Declaration of Santa Clara on Social Cohesion in Latin America and the Caribbean

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					DECLARATION OF SANTA CLARA
ON

SOCIAL COHESION IN

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

We, the Ministers for Social Development and Heads of Delegation, gathered in Santa Clara, Lima, Peru, 1- 2 May, 2004, on the occasion of the Fifth Forum of Ministers for Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, taking into account the framework of commitments undertaken at the United Nations Millennium World Summit and other social summits, as well as the regional commitments undertaken at the Monterrey Consensus, the Cuzco Consensus and the Declaration of Margarita:
CONSIDER THAT

1. Social equity, socio-economic and cultural development constitute a single process, and can only be coherently conceived as integral concepts, if social cohesion is to play a primary role in overcoming poverty and exclusion; 2. Overcoming poverty and discrimination requires the implementation of welldefined, comprehensive policies enforced by the States with the full participation of society and citizens who are aware of their social, economic and political rights and responsibilities, which, in turn, will strengthen democratic governance; 3. Processes of political and economic integration should be oriented towards a consistent improvement in the standard of living of the region’s inhabitants and empowerment of citizens to exercise fully their social and economic rights and responsibilities; 4. Macroeconomic policies involving structural adjustments have not resulted in greater social equity nor in the improved distribution of wealth in the region; 5. The increase in poverty, inequities and exclusion constitutes a serious threat to democratic governance in Latin America and an affront to the dignity of its people; 6. Social policies should constitute State Policies, that ensure that strategic investment in the human, social and natural capital of the countries of the region and that facilitate the pursuit of social cohesion and equity for individuals, institutions and territories thereby making economic policies viable.

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Said policies should also increase the competitiveness of the countries of the region, ensure the redistribution of the fruits of economic growth and create conditions in which systems of democratic governance may thrive;

7. States intervention therefore require innovative approaches, with priority being given to an integral, territorial concept of development that should prevail over the sectorial approaches, which have led to the dispersion, superimposition and fragmentation of functions and inefficiency in the sphere of social investment, thereby strengthening the current decentralization processes in the region;

UNDERTAKE THE FOLLOWING COMMITMENTS:

A.

TO STRENGTHEN DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE, WE HEREBY

1. Take steps to further social cohesion from a Latin American perspective that takes into account the social and cultural identities of our citizens, by fostering the values of democracy, citizenship, solidarity, sovereignty and national identity, thereby adopting a territorial approach that links national and regional concerns with the objective of achieving greater inclusion , equity and social justice. 2. Promote economic policies aimed at stimulating investment and a fairer distribution of income, with a view to closing existing gaps of inequities, so that those living in conditions of inequality, poverty and exclusion, may benefit from macroeconomic achievements as a means of strengthening democratic governance. 3. Support equal opportunities and access to basic education, nutrition and health services for all, in addition to strengthening greater participation and responsibility on both an individual and collective level. 4. Foster policies that aim at providing poor and lower middle-class groups with greater access to quality, low-cost housing. 5. Implement a strategy of social investment that entails the transparent allocation and execution of public resources and a balanced fiscal policy to optimise measures for the benefit of poorer and excluded sectors of society. 6. Support and promote private and public sector policies that create sustainable conditions for quality sources of employment and that encourage increased productivity.
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7. Draw up macroeconomic policies designed to overcome poverty, including financial plans that make it possible to broaden social investment, progressively eliminate social dependency and develop human and institutional capacities. 8. Design State policies, which foster the development of human capacities via education, health, nutrition, sanitary and housing programmes, in addition to programmes that promote basic justice and security, sources of employment in dignity, the creation of economic opportunities for poorer sectors of the community, and the creation of networks that provide social protection and solidarity with those individuals and families at risk, as part of our efforts to comply with the Millennium Development Goals. 9. Call on the international community to put into practice the commitments made at the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development and contribute to the national efforts made in the region by mobilizing international financial resources for development, to strengthen cooperation and support measures to reduce foreign debt and to promote free trade.

B.

TO CREATE INNOVATIVE FINANCIAL MECHANISMS

1. We hereby, reaffirm the need to take urgent measures to establish innovative financial mechanisms for the strengthening of democratic governance. 2. Propose to the developed countries and international financial organizations that they support innovative financial mechanisms that allow for more resources to be channelled towards productive investment and the creation of employment, as a means of addressing the unmet social demands, overcoming poverty and strengthening social cohesion of our countries.

C.

TO INSTITUTIONALIZE THE FORUM OF MINISTERS FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

1. In view of its function as a specialized and permanent space for the exchange of experience and the coordination of joint strategies of social policy in the region, the Forum of Ministers for Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean shall: • Accept, as its operating authority, the Pro Tempore Secretariat, the main objective of which is to perfect and strengthen the institutional framework and ensure its continuity. For this purpose, it shall enjoy the support of the Technical

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Secretariats of the sub-regional integration organisations: MERCOSUR-Chile, the Andean Community and CISCA-Mexico; • Be chaired by the host country of each meeting, which is responsible for the Pro Tempore Secretariat; • The Forum shall meet on an annual basis. • Meet in its working groups at least once between each ministerial Forum in order to prepare the technical issues for the upcoming Forum. 2. Welcome the creation of sub-regional mechanisms of coordination for social policy and applaud the initiative of the Andean Community to set up an Andean Council of Ministers for Social Development . 3. Call upon CARICOM to actively participate in the Forum of Ministers for Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The representatives of the countries present today adopt this document as a regional position to be presented at the Third Summit of the European Union and Latin America and Caribbean to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, 29 May 2004. We would also like to thank the representatives of Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil for their presentations on the specific issues of Reflections on Strategies to Reduce Poverty in Latin America, Improved Practices in Social Policy and Policies for Social Development and their Evaluation respectively. We hereby acknowledge that it is the invaluable and continuous collaboration of UNESCO, which has helped the Forum of Ministers for Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean achieve its objectives. In offering collaboration on similar initiatives in his region, we hereby show our gratitude for the participation as an observer of the Chairman of the National Reconstruction Bureau of Pakistan at this meeting of the Forum. We welcome the Andean Declaration on Social Development by the Ministers of the Sub-region. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the Peruvian Government for its hospitality and congratulate the organizers of the Forum on their excellent work.

Santa Clara, 2 May, 2004

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