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AG/RES. 1294 (XXIV-0/94)


(Resolution adopted at the tenth plenary session, held on June 10, 1994)



That the Charter of the Organization of American States indicates in its Preamble that "representative democracy is an indispensable condition for stability, peace and regional development" and that "juridical organization is a necessary condition for security and peace founded on moral order and on justice";

That in the Santiago Commitment to Democracy and the Renewal of the Inter-American System, the Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Organization declared their "determination to continue to prepare and develop a relevant agenda for the Organization, in order to respond appropriately in the new challenges and demands in the world and in the region;

The resolution AG/RES.1159 (XXII-0/92) Corrupt International Trade Practices establishes that "corrupt practices can thwart the process of integral development by diverting resources needed to improve the peoples' economic and social conditions;

That in the Declaration of Managua for the Promotion of Democracy and Development (AG/DEC.4 (XXIII-0/93)), the Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Organization declared their "support for the processes of modernizing administrative and political structures in those states the request it in order that governmental action may meet the increasing demands of their people for more effectiveness and more ethical governance";

That in the San Jose Declaration on Human Rights of January 22, 1993, the representatives of the Latin American and Caribbean countries, within the framework of the preparations for the world conference on human rights, declared that one of the obstacles to the effectiveness of human rights is corruption; and

That in the 1994 Declaration of Belem do Pará, the Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Organization called for "the study of measures, consistent with each country's legal system, aimed at fighting corruption, improving efficiency in the running of public affairs, as well as promoting transparency and integrity in the management of public funds" and resolved that "(s)uch action must be complemented by joint reflection as to the importance of public ethics and administrative integrity in strengthening and consolidating democracy in the Hemisphere";


That the majority of the countries of the Hemisphere are now engaged in the process of modernizing their state structure, and that it therefore becomes essential for the management of political and administrative institutions to be not only effective but transparent;

That the modernization of government not only improves the efficiency, productivity, and quality of the agencies which provide public services but also contributes to improving democracy;

That the Inter-American Juridical Committee, aware of the importance of the problem of corruption, placed the subject of Juridical Focus on Corruption in the Americas on its agenda for the August 1994, session;

That the corruption phenomenon is a problem which affects developed as well as developing countries in various regions of the world and is in no way restricted to this Hemisphere; and

That the OAS, as a body of regional cooperation, constitutes an appropriate forum for discussing and reflecting upon the challenges which confront the countries of the region, as well as for the evaluation of juridical mechanisms for the prevention and control of problems which could be of concern to the member states,


1. To instruct the Permanent Council to establish a working group to study the subject of probity and public ethics. That group will be charged with the compilation and study of national legislation in effect with regard to matters of public ethics, the discussion of experiences in the control and oversight of existing administrative institutions, the development of a checklist of crimes related to public ethics as defined in national laws, and the preparation of recommendations on juridical mechanisms to control the aforesaid problem, with full respect for the sovereignty of the member states.

2. To request member states to prepare comments on the subject and to collaborate with the working group so that it may better fulfill its functions and meet its objectives.

3. To request the Permanent Council to submit a report and present the recommendations of the working group to the General Assembly during its twenty-fifth regular session.

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