June 5, 1997


(Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 5, 1997)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

BEARING IN MIND:

That, in Article 1 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, the American states stated that they established "the international organization that they have developed to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence"; and in Article 2 they proclaimed that the essential purposes of the Organization were, among others, "to strengthen the peace and security of the continent"; "to promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention"; and "to promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural development";

That the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man recognizes that "the American peoples have acknowledged the dignity of the individual, and their national constitutions recognize that juridical and political institutions, which regulate life in human society, have as their principal aim the protection of the essential rights of man and the creation of circumstances that will permit him to achieve spiritual and material progress and attain happiness"; and

That, under Article 1 of the American Convention on Human Rights, "the States Parties to this Convention undertake to respect the rights and freedoms recognized herein and to ensure to all persons subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights and freedoms, without any discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth, or any other social condition";

CONSIDERING:

That, in the Santiago Commitment to Democracy and the Renewal of the Inter-American System, the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation at the twenty-first regular session of the General Assembly declared "their inescapable commitment to the defense and promotion of representative democracy and human rights in the region, within the framework of respect for the principles of self-determination and non-intervention";

That, in the Declaration of Nassau, the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation at the twenty-second regular session of the General Assembly declared "their unwavering and renewed commitment to the strengthening, defense and promotion of representative democracy and human rights in the Hemisphere, the rule of law within the framework of the principles of self-determination, nonintervention and solidarity enshrined in the OAS Charter" as well as "their decision to continue the process of consultation on cooperative hemispheric security with a renewed commitment to democratic solidarity";

That, in the Declaration of Managua for the Promotion of Democracy and Development, the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation at the twenty-third regular session of the General Assembly declared "the need to consolidate, in the context of the cultural identity of each nation in the Hemisphere, democratic structures and systems which encourage freedom and social justice, safeguard human rights, and favor progress," as well as "their commitment to continuing and expanding dialogue on hemispheric security among the member states, in an integral and updated approach that takes account of the new international situation with a view to strengthening the peaceful tradition of the Hemisphere and actively contributing to
international security and world peace";

That, in the Declaration of Bel�m do Par�, the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation at the twenty-fourth regular session of the General Assembly declared "their firm commitment to strengthening the OAS as the main hemispheric forum of political consensus so that it may support the realization of the aspirations of member states in promoting and consolidating peace, democracy, social justice, and development";

That, in the Declaration of Montrouis: A New Vision of the OAS, the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation at the twenty-fifth regular session of the General Assembly declared "their commitment to preserving peace and security and promoting democracy, human rights, social justice, and development, reaffirming their intent to strengthen the Organization of American States as the leading political forum in the Hemisphere so that it may offer member states the cooperation they require in order to meet those objectives"; and

That, in the Declaration of Principles of the Summit of the Americas, the elected heads of state and government of the Americas committed themselves "to advance the prosperity, democratic values and institutions, and security of our Hemisphere" and reiterated their "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, nonintervention, self-determination, and the peaceful resolution of disputes,"

RESOLVES:

1. To urge the member states to maintain mutual cooperation with a view to promoting hemispheric peace and security, based, inter alia, on the following elements:

a. Respect for sovereignty and nonintervention in the internal affairs of states;

b. Respect for the principle of the juridical equality of states;

c. Strengthening and development of democratic institutions;

d. Promotion of integral and sustainable development based on justice and solidarity;

e. Respect for human rights, with special regard for social, political, and economic rights; and

f. Special attention to the needs of disadvantaged population groups and regions.

2. To reaffirm its conviction that the security and well-being of peoples require the adoption of social and economic measures that promote improvement of living conditions and the elimination of social and regional disparities.

3. To urge the member states, with a view to consolidating achievements in the fields of democracy, human rights, and fundamental freedoms as well as encouraging solidarity among the peoples of the Americas, to include subjects related to the elements listed in operative paragraph 1 of this resolution in the training and specialization programs for their armed forces, police, and security units, if they have not already done so.

4. To urge the member states to keep each other informed of the measures adopted to implement this resolution, and to report to the Permanent Council on such measures.

5. To request the Permanent Council to present to the General Assembly any comments or observations it considers pertinent to the implementation of this resolution.