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Declaration of Santo Domingo Adopted

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, June 6, 2006 —The region’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who have been meeting here for the thirty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), today adopted the Declaration of Santo Domingo on the central theme of the meeting: “Good Governance and Development in the Knowledge-based Society.” In the document, adopted by acclamation, the foreign ministers affirmed that “the development and equitable and universal access to the knowledge-based society constitutes a challenge and an opportunity that helps us to address the common social, economic, and political goals of the countries of the Americas.”

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said at the end of the three days of deliberations that this General Assembly had been “positive both for the region and for the Organization.” He stressed the cooperative spirit that characterized the discussions at the regional meeting, even in the case of bilateral differences that had been going on for several months.

In closing the OAS forum, the Chair of the General Assembly and Foreign Minister of the host country, Carlos Morales Troncoso, said the member countries had shown a firm commitment to OAS ideals and principles, “and the result has been a new impetus to our agenda through declarations and resolutions.” He noted that the Declaration of Santo Domingo lays out “an appropriate framework for reaching our common aspiration of building a knowledge-based society.”

In the final declaration, the delegations of 34 OAS member states called on the Secretary General – taking into account the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter – to promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to facilitate the participate of citizens in public life, thereby strengthening democratic governance.

The foreign ministers called on the OAS General Secretariat to integrate ICTs as a “cross-cutting tool” in designing inter-American policies and programs related to governance and equitable, sustainable development. They agreed to “promote the utilization of ICTs for the follow-up, oversight and evaluation of public administration by the citizenry, in order to achieve a transparent and efficient government, and the strengthening of democracy.”

The region’s foreign ministers, who make up the highest decision-making body of the OAS, expressed their commitment, in the spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, “to guarantee the liberty of every person to enjoy freedom of expression, including access to uncensored political debate and the free exchange of ideas through all forms of mass media, including the Internet.”

In the same declaration, adopted late tonight, the region’s leading diplomats reiterated the commitment made in June 2005 in the Declaration of Florida to deliver the benefits of democracy and advance prosperity, democratic values and security in the hemisphere, adding that information technologies “can play a valuable role in this regard.”

They called for the participation of the private sector, civil society, regional and international institutions, including financial institutions, to develop complementary strategies that promote “universal access to the Internet for all the peoples of the Americas.” They also expressed a “heightened commitment” to foster literacy, as well as investment in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.

The ministers invited the OAS Permanent Council to convene a specialized inter-American conference to exchange experiences and best practices that might help the member states design or enhance legislative, regulatory and administrative frameworks with respect to ICTs, enabling them to better support advances in the expanding knowledge-based society and to promote investment.

During its last plenary session, the General Assembly also approved by acclamation the designation of Panama as the host country of the 2007 General Assembly..

Final Version of Declarations and Resolutions
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Fe de errata

Minutes of the General Assembly

Inaugural Session
First Plenary Session
Second Plenary Session
Third Plenary Session
General Committee
First Meeting
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General Committee
Second Meeting
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General Committee
Third Meeting
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Candidates Elected to Occupy Vacancies at the Organs, Agencies, and Entities of the Organization

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Press Conference
Carlos Morales Troncoso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Dominican Republic and José Miguel Insulza, OAS Secretary General  

(audio only)

Report from the Secretary General to the General Assembly

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(Approved at the first plenary session, held on June 5, 2006)

June 5, 2006

(Approved at the first plenary session, held June 5, 2006)

June 5, 2006

List of Participants
June 4, 2006

Thirty-Sixth Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly

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