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

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SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH
MANDATES

  1. To strengthen cultural ties in the Americas and promote cooperation for the conservation and protection of the region's tangible and intangible cultural heritage, while acknowledging the importance of culture and creative and cultural industries in socio-economic development, social inclusion, the diversification of economies, and job creation. (Citizen Participation, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To reaffirm that the promotion and further development of physical infrastructure projects at the national, subregional, and regional levels are priorities for the public policies and development strategies of our countries, as appropriate, which contribute to sustainable development, social inclusion, and increased trade. (Integration of Physical Infrastructure in the Americas, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To combat poverty, extreme poverty, hunger, inequality, inequity, and social exclusion through public policies that promote decent, dignified, and productive work; sustained economic growth; income growth; and access to comprehensive and quality education, health care, and housing, in order to achieve sustainable development with social justice in the Americas (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To promote economic growth with equity and social inclusion by strengthening cooperatives, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, including cultural industries, in addition to grassroots economic initiatives and other production units, innovation, and competitiveness in the countries of the Americas. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To strengthen public-private partnerships, and partnerships with all stakeholders, to promote the reduction of poverty and inequality as well as the economic and social development of the communities in which they operate. (Poverty, Inequality, and Inequity, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To prioritize the allocation of resources and the design of financial protection strategies, as appropriate, aimed at mitigating the social, economic, and environmental impact of disasters, with support from, inter alia, subregional, regional, and international financial institutions. (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To promote and support, as appropriate, initiatives that expand the contribution of ICTs to innovation, entrepreneurship, productivity, competitiveness, the emergence of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and economic growth, within the framework of sustainable development. (Access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. We are committed to addressing the current economic and financial crisis in order to achieve our objectives of promoting human prosperity and securing our citizens’ future. We are determined to enhance our cooperation and work together to restore global growth and achieve needed reforms in the world’s financial systems (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognise that there are significant differences in the levels of development and the size of our respective economies. Accordingly, we must continue to make a particular effort to promote sustainable development in small and vulnerable economies of the Hemisphere by enhancing their competitiveness, human and institutional capacity-building, financial and physical infrastructure, as well as the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) and the development of the business sector and other productive economic sectors, including tourism. We will also continue to support the national development efforts of middle-income countries to achieve the objectives of the Millennium Declaration, emphasising the reduction of poverty and the eradication of extreme poverty. We will work, as appropriate, in coordination with the relevant international institutions and organisations to improve the effectiveness of aid and development cooperation with middle-income countries. In this context, we also recognise the challenges faced by the land-locked countries of the Hemisphere (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. To reduce poverty and hunger, eradicate extreme poverty, create dignified and decent work, and raise the standard of living of all our people, we must achieve higher levels of business development and sustainable economic growth with equity. Subject to the domestic laws of each country, we will continue to promote diversified economic activity in the energy, transport, tourism, communications, services, financial services and agricultural sectors. We are committed to facilitating investment and public-private partnerships in infrastructure and other relevant sectors in order to promote business development, economic growth and social development with equity. We will continue to promote increased corporate social responsibility and improved competitiveness, to which the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Chile in 2009 will contribute (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognise that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises constitute a strategic force to generate new employment, improve the quality of life, and have a positive impact on development and economic growth while promoting equity and social inclusion. We also recognise the contribution to the economy and to the creation of decent work by productive organisations, in accordance with each nation’s characteristics, such as cooperatives and other production units. In this context, we call on international and regional financial institutions, as appropriate, to increase their efforts to promote our economies’ development and growth by increasing lending and significantly expanding access to credit by 2012. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We reaffirm our support for the mandates and commitments undertaken at the Summits of the Americas; the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995); the Millennium Summit of the United Nations (New York, 2000); the International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, 2002); the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002); and the High-level Plenary Meeting of the Sixtieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly (New York, 2005) Reservation by the Delegation of Venezuela, as a fundamental condition for the sustainable development of our countries (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. In search of sustained, long-term, and equitable economic growth that creates jobs, reduces poverty, eliminates hunger, and raises the standard of living, including for the most vulnerable sectors and social groups, and in the framework of national strategies, we are committed to continuing the implementation of sound macroeconomic policies geared toward maintaining high growth rates, full employment, prudent fiscal and monetary policies, appropriate exchange rate policies, sound public debt management policies, and working to diversify economic activity and improve competitiveness. At the same time, we will stimulate income growth and better income distribution, increasing productivity, and protecting workers’ rights and the environment. We recognize that the appropriate role of government in market oriented economies will vary from country to country (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We emphasize the importance of the participation of the business sector in achieving our objectives. We recognize, in particular, that micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, providers of goods and services, constitute a fundamental component for economic growth, job creation, and reduction of poverty and social inequality in our countries (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We are concerned also to note that poverty is a phenomenon found in all the countries of the Hemisphere and that extreme poverty affects millions of people. In that regard, we are committed to intensifying our efforts toward attaining the goals agreed to at the Millennium Summit, especially that of reducing, by 50%, the proportion of persons living in extreme poverty by 2015 given the fact that, despite the efforts made by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 96 million people still live in extreme poverty (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We recognize that economic growth is a basic, indispensable, but not sufficient, condition to address the high rates of unemployment, poverty, and growth of the informal economy. We recognize that only countries that have had years of sustained economic growth have successfully reduced poverty. However, in the recent past some countries of the Hemisphere have experienced periods of economic growth that did not translate into equivalent employment gains, compounding existing problems of high income concentration, poverty, and indigence. The challenge is to sustain higher rates of growth with equity and social inclusion, and to generate expanded opportunities, social investment, and social development.
    Good economic policies and a favorable international commercial and economic framework are factors that have helped the region achieve, in 2004, rising incomes and the fastest growth rates in a quarter century, which boosted job creation (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We recognize that some economies in the region have confronted negative external shocks with consequent internal adjustments, which affect their capacity to generate adequate employment. We call upon countries to continue to implement sound policies to deal with such factors. We also call for increased cooperation on the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels to address these issues (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Recognizing the existence of external factors that hamper economic growth, we reaffirm the importance of international cooperation for medium-to-low income countries, in order to supplement those countries’ efforts to implement their development programs and meet their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals. Such cooperation will contribute to employment generation and to democratic governance (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Sustained economic growth, with equity and social inclusion, is an indispensable condition to create jobs, fight extreme poverty, and overcome inequality in the Hemisphere. To achieve these ends, it is necessary to improve transparency and the investment climate in our countries, build human capital, encourage increased incomes and improve their distribution, promote corporate social responsibility, and foster a spirit of entrepreneurship as well as strong business activity (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Taking into account the efforts made in the Hemisphere in the struggle against drug trafficking, we reiterate our support to ensure that alternative development projects contribute to economic growth, promote the creation of decent work, and support the sustainable economic viability of communities and families in those countries affected by the presence of illicit crops (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. One of the major challenges to democratic stability is to generate productive and quality employment in the interest of ensuring that all our people benefit from economic prosperity. We support a country’s legitimate right to pursue and attain its development within the framework of its political, economic, social, and cultural realities. We reiterate our commitment to achieving greater economic integration and we will adopt economic policies that promote economic growth, generate employment, and reduce poverty. To this end, we will address the problems that come about because of trade barriers and unsustainable debt, and we will continue to reform the international financial architecture (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. This reform has the following objectives, among others: to contribute to the prevention and rapid resolution of financial crises, which particularly harm developing countries in the region; to enhance financing for development; to combat poverty; and to strengthen democratic governance. We stress the need for multilateral financial institutions, in providing policy advice and financial support, to work on the basis of sound, nationally owned paths of reform that the respective countries have identified with, and which take into account the needs of the poor and measures to reduce poverty. To achieve our sustainable development objectives, we need international and multilateral institutions that are more efficient, democratic, and accountable. We call upon the international and regional financial institutions to strengthen coordination of their activities so that they can respond more effectively to the long-term development needs of the countries of the region to achieve measurable results in their efforts to eradicate poverty through more effective use of all available development financing sources. For the poorest and least creditworthy countries, we support increased multilateral development banks (MDB) funding provided as performance-based grants (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We will make efforts to increase investment in infrastructure in order to create favorable conditions for employment generation and increased productivity. We will also implement policies to foster the development of our local and/or regional markets (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We express our commitment to the progress of the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. We will make every effort to attain an ambitious and balanced outcome at the Sixth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, which will lead to a successful conclusion of the Doha Round in 2006 based, inter alia, on the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries.
    We remain committed to achieving substantial progress on all elements of the Doha Negotiations, in order to gain, in particular, greater access to markets for our exports, the elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies, and a substantial reduction of trade-distorting domestic support. We remain committed to achieving an ambitious outcome to the negotiations and to the full and effective implementation of the Work Program related to small economies. Our objective is to expand our trade, as a means of boosting growth and our capacity to generate more, higher quality, and better-paying jobs (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We underline the importance of the OAS Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Sustainable Development to be held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in August 2006. We encourage the participation of member states and we call upon the OAS to continue to support the preparatory work necessary to make this meeting a success (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We will support the efforts that the multilateral development banks make with the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as fundamental factors of economic growth and we will welcome the increased efforts of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and other regional development banks to create the enabling environment for strengthening such enterprises (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We offer our encouragement to the OAS in drafting the Social Charter of the Americas and its Plan of Action, whose principles and objectives will be directed towards the achievement by member states of societies that offer all of our citizens more opportunities to benefit from sustainable development with equity and social inclusion (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. National efforts to generate decent jobs and good employment must be supported by international cooperation and solidarity. In this context, we will strengthen hemispheric cooperation mechanisms among our countries within the OAS framework and with other multilateral organizations and financial institutions, to ensure an effective use of instruments and resources needed to promote sustainable growth and development. In this regard, we take note with interest of the international efforts, contributions and discussions, such as the Action Against Hunger and Poverty, aimed at identifying innovative and additional sources of financing for development on a public, private, domestic or external basis, according to each country´s national development strategies, to increase and supplement traditional sources of financing in support of the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDG´s) and reflecting the global partnership of the Monterrey Consensus (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We, the democratically elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas, who include fourteen new leaders who have taken office since the Third Summit of the Americas, in Quebec City, Canada, have gathered together for a Special Summit in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Our purpose is to advance implementation of measures to combat poverty, to promote social development, to achieve economic growth with equity, and to strengthen governance in our democracies. With a renewed and strengthened vision of cooperation, solidarity, and integration, we will confront the continuing and growing challenges in the Hemisphere (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. Guided by the need to work together to stimulate prosperity, promote social inclusion and a more equitable distribution of economic growth, eliminate hunger, raise living standards, generate new employment and investment opportunities, and promote decent work as well as confront the new threats to security, such as terrorism, organized crime, and illicit trafficking in arms, we reaffirm our commitment to the Inter-American Democratic Charter and we reiterate our firm intention to continue implementing the mandates of the Summits of the Americas, as well as the commitments made at the Millennium Summit, the International Conference on Financing for Development (the Monterrey Consensus) and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We affirm that the well-being of our people requires the achievement of three closely linked and interdependent objectives: economic growth with equity to reduce poverty, social development, and democratic governance (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to the Monterrey Consensus, adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development in 2002, that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development through sound policies, good governance, and the rule of law. Fulfillment of this responsibility enables effective use of domestic and international resources for development, economic growth, and poverty reduction. In this context, we reaffirm the imperative for the international community to support national development efforts. In accordance with the recommendations of the Monterrey Consensus, we will seek to coordinate international efforts with a view to mobilizing resources for sustainable economic development and for combating poverty and hunger in all countries of the Hemisphere. In particular, we will continue our efforts with a view to identifying secure sources of financing to meet the needs of developing countries and to opening markets for their products (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We emphasize the importance of the participation of the private sector in achieving our objectives. We recognize that micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises constitute a fundamental component for economic growth, employment creation, and poverty reduction in our countries. We will support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises through policies and programs that facilitate their consolidation and incorporation into the formal sector, allow their effective access to markets and to government procurement, and, inter alia, promote investment in and training of human resources, and facilitate access to credit, business development services, and new technologies in order to reduce administrative costs. Additionally, we will promote greater international cooperation in order to foster the sharing of best practices for the development of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We recognize the important role that trade plays in promoting sustained growth and economic development. We affirm our commitment to advance the Doha Agenda in order to benefit all our economies, particularly developing economies, by promoting, among other measures, better access to markets and by eliminating export subsidies and by substantially reducing trade-distorting domestic support (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We will continue working to reform the international financial architecture with the following objectives, among others: to contribute to the prevention and rapid resolution of financial crises, which particularly harm developing countries in the region; to enhance financing for development; to combat poverty; and to strengthen democratic governance. We support the efforts of borrowing countries to work with the private sector to explore new approaches to reduce the burden of debt service during periods of economic downturns. We applaud the leadership of countries in the region in including collective action clauses in their international bond issues. We call upon the international and regional financial institutions to enhance coordination of their activities so that they can respond more effectively to the long-term development needs of the countries of the region to achieve measurable results in their efforts to eradicate poverty through more effective use of all available development financing sources (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We maintain that sustainable economic growth is the most important factor for the management and servicing of public debt (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. Moreover, we recognize the responsibility of each country for its own economic development, but also that there is a link of interdependence between domestic economies and the international economic system (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. In the context of the Enhanced Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, we call upon all creditors to participate in debt relief to benefit eligible countries in the Hemisphere in support of economic reforms and poverty reduction (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We recognize that legally secure property rights are one of the essential elements for economic growth, since proof of ownership helps people to obtain loans and start businesses (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We are aware that the information revolution brings new opportunities for increasing access to knowledge for development, and for enhancing equitable citizen participation in the sustainable development of our societies, particularly in rural, remote, and marginalized areas. In an endeavor to close the digital divide, both within and between our countries, we are committed to the Declaration of Principles of the World Summit on the Information Society, and the continued implementation of the Agenda for Connectivity in the Americas and Plan of Action of Quito. We therefore reaffirm our commitment to build a people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented information society, inspired by objectives of social inclusion, poverty reduction, and progress in the framework of balanced economic and social development (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We take note with satisfaction that governments in the Hemisphere are implementing the Monterrey Consensus by exploring innovative ways to mobilize financing for private and public investment and to strengthen debt management, by considering financial instruments, such as growth-indexed bonds and others, to promote macroeconomic stability and reduce financial vulnerability. The implementation of such measures would be aimed at accelerating growth, reducing poverty, and strengthening democratic governance. We also note the efforts of governments in the region to promote discussion in this area (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. Our rich and varied traditions provide unparalleled opportunities for growth and to share experiences and knowledge and to build a hemispheric family on the basis of a more just and democratic international order. We must meet the challenges inherent in the differences in size and levels of social, economic and institutional development in our countries and our region (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing the importance of energy as one of the fundamental bases for economic development, the region's prosperity and improved quality of life, we commit to pursuing renewable energy initiatives, promoting energy integration and enhancing regulatory frameworks and their application, while promoting the principles of sustainable development (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Democracy and economic and social development are interdependent and mutually reinforcing as fundamental conditions to combat poverty and inequality. We will spare no effort to free our fellow citizens from the dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty. We commit to further efforts to reach international development goals, especially the reduction by 50% by the year 2015 of the proportion of people living in extreme poverty (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Affirm that greater attention must be given to increasing economic growth and reducing poverty in a mutually reinforcing way, and that this priority must include social sector policies that effectively achieve poverty reduction and greater investment in people, with improved access to basic education and health services; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing the central role that businesses of all sizes play in the creation of prosperity and the flow and maintenance of trade and investment in the Hemisphere, and, noting that businesses can make an important contribution to sustainable development and increasing access to opportunities, including the reduction of inequalities in the communities in which they operate, and taking into consideration the increasing expectations of our citizens and civil society organizations that businesses carry out their operations in a manner consistent with their social and environmental responsibilities:(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Support the continued analysis and consideration in the OAS of corporate social responsibility, ensuring that civil society, including the private sector, is appropriately and regularly consulted and that this process benefits from the experiences of other international organizations, national agencies and non governmental actors; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Convene a meeting as early as feasible in 2002 with the support of the OAS, the IDB and other relevant inter American organizations involving representatives from governments, civil society, including mainly the business community, to deepen dialogue on corporate social responsibility in the Hemisphere, raise awareness of key issues to be determined and discuss ways to promote the development, adoption and implementation by the business community of principles of good conduct that will advance corporate social and environmental responsibility; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing that economic growth is fundamental to overcoming economic disparities and strengthening democracy in the Hemisphere, and that in order to achieve sustained economic growth and political and social stability, it is necessary to face the primary challenge that confronts the Hemisphere - the eradication of poverty and inequity - that requires an integrated and focused approach, which promotes better competitiveness, equity enhancing trade and more equitable access to opportunities, taking into account the difficulties that the countries of the region face, including those under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, in obtaining financing for their development; and that it is necessary to take measures at the national and hemispheric levels in order to create a positive environment for business, maximize the benefits of orderly migration, minimize the effects of economic volatility and natural disasters and encourage social stability and mobility in order to promote a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth: (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Acknowledge the need for development financing, including aid from bilateral donors and lending from the MDBs on appropriate terms, and commit to support our Finance Ministers and the MDBs in promoting policies to develop and maintain access to international capital markets to finance our sustainable development efforts, recognizing that debt servicing constitutes a major constraint on investment for many countries in the Hemisphere; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Ensure that a significant number of the 50 million micro, small and medium size enterprises in the Hemisphere, whose owners and workers are persons with low incomes, especially women from these enterprises, have access to financial services by the year 2000. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. One essential feature of the Americas is their natural and cultural diversity. Our countries share a unique and rich political tradition grounded in democratic values and significant potential for economic growth and technological development in a context of open, market-based economies. These characteristics are of fundamental importance for the promotion of economic development and social welfare and for the preservation of a healthy environment.
    We will adopt policies and strategies that will encourage changes in production and consumption patterns in order to attain sustainable development and a better quality of life, as well as to preserve our natural environment and contribute to the alleviation of poverty.
    We reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of the Charter of the Organization of American States, restated at the Summit of the Americas, that representative democracy is essential for peace, justice, and development. Sustainable development requires that we strengthen and promote our democratic institutions and values (Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  1. We recognize that the needs and responsibilities facing the countries of the Hemisphere today are diverse. Sustainable development does not assume that all the countries are at the same level of development, have the same capabilities, or can necessarily use the same model to attain it. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, states have common but differentiated responsibilities in the global quest for sustainable development. We should make efforts to ensure that the benefits of sustainable development reach all countries in the Hemisphere, in particular those that are less developed, and all segments of our populations.
    We will give special attention to the small island states, whose environmental vulnerability, especially with regard to natural disasters, is greater owing to their geographic situation, their size, and the scale of their economies, among other factors (Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  1. The alleviation of poverty is an integral part of sustainable development. The benefits of prosperity will only be attained through policies that address the interrelationship between human beings and nature. In developing policies and programs for sustainable development, special attention should be given to the needs of indigenous people, minority communities, women, youth, and children and to facilitating their full participation in the development process. The living conditions of persons with disabilities and the elderly also merit special attention (Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  1. We will establish or strengthen our programs, policies, and institutional frameworks in support of sustainable development objectives. National efforts should be complemented by ongoing international cooperation in furtherance of the commitments made at the Rio conference related to financial resources, and the transfer of technology on fair and favorable terms, including preferential terms, as mutually agreed (Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  1. In keeping with the principles stated above, we emphasize the following points regarding application of the Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of the Americas:

    a. Equitable economic growth
    Implement effective and ongoing measures to ensure that the international economic and financial system supports the growth of local economies and their sustainable development with a view to establishing greater social justice for all of our peoples.
    Reinforce the mutually supportive relationship between trade and the environment by acting to conserve the environment, while safeguarding an open, equitable, and nondiscriminatory multilateral trade system, taking into account the efforts currently being deployed in this field by the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization. We recognize the great need of our countries to improve access to markets while maintaining effective and appropriate environmental policies. In this regard, we will avoid hidden trade restrictions, in accordance with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO) and other international obligations.
    Full participation by the private sector especially small, medium-sized, and micro-enterprises, as well as cooperatives and other forms of productive organization in a sustainable development strategy essential to take advantage of its resources and dynamism. This strategy should balance comprehensive policies to address environmental and development problems.

    d. Public participation
    We will promote increased opportunities for the expression of ideas and the exchange of information and traditional knowledge on sustainable development between groups, organizations, businesses, and individuals, including indigenous people, as well as for their effective participation in the formulation, adoption, and execution of decisions that affect their lives.

    g. Strengthening of the legal framework
    Relations between countries of the Hemisphere, within the framework of this partnership for sustainable development, will be grounded in the rules and principles of international law. We will consider the progress in international environmental law and promote the reform and modernization of national laws, as appropriate, to reflect sustainable development concepts. We will also develop national mechanisms for effective enforcement of applicable international and national laws and provisions. We will seek to secure ratification of, or accession to, international instruments on sustainable development and will fulfill all commitments made therein.
    (Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • I. Introduction We, the elected Heads of States and Governments of the Americas, convinced of the urgent need to advance toward sustainable development by strengthening social awareness, with a broad vision that promotes public participation, integration, hemispheric cooperation, equity, and social justice, with special emphasis on women, children, and vulnerable groups, commit ourselves to implement the first Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of the Americas, based on the principles of the Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra for the purpose of overcoming the most pressing problems faced by our people and assuring an adequate and decent standard of living for present and future generations. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • II.1 Health and Education Recognizing that the primary challenges to the attainment of sustainable development in this area include:

    • Development of a public awareness of economic, social, and environmental concerns, in order to open pathways for the transition of our societies to sustainable development;

    • Equitable access to health services and improvement of their quality in accordance with the principles and priorities laid down in the Pan American Charter: Health and Environment in Sustainable Human Development, taking into account diseases related to environmental deterioration;

    • Reduction of negative environmental effects on health, particularly those relating to mortality and morbidity among the most vulnerable groups, such as women and children;

    • Increased access to education and improvement of its quality, with special attention to vulnerable groups such as women, girls, and children, in order to assure the training that is necessary for sustainable development;

    • Strengthening of appropriate regional cooperation in the promotion of formal and non-formal sustainable development education and of communication to enhance their impact; and

    • Establishment and/or strengthening of disease outbreak response and disaster preparedness, as well as disaster management institutions and their policies and response capabilities, (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • II.3 Sustainable Cities and Communities Recognizing that the primary challenges to the attainment of sustainable development in this area include:

    • Incorporation of the poorest and most disadvantaged sectors of the population into the productive process by, inter alia, creating jobs through public and private investment and expanding and enhancing access to credit and to environmentally sound technologies;

    • Growth in job creation in small and micro-enterprises by simplifying paperwork, bureaucracy, and operations that affect them and by promoting the economic competitiveness and environmental efficiency of these production units in urban as well as rural areas;

    • Narrowing of the housing unit gap and expansion of basic infrastructure services through a comprehensive approach to the problem of rapid urban growth, including the use of clean, safe technologies;

    • Promotion of the quality of life in cities and communities, taking into account their spatial, economic, social, and environmental circumstances; and

    • Assurance of the most efficient and least polluting industrial and transportation practices so as to reduce adverse environmental impact and promote sustainable development in cities and communities, (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  1. The elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas are committed to advance the prosperity, democratic values and institutions, and security of our Hemisphere. For the first time in history, the Americas are a community of democratic societies. Although faced with differing development challenges, the Americas are united in pursuing prosperity through open markets, hemispheric integration, and sustainable development. We are determined to consolidate and advance closer bonds of cooperation and to transform our aspirations into concrete realities (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. Our continued economic progress depends on sound economic policies, sustainable development, and dynamic private sectors. A key to prosperity is trade without barriers, without subsidies, without unfair practices, and with an increasing stream of productive investments. Eliminating impediments to market access for goods and services among our countries will foster our economic growth. A growing world economy will also enhance our domestic prosperity. Free trade and increased economic integration are key factors for raising standards of living, improving the working conditions of people in the Americas and better protecting the environment (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. Aware that investment is the main engine for growth in the Hemisphere; we will encourage such investment by cooperating to build more open, transparent and integrated markets. In this regard, we are committed to create strengthened mechanisms that promote and protect the flow of productive investment in the Hemisphere, and to promote the development and progressive integration of capital markets (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. We recognize that despite the substantial progress in dealing with debt problems in the Hemisphere, high foreign debt burdens still hinder the development of some of our countries (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. Our thirty-four nations share a fervent commitment to democratic practices, economic integration, and social justice. Our people are better able than ever to express their aspirations and to learn from one another. The conditions for hemispheric cooperation are propitious. Therefore, on behalf of all our people, in whose name we affix our signatures to this Declaration, we seize this historic opportunity to create a Partnership for Development and Prosperity in the Americas (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

 

 

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