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

2
Click here for Related Ministerials
   
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH: Poverty Reduction
MANDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. We take note with satisfaction that governments in the Hemisphere are implementing the Monterrey Consensus by exploring innovative ways to mobilize financing for private and public investment and to strengthen debt management, by considering financial instruments, such as growth-indexed bonds and others, to promote macroeconomic stability and reduce financial vulnerability. The implementation of such measures would be aimed at accelerating growth, reducing poverty, and strengthening democratic governance. We also note the efforts of governments in the region to promote discussion in this area (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2
   
 
© Summits of the Americas