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

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CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Cultural Preservation

  1. Recognize, respect, and protect the rights of all, in accordance with those international treaties to which each state is party and in accordance with its domestic legislation, with a particular emphasis on:

    • a. Indigenous and tribal peoples and their inherent rights, cultures, and traditions, as affirmed in treaties and other agreements or arrangements with States and, consistent with domestic legislation and international law, through their own representative institutions, and in accordance with their own procedures;

    • e. Persons of African descent, taking into account their inherent human rights, history, cultures, and traditions, and taking into account, where applicable, and according to domestic law, public policy arrangements for their empowerment, inclusion, participation, and representation. (Inter-American Action Plan on Democratic Governance, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).


  1. Culture has a central role in the overall development of our countries, in the fight against poverty and in our efforts to improve the quality of life of all our peoples. We acknowledge the positive contribution of culture in building social cohesion and in creating stronger, more inclusive communities, and we will continue to promote inter-cultural dialogue and respect for cultural diversity in order to encourage mutual understanding, which helps reduce conflict, discrimination and the barriers to economic opportunity and social participation. We also commit to increase our efforts to promote and support cultural and creative industries and activities as part of our national policies for the promotion of sustainable economic growth, job creation and income generation, especially for young adults. We further commit to facilitating the sharing of knowledge and practices on protecting and promoting cultural heritage and to educating communities on how best to protect their heritage sites and manage them in a sustainable manner. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognize the important link between development and culture and we agree that support for culture in its many dimensions contributes to, among other things, the preservation and protection of national heritage, the enhancement of the dignity and identity of our people, the creation of decent jobs, and the overcoming of poverty (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. Recognizing that respect for and value of cultural diversity contribute to social and economic dynamism, and are positive factors in the promotion of good governance, social cohesion, human development, human rights and peaceful co existence in the Hemisphere, and that the effects of globalization offer great possibilities for the promotion of cultural diversity, but also raise concerns about the ability of some communities to express certain aspects of their cultural identity; further recognizing the unique role of cultural property in the strengthening of geographic, social, historic and anthropological bonds within societies; acknowledging the need to strengthen strategies to prevent the illicit trafficking in cultural property which is detrimental to the preservation of the collective memory and cultural heritage of societies and threatens the cultural diversity of the Hemisphere; and bearing in mind that the General Assembly of the UN declared the year 2001 as the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Create an environment to foster awareness and understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity of countries in the Americas, through a variety of means, including the use of new communications technologies as well as the Internet; support, by means of broad collaboration, new media projects which promote inter cultural dialogue through the production and distribution of cultural products created for television, film, the recording industry, the publishing industry and the electronic media; enrich the diversity of cultural content of these industries, inter alia through the preservation and restoration of cultural property and through the return of illegally acquired cultural property in accordance with our international obligations; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Commit to active cooperation among diverse institutions, at both the national and international levels, to eradicate the illicit traffic in cultural property further to the 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property; also, promote joint action with civil society organizations to implement and support policies, plans and programs that will strengthen and promote research, recovery, study, conservation, maintenance, restoration, access to and appreciation of cultural heritage and cultural property through proper care, preservation and use; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).



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