Our Common Home: A Platform for Dialogue


We live in a world marked by uncertainty. In addition to terrorism, inequality, poverty and different types of fanaticism, the indiscriminate use and degradation of natural resources exacerbates the challenges faced by humanity.1 2 3

As a region, the Americas is one of the richest in terms of natural wealth, and has also been declared a zone of peace, cooperation and the peaceful settlement of disputes. In this context, the Member States of the OAS have stressed that the preservation of peace is a key element of hemispheric cooperation.4

The Inter-American Democratic Charter explains that public participation is a necessary condition for the full and effective exercise of democracy.5This, with the understanding that lasting peace is based on democracy, justice, respect for rights6 and the care of our common home. All member states of the OAS share the principle that participation of all concerned citizens is key to moving this agenda forward.7 8

Americas in Dialogue-Our Common Home, is a platform for dialogue, for inclusive inter-religious and inter-cultural participation in the Americas, designed to promote opportunities for the protection of our Common Home through reconciliation, harmony and peace building. Through dialogue, the initiative will promote the values of understanding and reconciliation between different cultures and religions, tolerance, harmony, justice, mutual respect and shared responsibility in the protection of our common home.


Peace and the Care for our Common Home: Why the OAS?

“The Organization of American States is the hemispheric political forum devoted to strengthen democracy, promote and protect human rights, integral development while fostering multidimensional security, for the benefit of the peoples of the Americas9.”

Article 2 of the Charter of the OAS establishes as its essential purpose the strengthening of peace and security in the Hemisphere; the promotion and consolidation of representative democracy; the prevention of conflicts; and the promotion of social justice and security as the basis for lasting peace.

Furthermore, a number of resolutions of the General Assembly prioritize public participation in addressing environmental challenges, based on existing Inter-American instruments on the subject10 11 12 13 14.

The hemisphere is rich not only in its natural environment and its cultures, but also in its religious beliefs. But one factor that unites these beliefs is an emphasis on our common responsibilities as caretakers of the Earth.

Dialogue is a critical step in consolidating regional leadership in the care for our Common Home and in strengthening peace for present and future generations.


Starting Point

The First Meeting of “Americas in Dialogue” will be held in Vatican City, on September 7-8, 2016. The meeting is organized by the OAS General Secretariat, the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue (IDI) and the Vatican. The participants will include, among others, His Holiness Pope Francis, the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the OAS, representatives of international organizations, members of the judiciary, religious leaders and leaders of inter-faith practices, authorities in charge for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, journalists, intellectuals and academics, among other prominent figures from the hemisphere. 

The meeting will establish a network including the representatives of all Member States, which will support reconciliation and the continuous search for solutions from different spiritual standpoints to the crisis facing our Common Home.


Next Steps: Looking Forward

Americas in Dialogue-Our Common Home is part of the initiative launched by the General Secretariat of the OAS and other partners: “Protecting our Common Home:  Ensuring rights for more people in the Americas.” This initiative focuses on two key areas for the protection of our Common Home: participatory, inclusive and inter-religious dialogue and the Rule of Law and justice. The actions will be focused on strengthening peace–   including religious–   fostering peaceful, fair, and inclusive societies, that provide equal access to justice and are based on respect for human rights (including the right to development and the right to a healthy and balanced environment) within the rule of law and transparent and effective institutions at all levels.

The First Meeting “Americas in Dialogue” in Rome will create a series of agreements that will be reflected in the commitment and common values to be adopted with regards to peace and caring of our Common Home. In accordance with these achievements, a platform for dialogue will be generated and an action plan for the next three years will be developed, including the creation of the Hemispheric Network of Dialogue for our Common Home.

For further information, please visit: www.oas.org/commonhome


1 RES 70/1. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
2 Atlas de Justicia Medioambiental.
3 2015. ECLAC "Desarrollo social inclusivo: una nueva generación de políticas para superar la pobreza y reducir la desigualdad en América Latina y el Caribe.
4 AG/RES. 2862 (XLIV-O/14) The Americas: A Zone of Peace, Cooperation, and Peaceful Dispute Settlement.
5 Inter-American Democratic Charter, articles 7 and 15.
6 AG/RES. 2862 (XLIV-O/14) The Americas: A Zone of Peace, Cooperation, and Peaceful Dispute Settlement.
7 1992. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Principle 10.
8 Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation in Decision Making for Sustainable Development (ISP).
9 AG/RES. 2814 (XLIV-O/14) Strategic Vision of the Organization of American States.
10 1992. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Principle 10.
11 Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation in Decision Making for Sustainable Development (ISP).
12 AG/RES. 2312 (XXXVII-O/07) Declaration of Cruz +10 (First Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on Sustainable Development).
13 AG/RES. 2644 (XLI-O/11) Declaration of Santo Domingo for the Sustainable Development of the Americas (Second Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Sustainable Development).
14 AG/DEC. 81 (XLVI-O/16) Declaration on Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development in the Americas.