Basic Documents: Final Document
Chapter IV : Social Issues
339. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in March 1995. They expressed their determination to adhere to the principles and fulfil the ten commitments contained in the Declaration adopted by the Summit. The Heads of State or Government underscored the urgent need to implement the Programme of Action which recommended actions to create, in a framework of sustained economic growth and sustainable development, a national and international environment favourable to social development, to eradicate poverty, to enhance productive employment with the goal of achieving full employment, to reduce unemployment and to foster social integration.
340. The Heads of State or Government emphasized that the achievement of the goals established in Copenhagen demand the consideration of proposals regarding the provision of new and additional resources to finance social development of developing countries.
341. The Heads of State or Government further expressed the imperative need to promote development of developing countries, and affirmed that social development in conjunction with sustained economic growth is essential for the realization of the aspirations and welfare of people and, therefore, it is a primary responsibility of Governments and all sectors of civil society that the goals of poverty eradication, food, health, education, employment, housing and social integration, to which they committed themselves in Copenhagen, are put into effect. they further affirmed that such action should be complemented by effective international cooperation.
342. The Heads of State or Government recalled the commitment by the World Social Summit that the eradication of poverty into the world requires decisive national action and international cooperation. The eradication of poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative. It can only be achieved through a multi-dimensional and integrated approach that combines programmes targeted at the poor with policies and strategies that meet the basic needs of all, ensure access of all to productive resources, opportunities, public services and enhance social protection and reduce vulnerability. Sustained economic growth is crucial for raising living standards and for eliminating poverty.
343. The Heads of State or Government stressed the need to substantially increase public expenditure for social development within their countries and called on the international community, and in particular the developed countries and international organizations, to assist in providing both the required financial and technical resources to the developing countries to support their efforts. They stressed that such investment would underline solidarity and afford increased equity, greater productivity and welfare. They underlined that such an investment would, in essence, be an act of solidarity and equity, and result in greater productivity and increased social welfare.
344. The Heads of State or Government pledged to facilitate and encourage the provision of more modern services, with wider coverage and better quality, and to accord special attention to those who have limited access to those services. They encouraged the active participation of the community in management of the social sector.
345. The Heads of State or Government underlined the contribution of social development to economic progress, greater conditions of equity, economic productivity, social solidarity, political participation and tolerance and international cooperation. These should be translated into advances in competitiveness and improved social development indicators. Accordingly, they committed themselves to accord greater priority to the more vulnerable social strata and to the least advanced regions in their countries.
346. The generation of productive employment constitutes a vital factor of such a strategy which should combine the objectives of social and economic development. The strategy of economic growth should lead to the creation of more and better employment opportunities, while the social strategy should further emphasize the development of human resources in order to take full advantage of opportunities.
347. The Heads of State or Government reiterated that education should be one of the fundamental pivots of economic and social development. At the same time, culture and leisure are factors which enrich social relations and allow the reaffirmation of the identify of peoples.
348. The Heads of State or Government declared that development policies should incorporate social security systems which provide for widening the coverage of health services and improving its efficiency, including social security programs for the most vulnerable groups.
349. The Heads of State or Government declared that a safe and healthy habitat is indispensable for the improvement of the standard of living of each population. There should be adequate housing and public services, appropriate disaster prevention and response mechanisms, the rehabilitation of marginalized areas and recreational and other facilities.
350. The Heads of State or Government renewed their commitment to promoting social integration, striving to attains stability, safety and justice based on the promotion and defence of all human rights, as well as on tolerance, non-violence and non-discrimination, so that it is conducive to a greater understanding among peoples in more just and equitable societies in a spirit of solidarity.
351. The Heads of State or Government took note of the call by the President of Guyana H.E. Dr Cheddi Jagan, to seek to establish a new set of relations between States, which places emphasis on ensuring international peace, addressing basic human needs and international social justice.
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352. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed their firm determination to promote and protect all human rights, including the right to development in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments and with the commitments made in the Declaration and Programme of Action of the Conference on Human Rights. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed the position of the Non-Aligned Movement on human rights as stipulated in the Final Document of the Jakarta Summit and the Eleventh Ministerial Conference in Cairo in 1994.
353. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed that democracy, development and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed that the promotion and protection of all human rights must be equally based on the principles of objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity, taking into account the political, historical, social, religious and cultural characteristics of each country while respecting the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of others. They reiterated that it is a duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
354. The Heads or State or Government underlined that in the fulfilment of the international human rights obligations the promotion and protection of those rights is primarily the responsibility of Governments, with the support and collaboration of the relevant bodies and support and collaboration of the relevant bodies and organs of the United Nations in the implementation of the relevant international instrument on human rights and the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.
355. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed that the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms within the framework of international cooperation was a legitimate concern of the international community. They stressed that human rights should not be used as instruments of political pressure especially against the Non-Aligned Countries and other developing countries. They emphasized that any attempt to use human rights as a condition for extending trade and economic assistance should be rejected.
356. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Rights are the responsible organs for the decision and policy-making and for the promotion and protection of all human rights. They also reaffirmed the need to rationalize the work of these organs with the view to avoid duplication and to promote consensus through a strengthened system of consultation.
357. The Heads of State or Government emphasized the balance between the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual on the one hand, and the obligations to society and the State on the other. They reiterated the concern over a tendency to address aspects of human rights selectively for extraneous new political motives and to neglect economic, social and cultural rights which relate more directly to human basic needs.
358. The Heads of State or Government emphasized the coordination of human rights activities must be carried out by United Nations organs, bodies and specialized agencies, whose activities deal with human rights.
359. The Heads of State or Government upheld the Vienna spirit of international cooperation that should exclude exploitation of the question of human rights for political purposes, including selective targeting of individual countries for extraneous motivations.
360. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed that all forms of racism and xenophobia constitute a serious violation of human rights that must be combated by all political and legal means. They expressed serious concern over the emergence of stringent immigration policies in various developed countries which severely restrict free movement of people and breed xenophobia. In this respect, they stressed that special attention should be accorded to migrant workers and their families and encouraged all countries to become party to the relevant international instruments.
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361. The Heads of State or Government noted the responsibility of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and, in this regard, called upon the international community to support and cooperate with the work of the High Commissioner to materialize the objectives stated in those instruments. They welcomed the suggestion of the High Commissioner to establish a permanent dialogue with the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries towards better informing the Movement on the High Commissioner and conveying the input or feedback of the Movement regarding the work of the High Commissioner.
362. While stressing the indivisible nature of human rights, the Heads of State or Government made special emphasis on the importance of the right to development for all peoples, as an integral part of the fundamental human rights. The adoption, for any cause or consideration, of coercive and unilateral measures, rules and policies against developing countries constitute a flagrant violation of the basic rights of their populations.
363. The Heads of State or Government noted with concern the limited progress made in the negotiations on the right to development. They called upon the organs and competent units of the United Nations through the coordination of activities and the elaboration of appropriate programmes. They emphasized also the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to achieve the effective promotion of the right to development.
364. The Heads of State or Government reiterated the need for the Secretary General of the United Nations to continue coordinating the different activities dealing with the implementation of the right to development and that the United Nations Centre for Human Rights be provided with adequate resources. They stressed the need to urgently adopt concrete measures to modify the unequal post distribution in the Centre for Human Rights through the appointment of personnel from developing countries.
365. The Heads of State or Government unequivocally condemned international terrorism as a criminal act and noted that terrorism endangers the very territorial integrity and security of States, due to acts of terrorism which take place within States, specially those which violate human rights in particular the right to life of all citizens and that destroy the physical and economic infrastructure, and attempt to destabilize legitimately constituted governments. They expressed their resolve to take speedy and effective measures to eliminate international terrorism and urged all States to fulfil their obligations under international law, including prosecuting or, where appropriate, extraditing the perpetrators of such acts and preventing the organization and instigation of terrorism against other third States from within or outside their territories. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed their support for General Assembly resolution 46/51 of 27 January 1992 which unequivocally condemned as criminal and unjustifiable all acts, methods and practices of terrorism wherever and by whomever committed and called upon all States to fulfil their obligations under international law to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in terrorist acts in other States, or acquiescing in or encouraging activities within their territory directed towards the commissioning of such acts.
366. The Heads of State or Government further called on all States to endorse in principle the convening of an international Conference under the auspices of the United Nations to define terrorism, to differentiate it from the struggle for national liberation and to reach comprehensive and effective measures for concerted action. They also denounced the brutalization of peoples kept under foreign occupation as the gravest form of terrorism. The Heads of State or Government condemned the use of State power for the suppression and violence against innocent civilians struggling against foreign occupation to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination. They stressed the sanctity of this right and urged that in this era of enlarged freedom and democracy, people under foreign occupation should be allowed to freely determine their destiny. In this context, they also reaffirmed the principled position of the Movement that the struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination did not constitute terrorism.
367. The Heads of State or Government welcomed with satisfaction the adoption of General Assembly resolution 49/185 entitled "Human Rights and Terrorism", and renewed their concern at the gross violation of human rights perpetrated by terrorist groups, and reiterated their condemnation of all acts, methods and practices of terrorism.
368. They objected to the presence and participation in United Nations international conferences and meetings dealing with human rights or related issues, of individuals and organizations that are not committed to the principles and purposes of the Charter of The United Nations through misuse of the privileges to Non-Governmental Organizations with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.
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369. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the successful outcome of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, Egypt in 1994, which was designed to integrate population issues in the development context. They noted that since the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on the Report of the International Conference on Population and Development, the first steps had already been taken to implement its provisions. They called for the speedy implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action, as adopted, and underscored the importance of the role of both the international community and the United Nations system in mobilizing the necessary resources for this purpose. They also welcomed the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Countries on Population and Development held in Bali, Indonesia in October 1993.
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370. The Heads of State or Government expressed their deep concern for the problems faced by the migrant workers and their families, particularly women migrant workers, and committed themselves to give foremost attention to this matter and promote the convening of a Global Conference on Migration and Development to analyze the situation and to adopt pertinent actions to its treatment and solution. They also encouraged all countries, especially the Members of the Non-Aligned Movement, to become parties to the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. They called upon States which have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so.
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371. The Heads of State or Government fully supported the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996 and its preparatory process. They recognized the two themes of crucial importance for the implementation of the Global Plan of Action: "Sustainable Human Settlements in an Urbanized World" and "Adequate Shelter for All". Achieving adequate shelter for all is central to the socio-economic stability of human settlements and a basis for sustainable development. The Heads of State or Government supported the upgrading and incorporation in some form of the Global Strategy for Shelter for the Year 2,000 in the Programme of Action of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and called on the international community to provide much greater level of financial and other forms of support. They called upon Non-Aligned Countries to actively participate in this important Conference and to coordinate their positions during the Conference and its preparatory process in full collaboration with the Group of 77.
372. The Heads of State or Government expressed hope that Habitat II would come up with a concrete plan of action that will provide an enhanced mandate and effective capacity to assist Non-Aligned Countries and other developing countries to deal with the problems of human settlements and to realize shelter for all, taking into account that shelter is a basic human right.
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373. Deeply concerned about the considerable rise in the number of refugees in the world (from 17 million in 1992 to 27.4 million in August 1995), and the internally displaced (26 million), The Heads of State or Government called upon States and the international community to join forces to protect and assist people who are victims of this distressing situation, in particular women and children, especially the unaccompanied, who are in conditions of vulnerability and comprise the majority of refugees and internally displaced.
374. The Heads of State or Government emphasized the valuable and efficient humanitarian work that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carries out, even at the cost of painful and lamentable loss of life of staff members, and welcomed the relentless efforts by the UNHCR in the implementation of voluntary repatriation programmes which have been satisfactorily implemented in several African and Asian countries with the cooperation and contribution of host countries. In this regard, they called on the States and international organizations concerned to continue their utmost cooperation and to coordinate their efforts to ensure successful conclusion of the voluntary repatriation programmes.
375. The Heads of State or Government stressed the need for international assistance, including development assistance, in order to achieve durable and timely solutions to the problems of refugees and of displaced persons including internally displaced persons, and to mitigate the adverse effects on the socio-economic environment of the host countries. They called upon States to take the necessary measures to prevent situations that could give rise to new outflows of refugees and displaced persons.
376. The Heads of State or Government invited States that have not yet adhered to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the statute of refugees to do so, and renewed their efforts to preserve the respect for the institution of asylum and the basic principle of non-refoulement.
377. The Heads of State or Government expressed their open support to the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for the Internally Displaced, and in this framework, favoured the initiatives directed to sponsor the elaboration of an international declaration on the group of principles and basic norms of protection and humane treatment for all the internally displaced in any situation or circumstances.
378. The Heads of State or Government stated that the major changes that the world has undergone over the past few years would lead to thinking about ways and means of a possible reduction of the number of victims of armed conflicts. Paradoxically, however, they noted that violence in all of its forms and armed clashes are on the increase. The availability of weapons and their low costs pose a grave problem. Furthermore, the constant development of new weapons, in particular those that cause blindness, as well as the production and the widespread use of landmines, of which civilians are the main victims, remain a source of major concern.
379. The Heads of State or Government reiterated that priority should be given to promoting knowledge of, respect for an observance of the rules of international humanitarian law, based on fundamental principles, and universal values that have not yet been sufficiently implemented. They affirmed their conviction that knowledge of, respect for and observance of the rules of international humanitarian law not only helps to relieve the suffering of all victims and provides them with effective protection, but also creates an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and restoration of peace.
380. The Heads of State or Government underlined the importance of promoting the respect for the universally recognized humanitarian principles and for the international humanitarian law, particularly those of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Additional Protocols. They invited those States which have not yet done so to ratify or accede to the two protocols additional to the Geneva Convention of 1949.
381. The Heads of State or Government recommended the Member States of the Movement to support the humanitarian organizations with a view to ensure that emergency aid for the victims of an armed conflict be provided in an effective and impartial manner.
382. The Heads of State or Government considered it essential to make the distinction among the different types of United Nations operational activities, in particular those related to humanitarian assistance and peace-keeping operations. In order to preserve the independence, neutrality and the impartiality of humanitarian action, such action must be kept distinct from, and independent of political or military action in accordance with the respective mandates while ensuring the observance of international humanitarian law.
383. The Heads of State or Government reiterated that humanitarian assistance is not an alternative to development assistance and to the durable solution of those problems that are at the origin of the need to grant emergency assistance. In this context, they stated that financial, material and human resources devoted to emergency assistance should not be taken from those geared at development assistance.
384. The Heads of State or Government urged the Member States of the Movement to actively participate in the XXVI International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to be held in Geneva from 3 to 7 December, 1995.
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385. After reviewing the results of the World Summit for Children held in New York in 1990, the Heads of State or Government recognized the important advances that have been made in favour of children ever since. They made a fervent call for countries to undertake, as a matter of high priority, efforts leading to the fulfilment, within the established deadlines, of the Goals for Children and Development in the 1990's, agreed upon in the Plan of Action for implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990's. In this context, they particularly called upon all countries to complete and implement their respective national programmes of action, as well as to take all necessary measures to achieve the mid-decade goals by the end of 1995 and end-decade goals by the year 2000.
386. The Heads of State or Government commended the role played by UNICEF since its establishment in 1946 for the survival, protection and development of children worldwide particularly in the developing countries, and called upon the international community, particularly the donor countries, to provide increased resources to the organization to enable it to continue its work.
387. The Heads of State or Government expressed their satisfaction at the fact that as many as 180 States have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and called upon those few that have not yet done so, to adopt measures aimed at its universal ratification by the end of 1995, as reiterated by General Assembly resolution 49/211. They called upon countries to take urgent action for the full and effective implementation of the Convention at national and global levels, and commended UNICEF for its advocacy and support in this effort.
388. Deeply concerned about the difficult situation of many children who are innocent victims of armed conflicts in many parts of the world, the Heads of State or Government called upon States and the United Nations to adopt concrete measures to alleviate their painful situation, inn accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 49/209. They further expressed concern at the intolerable social and economic conditions, of those in especially difficult circumstances, such as natural disasters, exploitation, illiteracy, malnutrition, disease, hunger and disability and called upon all States to intensify efforts to protect them.
389. The Heads of State or Government reiterated the call made at the World Summit for Social Development for labour policies and programmes to be designed to help eradicate family poverty, which is the main cause of child labour, to eliminate child labour and to encourage parents to send their children to school, through, inter alia, the provision of social services and other incentives.
390. The Heads of State or Government strongly condemned those intolerable practices such as the abduction and sale of children and their organs, as well as the exploitation of children through pornography, sexual abuse, prostitution, child labour and other practices which have been on the rise as a result of the increasing demand in a number of countries. They called upon all States and the United Nations to adopt concrete measures for the eradication of these practices as called for in General Assembly resolution 49/210. They urged that special efforts be made, in measures taken against the trafficking in and use of illegal drugs, to end the exploitation of children in this trade and to protect them against drug use.
391. The Heads of State or Government also expressed deep concern over the recruitment, organization and employment of children in armed conflicts. They condemned this inhuman practice as a threat to the full and civilized development of children, and urged the States to raise their children to be future leaders of a peaceful world. They also condemned all forms of violence against children and urged all States to take the necessary steps to end this practice.
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392. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the Message of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Beijing on September 1, 1995, and reaffirmed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women. These, as adopted, constitute the expression of the real commitment of the countries of the Movement directed to adoption of effective measures to integrate the gender perspective, to removing the main obstacles to the achievement of equality between men and women, development and peace, and particularly eradicating poverty, and to providing sufficient and equal access to education and health, including information regarding preventive health care, and participation in decision-making process, with due respect for religious beliefs and cultural values.
393. Convinced that women can play a decisive role in the search for the attainment of peace, the Heads of State or Government stressed the need to continue to give recognition to the human rights of women and to stress the importance of equal access to all aspects of development activities, particularly education and training, health care, employment, access to credits, and preferential access to land holding and the use of new technologies. This contribution should also include provisions regarding efforts to develop a political, economic, social and cultural environment conducive to full integration of women in development, as well as to take necessary steps to increase cooperation among developing countries and with developed countries and international organizations, in strengthening the role of women in development which enable women to participate fully and equally with men in all development activities, including the decision making process. Convinced that women are entitled to play a decisive role in all fields of the natural life, the Heads of State or Government stressed the need to continue to promote the condition of women as well as their full enjoyment of all human rights.
394. Considering that the exploitation of and discrimination against women have also their origins in the condition of girls in society, the Heads of State or Government reaffirmed their resolve to take effective and expeditious measures for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls. In this context, they particularly committed themselves to give priority attention to the education of girls.
395. In view of the fact that the increase of extreme poverty, especially in the developing countries, in particular rural women and those victims of natural calamity that affects the role of women to a greater degree, who in many cases are heads of households, the Heads of State or Government declared that it is indispensable that national and international efforts for its eradication be oriented as a priority toward the improvement of the situation of women.
396. The Heads of State or Government noted that this alarming situation of women is caused, inter alia, by economic stagnation, negative economic growth, continued population growth, and increased external debt burdens, compounded by reductions in public expenditures for social programs, chiefly in the development of literacy and education. They also affirmed that a conducive international environment contributes and accelerates the achievement of equality between men and women.
397. The Heads of State or Government expressed their abhorrence on the increasing victimization of women, especially in situations of armed conflict, and the systematic use of rape as an instrument of war and ethnic cleansing. They called on countries to take necessary measures to put an end to such practices forthwith.
398. The Heads of State or Government took note with satisfaction that a growing number of States have become parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and that several Parties have removed their initial reservations, making this Convention one of the most universal international human rights instruments. They invited Member States of the Movement that have not yet ratified the Convention to do so in order to reach the goal of its complete universality by the year 2,000.
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399. On the occasion of the observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year in 1995, and concerned about the persistence, in some instances worsening, of the factors that affect youth in the current world, the Heads of State or Government called upon governments and the organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations system to make greater efforts in the design, improvement and development of policies, plans and appropriate programs to reach the goals that inspired the World Programme of Action for Youth toward the year 2,000 and beyond.
400. In that connection, The Heads of State or Government welcomed the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 49/152, which decided to devote up to four plenary sessions at its fiftieth session to, inter alia, mark the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year.
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401. Aware of the important role that the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has played in the struggle against racism and racial discrimination, the Heads of State or Government expressed their concern about the new trend of the evolution of racism into discriminatory practices based on culture, nationality, religion or language, and vigorously rejected the contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
402. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the Revised Program of Action for the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination and called upon all countries to adopt measures at the national level that would help achieve the goals of the Programme of Action. They also underlined the need to convene, as soon as possible, a world conference against racism, racial and ethnic discrimination, xenophobia and other related contemporary forms of intolerance.
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403. The Heads of State or Government expressed their deep concern for the serious threat that the rising trend in drug abuse poses for society and the lives and future of children and youth, and for the destabilizing effects that illegal use, production, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and drug-related offences have for the affected countries. They renewed their most determined commitment in the fight against the illicit production, trafficking, distribution and consumption of drugs in all stages and modalities, as well as against money laundering, arms, ammunition and explosive trafficking, and the deflection of precursory and essential chemical substances.
404. The Heads of State or Government rejected the unbalanced, inequitable and selective form in which several developed countries seek to assign a major responsibility to a specific group of countries, in particular those in which the phase of the illegal production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances takes place, as well those countries which are used as transit countries for illicit drug trafficking. The phenomenon of illegal drugs and the participating criminal organizations, constitute a common threat to the countries and therefore requires the decided commitment of all members of the international community for its solution.
405. The Heads of State or Government reiterated that the illicit drug chain begins with the insufficiently controlled trade of the precursory and essential chemical substances for the production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and is completed with the laundering of money through the international financial and commercial channels. Therefore they considered that, on account of its global nature, the drug problem can only be dealt with effectively through international cooperation based on the principle of shared responsibility in which national measures are articulated with a global, integral, and balanced response to the illegal drugs problem.
406. The Heads of State or Government expressed their interest in that all countries participate in the development of common principles that would direct the programmes for the reduction of demand within an integral and balanced approach. They also emphasized the need to promote cooperation in the areas of drug rehabilitation, drug abuse prevention and enforcement measures.
407. The Heads of State or Government called for unity among the peoples and representatives of the States in all international fora, with the objective that drug-trafficking be considered and declared a crime against humanity.
408. The Heads of State or Government supported the initiative of the Government of Colombia to promote a convention against money laundering. They also commended the proposal to convene a world conference in 1998 against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, in order to evaluate, inter-alia, the status of international cooperation in this subject and study the formulation of international mechanisms to face the challenge posed by transnational organized crime.
409. Since poverty and marginalization are factors that favour the problem of drug trafficking in the developing countries, particularly as they encourage illicit crop cultivation, the Heads of State or Government made a call for an increase in the international cooperation of a multilateral and bilateral character oriented towards socio-economic development programmes in affected areas. They also called for international cooperation to support programmes for alternative development and for environmental rehabilitation in areas where illicit crops have produced serious environmental damage.
410. The Heads of State or Government emphatically reaffirmed that the international fight against the illicit use of drugs and drug trafficking should be carried out in full accord and without violating the principles and norms of international law enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and non-use of force or the threat of force in international relations.
411. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the proposal of the President of Panama, H.E. Ernesto Perez Balladares, to hose in his country the headquarters of a multilateral centre against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and drug-related offences.
412. The Heads of State or Government called on the States that have yet not ratified the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances concluded in Vienna on 20 December 1988, to do so at the earliest. They also urged giving effect to the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action against Organized Transnational Crime.
413. The Heads of State or Government resolved to strenghthen the international struggle against international criminal drug organizations which pose serious threats to the efforts to build and strengthen democracy. Therefore, they decided to strengthen international cooperation to eradicate the growing and dangerous links between terrorist groups, drug-traffickers and their paramilitary gangs and other armed criminal groups, which have resorted to all types of violence, thus undermining the democratic institutions of States and violating basic human rights.