Declaration of Montevideo
Changes in Latin America and the Caribbean at the heart of the agenda of the SI meeting in Montevideo, 3-4 April 2006
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in Montevideo on 3-4 April 2006 declares:
1) that it welcomes the recent emergence in Latin America and the Caribbean of a number of democratically legitimate governments which are progressive in origin, governments which have taken on the challenge of advancing towards fairer societies, where the situation of the most neglected sectors is improved, overcoming the gap of inequality and poverty and adhering to the aims of national development.
These governments are the result of the fight against neo-liberal policies, which have had disastrous consequences for the region, and they are manifestations of the emergence of relegated social actors, including indigenous peoples, as in the case of Bolivia, giving rise to a plural left of varying types, some of which emanate from within our International or are close to it, and others which are specifically local in origin.
2) that the presence of these governments creates, for the first time in many decades, opportunities for the region to advance in its integration, through mutual reciprocity of national projects, their economies and the social, cultural and commercial development between countries in the region.
This process of integration will create better conditions for growth with equality in the respective nations and will broaden the capacity and opportunities for the region, faced with hegemonic transnational forces, which operate on the globalised world scene.
3) that taken as a whole, the processes of sub-regional integration and their gradual consolidation will allow advancement towards greater integration for the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, which will in turn enable the region to hold a dialogue on an equal footing with other actors in our globalised world.
In the particular case of MERCOSUR, its progressive institutionalisation constitutes a significant step forward, as does the establishment of its Parliament and its opening up to other members.
4) that the building of opportunities for dialogue and interaction between these progressive governments in Latin America and the Caribbean and other governments and progressive forces in the world, will allow the development of wider agreements and alliances, capable of shaping globalisation with rules inspired by a sense of justice more in accordance with the interests of the peoples of the world.
All this must be translated among other aspects into:
a) the reaffirmation in all our countries of representative and pluralist democracy, based on the rule of law, the separation of powers and free elections with guarantees of a secret vote as well as the independence and neutrality of the electoral administration bodies, in turn guaranteeing the absence of coercion, pressure and exclusions;
b) the application of international law and the UN system, including the reform and democratisation of the political and economic international institutions, such as the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the IMF, the World Bank, among others;
c) the reaffirmation of multilateralism and the rejection of all forms of unilateralism, especially when they turn into warmongering which destroys entire nations;
d) the fight for peace and the rejection of all forms of terrorism;
e) the defence and promotion of universal human rights in their entirety, especially in regard to education, health, work and housing, among others;
f) the fight against all types of discrimination and the respect for all forms of diversity, be it cultural, ethnic, religious or of sexual orientation;
g) the promotion of the rights of women, respecting gender equality;
h) to advance the fight against poverty on a global level, with a percentage of the GDP of the most developed economies dedicated to a fund to this end;
i) to endeavour to design a new international economic order and a fairer treatment of the external debt of under-developed nations;
j) the creation of other rules for global commerce which would allow a more equitable exchange between all countries and regions of the world;
k) rules to be applied at a universal level to protect the environment;
l) poltical and social agreements which will tackle the phenomenon of migration, rejecting any kind of measure which contravenes human rights.
5) The Socialist International, as a global forum for the expression of progressive forces, makes possible the voicing of a new type of internationalism for a different globalisation. We are committed to actively taking forward the work of the Socialist International, ensuring joint action by its members, who are in government in decisive areas in the world, in pursuit of the above mentioned aims.
6) The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean provides a platform for consolidation, reciprocal support and expression of its members, and for the complementary cooperation of their respective political agendas. We also aim for the Committee to be a forum for dialogue for the plural left which is emerging in the region and a meeting place for it with the rest of the Socialist International. The only limits in this regard are the respect for pluralism and the rules of democracy, as well as the commitment to the most neglected sectors of our societies.
7) The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean warmly welcomes the path set forward in the Oriental Republic of Uruguay by the government led by President Tabaré Vázquez, towards fighting poverty and facing up to far-reaching reforms to democratise Uruguayan society.
It commends the hosts of this meeting, the Socialist Party of Uruguay and New Space, both members of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front coalition), the governing political force of this country, and full members of our organisation, and expresses the support of the Socialist International for the process of change currently underway in Uruguay.