"Venezuela: A Proposed Social Charter of the Americas"
November 18, 2004
Discussion with Fermín Toro, Venezuela's Ambassador to the United Nations, and Nelson Pineda, Venezuela's Ambassador to the Organization of American States
From the Center for Latin American Studies' Latin American Briefing Series.
The Organization of American States (OAS) has recognized through its Inter-American Democratic Charter that poverty, illiteracy and low levels of human development have a negative effect in the consolidation of democracy in the Americas. To address those issues, Venezuela put forward the initiative to draft a Social Charter aimed at implementing social and economic policies in each member country, to meet the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000 for the reduction of extreme poverty by the year 2015. The Social Charter of the Americas was proposed to the 34th General Assembly of the OAS by Venezuela's Ambassador to the OAS, Jorge Valero in June 2004. The Charter should reflect contributions from civil society groups, and not just from the governments of the member countries. Human rights groups, union representatives, farmers, students and non-governmental organizations are holding meetings throughout the Americas aimed at submitting proposals to be included the Charter. The resulting document will be submitted to the OAS. A draft can be downloaded at http://www.venezuela-