Media Center

Press Release


  September 10, 2003

With the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter two years ago, the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) “affirmed, in no uncertain terms, our irrevocable commitment to defend the right to democracy,” the Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council, Ambassador Raymond Valcin of Haiti, said today.

“Our determination to redouble our efforts to universalize and perfect hemispheric democracy represents the best tribute we can pay to the different institutions or individuals who worked hard for the adoption of the Charter,” Valcin said.

The Democratic Charter – adopted two years ago tomorrow in Lima, Peru – represents one of hemisphere’s most important instruments after the founding OAS Charter itself, according to Valcin. He underscored the importance of the link established in the Inter-American Democratic Charter between democratic principles and socioeconomic problems.

“It is our absolute conviction that the eradication of poverty, of marginalization, of inequity that seriously affect our societies to different degrees must be at the center of the hemispheric agenda,” he said.

Ambassador Eduardo Ferrero Costa of Peru also noted the importance of the anniversary and said the Democratic Charter gave the countries of the region a tool not only to defend democracy when it is at risk, but to promote “a democratic culture” throughout the hemisphere.

Costa Rican Ambassador Walter Niehaus Bonilla announced that his country would host a high-level event tomorrow to commemorate the anniversary.

Reference: E-171/03