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Democracy
Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Reports
Date:  7/7/2016 
Democracy and Citizen Participation

“Recognizing that democracy is essential for the social, political, and economic development of our peoples, we agreed on a series of mandates to strengthen the rule of
law, the separation of powers and the independence of branches of government, and
respect for human rights, and thus we agreed on actions to promote and guarantee
citizen participation in the formulation and implementation of public policies, together
with citizen empowerment free of all discrimination on grounds of gender or race.” (Closing statement at the conclusion of the Seventh Summit of the Americas, President
Juan Carlos Varela)


The United States is committed to promoting and protecting universal human rights, supporting and defending civil society, and working with its partners to advance democracy. At the 2015 Summit of the Americas, President Obama announced U.S. support for civil society’s effort to establish a permanent, public consultative mechanism and role in the Summits of the Americas. He emphasized strengthening transparency laws to improve access to information and public disclosure, and prioritizing transparent and accountable public institutions in the post-2015 development agenda. Recognizing the importance of promoting active citizen participation and the necessity of democracy for social, political, and economic development, the U.S. government has launched new programming aimed at magnifying civil society’s participation in the Summit process. The United States continues its efforts to promote democracy, human rights, and citizen participation in the region through a number of government-wide programs.
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Date:  7/7/2016 
Democracy and Human Rights Programs

Democracy and human rights are fundamental U.S. government priorities: a lack of democratic governance creates an enabling environment for instability, abuse of power, and humanitarian crises, which often are a result of corruption, poor governance, and weak or nonexistent democratic institutions. Promotion of democracy and human rights is essential to the achievement of development and economic growth throughout the hemisphere. Democracy programs through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), and the U.S. Department of State bolster democratic practices, strengthen government institutions, and help civil society defend human rights and engage diverse constituencies to promote government accountability.
The U.S. government has many ongoing human rights programs, including programs in
Colombia that focus on protecting populations affected by the armed conflict, and programs in Mexico that focus on protecting journalists and human rights defenders. In addition, USAID’s Central America Regional Mission is developing a new human rights program to improve national human rights protection systems to protect vulnerable populations in the Northern Triangle. The U.S. government works with partner governments, civil society, and the private sector to protect the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) persons. Trafficking in persons is also a major problem in the Americas, and of particular concern in the Northern Triangle, where migration patterns leave migrants – including unaccompanied children – vulnerable to being trafficked. The United States also provides core governance support, in collaboration with host country stakeholders, to address justice system transitions, security sector (including police) reform, civil society monitoring of public policies and elections, and accountable public financial management. Governance is a cross-cutting element of program design in all sectors, as governments struggle to provide basic services such as education, health and security to their citizens.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

The United States continues to engage actively in the institutions of the independent inter-
American human rights system (IAHRS), including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), to build multilateral support for the protection of human rights throughout the hemisphere, including within the United States. Ongoing U.S. funding for the IAHRS reflects strong U.S. support for the Commission’s work, as well as the need for increased resources to support friendly settlement efforts, reduce case backlogs, fund special expert missions, and advance thematic initiatives of Commission rapporteurs, including support for the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons (LGBTI), which became fully operational in February 2014. The United States has participated in thematic hearings of the IACHR and facilitated site visits in furtherance of the Commissioners’ work.
The United States also continues to support the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, bolstering its efforts to defend civil society organizations, media, journalists, and individuals who have been victims of violations of the right to freedom of thought and expression.
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Date:  7/7/2016 
Electoral Cooperation and Observation

The United States supports the work of the Organization of American States (OAS) Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation and is the top contributor to its missions. The U.S. government supports OAS efforts to strengthen these missions in order to address current challenges to elections and ensuring transparent, open, and fair electoral processes. OAS electoral observation missions are vital in strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the Americas consistent with the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
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Date:  7/7/2016 
Open Government Partnership

Since September 2011, the United States has worked both domestically and internationally to ensure global support for Open Government Partnership (OGP) principles to promote transparency, fight corruption, energize civic engagement, and leverage new technologies in order to strengthen the foundations of freedom in our own nation and abroad. The United States met 73 percent of its commitments from its second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan and presented its third National Action Plan in October 2015. The third National Action Plan includes 45 commitments related to open government in public services, access to information, public participation, government integrity, fiscal transparency, justice and law enforcement, open government at the subnational level, and open government to support global sustainable development. At the 2015 Summit of the Americas, President Obama highlighted the importance of updating transparency laws in the region to strengthen access to information and public disclosure, and prioritized transparent and accountable public institutions in the post-2015 development agenda. The United States is one of 13 countries that signed on to a “Joint Declaration on Open Government for Implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals” in September 2015.

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources. EITI brings together governments, companies and civil society organizations in order to strengthen government and company systems, inform public debate, and enhance trust. In fulfillment of a major commitment of its first Open Government National Action Plan, the United States applied for and was granted candidate status by EITI in March 2014. Under the direction of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which leads domestic implementation of the EITI Standard, the United States published the first U.S. EITI report in 2015 and is working toward achieving compliance by 2017. The United States is the only country in the hemisphere that is both a supporting and an implementing country within EITI. The United States remains a strong global proponent of EITI and has worked to expand the multi-stakeholder organization into the Americas. Peru, which has complied with the EITI

Standard since February 2012, hosted the triennial EITI Conference and Members’ Meeting in February 2016. In addition, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago are compliant with the EITI Standard. The United States supported the candidatures of Colombia, Honduras, and, in February 2016, the Dominican Republic.

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

The United States, Mexico, and Colombia are anchor partners in the Global Partnership for
Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership), launched in conjunction with the 2030
Sustainable Development Agenda in September 2015. The Global Partnership is deploying the power of partnership to mobilize the full range of data producers and users – governments, companies, civil society organizations, international organizations, academic institutions, charities, official statistics and data communities – working to harness the data revolution for sustainable development. This multi-stakeholder network of data champions will leverage new and ongoing efforts to galvanize political commitments, align strategic priorities, foster connections and collaborations, spur innovations and build trust in the booming data ecosystems of the 21st century. The Global Partnership supports countries and regional institutions to engage stakeholders in developing open data platforms, filling data gaps, and using data to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through Sustainable Development Data Revolution Roadmaps. The Global Partnership is also supporting data collaboratives to engage stakeholders in building capacity to harness data to address key sustainable development challenges such as climate change, health and gender equality. The United States, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is providing $3 million as part of a consortium of funders to seed this initiative. This builds on previous U.S. commitments to support data for development, including a $4 million pledge through USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to advance the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition initiative.
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Date:  7/7/2016 
Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC)

A number of U.S. technical assistance programs include components that foster good governance and help to combat corruption. The United States provides approximately $400,000 annually to the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC), and also helps fund the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Development Program, and other partners active in this area. Operationally, the U.S. government continually enhances its own legal system and institutions and is subject to peer reviews on its compliance with anticorruption standards in the MESICIC, the UN Convention

Against Corruption review mechanism, the Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption, and the OECD Working Group on Bribery. In 2014-2015, the U.S. government underwent IACAC MESICIC review and subsequently submitted a report to the MESICIC expert committee meeting in March 2016 on follow-up measures taken in response to the review. The United States also participates in the MESICIC Committee of Experts, including as a reviewer in the on-site peer review of Uruguay in 2015.

Support for Independent Media

The U.S. government supports efforts focused on team reporting by participating journalists and editors that leads to impactful stories on criminal activities, corruption, rule of law, and accountability – with a particular focus on cross-border reporting on issues of regional importance. To help journalists report on these sensitive issues, the U.S. government supports a digital platform that provides a cloud-based, secure, and collaborative working environment for investigative journalists in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mexico and Paraguay.

Freedom Online Coalition

Costa Rica chairs the Freedom Online Coalition (the first Latin American country to chair the
Coalition) and will host the Freedom Online Conference in October 2016. Coalition members
work closely together to coordinate their diplomatic efforts and engage with civil society and the private sector to support Internet freedom – free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide. The U.S. Department of State is working through the Friends of the Chair group to assist Costa Rica in ensuring the conference’s success.
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Date:  6/2/2014 
Electoral Cooperation and Observation
- The Unites States is committed to supporting the work of the OAS Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation (DECO) and remains one of the top contributors to these missions. The U.S. government supports OAS efforts to strengthen these missions in order to address current day challenges to elections and ensuring transparent, open and fair electoral processes.
- OAS electoral observation missions represent one of the most important areas of the organization and are vital in strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the Americas.
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Date:  6/2/2014 
Open Government Partnership
- In September 2011, the United States was one of eight governments – including Brazil and Mexico – to launch the Open Government Partnership (OGP). At the inaugural OGP meeting on September 20, 2011, President Obama reiterated his belief “that the strongest foundation for human progress lies in open economies, open societies, and in open governments.”
- The United States has worked both domestically and internationally to ensure global support for Open Government principles to promote transparency, fight corruption, energize civic engagement, and leverage new technologies in order to strengthen the foundations of freedom.
- The United States is in the process of implementing the second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, which was published in December 2013. Under this Action Plan, the United States is working to increase public integrity, manage resources more effectively, and improve public services.

Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC)
- The Unites States continually undertakes enhancements to its legal system and institutions to increase its ability to prevent, detect, and prosecute corruption.
The United States is subject to peer reviews on its compliance with anticorruption standards not only in the IACAC follow-up mechanism for implementation (MESICIC) and the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) review mechanism, but also in the Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) and the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
- The United States is a leading provider of technical assistance to help developing countries strengthen their measures to combat corruption, providing approximately $1 billion in funding for programs on anticorruption and good governance globally each fiscal year. The United States provides funding to MESICIC to support IACAC implementation and to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other partners for UNCAC implementation.
- In the current round of IACAC MESICIC reviews, the Unites States has served as an expert peer reviewer of Bolivia and Grenada. The United States will be reviewed in 2014-2015. The U.S. government actively supports the debates in the MESICIC plenary and it has championed approaches to enhance transparency and the involvement of civil society in various stages of the process.
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Date:  6/15/2010 
Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC)

• In support of the IACAC and the Follow-up Mechanism (MESICIC), the United States provided a $1 million grant to the OAS’s
Department of Legal Cooperation efforts to fight corruption. The grant will assist ten countries in development of their Plan of
Action projects, which will focus on the implementation of the recommendations formulated by the MESICIC.

Source: REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF MANDATES FROM THE FIFTH SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS (United States 2010)
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