identify common problems in handling specific cases and issues that merit collective attention and resolution ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Encourage greater use of community-based policing, to develop increased dialogue and interaction of law enforcement authorities with civil society and local communities ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote cooperation to modernize criminal law, using information and communications technologies as appropriate, with a focus on human rights training and prevention of acts of violence, particularly violence perpetrated by law enforcement officials, in order to reduce violence against civilians and foster values necessary in our societies to retain social harmony; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote the exchange of national experiences and best practices on the use of police profiling with a view to preventing biased detentions, which tend to affect mostly minorities and the poor; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Expand opportunities to share experiences, techniques and best practices among government and civil society agencies involved in combating psychological, sexual or physical violence in the domestic setting and on the job, recognizing that such violence is overwhelmingly directed against women and children; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Seek to adopt necessary measures to prevent, impede and punish violence, the segregation and exploitation of women, minors, the elderly, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, and seek to ensure that national legislation addresses acts of violence against them and that these laws are enforced, recognizing that where victims of violence require legal assistance to obtain redress , every effort should be made to guarantee that they receive such assistance;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Request multilateral and other organizations that participate in the Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence to intensify their support and technical assistance to those countries that so request, in the elaboration of national strategies and actions regarding this topic ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote concrete measures to prevent hostile actions against minorities in the Hemisphere, as well as the violent activities of local, regional and international movements that support and foster racist ideologies and terrorist practices to reach their goals;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Cooperate and promote dialogue on forced displacement, geared toward the improvement of the attention given to populations displaced by violence, taking into account the problems that these populations face; and harmonize national legislation in accordance with rules and standards of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention of 1951;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Confident that an independent, efficient, and effective administration of justice plays an essential role in the process of consolidating democracy, strengthens its institutions, guarantees the equality of all its citizens, and contributes to economic development, we will enhance our policies relating to justice and encourage the reforms necessary to promote legal and judicial cooperation. To that end, we will strengthen national entities involved in the study of the administration of justice and expedite the establishment of a hemispheric center for studies on this subject (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. Guarantee that all individuals have the right to due process of law, including the presumption of innocence and the right to trial within a reasonable period of time and the full respect for their constitutional and other legal rights. Governments will, in accordance with their legal framework, adopt measures intended to ensure that no person awaiting trial shall be detained for a period longer than permitted by law, taking fully into account the rights of the accused, the protection of society, crime prevention, the promotion of respect for the law, the rights of victims and other relevant considerations. Governments will continue their efforts to improve conditions of detention and enhance human rights education for the respective officials involved in the administration of justice.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Promote a review of their respective national legislation in order to eliminate or amend those provisions which may lead to any type of discrimination, for any reason, in contravention of their international commitments. In particular, they will seek to attain legal equality between men and women by the year 2002. In this context, priority should be given to the rights to equal treatment in the workplace, property, inheritance and child custody, as well as combating domestic violence. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Develop mechanisms that permit easy and timely access to justice by all persons, with particular reference to persons with low income, by adopting measures to enhance the transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the courts. In this context, they will promote, develop and integrate the use of alternative methods of conflict resolution in the justice system.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Strengthen, as appropriate, systems of criminal justice founded on the independence of the judiciary and the effectiveness of public prosecutors and defense counsels, recognizing the special importance of the introduction of oral proceedings in those countries that consider it necessary to implement this reform.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Step up efforts to combat organized crime, and transnational crime, and, if necessary, foster new laws and international conventions, as well as procedures and mechanisms for continuing to combat these scourges. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Adapt legislation and proceed, as soon as possible, with necessary institutional reforms and measures to guarantee the comprehensive protection of the rights of children and youths to meet the obligations established under the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child and other international instruments.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Adopt as appropriate a clear distinction between procedures and consequences of violations of criminal law and measures established to protect children and youths whose rights are threatened or violated, and will promote social and educational measures to rehabilitate young offenders. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Foster the establishment and strengthening of specialized tribunals or courts for family matters, as appropriate, and in accordance with their respective legal systems.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Expedite the establishment of a justice studies center of the Americas, which will facilitate training of justice sector personnel, the exchange of information and other forms of technical cooperation in the Hemisphere, in response to particular requirements of each country. To this end, they request the Ministers of Justice or other competent authorities to analyze and define the most suitable actions for the organization and establishment for such a center.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Promote, in accordance with the legislation of each country, mutual legal and judicial assistance that is effective and responsive, particularly with respect to extraditions, requests for the delivery of documents and other evidentiary materials, and other bilateral or multilateral exchanges in this field, such as witness protection arrangements.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Support the convening of periodic meetings of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of the Hemisphere within the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS). (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Streamline and decentralize, as necessary, property registration procedures by: adopting transparent, simplified procedures for titling and registration; disseminating information regarding these procedures; utilizing, whenever feasible, state-of-the-art technologies for property georeferencing, computer-generated mapping and computerized records storage; incorporating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; and avoiding overlapping administrative fees for titling and registration.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Recommend that multilateral and bilateral cooperation institutions, especially the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, strengthen their financial and technical assistance programs, including information exchange regarding experiences among countries, to support simplified property registration procedures and to assure access for the poor to those systems.(Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • Initiative 22 Clarify, in accordance with the legal system of each country and as necessary, land tenure and property rights, including with respect to indigenous and other local community areas, and identify additional steps that may be needed to improve sustainable forest management under the various forms of land tenure, taking into account the interest of all stakeholders.(Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  1. We reiterate our firm adherence to the principles of international law and the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and in the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), including the principles of the sovereign equality of states, non-intervention, self-determination, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. We recognize the heterogeneity and diversity of our resources and cultures, just as we are convinced that we can advance our shared interests and values by building strong partnerships (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. Effective democracy requires a comprehensive attack on corruption as a factor of social disintegration and distortion of the economic system that undermines the legitimacy of political institutions (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  • 2.5 Review and strengthen laws for the protection of the rights of minority groups and indigenous people and communities to ensure freedom from discrimination, to guarantee full and equal protection under the law, and to facilitate active civic participation. Support a process to review and enhance the protection of indigenous rights in OAS member states and to develop promptly an effective United Nations declaration on indigenous rights. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 2.9 Review training curricula for law enforcement agents to ensure that they adequately cover proper treatment of suspects and detainees as well as relations with the community. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 7.4 Reaffirm the importance of the extradition treaties ratified by the states of the Hemisphere, and note that these treaties will be strictly complied with as an expression of the political will of governments, in accordance with international law and domestic legislation. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

 

 

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