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AG/RES. 1397 (XXVI-O/96)


(Resolution adopted at the eighth plenary session, held on June 7, 1996)


HAVING SEEN the Report of the Permanent Council on Probity and Public Ethics
(AG/doc.3332/96 rev. 1);


The purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of American States, which states in its preamble that "representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace and development of the region" and that "juridical organization is a necessary condition for security and peace founded on moral order and on justice";

That the heads of state and government meeting at the Summit of the Americas, in December 1994, stated that "the problem of corruption is now an issue of serious interest not only in this Hemisphere, but in all regions of the world. Corruption in both the public and private sectors weakens democracy and undermines the legitimacy of governments and institutions. The modernization of the state, including deregulation, privatization, and the simplification of government procedures, reduces the opportunities for corruption. All aspects of public administration in a democracy must be transparent and open to public scrutiny";

That the Secretary General, in his documents "A New Vision of the OAS," "A Plan of Action against Corruption," "Legal Development of Integration," and "The Law in a New Inter-American Order," suggests anticorruption activities for the Organization of American States;

That the Seminar on Probity and Public Ethics was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 6 and 7, 1995, pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 1346 (XXV-O/95);

That, on January 22, 1996, the Chair of the Working Group on Probity and Public Ethics presented to the Group the document "Fundamentals of a Possible Program for Inter-American Cooperation in the Fight against Corruption," (CP/GT/PEC-39/96); and

That on March 29, 1996, a specialized conference adopted the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, a unique international legal instrument that represents significant progress in the actions carried out in the Organization of American States;

REAFFIRMING what was set forth in the 1991 Santiago Commitment to Democracy and the Renewal of the Inter-American System, resolution AG/RES. 1159 (XXII-O/92), and the 1994 Declaration of Belém do Pará; and


That the OAS is an appropriate forum for studying the challenges facing the countries of the region as well as for evaluating and implementing the cooperation mechanisms needed for the countries to prevent and punish corruption; and

That the Inter-American Convention against Corruption embodies the commitment of the member states to carry out actions both internally and internationally to combat corruption,


1. To note with satisfaction the Report on Probity and Public Ethics presented by the Permanent Council.

2. To express its satisfaction at the success of the Seminar on Probity and Public Ethics, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, in November 1995, and to convey its thanks to the Government of Uruguay for the facilities it provided for that meeting.

3. To instruct the Permanent Council, through the Working Group on Probity and Public Ethics and taking into consideration the pertinent provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the respective national legal systems, the documents presented by the Chair of the Working Group and by the Secretary General, and any other contributions it deems relevant, to draw up a draft program for cooperation in the fight against corruption and submit it to the General Assembly at its next regular session.

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