Machu Picchu Declaration on Democracy, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the War against Poverty Lima - Machu Picchu, July 28-29, 2001

The Presidents of the Andean Community Member Countries, in the presence of the Presidents of Argentina, Brazil , Chile , Costa Rica , Dominican Republic , Panama , Paraguay , and Uruguay , the Prince of Asturias, and the Secretary General of the Andean Community, gathered for the assumption by Dr. Alejandro Toledo of the Presidency of Peru, have adopted the following:

Machu Picchu Declaration on Democracy, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the War against Poverty

BEARING IN MIND that our political systems are grounded in democracy, respect for human rights, and the basic freedoms;

BEARING IN MIND the interrelationship and mutual involvement that exist among democracy, human rights, peace, social development, and the war on poverty;

CONSIDERING that the multicultural and multiethnic nature of our countries was an essential element in the formation of the nationalities and the historical identity of our nations; and that it continues to be an essential characteristic of the human and social wealth of our societies, as in the past;

AWARE that the indigenous peoples, for the most part, suffer from poverty and extreme poverty and that there is a need to guarantee and promote their rights, including the right to diversity;

CONSIDERING the determination of our governments to concentrate their resources on social and economic development tasks and particularly on the war against poverty and extreme poverty and the creation of productive and worthy employment;

CONSIDERING that all of the efforts of Latin American integration are in agreement on the common will to establish mechanisms for political cooperation, to fight poverty, and to liberalize trade


To move ahead with the defense of democracy and respect for human rights

To express our deep conviction that democracy, development, and respect for human rights and basic freedoms are interdependent and mutually strengthening. We accordingly reaffirm our intention to reinforce democracy as a system of government and an irreplaceable element of our political identity, to promote its values as a way of life, and to defend democratic institutions and the state of law in Latin America and the Caribbean . We further reiterate that the effective exercise of democracy requires strengthening its participatory nature.

To reiterate our decision to adopt an Inter-American Democratic Charter during the Special General Assembly of the OAS that will be held in Lima this coming September, as an instrument conducive to the promotion, stability, preservation, and defense of democratic institutions.

To renew the commitment of our governments to the exercise of and respect for human rights and our intention to strengthen the Inter-American Human Rights System, including the possibility of the progressive and continuing operation of the Inter-American Human Rights Court and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, as well as to foster the universality of the inter-American system for the protection of human rights.

The Presidents of the Andean Countries, pursuant to the Act of Carabobo adopted at the Thirteenth Andean Presidential Council, instructed the Foreign Ministers to draw up the text of the Andean Human Rights Charter for presentation at the next meeting of the Andean Presidential Council; that instrument shall set out the principles and the major lines for a Community policy on the subject, including the issues associated with the rights of women and of indigenous peoples.

We Andean Presidents made the decision to entrust the Foreign Ministries with the drafting of a proposal to reinforce programs for promoting democracy; providing for all forms of citizen participation; preparing, putting forward and carrying out actions for education in democracy; the exchange of experiences among political parties in the Subregion; and developing policies for promoting and disseminating democratic values, in keeping with existing national policies.

We consider the cultural and ethnic diversity that is a hallmark of our nations to be a source of great wealth and of unity among our societies. The exercise of democracy in our nations requires a respect for and promotion of their diversity. In this regard, it is our intention to continue implementing strategies and policies for revaluing the multiethnic and multicultural characteristics of our countries, with a view to promoting full participation by the indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.

The rights of indigenous peoples

We firmly support all efforts that are geared towards promoting and protecting the basic rights and freedoms of the indigenous peoples, among them: their individual and collective right to their spiritual, cultural, linguistic, social, political, and economic identity and traditions, their right as peoples to retain control of their historic cultural heritage; their right to their systems, know-how and practice of traditional medicine, including the right to the protection of their ritual and sacred places; their right to an education in diversity; and their right to be elected to and to hold public office. We express our intention of safeguarding these rights within our public order and in compliance with existing constitutional and legal provisions.

Our States have the duty of safeguarding and guaranteeing the implementation of the provisions of the American Declaration of Human Rights and Duties, the American Human Rights Convention, and all other existing regional and universal instruments in order to ensure that indigenous peoples are able to exercise their human rights fully, in keeping with the principle of non-discrimination. In this connection, we shall advance the preparation and approval of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Policies to ensure the active participation of indigenous peoples in all spheres of national life are needed if democracy and the state of law are to be consolidated in our countries. The Foreign Ministers shall accordingly propose the establishment within the institutional framework of the Andean Community of Nations, of a working group on the rights of indigenous peoples, with the participation of indigenous organizations, human rights organizations, civil society, and representatives of each of the Member States. The purpose of this group shall be to incorporate the indigenous peoples fully into the economic, social, and political life of our nations, while at the same time respecting and promoting their cultural diversity. This group shall hold its first meeting shortly in the city of Cuzco .

An alliance for the war against poverty

Aware that an effective war against poverty must be grounded in authentic and complete democracy, we Heads of State reiterate our intention to undertake measures to reduce poverty by 50 percent by the year 2015.

Social justice is a basic element of democracy and is essential for guaranteeing the political stability and legitimacy of our governments. For that reason, we commit our countries to attain sufficient economic growth with social equity to allow our societies to overcome their inequalities, emerge from their poverty, and meet the challenges that face them.

It is our intent to strengthen our political cooperation within the subregional integration process and to attach considerable priority to our social agenda.

We believe that good governance and efficient and transparent administration, with mechanisms for citizen participation, are essential elements for using our resources adequately to overcome existing social inequalities.

Aware that corruption poses a threat to democratic stability and has a negative effect on the war against poverty, we reiterate the need to increase our efforts to fight corruption and to cooperate in any joint measures that may be necessary in keeping with international law and regional agreements on the subject.

We have great expectations for the agreements reached by the Group of 8 in Genoa and urge those governments to make them effective, especially those agreements that concern external debt relief and the war on poverty and extreme poverty.

In this connection, we express the desirability of reaching agreements within international financial organizations and among the governments of the industrialized nations, particularly with regard to the policies on increasing non-reimbursable cooperation and financing for projects in the critical areas of the war on poverty. We attribute special priority to debt-for-development project-swaps in benefit of the most vulnerable sectors of society.

We express our firm political intention to approve a new common tariff before the next Andean Presidential Council. This instrument, combined with the execution of commitments in regard to the circulation of people, the Andean passport, and border integration and development, will ensure the establishment of the Andean Common Market by the year 2005.

In implementation of the agreements reached at the Carabobo Summit and with a view to advancing the social agenda and mobilizing all sectors of society in the war against poverty and the creation of jobs, we Presidents of the Andean Community charge the Foreign Ministers to draft a proposal to set up a social conciliation group within the Andean forum approved at the Carabobo Summit in order to give the citizenry full participation in the integration processes. That group shall contribute its ideas to the design of an "Integrated Andean Social Development Plan."

We Presidents of the Andean Community Countries congratulate Dr. Alejandro Toledo on his election as Constitutional President of Peru , as well as on his leadership, from a position in civil society, in reinstitutionalizing democracy in Peru . We further applaud President Valentín Paniagua and his Government for having held free and fair elections and for his outstanding role in consolidating democracy in Peru , as well as for having reestablished the exercise of human rights and basic freedoms.