The following document is the complete text of
the Declaration of Santiago signed by the Heads of State and Government participating in
the Second Summit of the Americas.
We, the democratically-elected Heads of State and Government of the countries of the
Americas, have met in Santiago, Chile, in order to continue the dialogue and strengthen
the cooperation we began in Miami in December 1994. Since that time, significant progress
has been made in the formulation and execution of joint plans and programs in order to
take advantage of the great opportunities before us. We reaffirm our will to continue this
most important undertaking, which requires sustained national efforts and dynamic
The strengthening of democracy, political dialogue, economic stability, progress towards
social justice, the extent to which our trade liberalization policies coincide, and the
will to expedite a process of ongoing Hemispheric integration have made our relations more
mature. We will redouble our efforts to continue reforms designed to improve the living
conditions of the peoples of the Americas and to achieve a mutually supportive community.
For this reason, we have decided that education is a key theme and is of particular
importance in our deliberations. We approve the attached Plan of Action and undertake to
carry out its initiatives.
Since our meeting in Miami, we have seen real economic benefits in the Americas resulting
from more open trade, transparency in economic regulations, sound, market-based economic
policies, as well as efforts by the private sector to increase its competitiveness. Even
as countries in our region have been tested by financial and other economic pressures, and
as countries in other regions have experienced serious economic setbacks, the overall
course in the Americas has been one of faster economic growth, lower inflation, expanded
opportunities, and confidence in facing the global marketplace. A major reason for this
positive record has been our countries´ steadfast and cooperative efforts to promote
prosperity through increased economic integration and more open economies. New
partnerships have been formed and existing ones strengthened and expanded. A positive role
is being played by sub-regional and bilateral integration and free trade agreements. We
are confident that the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) will improve the well-being
of all our people, including economically disadvantaged populations within our respective
Hemispheric integration is a necessary complement to national policies aimed at overcoming
lingering problems and obtaining a higher level of development. In its broadest sense, a
process of integration based on respect for cultural identities will make it possible to
shape a common, interwoven set of values and interests that helps us in these objectives.
Globalization offers great opportunities for progress to our countries and opens up new
areas of cooperation for the hemispheric community. However, it can also heighten the
differences among countries and within our societies. With steadfast determination to reap
its benefits and to face its challenges, we will give special attention to the most
vulnerable countries and social groups in the Hemisphere.
Education is the determining factor for the political, social, cultural, and economic
development of our peoples. We undertake to facilitate access of all inhabitants of the
Americas to preschool, primary, secondary, and higher education, and we will make learning
a lifelong process. We will put science and technology at the service of education to
assure growing levels of knowledge and so that educators may develop their skills to the
highest level. The Plan of Action that accompanies this Declaration defines the objectives
and goals we intend to achieve and the actions that will make them a reality. In order to
meet our goals within the agreed timeframes, we reaffirm our commitment to invest greater
resources in this important area, and to encourage civil society to participate in
The decisions adopted by our Ministers of Education at the Conference held in Mérida,
Mexico, last February, reflect our desire to promote specific joint initiatives designed
to improve access to education, with fairness, quality, relevancy, and effectiveness. In
order to consolidate and lend continuity to our decisions, we have instructed that another
Conference be held in Brasilia, Brazil, in July of this year.
Today, we direct our Ministers Responsible for Trade to begin negotiations for the FTAA,
in accordance with the March 1998 Ministerial Declaration of San José. We reaffirm our
determination to conclude the negotiation of the FTAA no later than 2005, and to make
concrete progress by the end of the century. The FTAA agreement will be balanced,
comprehensive, WTO-consistent and constitute a single undertaking.
We note with satisfaction the preparatory work by the Ministers Responsible for Trade
over the past three years which has strengthened our trade policies, fostered
understanding of our economic objectives and facilitated dialogue among all participating
countries. We appreciate the significant contribution of the Inter-American Development
Bank (IDB), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the United Nations Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), acting as the Tripartite
The FTAA negotiating process will be transparent, and take into account the differences in
the levels of development and size of the economies in the Americas, in order to create
the opportunities for the full participation by all countries. We encourage all segments of
civil society to participate in and contribute to the process in a constructive manner,
through our respective mechanisms of dialogue and consultation and by presenting their
views through the mechanism created in the FTAA negotiating process. We believe that
economic integration, investment, and free trade are key factors for raising standards of
living, improving the working conditions of the people of the Americas and better
protecting the environment. These issues will be taken into account as we proceed with the
economic integration process in the Americas.
The region has made significant advances in both monetary and fiscal policy as well as in
price stability and liberalizing our economies. The volatility of capital markets
vindicates our decision to strengthen banking supervision in the Hemisphere and to
establish regulations relating to disclosure and reporting of banking information.
The strength and meaning of representative democracy lie in the active participation of
individuals at all levels of civic life. The democratic culture must encompass our entire
population. We will strengthen education for democracy and promote the necessary actions
for government institutions to become more participatory structures. We undertake to
strengthen the capabilities of regional and local governments, when appropriate, and to
foster more active participation in civil society.
Respect for and promotion of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all individuals
is a primary concern of our governments. In commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, we agree on the need to promote the ratification and implementation of the
international agreements aimed at preserving them and to continue strengthening the
pertinent national and international institutions. We agree that a free press plays a
fundamental role in this area and we reaffirm the importance of guaranteeing freedom of
expression, information, and opinion. We commend the recent appointment of a Special
Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, within the framework of the Organization of American
Confident that an independent, efficient, and effective administration of justice plays an
essential role in the process of consolidating democracy, strengthens its institutions,
guarantees the equality of all its citizens, and contributes to economic development, we
will enhance our policies relating to justice and encourage the reforms necessary to
promote legal and judicial cooperation. To that end, we will strengthen national entities
involved in the study of the administration of justice and expedite the establishment of a
hemispheric center for studies on this subject.
We will combat all forms of discrimination in the Hemisphere. Equal rights and
opportunities between men and women and the objective of ensuring active participation of
women in all areas of national endeavor are priority tasks. We will continue to promote
the full integration of indigenous populations and other vulnerable groups into political
and economic life, with due respect for the characteristics and expressions that affirm
their cultural identity. We will make a special effort to guarantee the human rights of
all migrants, including migrant workers and their families.
Overcoming poverty continues to be the greatest challenge confronted by our Hemisphere. We
are conscious that the positive growth shown in the Americas in past years has yet to
resolve the problems of inequity and social exclusion. We are determined to remove the
barriers that deny the poor access to proper nutrition, social services, a healthy
environment, credit, and legal title to their property. We will provide greater support to
micro and small enterprises, promote core labor standards recognized by the International
Labor Organization (ILO), and use new technologies to improve the health conditions of
every family in the Americas, with the technical support of the Pan-American Health
Organization (PAHO), achieving greater levels of equity and sustainable development.
With deep satisfaction, we note that peace, an essential value for human coexistence,
is a reality in the Hemisphere. We underscore that Central America has become a zone of
peace, democracy, and development and we recognize efforts to eliminate antipersonnel
mines and to rehabilitate their victims. We will continue to foster confidence and
security among our countries through such measures as those mentioned in the Santiago and
San Salvador Declarations on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures. We encourage the
pacific settlement of disputes.
We will lend new impetus to the struggle against corruption, money laundering, terrorism,
weapons trafficking, and the drug problem, including illicit use, and work together to
ensure that criminals do not find safe haven anywhere in the Hemisphere. We are determined
to persevere in this direction.
In forging an alliance against drugs and applying the Hemispheric Anti-Drug Strategy, we
welcome the start of formal negotiations at the May 4 meeting of Inter-American Drug Abuse
Control Commission (CICAD) to be held in Washington within the framework of the
Organization of American States (OAS), to establish an objective procedure for the
multilateral evaluation of actions and cooperation to prevent and combat all aspects of
the drug problem and related crimes, based on the principles of sovereignty, territorial
integrity of States, shared responsibility, and with a comprehensive and balanced
We will strengthen national, hemispheric, and international efforts aimed at environmental
protection as a basis for sustainable development that provides human beings a healthy and
productive life in harmony with nature. The commitments undertaken at the Miami Summit and
the Summit on Sustainable Development held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, provide a
solid basis for strengthening our actions. As parties to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change, we underscore the importance of working together to further
fulfillment of the agreement reached at the Conference in Kyoto, Japan, and to promote its
ratification in our countries. Moreover, we will work closely to make preparations for a
Conference of the Parties to be held in November of this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We acknowledge that the development of energy links between our countries and the
intensification of trade in the energy sector strengthen and foster the integration of the
Americas. Energy integration, based on competitive and transparent activities, and in
compliance with national conditions and objectives, contributes to the sustainable
development of our nations and to the improvement of the quality of life of our people
with minimum impact on the environment.
Recognizing the importance of, and positive role played by hemispheric institutions,
particularly the Organization of American States (OAS), we instruct our Ministers to
examine the strengthening and modernizing of these institutions.
We reaffirm our will to continue strengthening intra-hemispheric dialogue and cooperation
within the framework of friendship and solidarity that inspires our nations.
Done in Santiago, Chile, on this the 19th day of April, 1998, in the Spanish, French,
English and Portuguese languages.