29 October 2001
 Original: Spanish

Working Group to Prepare the
Proposed American Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

(Lima - Machu Picchu, July 28-29, 2001)

(Document presented by the Chair of the Working Group)

We, the Presidents of the member states of the Andean Community, in the presence of the Presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, the Prince of Asturias, and the Secretary General of the Andean Community, meeting on the occasion of the swearing-in of Dr. Alejandro Toledo as President of Peru, have adopted the following:


BEARING IN MIND that our political systems are based on democracy, respect for human rights; and fundamental freedoms;

MINDFUL that democracy, human rights, peace, social development, and the fight against poverty are interrelated concepts with each implying the others;

CONSIDERING that the variety of cultures and ethnic groups in our nations has been a key factor in forging nationalities and the historical identity of our countries; and that today, as in the past, it continues to be an essential feature of the human and social wealth of our societies;

AWARE of the poverty and extreme poverty endured by most indigenous peoples, and of the need to guarantee and promote their rights, including the right to diversity;

CONSIDERING the determination of our governments to channel resources to social and economic development, and, in particular, to the fight against poverty and extreme poverty and to the task of generating decent, productive employment; and

CONSIDERING that all efforts to achieve Latin American integration share a common desire to establish mechanisms for political cooperation, to combat poverty, and deregulate trade,


To advance the defense of democracy and observance of human rights

1. To express our firm conviction that democracy, development, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Accordingly, we reiterate our resolve to strengthen democracy as a system of government and as an irreplaceable component of our political identity, to promote democratic values as a way of life, and to defend democratic institutions and the rule of law in Latin America and the Caribbean. We also reaffirm that the effective exercise of democracy presupposes strengthening citizen participation.

2. To reiterate our decision to adopt an Inter-American Democratic Charter during the special session of the OAS General Assembly to be held in Lima in September, as an instrument destined to contribute to the promotion, stability, preservation, and defense of democratic institutions.

3. To renew our governments' commitment to the effective exercise and observance of human rights, as well as our resolve to strengthen the inter-American system of human rights, possibly by gradually introducing permanent sessions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and to foster universal adoption of the inter-American system to safeguard human rights.

4. We, the presidents of the Andean countries, pursuant to the Act of Carabobo adopted on the occasion of the Thirteenth Andean Presidential Council, instruct our ministers of foreign affairs to draft the text of the Andean Charter of Human Rights for presentation to the next meeting of the Andean Presidential Council. Said Charter shall contain the principles and central elements of a community policy in this field, including issues such as the rights of women and of indigenous peoples.

5. We, the Andean presidents, hereby decide to instruct our ministers of foreign affairs to prepare a proposal designed to strengthen programs for the promotion of democracy and of citizen participation in all its manifestations; to prepare, propose, and execute activities educating people in democratic values; exchange experiences among political parties in the subregion; and develop policies to promote and disseminate democratic values in line with existing national policies.

The rights of indigenous peoples

6. We consider that the cultural and ethnic diversity characteristic of our nations is a source of great wealth and a bond uniting our societies. Practicing democracy in our peoples entails respecting and fostering diversity. Accordingly, we state our intention to continue devising strategies and policies designed to underscore the value of the ethnical plurality and multicultural nature of our nations, in order to promote full participation by indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.

7. Accordingly, we firmly support every effort to promote and safeguard the rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, including: the right to their identity and spiritual, cultural, linguistic, social, political, and economic traditions; individually and collectively; the right not to be displaced, as peoples, and moved from their lands; collective copyright and the right to maintain and develop their historical cultural heritage; the right to their traditional medical systems, knowledge, and practices, including the right to protect their ritual and sacred places; the right to education in diversity; to be elected and to hold public office. We state our resolve to safeguard these rights as part of public policy and pursuant to the constitutional and legal provisions in force in our countries.

8. Our states are duty-bound to safeguard and guarantee the enforcement of all the provisions of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights and the other regional and international instruments in force, in order to ensure the full and effective exercise of the human rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with the principle of nondiscrimination. Accordingly we shall expedite the drafting and adoption of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

9. Consolidating democracy and the rule of law in our countries presupposes policies to ensure the active participation of indigenous peoples in every aspect of national life. To that end, the ministers of foreign affairs shall propose the establishment of a round table on the rights of indigenous peoples in the institutional framework of the Andean Community of Nations, with the participation of indigenous organizations, human rights organizations, civil society, and representatives of each of the member states, with a view to integrating indigenous peoples fully in the economic, social, and political life of our countries, while at the same time respecting and promoting their cultural diversity. The round table will meet at the earliest possible opportunity in Cuzco.

An alliance in the fight against poverty

10. Sensitive to the fact that genuine and full democracy is a prerequisite for an effective war on poverty, we the heads of state reiterate our decision to take actions to reduce poverty by 50 percent by the year 2015.

11. Social justice is an essential ingredient in democracy and a necessary condition for guaranteeing the political stability and legitimacy of our governments. We are therefore committed to achieving economic growth with social equity to overcome inequalities, poverty, and the challenges that our societies endure.

12. We affirm our resolve to strengthen political cooperation in the subregional integration process, and thereby to attach special priority to the social agenda.

13. We believe that good governance and efficient and transparent administration, accompanied by mechanisms for citizen participation, are essential features of a proper use of resources geared to overcoming social inequality.

14. Aware that corruption erodes democratic stability and impairs the struggle against poverty, we reiterate the need to increase actions designed to combat corruption and to cooperate in as many joint activities as may be necessary pursuant to international law and regional agreements on this subject.

15. We welcome the agreements reached by the Group of 8 in Genoa and urge that they be implemented effectively, especially with respect to external debt relief and the fight against poverty and extreme poverty.

16. We point, in this connection, to the advisability of reaching agreements, in particular, regarding increases in the amounts of cooperation grants under the policies set by international financial organizations and the governments of the industrialized countries, along with an increase in the volume of project financing in critical areas of the fight against poverty. We attach special priority to debt for development project swaps for the most vulnerable segments in our societies.

17. We state our firm resolve to adopt a new common external tariff before the next Andean Presidential Meeting. That, combined with fulfillment of our commitments in respect of the free movement of persons, an Andean passport, and border integration and development will ensure that the Andean Common Market will be established in 2005.

18. Pursuant to the agreements reached at the Carabobo Summit and with a view to advancing the social agenda and inducing all sectors of society to participate in the fight against poverty and to generate employment, we the presidents of the Andean Community instruct the ministers of foreign affairs to draw up a proposal for the establishment of a round table on consensus-building in society, within the framework of the Andean forum approved at the Carabobo Summit, aimed at expanding in-depth citizen participation in the integration processes. The round table will yield ideas for the design of an "Integrated Plan for Andean Social Development."

We Presidents of the Andean Community congratulate Dr. Alejandro Toledo on his election as the Constitutional President of the Republic of Peru, and for the leading role he played, from the ranks of civil society, in restoring democratic institutions in Peru. We pay tribute, too, to President Valentín Paniagua and his government for having held free and fair elections and for the outstanding part he played in consolidating democracy in Peru and in restoring the effective exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Lima - Machu Picchu, July 28-29, 2001

Jorge Quiroga Ramírez
Acting President of the Republic of Bolivia Colombia

Andrés Pastrana Arango
President of the Republic of Columbia

Gustavo Noboa Bejarano
President of the Republic
of Ecuador

Alejandro Toledo Manrique
President of the Republic of


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