Media Center

Press Release


  June 7, 2005

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – The Organization of American StatesGeneral Assembly ended Tuesday night with the hemisphere’s foreign ministers adopting by acclamation the Declaration of Florida, entitled “Delivering the Benefits of Democracy.”

In the Declaration, the foreign ministers and other heads of delegation from the 34 member states undertook to continuing building on the ideals and commitments set forth in the OAS Charter and in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to “working together to advance shared political and economic values to make this a Hemisphere of democratic, stable, and prosperous nations.”

The foreign ministers emphasized that, for democracy to prosper, governments must be responsive to the legitimate aspirations of their people, and must work to provide their people with the tools and opportunities to improve their lives.

The Declaration also states that the Secretary General shall be instructed, after engaging in consultations with the Permanent Council, and taking into account the purposes and principles of the OAS Charter, in particular that of promoting and consolidating representative democracy, to devise proposals for timely, effective, balanced, gradual initiatives for cooperation, as appropriate, in addressing situations that might affect the workings of the political process of democratic institutions or the legitimate exercise of power, in keeping with the provisions of Charter IV of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, with respect for the principle of nonintervention and the right of self-determination of peoples, and to present those proposals to the Permanent Council.

In the document, the General Assembly also stressed that “the Secretary General may bring to the attention of the Permanent Council, in the exercise of the authority contained in the OAS Charter and pursuant to the Inter-American Democratic Charter, those situations likely to lead to action under the said Charters.”

Encouragement is given to the Working Group to Negotiate the Social Charter of the Americas and a Plan of Action, so that its work may serve effectively to strengthen existing OAS instruments on democracy, integral development, and the fight against poverty.

Among other things, the foreign ministers reaffirmed that, as the hemisphere’s premier multilateral forum, “the OAS has a unique role in strengthening democratic institutions and consolidating representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention.”

And, recalling that the commitments made in the Millennium Declaration have become—at the hemispheric level and globally—accepted benchmarks of broader progress, the Declaration notes that these benchmarks have been embraced by donors, developing countries, civil society and major development institutions alike.

Reference: E-121/05