Media Center



  June 5, 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama –The highest political body of the Organization of American States (OAS) which brings together the region’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed this evening the fundamental importance of energy resources for the future of the countries of the Americas in adopting, by acclamation, the Declaration of Panama: Energy for Sustainable Development
Following two days of debate on the issue, the 37th OAS General Assembly underscored that “democratic governance, strong democratic institutions, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are essential elements in advancing the energy and sustainable development goals of member states and the region, combating social exclusion, and advancing the public good.”

The region’s 34 foreign ministers expressed the need to reduce countries’ vulnerability in light of fluctuating costs and demand of energy; increase cooperation and energy integration; and, considering the challenges presented by climate change, promote clean and efficient energy.

The states also stressed their commitment to developing and investing in energy infrastructures to facilitate the availability of and access to energy, as well as to protect them and move forward toward regional energy integration. “To these ends, we emphasize the advisability, in accordance with national law of public-private partnerships and/or agreements, giving priority to those favoring our sustainable development,” the Declaration states.

In closing the meeting of Latin American and Caribbean governments, the Chair of the Assembly, Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro, said the “fruitful” talks of the last few days had produced different resolutions on matters and issues that go “directly to the heart of our peoples.”

“The problems derived from poverty and extreme poverty, the concerns about disabilities and the need for everyone to understand them, have been studied seriously and with serenity, leading to the development of proposals, mechanisms and solutions,” Foreign Minister Lewis said. The Panamanian diplomat added that the result of these high-level talks “has been the renewal of the esprit de corps that identifies and inspires us.”

“The Declaration of Panama paves the way to successfully confront the problem of energy” and “constitutes an expression of higher will that does not separate us but joins us,” he concluded.

The final document calls on the OAS Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) to convene an inter-American meeting of national authorities and experts, before the next General Assembly—which will be held in Colombia in 2008—to discuss experiences, best practices and other information relating to the subject of this Declaration that will contribute to the sustainable development of all countries in the hemisphere.

Reference: GA-24-07