II Africa-South America Summit (Venezuela, 26 and 27 September of 2009)
Declaration of Nueva Esparta
27 September 2009
Themes: What we share in common:
SouthCom: Control of Latin America
AfriCom: Control of Africa
Nana Akyea Mensah
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WE, the Heads of State and Government of Africa and South America, meeting in the Second Africa-South America Summit (II ASA) in Nueva Esparta State, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela on 26 and 27 September of 2009;
1. EXPRESSING our appreciation to His Excellency Commander Hugo Chávez Frίas, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Government and the People of Venezuela for their warm reception and generous hospitality and for hosting, conducting and organizing the Second Africa-South America Summit with such excellence;
2. TAKING NOTE of the Abuja Declaration of the First Africa-South America Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 30 November 2006 and the efforts that have been made since then to consolidate the process of cooperation and strategic partnership between our two regions;
3. AFFIRMING the commitment, as contained in the Abuja Declaration, to continue strengthening the links between our two regions and to foster and enhance cooperation in various areas of mutual interest;
4. CONSIDERING also the deeply rooted historical and cultural ties that have inspired this relationship;
5. ACKNOWLEDGING the active participation of Afro-descendant population in the development of South America as well as the contribution of South American countries to the consolidation of political independence and development on the African continent as part of this process;
6. REAFFIRMING our commitment to foster South-South Cooperation as a major objective of both regions, in order to complement the traditional North-South Cooperation and promote, among other aims, sustained economic growth and decent work, enable social justice, foster inclusive social policies by mainstreaming the effective participation of youths, civil society and gender groups and persons with special needs, ensure equality, respect and mutual regard among states in the global system, promote economic cooperation and facilitate distribution of the benefits derived from exchange of goods and services, as well as generation and transfer of technical knowledge, aiming at the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals;
7. AGREEING to exchange experience and foster close and effective cooperation between our regions, with the strong support of the African Union (AU) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), important pillars of cooperation among our peoples, already forged by the contribution and role of both Organizations in the preparatory meetings leading up to the Second Summit;
8. COMMENDING the efforts undertaken so far by the Follow-Up Coordinating Committee of ASA to intensify cooperation between Africa and South America and also to promote effective multilateralism for the mutual benefits of the states and peoples of the two regions;
9. RECOGNIZING the outcomes of the International Seminar on the Poles of the South held in Caracas from 20 to 21 May 2008 and the Ministerial and Senior Officials/Experts Conferences held between the two Summits;
10. REITERATING our will to promote peace, security and international cooperation on the basis of adherence to multilateralism, observance of International Law, the Rule of Law, Democracy, and respect of human rights and International Humanitarian Law;
11. REAFFIRMING likewise our commitment to disarmament, non proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and the fight against traffic in small arms and light weapons in all their aspects; taking into consideration the decision to fight the global drug problem, within the framework of common and shared responsibility, terrorism in all its form, piracy, mercenarism, transnational organized crime, especially the traffic of persons and the smuggling of migrants;
12. In order to translate this wider commitment into action, we affirm the need to develop, consolidate and build on our axes of cooperation in the following specific areas:
I. COOPERATION IN THE MULTILATERAL AREA
13. WE RENEW our commitment to multilateralism within the framework of unrestricted respect for the norms and principles of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations.
14. WE STATE our full support for the reform of the UN Security Council, as a process that, more than anything, should ensure a greater participation of developing countries in South America and Africa and the improvement of their working methods in order to correct current imbalances and make this Council a more democratic, transparent, representative, effective and legitimate body that responds to the new political realities. In this sense, we commend the efforts made in the intergovernmental negotiations on this matter, in accordance with Decision 62/557 of the UN General Assembly. We hope that this new stage of negotiations will be inclusive and fruitful in the 64th Session of the General Assembly.
15. WE TAKE NOTE that Africa maintains its common position on the UN Reform, as stipulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government of July 2005, and reaffirm our commitment to the conclusion of the global processes of the UN Reform.
II. COOPERATION TO FIGHT CRIME AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS
16. WE RENEW our decision to strengthen initiatives for cooperation to fight all forms of transnational organized crime, such as illicit trafficking in Small Arms, Light Weapons and Ammunitions, the fight against human trafficking and against proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, as well as our determination to implement follow-up mechanisms and action plans for institutional development and exchange of information with a view to developing joint work and cooperation in this area.
17. WE RECOGNISE the adverse effects that all aspects of the worldwide problem of drugs, including the illegal traffic of narcotics and psychotropic substances and related crimes, have on security, peace, governance, economic development and public health of our peoples, as this poses a serious challenge to social and political institutions, contributes to environmental degradation and poverty, and weakens the efforts for social integration. In this respect, we commit ourselves to fostering initiatives, proposals, actions and activities to fight this phenomenon, both bi-regionally and bilaterally, acting always under the principles of common and shared responsibility, demanding an integral and balanced approach, respect for the sovereignty of States and their territorial integrity, non intervention in the internal affairs and respect for human rights, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations.
III. PEACE AND SECURITY
18. WE EXPRESS our commitment to maintenance of international peace and security, as well as peaceful dispute settlement, observing the principle against the threat or use of force in international relations and supporting peace processes in Africa as well as strengthening of existing mechanisms to prevent and solve conflicts.
19. WE EMPHASIZE the importance of promoting peace in both regions, by bolstering measures to encourage confidence and cooperation in the fields of defence and security, as the best means to warrant stability, security, democracy, human rights and comprehensive development of our peoples.
20. WE RECALL the need to peacefully solve, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, any problems or disputes which may endanger regional or global stability, as well as the determination to take appropriate and effective measures against any threats to peace and security caused by the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as well as the illicit traffic in arms, ammunitions and explosives, under the relevant provisions of the United Nations.
21. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to continue strengthening dialogue and cooperation for promotion of peace and security between organizations and mechanisms in which we are members of, such as the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the South-American Defense Council of UNASUR and the Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic (ZPCSA).
22. WE EMPHASIZE the importance of cooperation in the area of peace consolidation, both through acting within the Peace Building Commission (PBC) of the United Nations, and the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy of the African Union. We commend the work developed by the PBC in Burundi, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau and urge support for both Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy of the AU and the PBC.
23. WE STRESS the importance of the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects and call upon all States to participate and contribute towards the continued implementation of the above-mentioned Program.
24. WE CONDEMN the production and use of anti-personnel mines, by any country, as they jeopardize the lives of our peoples, affect their physical and emotional integrity and have a negative impact on the wellbeing and development of communities. The member states reafirm their commitment to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, and invite all States which have not yet done so to adhere to or ratify this Convention.
25. WE EXPRESS concern over the existence of explosives left behind by the Second World War, especially in the form of landmines and other remnants of war, which continue to cause humanitarian and material damage and also obstruct development processes. In this regard, we call on the countries responsible for planting these landmines and explosives to cooperate with the affected countries, through the provision of maps that show locations of landmines and explosives, as well as the provision of the necessary technical assistance for their complete removal.
26. WE CONDEMN terrorism in all its manifestations and we reject any linking of terrorism to a specific culture, ethnicity, religion or peoples. We emphasize the importance of combating terrorism via active and efficient international cooperation in the framework of the relevant regional organizations and the United Nations, based on the respect of the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and in strict conformity with the principles of International law and human rights. We also share the conviction that the recourse to payment of ransom for terrorism should be condemned and criminalised
27. RECOGNISING the threats and negative consequences caused by piracy which have greatly interrupted maritime and international security, WE UNDERSCORE the need for the international community to deal with the root causes of the piracy problem in territorial and international waters and strongly condemn and discourage payment of all forms of ransom on piracy.
28. WE SUPPORT the negotiations developed within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons on the prohibition of production and use of cluster ammunition given the damage they cause to civil populations.
29. WE REITERATE our deep concern at the use, recruitment, funding, training and transport of mercenaries or any other form of support to mercenaries, in violation of the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations.
IV. DEMOCRACY, GOVERNANCE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND POLITICAL ISSUES
30. WE REITERATE that human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent, and that the international community should address itself to its comprehensive defense. We encourage the establishment of cooperation mechanisms among the countries of Africa and South America aimed at ensuring and promoting rights inherent to the individual, protected by International Law, including the right to development.
31. WE CONDEMN racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, as they deny the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Our principles are based on respect for human rights and fundamental liberties of everybody without drawing a distinction of ethnic origin, colour, gender, religion, political opinions or any other. We commit ourselves to delve into bi-regional cooperation and exchange of practices to fight any and all forms of intolerance, in accordance with the commitments undertaken under the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action.
32. WE EMPHASIZE the importance of promoting, at the relevant multilateral forums, respect for cultural, ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity, as well as the comprehension of their different cultures among the peoples and nations of the world. We recognize the significance of national and regional peculiarities, as well as different historic and religious heritages within the framework of progressive development of International Law of Human Rights.
33. WE CALL FOR the strengthening of those national institutions in charge of timely implementing the Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution AG/61/295 of September 13, 2007.
34. WE UNDERLINE the importance of promoting the exchange of experiences in the area of the rights of women, children and youth, as well as the promotion of the rights of the elderly and people with disabilities.
35. WE REAFFIRM the commitment of the States to full observance and protection of child and youth rights as a priority area of public policies in the fight against poverty and the fostering of health, education and culture, and the protection against all kinds of labour and sexual exploitation in the higher interest of children, with the State, society and family assuming their responsibility of ensuring maximum enjoyment of their fundamental rights.
36. WE ADVOCATE the right to development, democracy and respect and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, including isolated indigenous peoples.
37. WE HIGHLIGHT the importance of fostering an Agenda, within the framework of WIPO, with a view to promote the transfer and dissemination of technology and access to knowledge and education to the benefit of developing countries and countries of less relative development, and the most vulnerable social groups.
38. WE CALL UPON the international community not to approve unilateral illegal and coercive measures as a means of exerting political, military or economic pressure against any country, in particular against developing countries, according to the Charter of the United Nations.
39. WE URGE the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Argentine Republic to resume negotiations in order to find, as a matter of urgency, a fair, peaceful and lasting solution to the dispute concerning sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime spaces, in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations and other pertinent regional and international organizations.
40. WE URGE the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, and the Republic of Mauritius to pursue negotiations in order to find, as a matter of urgency, a fair, peaceful and definitive solution to the issues regarding the sovereignty over Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia, and Tromelin and the surrounding maritime spaces, in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations and the other pertinent regional and international organizations.
41. WE URGE the Republic of France and the Union of Comoros to resume negotiations in order to find, as a matter of urgency, a fair, peaceful and definitive solution to the dispute regarding sovereignty over the Island of Mayotte and its surrounding maritime spaces in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations and the other pertinent regional and international organizations.
V. AGRICULTURE, AGRIBUSINESS, RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND WATER RESOURCES
42. WE RECOGNISE the pressing need to articulate policies allowing for food security, including access to food, and therefore underscore our determination and strong willingness to conduct joint studies and exchange experiences in the field of food security in order to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, we reject the distorting policies adopted by developed countries, due to the negative impact they have on agricultural production and investment in developing countries and on the exercise of the right to food.
43. WE RECOGNIZE the importance of water as a natural resource of States that is an essential element for life, with socio-economic and environmental functions. We shall promote the right of our citizens to have access to clean and safe water and sanitation within our respective jurisdictions.
44. WE REALIZE the need to promote sustainable use of water, and in this regard, we shall promote the exchange of information and best practices between our regions with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
45. WE REAFFIRM our commitment to the multilateral system as a valid tool to help solve the issue of hunger and poverty. In this regard, we urge developed countries to fulfil their funding commitments, undertaken at the High-Level Conference on World Food Security, held at FAO in June 2008. Further, we highlight our commitment to reinforce the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as a multilateral forum where all the States can find alternatives to solve the world food insecurity.
VI. ECONOMY, TRADE, INVESTMENT AND TOURISM
46. WE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT the outcome of the First Conference of Trade Ministers of Africa and South America held on 19 June 2008 in Marrakech, Morocco.
47. WE RECOGNIZE that the principles of complementarity, cooperation and solidarity contribute to social and economic development, as well as to transparent, non-discriminatory, fair and all-inclusive trade, in accordance with the multilateral rules of trade notwithstanding integration mechanisms and ratifying the need for ethical and responsible practices, taking into account the asymmetries, developmental differences and strategic peculiarities of each country. In this regard we recognize that international trade and commercial, scientific, technological and innovative exchange should be factors that contribute to growth, sustainable development, poverty reduction, and, in some instances, the protection and defence of traditional cultural knowledge, conservation practices and sustainable use of biodiversity, and to the strengthening of the fraternal dialogue among peoples, as well as their sovereign right of peoples to the use of their resources.
48. WE AGREE that fostering South - South trade and investment contributes to the complementarities of developing economies and to the identification of new opportunities for economic and commercial exchanges. In this regard, we believe that the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP) is a tool in the attainment of these objectives and, therefore, call for a prompt conclusion of the 3rd Round Negotiations of the Generalized System of Trade Preferences that enables the diversification of production relations in accordance with the strategic areas of interest that may be identified by both regions.
49. WE REAFFIRM the fundamental role of the State in the definition of economic and social policies and as an economic stakeholder in socioeconomic development, taking into account the peculiarities of each country.
50. WE RECOGNIZE the role of the private sector and other organized social stakeholders, and the importance of productive investment and its commitment to the economic development of our countries, and reiterate the will to foster cooperation to promote that sector in our development agenda in accordance with the interests, priorities and needs of each State.
51. WE REAFFIRM our commitment to reach a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a fair and balanced manner to developing countries. Likewise we reaffirm the need for a transparent process involving all the members of the WTO, taking into account the needs of developing countries. Similarly, special attention should be given to the need of coordinating the positions of the two regions within the framework of the WTO, so as to promote the interests of developing countries by paying attention, in particular, to the challenges faced by less relatively developed countries.
52. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to the promotion of tourism as a factor of integration. We also commit ourselves to the promotion of tourism based on community development and absolute respect for our cultural heritage, customs and traditions.
53. WE RECOGNIZE that the current financial and economic crisis is a structural crisis. We therefore commit ourselves to fostering the changes needed in order to enable the establishment of a new international financial architecture, which must be based on a democratic decisionmaking process, including a balanced participation of all parties concerned and taking into account the views and perspectives of developing countries. We emphasize, likewise, the need to prevent the losses from such crises from being transferred to developing countries through the implementation of various financial safeguard mechanisms. We agree that in order to speed up the establishment of the proposed new international financial architecture, it is necessary to strengthen regional systems through the promotion of supportive financial and monetary institutions based on solidarity, cooperation, endogenous regional development and the formation of more democratic, fair and equitable societies within the framework of respect for national independence and sovereignty.
54. WE RECOGNIZE the need to move forward in the adoption of financial safeguard measures required to prevent the costs of the international financial crisis, taking into special consideration the conditions and circumstances of the more vulnerable economies. We agree on the need to foster the design of a new international and regional financial architecture in order to achieve the comprehensive development of our peoples.
VII. COMBATING POVERTY AND HUNGER
55. WE REAFFIRM our commitment to intensify our efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, both in rural and urban areas with special attention to most vulnerable peoples, by tackling the root causes that generate them, with a view to fostering societies based on values such as social justice, solidarity, complementarity, equality, social inclusion, citizens´ involvement and respect for human rights and respect for Mother Earth in accordance with the provisions set out in Resolution 63/278 of the United Nations General Assembly. In this regard, WE RECOGNIZE the need to develop rural and urban areas in poverty situation by pursuing their inclusion into national projects.
56. WE REITERATE the importance of achieving the Development Objectives contained in the Millennium Declaration, and agree to develop and engage in joint efforts in the fight for eradicating poverty and hunger on a worldwide scale, as well as to promote social inclusion. Likewise, we underline the need to uphold the commitment reaffirmed in the Monterrey Consensus in 2002 (United Nations Conference on Financing for Development), whereby industrialized countries are to set aside 0.7% of their GDP to official development assistance (ODA) in favour of developing countries and 0.2% in favour of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
VIII. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
57. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to identifying joint initiatives on the basis of the needs of each bloc for funding and developing projects.
58. WE RECOGNIZE the Infrastructure Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), the South-American Infrastructure and Planning Council of UNASUR, the New Partnership for the Development of Africa (NEPAD), and the Short-Term Action Plan (STAP) of the African Union as the foundations for mutual exchange and support in the field of infrastructure.
59. WE RENEW our commitment to facilitate transit through the territory of transit countries by all means of transport, in accordance with the applicable rules of International Law, to landlocked developing countries, and recognize that their special characteristics deserve an adequate approach to deal with their specific problems.
IX. ENERGY AND SOLID MINERALS
60. WE AGREE to consolidate our efforts in order to exchange experiences in terms of development and universal use of energy sources and energy saving by the governments and the peoples of both regions, in particular clean, renewable and alternative energy sources, with a view to extending their sustainable diffusion and utilization, as well as achieving maximum efficiency in their usage, in accordance with the relevant economic, social and environmental aspects, thus contributing to the economic and social transformation of the countries of Africa and South America. Considering the envisaged use of fossil fuels going into the future, both regions will cooperate on matters relating to the sustainable production and use of fossil fuel, particularly oil and gas.
61. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to enhancing energy-related cooperation between Africa and South America in order to contribute to industrial growth, the development of energy infrastructure, the exchange and transfer of technologies, the reduction of transaction costs and the training of human skills in order to attain the strategic goal of energy security and integration.
62. WE RECOGNIZE the importance of creating conditions to increase the presence of African and South American companies including the energy and mining sectors in both regions, which would contribute to strengthening South-South trade and investment. We renew our earlier mandate for AFREC and UNASUR to prepare an energy strategy to promote sustainable development, while respecting the sovereign rights to manage and regulate natural resources.
63. WE REAFFIRM the importance of continuing the studies to diversify the energy matrix in Africa and South America, as well as studies on the potential of other alternative sources of energy.
64. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to joining efforts with the aim of ensuring the exchange of experiences in the areas of Prospecting, Exploration and Treatment of Mineral Resources, prioritizing local transformation, in a diversified manner, using clean technologies that preserve the environment.
65. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to implementing joint projects, to be identified, in the areas of energy technologies and minerals.
X. SOCIAL ISSUES AND SPORTS
66. WE REAFFIRM sports, physical education and recreation as fundamental elements of transformation in improving the living conditions and physical and mental health of citizens, as well as in the processes of social inclusion and strengthening both individual and collective selfesteem and national identity.
67. WE SUPPORT the Tunisian initiative on the Proclamation of the year 2010 as the International Year of Youth as well as the holding of a Youth World Congress under the auspices at the United Nations and relevant International Organizations.
68. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to providing all the necessary support to ensure the success of the Africa Cup of Nations, to be held in Angola in January 2010, the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa and the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil, and welcome the candidacy of Rio de Janeiro to host the Olympic Games in 2016.
69. WE DECIDE to establish sports competitions between Africa and South America and call upon the specialized Federations of both continents to work together in collaboration with all actors in order to organize different tournaments.
70. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to implementing active policies aimed at generating decent work and implementing the International Labour Organization fundamental conventions for creating conditions of quality employment for the development of our human resources, and to formulating economic policies giving globalization an ethical dimension by placing the person at the centre of public policies.
71. WE WELCOME the programs approved by many countries to attain the full integration of immigrants into their societies as well as the reunion with their families. In this context, we recognize the important work being developed within the United Nations framework.
72. WE SHALL JOIN EFFORTS to work on and strengthen the areas of cooperation and integration in the field of health with a view to identifying structural weaknesses and other illness-determining social factors and preventing the high maternal and infant death rates, malnutrition, and improving access to drinking water, as well as fighting the transmission of HIV / AIDS / STDs and their impact on the population, as well as of other poverty-related illnesses such as tuberculosis, malaria, and other epidemics coexisting with non-transmittable diseases, through promotion of national and international initiatives which aim to produce and equitably distribute new vaccines and widen the access to essential medicines, with a view to guaranteeing health as an inalienable right of our peoples and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
73. WE SHALL TAKE action in order to exchange information and good practices in fighting the risks of A (H1N1) Influenza for the peoples of both regions, particularly for the poorest and those with no ready access to health services. We advocate, jointly, sharing viral strains with pandemic potential, by using the system of the World Health Organization and building an equitable and fair system to share the benefits arising from the use of this genetic material.
XI. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (ICTs)
74. WE SHALL JOIN EFFORTS to embark on initiatives of cooperation and exchange of experiences aimed at building the scientific, technological and institutional capacities of the STI (science, technology and innovation) national systems and the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at the sustainable development and social progress of both regions, with a view to foster integration and rapprochement of the African and South American scientific communities promoting the generation, transfer and social appropriation of scientific and technical knowledge. In this respect, and in order to promote social inclusion, we commit ourselves to fostering the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as other technologies, with a view to facilitating opportunities of education, health and better living conditions for the population.
75. WE AFFIRM the importance of joining efforts in order to make our history and current reality known, as well as our cultural diversity and common issues and problems, through the exchange of radio-and televisionbroadcast contents, which enable the initiation of cooperation in the areas of communication and information, and contribute to progressively establishing bi-regional television and radio stations.
76. WE EMPHASIZE the need for consolidating cooperation between Africa and South America in the fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as undertaking joint action in order to reduce the digital divide as stipulated in the Tunis Declaration adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society held in 2005, and to promote technological literacy and the development and use of free software.
XII. EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL ISSUES
77. WE REGARD as fundamental the establishment of joint research projects in strategic and priority areas for both regions through permanent exchange programs for students, researchers and teachers, as well as the fostering of networks of teachers, researchers and students between academic institutions, and mechanisms of triangular cooperation and scholarship programs for those projects within the spirit of solidarity and complementarity.
78. WE ALSO REGARD as important the reinforcement of the bonds existing between the Diplomatic Academies of Africa and South America with a view to promoting mutual knowledge among the new generations of diplomats and the consolidation of new, multidisciplinary professional training.
79. WE COMMIT OURSELVES to strengthening and deepening supportive cooperation relations among the peoples of Africa and South America in order to recognize our cultural and historic heritage so as to coordinate efforts to guarantee education as a public, human right and universal asset based on the principles of social equality, inclusion and relevance in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals in the field of education.
80. WE RECOGNIZE the incidence of illiteracy as a factor of social exclusion in the development of our countries. We therefore agree to consolidate efforts, from a perspective of social and gender equality, to contribute to eradicate this scourge through the exchange and the promotion of successful practices in the field of teaching to read and write with a view to reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
81. WE TAKE NOTE that chewing coca leaves is an ancestral cultural manifestation of the Bolivian people, which must be respected by the international community.
82. WE UPHOLD the commitment to exchange experts and develop joint research projects on the contribution of the African Diaspora to the culture of the peoples of South America and we support the arrangements being advanced for the 2nd African Union Diaspora Summit, to be held in the near future.
83. WE CALL for the holding of festivals, meetings and other types of exchanges enabling mutual knowledge and cultural and human enrichment. We congratulate the countries that have implemented initiatives in this regard.
84. WE REAFFIRM our commitment to advance in the acquisition and transfer of knowledge in the field of cultural heritage. WE ALSO EXPRESS our concern over the illegal export, import and transfer of ownership of cultural property from our countries. WE FINALLY EMPHASIZE the need for the full implementation of the 1970 and 1995 Conventions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on returning the cultural properties to the countries of origin.
85. WE UNDERLINE the need to embrace the issue of climate change within the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, in accordance with the principles, norms and commitments set forth in the said international juridical framework. We highlight the relationship between the historical responsibility of developed countries for global warming and the obligation of those countries, as Parties to the Convention, to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. We underline the need to define, in 2009, more ambitious reduction targets for developed countries for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and, also, of comparable mitigation commitments and actions for all developed countries. Moreover, we agree on the need to continue fostering positions of consensus within the Group of 77 plus China in the process of negotiation of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action, created by the Bali Action Plan.
86. WE REAFFIRM the need for a strong political commitment of the developed countries based on their historical responsibility, including those countries that did not adhere to the Kyoto Protocol to adopt and comply with their emission reduction commitments. WE OPPOSE any intention of modifying the balance of rights and obligations established in the Kyoto Protocol in respect of the mitigation commitments.
87. WE REITERATE our support for the Special Climate Change Fund aimed at developing countries, which works for the strengthening of domestic capacities in the face of climate imbalances and disasters. We therefore urge developed countries to make urgent and substantial contributions permitting developing countries to make use of the financial resources needed to take early adaptation actions. We commit ourselves to working towards achieving the outcome agreed upon within the framework of the Bali Action Plan of 2007 at the 15th Conference of the Parties, to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009, and which we hope will enable a full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this regard, we pledge to promote our positions in the said conference.
88. WE REITERATE our political commitment regarding the implementation of the 10 year Strategic Plan and Framework to foster the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), approved by the 8th Conference of the Parties, at all levels.
89. WE TAKE NOTE of the national initiative undertaken by Ecuador, called Yasuní-ITT and aimed, among other aspects, at promoting the exploration and development of alternative sources to obtain revenues, reduce the non-sustainable production of natural resources and optimize the conservation of biological diversity.
90. WE ALSO TAKE NOTE of the project the Great Green Wall of Africa with a view to stop the desert from advancing in the Saharo-Sahelian region.
XIV. INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT, EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND SHARED VIEW ON APPROPRIATE PRACTICES
91. WE BELIEVE in a new conception of international economic relations fostering actively South-South exchange and based on the principles of transparency, complementarities, cooperation and solidarity, and enabling an adequate distribution of the benefits derived from the exchange of goods and services, in compliance with the norms of the multilateral trade system, supported by new instruments and regional financial institutions and strengthening the comprehensive development of peoples through the utilization of the potentials existing in their national territories.
92. WE RECOGNIZE and commit ourselves to undertaking efforts to promote sustainable and productive development, sharing best practices in fostering the development of micro and small enterprises and other alternative forms of production, the promotion of micro finances and the training and education of human resources for work enabling to contribute to the well-being of our peoples and to sustainable development as an engine of transformation in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.
XV. FOLLOW-UP MECHANISM
93. WE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT the Africa-South America Follow-up Mechanism that was established under the Abuja Declaration and urge Member States to give it the necessary support in the fulfilment of its mandate. The Follow-up Committee comprising High-Level Officials shall be responsible for proposing new initiatives and undertaking actions on previously agreed programs and projects, reviewing the progress of their implementation and disseminating information about cooperation arrangements. It shall also follow up on Ministerial and Summit decisions, and submit recommendations to Summits.
94. WE TAKE NOTE of the proposals contained in the “Nueva Esparta Implementation Plan” as well as the “Implementation Programme” of the ASA Declaration and Plan of Action presented by the South American and African parties, respectively. Both documents are annexed to the current Declaration. Expressing our satisfaction over the inaugural meetings of the eight ASA Work Groups, WE AGREE that the ASA Member States shall meet within six months at the Senior Officials level with the objective of producing a harmonized Implementation Programme that will define the prioritized projects, timeframe for implementation and financial mechanisms, these will then be submitted for approval during the next Ministerial Meeting.
95. In order to ensure effective implementation of this Declaration and the Implementation Plan, WE AGREE TO REINFORCE the Follow-up Mechanism as follows:
i. A meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs for implementing actions will be held parallel to the 65th United Nations General Assembly;
ii. Regular meetings of the various Working Groups will take place at least once a year to ensure the full implementation of the projects they envisaged;
iii. A meeting will be held with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, as host country of the Second ASA Summit; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the host country of the Third ASA Summit; Brazil and Nigeria, as Regional Coordinators; the Chairperson of the African Union Commission; and Ecuador, as Pro Tempore President of UNASUR in order to evaluate this Bi-Regional Mechanism as well as the execution of the Nueva Esparta Implementation Plan and the Nueva Esparta Programme of Implementation.
96. WE GLADLY ACCEPT the offer of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to host the Third Africa - South America Summit (ASA) in 2011.
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