FIRST SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
Partnership for Development and
Prosperity: Democracy, Free Trade and Sustainable Development in the Americas
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.
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
To Preserve and Strengthen the Community of
Democracies of the Americas
The Charter of the OAS establishes that
representative democracy is indispensable for the stability, peace and
development of the region. It is the sole political system which guarantees
respect for human rights and the rule of law; it safeguards cultural diversity,
pluralism, respect for the rights of minorities, and peace within and among
nations. Democracy is based, among other fundamentals, on free and transparent
elections and includes the right of all citizens to participate in government.
Democracy and development reinforce one another.
We reaffirm our commitment to preserve and
strengthen our democratic systems for the benefit of all people of the
Hemisphere. We will work through the appropriate bodies of the OAS to strengthen
democratic institutions and promote and defend constitutional democratic rule,
in accordance with the OAS Charter. We endorse OAS efforts to enhance peace and
the democratic, social, and economic stability of the region.
We recognize that our people earnestly seek
greater responsiveness and efficiency from our respective governments. Democracy
is strengthened by the modernization of the state, including reforms that
streamline operations, reduce and simplify government rules and procedures, and
make democratic institutions more transparent and accountable. Deeming it
essential that justice should be accessible in an efficient and expeditious way
to all sectors of society, we affirm that an independent judiciary is a critical
element of an effective legal system and lasting democracy. Our ultimate goal is
to better meet the needs of the population, especially the needs of women and
the most vulnerable groups, including indigenous people, the disabled, children,
the aged, and minorities.
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.
Recognizing the pernicious effects of organized
crime and illegal narcotics on our economies, ethical values, public health, and
the social fabric, we will join the battle against the consumption, production,
trafficking and distribution of illegal drugs, as well as against money
laundering and the illicit trafficking in arms and chemical precursors. We will
also cooperate to create viable alternative development strategies in those
countries in which illicit crops are grown. Cooperation should be extended to
international and national programs aimed at curbing the production, use and
trafficking of illicit drugs and the rehabilitation of addicts.
We condemn terrorism in all its forms, and we
will, using all legal means, combat terrorist acts anywhere in the Americas with
unity and vigor.
Recognizing the important contribution of
individuals and associations in effective democratic government and in the
enhancement of cooperation among the people of the Hemisphere, we will
facilitate fuller participation of our people in political, economic and social
activity, in accordance with national legislation.
To Promote Prosperity Through Economic
Integration and Free Trade
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.
We, therefore, resolve to begin immediately to
construct the "Free Trade Area of the Americas" (FTAA), in which
barriers to trade and investment will be progressively eliminated. We further
resolve to conclude the negotiation of the "Free Trade Area of the
Americas" no later than 2005, and agree that concrete progress toward the
attainment of this objective will be made by the end of this century. We
recognize the progress that already has been realized through the unilateral
undertakings of each of our nations and the subregional trade arrangements in
our Hemisphere. We will build on existing subregional and bilateral arrangements
in order to broaden and deepen hemispheric economic integration and to bring the
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.
To advance economic integration and free trade,
we will work, with cooperation and financing from the private sector and
international financial institutions, to create a hemispheric infrastructure.
This process requires a cooperative effort in fields such as telecommunications,
energy and transportation, which will permit the efficient movement of the
goods, services, capital, information and technology that are the foundations of
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.
We recognize that economic integration and the
creation of a free trade area will be complex endeavors, particularly in view of
the wide differences in the levels of development and size of economies existing
in our Hemisphere. We will remain cognizant of these differences as we work
toward economic integration in the Hemisphere. We look to our own resources,
ingenuity, and individual capacities as well as to the international community
to help us achieve our goals.
To Eradicate Poverty And Discrimination In Our
It is politically intolerable and morally
unacceptable that some segments of our populations are marginalized and do not
share fully in the benefits of growth. With an aim of attaining greater social
justice for all our people, we pledge to work individually and collectively to
improve access to quality education and primary health care and to eradicate
extreme poverty and illiteracy. The fruits of democratic stability and economic
growth must be accessible to all, without discrimination by race, gender,
national origin or religious affiliation.
In observance of the International Decade of the
World's Indigenous People, we will focus our energies on improving the exercise
of democratic rights and the access to social services by indigenous people and
Aware that widely shared prosperity contributes
to hemispheric stability, lasting peace and democracy, we acknowledge our common
interest in creating employment opportunities that improve the incomes, wages
and working conditions of all our people. We will invest in people so that
individuals throughout the Hemisphere have the opportunity to realize their full
Strengthening the role of women in all aspects of
political, social and economic life in our countries is essential to reduce
poverty and social inequalities and to enhance democracy and sustainable
To Guarantee Sustainable Development and
Conserve Our Natural Environment for Future Generations
Social progress and economic prosperity can be
sustained only if our people live in a healthy environment and our ecosystems
and natural resources are managed carefully and responsibly. To advance and
implement the commitments made at the 1992 United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, and the 1994 Global
Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States,
held in Barbados, we will create cooperative partnerships to strengthen our
capacity to prevent and control pollution, to protect ecosystems and use our
biological resources on a sustainable basis, and to encourage clean, efficient
and sustainable energy production and use. To benefit future generations through
environmental conservation, including the rational use of our ecosystems,
natural resources and biological heritage, we will continue to pursue
technological, financial and other forms of cooperation.
We will advance our social well-being and
economic prosperity in ways that are fully cognizant of our impact on the
environment. We agree to support the Central American Alliance for Sustainable
Development, which seeks to strengthen those democracies by promoting regional
economic and social prosperity and sound environmental management. In this
context, we support the convening of other regional meetings on sustainable
Our Declaration constitutes a comprehensive and
mutually reinforcing set of commitments for concrete results. In accord with the
appended Plan of Action, and recognizing our different national capabilities and
our different legal systems, we pledge to implement them without delay.
We call upon the OAS and the Inter-American
Development Bank to assist countries in implementing our pledges, drawing
significantly upon the Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as sub-regional
organizations for integration.
To give continuity to efforts fostering national
political involvement, we will convene specific high-level meetings to address,
among others, topics such as trade and commerce, capital markets, labor, energy,
education, transportation, telecommunications, counter-narcotics and other
anti-crime initiatives, sustainable development, health, and science and
To assure public engagement and commitment, we
invite the cooperation and participation of the private sector, labor, political
parties, academic institutions and other non-governmental actors and
organizations in both our national and regional efforts, thus strengthening the
partnership between governments and society.
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.