01/30/13 - PROGRESO WEEKLY (Miami) - The Santiago declaration
HAVANA â âWe firmly reject all coercive measures of a unilateral nature with extraterritorial effect that are contrary to international law and the commonly accepted norms of free trade.â
This principle is part of the agreement reached unanimously by the Latin American and Caribbean leaders at the summit meeting held with their European Union counterparts in the Chilean capital, Santiago.
To reach a consensus with that rejection â as it appears on the Santiago Declaration, the name given to the document â did not provoke serious debates or discrepancies. Neither did the determination to encourage the initiatives to strengthen cooperation and the transfer of knowledge between the two major conglomerates.
Another aspect that has successfully been discussed inside and outside the official sites of this intercontinental gathering has to do with the preservation of the natural patrimony, biodiversity and the cultures of both integrationist blocs.
The sovereign right of states over their natural resources and their responsibility to the ecosystem is another significant item, no less important than the decision to renew and deepen strategic associations and the fostering of investments.
The respect for and practice of multilateralism and the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter are also endorsed by the participants, who did not leave them out of the guiding document. In it, they also commit themselves âto reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.â
Actions against open multilateral trade, be they protectionist measures or blockades like the one applied against Cuba, were also decried in the Declaration.
Different measures of a practical nature intended to strengthen the ties and objectives of the 60 countries that attended the summit are meant âto fortify the mechanism of drug-related coordination between the CELAC and the E.U.,â for which there must be âa dialogue and continuing cooperation, with an aim to establish measurable goals to reduce the impact of the worldwide problem of drugs.â
Placing the accords in context, the document says: âWe acknowledge that our strategic association is even more relevant in times of economic and financial crises and social complexities, when our peoples demand more inclusive forms of participation to satisfy their basic needs for development.â
Two-way investments, along with the need of both regions to balance their emergencies by complementing each other, must be the hallmark of the association. Therefore, the parties propose to support âproductive investments that totally fulfill and are part of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.â
Among the 48 points, which are serious and far-reaching, we see some imponderable elements, about which we shall comment soon. They are minimal because otherwise it would be impossible to agree on such an extensive commitment.
The Second CELAC-UE Summit was scheduled for Brussels, Belgium, in 2015.
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