Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Guadalajara Declaration

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Guadalajara Declaration

Article excerpt

The Heads of State and Government of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela, meeting in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, on 18 and 19July 1991, agreed to issue the following declaration:

We represent a vast body of nations sharing common roots and the rich heritage of a culture that is the product of different peoples, beliefs and races. Five hundred years after the first encounter between us, we are determined, as one of the great geographical areas that make up today's world, to project the strength of our community into the third millennium.

We realize that the convergence we are seeking cannot draw strength only from a common cultural tradition but depends also on our wealth of national origins and their pluralistic expression. Our community is rounded on democracy, on respect for human rights and on fundamental freedoms. In this context, the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention are reaffirmed and recognition is given to each people's right to build freely, in peace, stability and justice, its political system and its institutions ....

We recognize the immense contribution the indigenous peoples have made to the development and pluralism of our societies and we reiterate our commitment to their economic and social well-being and our obligation to respect their rights and cultural identities ....

If the present situation persists, ideological bipolarity may give way to a division between the North, rich in capital and technology, and the South, poor and without prospects. To overcome the problem, it is necessary on the one hand to develop effective forms of reciprocity and solidarity and, on the other, to ground them in an ethical plan, guided by social justice and freedom and offering new patterns that will spur genuine co-operation among the countries of the world ....

Faced with world-wide ecological deterioration, closely linked to the development models that have thus far prevailed, primarily in the industrialized countries, we call for action to renew multilateral co-operation. That will be the means of stopping the ecological deterioration and overcoming poverty. …

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