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Sunday, 22 April, 2001, 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK
Text of Quebec agreement
Leaders of 34 nations from across the Americas have signed a declaration to set up the world's largest free trade zone by 2005.

The following are key excerpts of the declaration:

"The maintenance and strenghtening of the rule of law and strict respect for the democratic system are at the same time a goal and a shared commitment and are an essential condition of our presence at this and future summits".

"We direct our ministers to ensure negotiations of the FTAA Agreement are concluded no later than January 2005 and to seek its entry into force as soon as possible therefore but, in any case, no later than December 2005".


We support strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of inter-American human rights system

"We commit to further efforts to reach international developments goals, especially the reduction by 50% by the year 2015 of the proportion of people living in extreme poverty".

"Recognising the importance of energy as one of the fundamental bases for economic development, the region's prosperity and to improved quality of life, we commit to pursuing renewable energy initiatives, promoting energy integration and enhancing regulatory frameworks and their application while promoting the principles of sustainable development".

"We commit our governments to strengthen environmental protection and sustainable use of natural ressources with a view to ensuring a balance between economic development, social development and the protection of the environment, as these are interdependent and mutually reinforcing".

Anti-drug strategy

"We renew our commitment to the full implementation of the anti-drug strategy in the hemisphere, based on the principles of shared responsibility, a comprehensive and balanced approach, and multilateral cooperation.


We will take all feasible measures to ensure that the children of our countries do not participate in armed conflicts

"We express our support for effective alternative development programs aimed at the eradication of illicit cultivation and will strive to facilitate market access for products resulting from these programs".

"We support strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of inter-American human rights system, which includes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights".

"Acknowledging that corruption undermines core democratic values, challenges political stability and economic growth and thus threatens vital interest in our hemisphere, we pledge to reinvigorate our fight against corruption".

"We will take all feasible measures to ensure that the children of our countries do not participate in armed conflicts and condemn the use of children by irregular forces".

Transparency

"We reaffirm the importance of an independent judiciary and our determination to ensure equal access to justice and to guarantee its timely and impartial administration. We commit ourselves to increasing transparency throughout government".


We pledge to reinvigorate our fight against corruption

"We will promote compliance with internationally recognised core labour standards as embodied in the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its follow-up adopted in 1998".

"We will work to ensure that the input from the Indigenous Conclave of the Americas, held in Guatemala and the Indigenous People's Summit of the Americas, held in Ottawa is reflected in the implementation of the Summit of the Americas Declaration and Plan of Action".

"The OAS (Organisation of American States) has a central role in the implementation of the decisions of the Summits of the Americas".

'Century of the Americas'

"We welcome and value the contributions of civil society, including business and labor organizations, to our Plan of Action.


The Summits of the Americas exist to serve people

"We affirm that openness and transparency are vital to building public awareness and legitimacy for our undertakings. We call upon all citizens of the Americas to contribute to the Summit of Americas process".

"The Summits of the Americas exist to serve people. We must develop effective, practical and compassionate solutions for the problems that confront our societies".

"We are united in our determination to leave to future generations a hemisphere that is democratic and prosperous, more just and generous and a hemisphere where no one is left behind.

"We are committed to making this the century of the Americas."

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