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Diplomacy in Action

Santiago Plan of Action: Second Summit of the Americas


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April 19, 1998

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Santiago de Chile, Chile

The following document is the complete text of the Plan of Action signed by the Heads of State and Government participating in the Second Summit of the Americas:

We, the democratically elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas, recognizing the need to make a collective effort that complements the actions being developed and executed at the national level to improve the economic well-being and the quality of life of our peoples, mindful of our commitment to the continued implementation of the Miami Plan of Action, affirm our resolute determination to carry out this Plan of Action, which constitutes a body of concrete initiatives intended to promote the overall development of the countries of the Hemisphere and ensure access to and improve the quality of education, promote and strengthen democracy and the respect for human rights, deepen economic integration and free trade and eradicate poverty and discrimination. We have adopted this Plan of Action conscious that all the initiatives are inter-related and equally important to the attainment of our common endeavor.

I. EDUCATION: THE KEY TO PROGRESS
The Hemisphere's commitment to education is reflected in the sweeping reform processes encompassing all levels of educational systems, and is based on broad consensus with respect to the problems confronting education and the shared commitment and effort of societies as a whole to overcome them. These processes are based on the principles of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency. Equity is defined as the creation of conditions that ensure that all people have the opportunity to receive quality education services, thereby significantly reducing the effects of inequalities based on socio-economic status, disability and ethnic, cultural and gender discrimination. Quality implies the achievement of high levels of cognitive development, skills, capabilities and ethical attitudes. Relevance is defined as the ability of an educational system to meet the needs and aspirations of society as a whole, taking into account its social, cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity. Lastly, efficiency is defined as the provision of adequate resources, used optimally, in order to enhance educational achievements.

Therefore, the Governments, fully recognizing and respecting national sovereignty and the responsibilities of the institutions of our respective countries with regard to education, reiterate the commitment of the Miami Summit to ensure, by the year 2010, universal access to and completion of quality primary education for 100 percent of children and access for at least 75 percent of young people to quality secondary education, with increasing percentages of young people who complete secondary education, and assume responsibility for providing the general population with opportunities for life-long learning. If these objectives are met, we are confident that we will provide our people with the tools, skills and knowledge necessary for and suited to the development of capabilities that ensure better conditions of competitiveness and productivity required by modern economies, thus allowing our people to contribute as worthy citizens to their respective societies.

To achieve these objectives, Governments will:

- Implement targeted and inter-sectoral educational policies, as necessary, and develop programs that focus specifically on groups at a disadvantage in the areas of education, functional illiteracy and socio-economic conditions, with attention to women, minorities and vulnerable populations. Inter-sectoral programs in education, health and nutrition, as well as early childhood educational strategies, will be priorities, inasmuch as they contribute more directly to plans to combat poverty.

- Establish or strengthen national or subnational and, where applicable, subregional systems to evaluate the quality of education, which permit assessment of the performance of various educational actors, innovations and factors associated with achievements in learning. To that end, information and national or subnational or, where applicable, subregional indicators will be made available that can be used to design, carry out and evaluate quality-improvement programs based on equity. Standards for reading and writing, mathematics and science shall receive special attention. Also, where appropriate, criteria and methodologies for collecting data that permit comparison of some educational indicators across countries in the Hemisphere shall be established.

- Develop comprehensive programs to improve and increase the level of professionalism among teachers and school administrators that combine pre-service and in-service training, exploring incentive mechanisms tied to updating their skills and to meeting such standards as may have been agreed upon. Higher education must collaborate in this endeavor through research and pedagogy, both of which should be strengthened in order to meet this goal.

- Strengthen education management and institutional capacity at the national, regional, local and school levels, furthering, where appropriate, decentralization and the promotion of better forms of community and family involvement. Encourage the mass media to contribute to bolstering efforts being made by educational systems.

- Strengthen preparation, education and training for the world of work so that an increasing number of workers can improve their standard of living and, together with employers, have the opportunity to benefit from hemispheric integration. In this regard, consideration will be given to the adoption of new technology based on different options and alternatives, ranging from specific occupational training to strengthening general employability competencies. Special attention will also be paid to the establishment or strengthening of mechanisms that permit workers to obtain certification of job-related competencies acquired through formal education and work experience. In order to confront changes in the labor market and to enhance employability prospects, actions that take into account the development of entrepreneurial skills will be included and will involve the different sectors and offer various options and alternatives.

- Establish or improve, according to their internal legal framework, educational strategies relevant to multicultural societies, so as to be able to shape, with the participation of indigenous populations and migrants, models for bilingual and intercultural basic education. Similarly, the content of basic education will have to be enhanced, together with respect and appreciation for the cultural diversity of peoples, as well as to expand the knowledge of the different languages spoken in the countries of the Hemisphere, where resources and possibilities permit.

- Develop, within and outside schools, with the assistance of families and other actors and social organizations, educational strategies that foster the development of values, with special attention to the inclusion of democratic principles, human rights, gender-related issues, peace, tolerance and respect for the environment and natural resources.

- Promote access to and use of the most effective information and communication technologies in education systems, with special emphasis on the use of computers, in combination with revised pedagogical methods and proper training for teachers in the use of these technologies. Special attention shall be paid to the ethical imperative of including the most vulnerable sectors. To that end, distance education programs shall be strengthened and information networks established.
- Make efforts to increase the availability of teaching materials in collaboration with official institutions and, depending on the specific conditions in each country, with the private sector.

- Seek to use technology to link schools and communities as a way of establishing ties in the Hemisphere while encouraging the participation of higher education institutions that have advantages in this field.

- Further scholarship and exchange programs for students, teachers, researchers and educational administrators using different strategies, including institution-to-institution ties, communications technology and internships which permit exposure to pedagogical and management innovations in the other countries of the Hemisphere. This will contribute to strengthening the institutional capacity of Ministries or Departments of Education, decentralized administrative entities and centers of higher learning.

Funding, Horizontal Multilateral Cooperation Strategies and Follow-up

We, the Heads of State and Government, recognizing the cardinal importance of education as a foundation for development, agree, in accordance with our respective legislative processes, to promote allocation of the resources necessary for educational expenditure with a view to attaining greater levels of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency in the educational processes, emphasizing the optimal use of resources and a greater participation of other social actors.

We also reaffirm our commitment to promote horizontal and multilateral cooperation in the area of education. To that end, we:

- Instruct the Organization of American States (OAS) and request the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank, together with the other national and multilateral technical and financial cooperation agencies operating in the Hemisphere, to provide, within their respective areas of action, support for programs and initiatives that are consistent with the goals, objectives, and actions proposed in this Chapter of the Plan of Action. To this end, the IDB is encouraged to work with member countries to substantially increase the share of new lending for primary and secondary education, by more than doubling the quantity over the next three years, compared to the previous three years. We also request that the IDB establish a special regional fund for education in the Hemisphere, utilizing the existing resources of this institution. This fund would support efforts to raise educational standards and performance throughout the Region.

- Instruct the OAS and request the IDB, the World Bank, and United Nations Economic Commission on Latin-American and the Caribbean (ECLAC), among other institutions, to use the mechanisms within their scope to develop and strengthen regional cooperation in areas such as distance education, using, among other means, satellite technology; internships and exchange programs; the development and use of information technology for education; the updating of education statistics; and quality assessment, while striving to ensure that this cooperation is in keeping with the specific needs of each country. We recognize the role and interest in these efforts of specialized international organizations, such as United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Likewise, we recognize the contributions of the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and pertinent non-governmental organizations.

- Instruct the OAS to foster, articulate and facilitate, through ministerial meetings and other mechanisms being developed by member States in the framework of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), collaboration and joint effort in the Hemisphere and, to that end, to convene, in consultation with the coordinating countries, technical consultation forums of the countries in the Hemisphere in order to contribute to the implementation of the commitments included in this Chapter of the Plan of Action.

- Entrust the Meeting of Ministers of Education, to be convened by the OAS within the framework of CIDI's Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development, to be held in Brazil in July 1998, with the development of an implementation plan for this education initiative.

- Instruct the OAS and request the IDB, World Bank, ECLAC, and other multilateral institutions to report on the execution of this Plan to the Government representatives responsible for review and follow-up of the commitments of the Summit of the Americas.

II. PRESERVING AND STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The strengthening of democracy, justice and human rights is a vital hemispheric priority. In this Plan of Action, we endorse new initiatives designed to deepen our commitment to these important principles. Specifically, we will intensify our efforts to promote democratic reforms at the regional and local level, protect the rights of migrant workers and their families, improve the capabilities of our justice systems and labor ministries to respond to the needs of our peoples, and encourage a strong and active civil society. We further resolve to defend democracy against the serious threats of corruption, terrorism, and illegal narcotics, and to promote peace and security among our nations. Taken together, these measures consolidate our democratic gains, reaffirm our commitment to democratic institutions, and commit us to building a Hemisphere of shared values.

Democracy and Human Rights
Governments will:

- Define and develop, with the participation of civil society, comprehensive policies aimed at promoting and protecting human rights at a domestic level, in accordance with relevant international norms and principles, incorporating those policies, where appropriate, into national human rights plans and programs, as recommended by the World Conference of Vienna, 1993; and underscore as well the importance of promoting respect for the universally recognized principles of international humanitarian law.

- 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.

- 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.

- Promote the adoption of legal, educational and social measures, as well as international cooperation, to combat the physical and sexual abuse of children, traffic in minors, child prostitution and child exploitation in all its forms, including pornography. At the same time, they will strengthen international cooperation through the implementation of a regional information system on affected children, based on national information systems, with the participation of and promotion by concerned international organizations, to analyze their condition and evaluate social policies to facilitate decision making in this sphere.

- Promote the signature, ratification and accession to international human rights instruments to which they are not party, as well as observe the provisions contained in the instruments to which they are party.

Governments will also enhance cooperation with and support for the activities of the Organization of American States (OAS) in order to:

- 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.

- Support States that so request in the processes of promoting and consolidating democratic values, practices and institutions by strengthening the respective organs of the Organization, including the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD).

- 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.

- Promote programs of cooperation, through the use of advanced information technology and with the support of the international institutions that deal with administration of justice, in areas identified by the OAS Working Group on Democracy and Human Rights, which include:

  • Training of police and correctional officers;
  • Necessary steps to remedy inhumane conditions in prisons and reduce drastically the number of pre-trial detainees; and
  • Enhancing human rights education for judges, magistrates and other court officials.
Education for Democracy
Governments will:

- Include in educational programs, within the legal framework of each country, objectives and contents that develop democratic culture at all levels, in order to teach individuals ethical values, a spirit of cooperation and integrity. To that end, the participation of teachers, families, students and outreach workers will be stepped up in their work related to conceptualizing and implementing the plans for shaping citizens imbued with democratic values.

Civil Society
Governments will:

- Promote, with the participation of civil society, the development of principles and recommendations for institutional frameworks to stimulate the formation of responsible and transparent, non-profit and other civil society organizations, including, where appropriate, programs for volunteers, and encourage, in accordance with national priorities, public sector-civil society dialogue and partnerships in the areas that are considered pertinent in this Plan of Action. In this context the Organization of American States (OAS) may serve as a forum for the exchange of experiences and information.
- In this process, draw upon existing initiatives that promote increased participation of civil society in public issues, such as relevant successful experiences from the National Councils for Sustainable Development and the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation, among others. As soon as possible, Governments will adopt work plans to implement legal and institutional frameworks based on the principles and recommendations in their respective countries.

- Entrust the OAS to encourage support among Governments and civil society organizations, and to promote appropriate programs to carry out this initiative, and request the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop and implement, along with interested States and other inter-American institutions, hemispheric financial mechanisms specially devoted to the implementation of programs oriented toward strengthening civil society and public participation mechanisms.

Migrant Workers
Governments will:

- Reaffirm that the promotion and protection of human rights and the fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction by reasons of race, gender, language, nationality, or religion, is a priority for the international community and is the responsibility of every state.

- Comply with the applicable international human rights instruments and, consistent with the legal framework of each country, guarantee the human rights of all migrants, including migrant workers and their families.

- Seek full compliance with, and protection of, the human rights of all migrants, including migrant workers, and their families, and adopt effective measures, including the strengthening of public awareness, to prevent and eradicate violations of human rights and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them, particularly racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.

- Reaffirm the sovereign right of each State to formulate and apply its own legal framework and policies for migration, including the granting of permission to migrants to enter, stay, or exercise economic activity, in full conformity with applicable international instruments relating to human rights and in a spirit of cooperation.

- Seek full respect for, and compliance with, the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, especially as it relates to the right of nationals, regardless of their immigration status, to communicate with a consular officer of their own State in case of detention.

- Protect the rights of all migrant workers and their families, consistent with each country�s internal legal framework, by taking steps, in case they do not exist, to: 1) provide, with respect to working conditions, the same legal protection as for national workers; 2) facilitate, as appropriate, the payment of full wages owed when the worker has returned to his/her country, and allow them to arrange the transfer of their personal effects; 3) recognize the rights of citizenship and nationality of the children of all migrant workers who may be entitled to such rights, and any other rights they may have in each country; 4) encourage the negotiation of bilateral or multilateral agreements, regarding the remission of social security benefits accrued by migrant workers; 5) protect all migrant workers and their families, through law enforcement and information campaigns, from becoming victims of exploitation and abuse from alien smuggling; 6) prevent abuse and mistreatment of all migrant workers by employers or any authorities entrusted with the enforcement of migration policies and border control; and 7) encourage and promote respect for the cultural identity of all migrants.

- Support the activities of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with regard to the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families, particularly through the Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers.

Strengthening Municipal and Regional Administrations
Governments will:
- Within their legal framework and within a reasonable time, establish or strengthen mechanisms for the participation of groups of society in the process of local and other subnational decision-making, such as open public hearings and public budget reviews, and promote transparency in local and other subnational Government finance operations.

- In accordance with legislation at all levels, provide for financing options for local and other subnational Governments, including groups of local Governments, such as through transfers of national revenue, access to private capital markets, and authority for raising revenue locally, in order to expand the delivery of quality services as well as provide for training opportunities to strengthen local and other subnational administrative capabilities.

- In accordance with circumstances and the legal framework of each country, study the possible transfer of additional national governmental functions to local and other subnational levels as well as the possibility for enhancing such authorities.

- Share their experiences and information from existing and future programs supported by multilateral and bilateral cooperation institutions such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, to facilitate the implementation of this initiative.

Corruption
Governments will:

- Resolutely support the "Inter-American Program to Combat Corruption" and implement the actions established therein, particularly the adoption of a strategy to achieve prompt ratification of the 1996 Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the drafting of codes of conduct for public officials, in accordance with respective legal frameworks, the study of the problem of laundering assets or proceeds derived from corruption, and the promotion of information campaigns on the ethical values that sustain the democratic system.

- Sponsor in Chile a Symposium on Enhancing Probity in the Hemisphere to be held no later than August 1998, in order to consider, among other topics, the scope of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and the implementation of the aforementioned program. They will also resolutely support the holding of workshops sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS) to disseminate the provisions set forth in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

- Foster within the OAS framework, and in accordance with the mandate set forth in the Inter-American Program to Combat Corruption, appropriate follow-up on the progress achieved under the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

- Promote in their domestic legislation the obligation for senior public officials, and those at other levels when the law so establishes, to declare or disclose their personal assets and liabilities to the appropriate agency.

- Encourage the approval of effective and specific measures to combat all forms of corruption, bribery, and related unlawful practices in commercial transactions, among others.

Financing of Electoral Campaigns
Governments will:

- Propose the exchange of experiences that may be used as a support for each country so that, according to their own realities and legal systems, they adopt or develop internal rules that regulate contributions to electoral campaigns and independent internal control mechanisms.

- Consider the proposals resulting from the Meeting of Government Representatives on Contributions to Electoral Campaigns, held in Caracas in February 1998, under the auspices of the OAS.

- Adopt or consider, as appropriate, measures to prevent financial contributions to electoral campaigns derived from organized crime and drug trafficking. Similarly, they will promote the adoption of measures designed to ensure transparency in the origin of all contributions.

Prevention and Control of Illicit Consumption of and Traffic in Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and other Related Crimes

Governments will:

- Continue to develop their national and multilateral efforts in order to achieve full application of the Hemispheric Anti-Drug Strategy, and will strengthen this alliance based on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of the States, reciprocity, shared responsibility and an integrated, balanced approach in conformity with their domestic laws.

- With the intention of strengthening mutual confidence, dialogue and hemispheric cooperation and on the basis of the aforementioned principles, develop, within the framework of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS), a singular and objective process of multilateral governmental evaluation in order to monitor the progress of their individual and collective efforts in the Hemisphere and of all the countries participating in the Summit, in dealing with the diverse manifestations of the problem.

- Strengthen national efforts and international cooperation in order to:

. Enhance their national policies and plans with regard to the prevention of illicit drug consumption, and step up measures, particularly at the community level, in schools and those aimed at the most vulnerable groups, such as children and young people, in order to prevent the growth and spread of this consumption and to eliminate financial incentives to illicit trafficking;

. Develop appropriate treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration programs with a view to alleviating the serious social effects, human suffering and other adverse effects associated with drug abuse;

. Increase cooperation in areas such as the collection and analysis of data, standardization of systems that measure illicit consumption, scientific and technical training and exchange of experiences;
. Develop or encourage the development of campaigns to foster greater social awareness of the dangers of drug abuse for individuals, the family and society as well as community participation plans;

. Sensitize public opinion as to the serious effects of drug abuse and the activities of criminal organizations that deal with them, including at the wholesale and retail level;

. Improve and update cooperative mechanisms to prosecute and extradite individuals charged with the traffic in narcotics and psychotropic substances and other related crimes, in accordance with international agreements, constitutional requirements, and national laws;

. Establish or strengthen existing, duly trained and equipped specialized central units responsible for requesting, analyzing and exchanging among the competent State authorities information relating to the laundering of the proceeds, assets and instrumentalities used in criminal activities (also known as money laundering);

. Reinforce international and national control mechanisms to impede the illicit traffic and diversion of chemical precursors;

. Promote the rapid ratification and entry into force of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Production and Trafficking of Firearms; promote the approval and prompt application of the Model Regulations on the Control of Arms and Explosives Connected with Drug Trafficking of CICAD; encourage States, that have not already done so, to adopt the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure effective international cooperation to prevent and combat illicit transnational traffic in firearms and ammunition, while establishing, or strengthening, systems to enhance the tracing of firearms used in criminal activity; and

. Eliminate illicit crops through the increased support of national alternative development programs as well as eradication and interdiction.

- Strengthen national drug control commissions, with a view to improving coordination in each country in the planning and implementation of their respective national plans and in streamlining international assistance in this area.

- Underscore the valuable contribution of civil society, through its different organizations, in the areas of prevention of illicit consumption, treatment, rehabilitation, and social reintegration of drug addicts.

- Encourage financial institutions to redouble their efforts to prevent money laundering and the appropriate business sectors to strengthen its controls to prevent the diversion of chemical precursors.

- Give full support to the upcoming Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly which will be held in June 1998 for the purpose of promoting international cooperation with respect to illicit drugs and related crimes and encourage all States to participate actively, at the highest level, in that international meeting. They will make every effort to ensure effective implementation of international narcotics agreements to which they have subscribed, at regional and subregional levels, and for these to operate in consonance with the hemispheric effort and reaffirm their support for CICAD and its fundamental role in the implementation of these agreements.

Terrorism
Governments will:

- Take measures, as agreed in the Declaration and Plan of Action of Lima, in order to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism, applying for that purpose the most decisive will to comply with the general objectives set forth therein.

- Encourage States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, or accede to, as appropriate, the international conventions related to terrorism, in accordance with their respective internal legislation.

- Convene, under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Second Specialized Inter-American Conference to evaluate the progress attained and to define future courses of action for the prevention, combat and elimination of terrorism.

Building Confidence and Security Among States
Governments will:

- Promote regional dialogue with a view to revitalizing and strengthening the institutions of the Inter-American system, taking into account the new political, economic, social and strategic-military factors in the Hemisphere and in its subRegions. To that end, they will seek to expand further a climate of confidence and security among the States of the Hemisphere.

- Carry out, in the manner in which they are set forth, the measures and recommendations resulting from the Regional Conferences on Confidence and Security Building Measures, held in November 1995, in Santiago, Chile, and in February 1998, in San Salvador, El Salvador, under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS).

- Continue to support the efforts of small-island States to address their special security concerns, which are multidimensional in nature, and economic, financial, and environmental matters, taking into account the vulnerability and level of development of these States.

- In furtherance of efforts to transform the Western Hemisphere into an antipersonnel mine-free zone, and in recognition of the contribution in this regard of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, including its early entry into force, they will encourage actions and support international humanitarian demining efforts in this area, with the goal of ensuring that priority is given to mines that threaten civilians and of ensuring that land can be restored for productive purpose. The latter will take place through effective regional and international cooperation and coordination, as requested by the affected States, to survey, mark, map, and remove mines; effective mine awareness for the civilian population and assistance to victims; and development and deployment of new mine detection and clearance technologies, as appropriate.

- Continue promoting transparency in matters related to defense policy, among other aspects, with regard to modernizing the Armed Forces, comparing military expenditure in the Region, and strengthening the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.

- Increase cooperation with United Nations peacekeeping efforts.

- Encourage the development of cooperative programs to deal with natural disasters and humanitarian search and rescue operations.

- Pledge their efforts to ensure that the peaceful resolution of pending conflicts and disputes is achieved through existing mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes within the Inter-American System and in keeping with international law and treaties in force, and express that said mechanisms and instruments should be strengthened.

- Acknowledge the value of ministerial or high-level meetings on the topics of international defense and security, such as the Defense Ministerials of Williamsburg and Bariloche, as an important contribution to regional dialogue on these matters, and, in this context, encourage interested countries to hold other meetings.
- Entrust the OAS, through the Committee on the Hemispheric Security, to:

. Follow up on and expand topics relating to confidence and security building measures;

. Analyze the meaning, scope, and implications of international security concepts in the Hemisphere, with a view to developing the most appropriate common approaches by which to manage their various aspects, including disarmament and arms control; and

. Pinpoint ways to revitalize and strengthen the institutions of the Inter-American System related to the various aspects of Hemispheric Security.

This process will culminate in a Special Conference on Security, within the framework of the OAS, to be held, at the latest, at the beginning of the next decade.

- Support the convening of a follow-up Regional Conference to the Santiago and San Salvador Regional Conferences on Confidence and Security Building Measures, to further build mutual confidence in the Americas.

The progress achieved in these matters will be reported to States, thereby ensuring appropriate follow-up through the OAS, so that these topics may be discussed at the next Summit of the Americas.

Strengthening of Justice Systems and Judiciaries
Governments will:

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- Foster the establishment and strengthening of specialized tribunals or courts for family matters, as appropriate, and in accordance with their respective legal systems.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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).

Modernization of the State in Labor Matters
Governments will:

- Promote measures by their Ministries of Labor to provide high quality programs and assistance for workers and employers, placing emphasis on greater decentralization of their functions, the incorporation of new technologies, active labor market policies, better and more timely information regarding the labor market, and improvement of safety and health conditions in the workplace.

- Give special attention to the incorporation of socially-disadvantaged groups into the workforce, including women, minorities, youth, the disabled and other vulnerable populations, and to the services offered by the Ministries of Labor that take into consideration their special needs. At the same time, Governments will further strengthen their overall efforts, and coordination among involved agencies, to address the issue of children at work. The Ministries of Labor will exchange experiences on best practices in these areas.

- Take actions towards assuring that the Ministries of Labor have the necessary means to carry out this Plan of Action in areas within their jurisdiction.

- Request the participation of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS) to assist Labor Ministries to support international activities and exchange information on modernization methods and strategies.

III. ECONOMIC INTEGRATION AND FREE TRADE

A. Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

I. We instruct our Ministers Responsible for Trade to take the following actions:

1. Initiate the negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), in accordance with the principles, objectives, structure, modalities and all other decisions as set out in the San Jos� Ministerial Declaration, by convening the Trade Negotiations Committee no later than June 30, 1998, and the Negotiating Groups no later than September 30, 1998.

2. Exercise the ultimate oversight and management of the negotiations.

3. Achieve concrete progress in the negotiations by the year 2000 and agree on specific business facilitation measures to be adopted before the end of the century.

4. Ensure that the negotiating process is transparent and takes into account the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies in the Americas, in order to create opportunities for the full participation of all countries, including the smaller economies.

5. Conduct the negotiations in such a manner as to build broad public understanding of and support for the FTAA, and to consider views on trade matters from different sectors of our civil societies, such as business, labor, consumer, environmental and academic groups, presented to the committee of Government representatives established at the Fourth Meeting of Trade Ministers in Costa Rica.

II. We instruct our Representatives in the institutions of the Tripartite Committee, in particular the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to allocate appropriate existing resources within those institutions to support the Administrative Secretariat for the FTAA negotiations.

III. We urge the Tripartite Committee to continue to respond positively to requests for technical support from FTAA entities. We ask the three institutions to consider requests for technical assistance related to FTAA issues from member countries -in particular from the smaller economies in order to facilitate their integration to the FTAA process- according to their respective procedures.

B. Further Actions

In addition to initiating the negotiations for the FTAA, we have defined a series of further actions which must be consistent with the FTAA negotiation, aimed at deepening the process of economic integration, as well as to create opportunities for the full participation of all countries, including the smaller economies. We have prepared a series of proposals to advance the modernization of financial markets, programs of science and technology, energy cooperation, and hemispheric infrastructure, in particular in the fields of transportation and telecommunications.

Strengthening, Modernizing and Integrating Financial Markets
Governments will:

- Strengthen banking supervision in the Hemisphere through: implementation of the Basle Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision; training programs to strengthen supervisory capacity; and establishment of sound, high-quality reporting and disclosure standards for banks, and creation of a Working Group to assist countries in this process.

- Improve banking and securities market clearance and settlement systems in the Hemisphere, in order to facilitate the transparency, efficiency and security of internal and cross-border transactions.

Science and Technology
Governments will:

- Recognize that science and technology are related to various areas and objectives of this Plan of Action within and beyond economic integration, free trade and sustainable development.

- Continue implementing the Cartagena Plan of Action, agreed to in 1996, with emphasis on strengthening the capacity of the countries in the Hemisphere to participate and benefit from the knowledge-based global economy, promoting, among other actions, the growth of the communications and information industries as strategic components of national and regional integration processes. In the context of the Cartagena Declaration, recognize the important role that existing regional institutions play in implementing this Plan of Action.
- Apply science and technology to mitigate the damages caused by the effects of "El Ni�o" and other natural hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, and their impact on the economy and ecosystems, based on improved forecasting, prevention and response capacity, improved research and training methods to deal with natural hazards, and the application of science and technology to address the effects of climate variability on health, agriculture and water. In this context, cooperative research and exchange of information about "El Ni�o" and other natural hazards will be emphasized.

- Support the development and use of science, technology and innovation indicators in fulfillment of the Cartagena Plan.

- Promote actions to foster alliances among all sectors of society to advance cooperation and innovation in science and technology. It is recognized that university-industry relations, training in technology management and other human resource development programs, as well as participation of small and medium-sized companies, are important elements for utilizing science and technology to achieve hemispheric objectives.

Regional Energy Cooperation

In accordance with the legal and constitutional rules of every State, as well as with the commitments that our Governments assume in the context of the negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), in order to ensure sustainable energy development and further the energy integration of the Hemisphere,

Governments will:

- Promote policies and processes that facilitate the trade of products, goods and services related to the energy sector.

- Give impetus to, in the shortest possible time, policies and processes that facilitate the development of infrastructure, including across international boundaries, to further the integration of energy markets.

- Foster the creation and strengthening of transparent and predictable regulatory systems, which take into account the needs of the different parties involved.

- Promote legal, fiscal and regulatory systems in order to stimulate local and foreign private investment in the energy sector in those areas permitted by respective Constitutions.

- Increase access of rural inhabitants to energy services.

- Support policies and programs that will stimulate the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

To support these actions, we will continue our cooperation efforts through the Hemispheric Energy Initiative.

Climate Change
Governments will:

In light of their commitments in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the decisions made at the Third Conference of Parties in Kyoto, Japan, and in view of the Fourth Conference of Parties to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November, 1998:

- Encourage the Parties to work toward achieving the objectives and goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

- Recognize the key role that technology plays in managing the environmental aspects related to energy, and encourage the exchange of technology, information and experiences, as well as share views on the Clean Development Mechanism.

Hemispheric Infrastructure

A. General Infrastructure

Governments will:

- Charge the Inter-American Development Bank with the preparation of a draft set of voluntary principles to be adopted by each of the countries, to facilitate private sector participation in local and transnational infrastructure projects, that can serve as a basis for bilateral and multilateral agreements. This draft will be submitted to Governments not later than December 1998, to be further discussed during a meeting of ministers responsible for infrastructure to be held in 1999.

B. Transportation

Governments will:

- Undertake the necessary actions to implement, to the fullest extent possible, and taking into account subregional sectoral agreements, decisions, and projects, the Joint Ministerial Declaration of the Second Hemispheric Summit on Transportation, held in Santiago, Chile, in April 1996, aimed at: a) promoting market-oriented, integrated, financially viable, and environmentally sustainable transportation systems and services, and b) providing safe, efficient, and reliable passenger and cargo services that foster the economic growth and development of our countries.

- Develop a plan aimed at ensuring the highest level of safety in air, sea and land transportation systems, improving infrastructure and increasing environmental protection by improving compliance with international standards and recommended practices established, such as those established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

- Engage in discussions to develop a cooperation program, taking into account the Santiago and San Salvador Declarations of the Regional Conferences on Confidence and Security Building Measures, which would address maritime and air transport of nuclear and other hazardous wastes and, where appropriate, work with the relevant international organizations to strengthen or develop standards governing the transport of such goods and its safety.

- Prepare a profile, with the cooperation of United Nations Economic Commission on Latin-American and the Caribbean (ECLAC), of regional transportation systems and services taking into account agreements, decisions, projects and studies already prepared by regional and hemispheric organizations. Such a profile will identify the main problems and opportunities faced by the countries in the Hemisphere as a first step toward establishing regional transportation priorities and policies, with respect to, among other things, the harmonization of standards and the exchange of technology.

- Seek, from international financial institutions, resources necessary to undertake, as soon as possible, transportation infrastructure projects in the Americas, including those which take into account the specific needs of the smallest economies.
C. Telecommunications

Governments will:

- Establish strategies to support the development and continuous updating of a regional telecommunications infrastructure plan, taking into account national plans, the need for universal access to basic telecommunications services throughout the Region and the evolution of Global Information Society.

- Work together in close cooperation with the private sector to rapidly build out the telecommunications infrastructure in the Region, adopting strategies to make affordable access available to all for basic telephone service and the INTERNET, such as implementing the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (CITEL) guidelines on value added services and encouraging, the development of community information service centers that provide access to basic telephone and value-added services, computers, the INTERNET and multimedia services bearing in mind the diverse needs of the countries of the Region and divergent levels of development.

- Promote, in cooperation with the private sector, the exchange and distribution of information concerning regulatory matters such as universal access/service, interconnection and the establishment of independent regulatory bodies, taking into account the commitments made in the World Trade Organization's Agreements on Trade in Basic Telecommunications Services (the GBT Agreement), developments in the Free Trade Area of the Americas process, and the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the 1996 Senior Telecommunications Officials Meeting held in Washington D.C. with a view to developing, wherever possible, and subject to national constraints, best practice guidelines and requesting when needed the assistance of CITEL, regional telecommunications organizations, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and others as appropriate.

- Foster, together with the private sector, the development of applications over electronic networks, such as the INTERNET, broadcast television and radio, that taking into account different socio-economic conditions and languages, will support education, health, agriculture and sustainable rural development, electronic commerce and other applications assisting small savers, Micro-enterprises and Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and modernization of the State.

- Encourage CITEL to address, with some urgency, studies of the standards coordination aspects of the telecommunications infrastructure, including the areas of Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) and Intelligent Networks (IN) so that the network can evolve to meet the interconnection requirements and to support the implementation of new applications in the regional context.

- Continue to examine ways to develop consistent regulatory approaches among member countries leading to the promotion of greater commonality in the certification processes for telecommunications equipment and to the establishment of a framework and to move toward the negotiation and implementation of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for telecommunications equipment encompassing all the countries of the Region.

IV. ERADICATION OF POVERTY AND DISCRIMINATION

Extreme poverty and discrimination continue to afflict the lives of many of our families and impede their potential contribution to our nations' progress. To move toward a prosperous future for all, we will facilitate the provision of legal title to urban and rural properties and redouble our efforts to increase access to credit and to provide technical support for microenterprises, and protect the basic rights of workers. We will remove all forms of discrimination against women, indigenous communities, disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable groups. We will seek to enhance the quality of life of all people of the Americas through efforts that ensure access to adequate health services, to improved health technologies, to clean water and proper nutrition. Taken together, these measures will facilitate the inclusion of all inhabitants, without exception, in the economic and democratic transformation of the Hemisphere.

Fostering the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises

As a means to combat poverty and taking into account national differences, the Governments pledge to strengthen the development of micro, small and medium size enterprises by undertaking the following specific actions:

Governments will:
- 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.

- Design and implement programs, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and United Nations Economic Commission on Latin-America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and in coordination with the World Bank and other development cooperation agencies, that promote appropriate financial policy reforms that: accelerate the entry of formal-sector financial institutions into this market; support the development of institutions that work in the sector; and eliminate impediments that limit the access of micro, small and medium size enterprises to financial services.

- Simplify and expedite the procedures for registration, obtaining licenses, complying with labor and tax regulations, and the formalization, where appropriate, of micro, small and medium size enterprises.

- Support private-sector providers of non-financial services to enable them to expand access to new technologies and training for micro, small and medium size enterprises, which will permit them to enhance their competitiveness in national and global markets.

- Promote partnerships of micro, small, and medium size enterprises to allow them to take advantage of cooperative assistance in doing business and in modernizing business management.

- Promote inter-institutional coordination by creating effective interchange mechanisms between national and local public institutions that support micro, small and medium size enterprises and facilitating their links with the private sector.

- Design national plans for the achievement of the actions previously defined and convoke a regional meeting of ministers or senior officials responsible for public policies to support micro, small and medium size enterprises, for the purpose of exchanging information on those plans and thus improving the effectiveness of support policies. To this end, the IDB, in cooperation with ECLAC, will be asked to provide coordination for this meeting.

- Request that regional organizations and Government, multilateral, and bilateral development agencies involved in the Region assist in policy reform and invest between US$400-$500 million over the next three years in programs, including training and technical assistance, that support the actions identified in this Plan of Action.

Property Registration
Governments will:

- 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.

- 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.

- In accord with national legal frameworks, implement measures, where necessary, to protect rights accorded to indigenous populations, as well as information programs, if needed, to assure greater awareness of indigenous populations of their rights, in this respect.

Health Technologies
Governments will:

- Seek, through public and private efforts, or partnerships between them, to enhance the availability, access to, and quality of drugs and vaccines, especially for the most needy, by promoting efforts to safeguard the quality, rational selection and use, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, with special emphasis on vital and essential drugs; and by supporting regional initiatives that by the year 2002 will facilitate research, development, production and utilization of vaccines, which will reduce the incidence of diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis, measles, rubella and mumps.

- Strengthen and improve existing national and regional networks of health information and surveillance systems, so that stakeholders have access to data to address critical health issues in the Region, in order to make appropriate clinical and managerial decisions. They will address the development, implementation and evaluation of needs-based health information systems and technology, including telecommunications, to support epidemiological surveillance, the operation and management of health services and programs, health education and promotion, telemedicine, computer networks and investment in new health technologies.

- Develop initiatives designed to reduce deficits in access to and quality of drinking water, basic sanitation and solid waste management, with special emphasis in rural and poor urban areas, by applying existing technologies or developing new, appropriate and effective low-cost technologies.

- Make every effort to ensure that the necessary resources are allocated for the development of the lines of action of this Plan, with the technical support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). They also will promote bilateral and multilateral collaboration, and will request the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, and other financial and technical cooperation institutions to support the programs and activities included in this initiative, according to their own specific priorities and fields of action.

- Develop mechanisms for evaluating the relevance, cost and efficacy of the technologies introduced to deal with these and other priority health problems.

Women
Governments will:

- Strengthen and establish, where they do not exist, national mechanisms and governmental organs, as well as the respective regional and subregional networks in charge of promoting legal equality and equality of opportunities between women and men, focused on gender equity, and provide them with adequate and timely financial resources to enable these entities to promote, coordinate and carry out the commitments undertaken by the States at the World Conference on Human Rights, the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit on Social Development, the Summit of the Americas, the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the recent "Santiago Consensus" of the VII Regional Conference on Beijing Follow-up (ECLAC/UN).

- Examine the existing laws and their implementation in order to identify obstacles limiting the full participation of women in the political, economic, social and cultural life of our countries. Whenever necessary, promote reforms or create new laws to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and to guarantee the protection of children's rights.

- Implement and follow up on the commitments regarding the status of women as agreed to at the Summit of the Americas, with the support of the Inter-American Commission on Women (ICW), in collaboration with civil society, with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission on Latin-America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and other entities of international cooperation, using when appropriate the System of Indicators adopted by the countries of the Americas at Montelimar, Nicaragua.

- Promote policies designed to improve women's health conditions and the quality of health services at every stage of their lives.

Basic Rights of Workers
Governments will:

- Exchange informational materials regarding their labor legislation, with the objective of contributing to better mutual knowledge of such legislation as well as to promote core labor standards recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) -freedom of association; the right to organize and bargain collectively; the prohibition of forced labor; the elimination of all exploitative forms of child labor; and non-discrimination in employment. Such information will also include references to the mechanisms and/or legal authorities of Ministries of Labor to implement core labor standards as a fundamental component of productive workplaces and positive labor-management relations.

- For these purposes carry out the exchanges by, among other means, furnishing informational materials on relevant changes to their labor legislation, mechanisms and/or legal authorities for implementation of core labor standards, and progress in the area of labor-management relations, to be provided at a meeting of the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor, to be held in 1998 and their other meetings, as appropriate, including with the assistance of the Organization of American States (OAS), International Labor Organization (ILO) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

- Further secure their observance and promotion of internationally recognized core labor standards. In this context, they recognize the ILO as the competent body to set and deal with these standards and support the ongoing work of the ILO with regard to exchanges of information and the negotiation of a new Declaration of Principles on Fundamental Rights of Workers and appropriate follow-up; believe that economic growth and development fostered by increased trade and further trade liberalization contribute to the promotion of these standards and should lead to higher levels of employment; similarly reject the use of labor standards for protectionist purposes, and, in this regard, note that the World Trade Organization (WTO) and ILO Secretariats shall continue their collaboration.

Indigenous Populations

To promote greater participation of indigenous populations in society through adequate access to education, health care, and occupational training, with the aim of improving their standard of living,

Governments will:

- Support activities in the field of education aimed at improving the participation of indigenous populations and communities in society. Such activities would seek to strengthen the identity of indigenous populations and promote respectful coexistence among different social groups in communities and States.

- Promote the widening of basic and secondary education services with training orientation, mainly in Regions with high percentages of indigenous populations, through greater support from Governments and international cooperation, at the request of interested Governments, so that indigenous and non-indigenous populations have the opportunity to receive technical training and contribute to the development of their countries. To the extent possible, the training areas which are implemented parallel to educational processes should respond to the needs of the Region and to productive strategies.

- In cooperation with regional organizations, development institutions and NGOs, actively support and promote capacity building activities and productive projects, including agriculture, handicrafts, small trade and industry and marketing. To the extent possible, these should be guided and administered by indigenous populations.

- Facilitate the organization of round-tables at the national and hemispheric level, in partnership with indigenous populations, with a view to promoting greater understanding of and cooperation in the areas of education and health, with a particular emphasis on women and children. Governments will also promote research initiatives on the relationship between indigenous population, poverty and development.

- Proceed with inter-governmental examination within the Organization of American States (OAS) framework of the "Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, with a view toward the possible adoption of a Declaration.
Hunger and Malnutrition
Governments will:

- Give the highest priority to reducing infant malnutrition, concentrating efforts on health, nutrition and education programs for the nutrition of infants, particularly those less than three, as those are the years of greatest vulnerability. To that end, emphasis shall be given to adequate nutrition and the correction of specific nutritional deficiencies, specifically with vitamin and mineral supplements combined with greater use of vaccinations and immunizations and monitoring during the growth of the child.

- Give high priority to the nutritional and caloric needs of women before and during pregnancy and while they are breast-feeding. Governments therefore will promote breast-feeding as an important source of nutrition for babies. The nutritional needs of other high risk groups such as the elderly and the disabled will also be addressed.

- Continue, as far as possible, with the dialogue begun at the Inter-American Conference on Hunger, held in Buenos Aires in October 1996, and they will explore the application, in their respective jurisdictions of the measures suggested there, in particular the creation of alliances with the private sector to fight hunger and malnutrition, the creation of food bank networks with volunteer participation and the creation of an Honorary Council dedicated to fostering activities to reach Summit objectives in this area.

Sustainable Development

- We recognize the effort made by the Organization of American States (OAS) in terms of follow-up of the Sustainable Development Summit, and instruct it, through the Inter-American Commission on Sustainable Development, to continue coordination related to fulfillment of its mandates. We ask the entities of the Inter-American System and the United Nations to strengthen cooperation related to implementation of the Santa Cruz Plan of Action.

Cooperation

- With the intention of achieving a greater impact in our national and collective efforts, we charge national agencies and organizations responsible for international cooperation with supporting the preparation and implementation of programs and projects which flow from the Plan of Action. Moreover, we request the participation of the multilateral cooperation institutions with the same objective.

SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS FOLLOW-UP

- The Heads of State and Government will continue to meet periodically to deepen cooperation and understanding among the countries of the Americas, and, to that end, will strengthen the hemispheric institutional framework.

- The Governments will bear primary responsibility for implementation of the mandates of the Summit. The mechanism established by their Foreign Ministers, called the "Summit Implementation Review Group" (SIRG), will continue functioning under their immediate authority. The National Summit Coordinators of the Foreign Ministries will guarantee rapid contact, through the appropriate channels, with all Government agencies involved in carrying out the mandates resulting from the Summit meetings.

- The SIRG will meet on a periodic basis (two or three times a year) to monitor the follow-up process and assess the degree to which the Summit mandates have been fulfilled. It will be chaired by the country holding the Summit and co-chaired by both the country that has most recently served as host and the country that will serve as the next host ("troika"). Decisions will be adopted by consensus.

- Senior representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), will be invited to support the Governments participating in the SIRG in order to follow up on the commitments of the Summit and to achieve greater coordination and effectiveness of these institutions in performing this task. To that same end, a representative of the World Bank will be invited.

- The OAS Secretariat will be assigned responsibility for operating as a record-keeping mechanism (the institutional memory of the process) and for providing technical support to the SIRG.

- In accordance with Summit decisions, international organizations will have responsibilities in implementing this process and, as appropriate, according to Summit mandates, support will be provided by private sector organizations and civil society.

- In the case of specific mandates that require the convening of sectoral ministerials, these meetings, when appropriate, will take place under the aegis of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development. Moreover, the OAS, IDB, PAHO, and ECLAC, as appropriate, will lend technical support to the meetings, the results of which will be reported to the States through the OAS Secretariat.

- The SIRG will annually report on the progress achieved in the fulfillment of the Plan of Action to the Foreign Ministers, who will review this information on the occasion of the Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly.

- Under the guidance of the Foreign Ministers, the SIRG will make preparations for the next Summit, bearing in mind the contributions of the pertinent organs of the OAS and other international organizations involved.



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