VIII MEETING OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE STATE MEMBERS TO THE AMAZON TREATY COOPERATION ORGANIZATION - ACTO
(MANAUS, BRAZIL, 14 OF SEPTEMBER OF 2004)
In the City of Manaus, Brazil, on the 14th of September of 2004, the VIII Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Country Members of the Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization, took place.
The Delegations were comprised by: Gustavo Pedraza, Minister of Sustainable Development of Bolivia; Ambassador Celso Amorim, Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil; Ambassador Jaime Girón Duarte, Vice Minister for Political Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia; Ambassador Patricio Zuquilanda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador; Ambassador, Samuel Rudolph Insannally, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Ambassador Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru; Ambassador Maria Elizabeth Levens, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Suriname; Ambassador Jesús Arnaldo Pérez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela; as well as the General Secretary Rosalía Arteaga, Executive Director Francisco Ruiz, Administrative Director, Marco Afonso Pontes de Souza, and Enrique Elias Coordinator on Environmental Affairs of the ACTO. The list of participants is included as Annex I.
OPENING OF THE MEETING
His Excellency Ambassador Celso Amorim, Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil as Delegate of the host country, opened the floor and welcomed the Chancellors and Representatives of the States Members to the ACTO, complimenting the work made by the General Secretary within the lapse of four months, stressing her achievements. The approved Agenda for the meeting is included in Annex II.
Next, Ambassador Amorim granted the floor to the General Secretary to the ACTO, who greeted and welcomed the honourable Ministers and Delegations of the Coutntry Members and made reference to the tasks undertaken within her tenure of the Permanent Secretariat of the ACTO from May to September 2004.
Both speeches of the Ambassador Celso Amorim as well as of Rosalía Arteaga's one, can be found in Annex III.
As stipulated in the legal framework, the Delegate of Brazil, Ambassador Macedo Soares, who acted as President of the XII Meeting of the Amazon Cooperation Council, proceeded to present the Report and Minute of the referred Meeting. Both documents are enclosed in Annex IV.
The Chairperson granted the word to the General Secretary of the ACTO, who set forth for consideration before the Distinguished Delegations, the Management Report of the PS/ACTO during its four months of management which was approved. The referred document is presented as Annex V in the present Minute.
DIALOGUE AMONG THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE STATE MEMBERS TO THE ACTO
At this point of the Agenda Chancellor Celso Amorim, stated the next themes:
· The Possibility to invite Observers to the meetings of the ACTO Chancellors; and
· To execute Sectorial Meetings, specifically in areas such as Science and Technology, Environment, Security and Trade affairs.
The Head of the Peruvian Delegation, agreed on the aforementioned points established by the Chancellor of Brazil, since they are in accordance to the points set forth in the Strategic Plan of the Organization.
Advancing in the theme of inviting possible observers to the meetings of the ACTO instances, the government of France was proposed as a possible observer as well as other governments which will enable the decision making processes, correlate to the global agenda on sustainable development. Furthermore, it was proposed that the Chancellors reunite on an annual basis meeting, which would improve the process of decision making and dialogue in the discussion of the main areas of the Strategic Plan, in which it should be elevated for approval by the Chancellors and must benefit local Amazon populations.
The Delegations approved to undertake five Ministerial Meetings and a technical one, which could be undertaken with the Ministers in Charge of the issues of commerce, social development, science and technology, and the national ministers for Security and Defense issues. The technical meeting will be on intellectual property, whose framework must correspond to the Strategic Plan.
In this context the Chancellor of Peru established that the meetings for Chancellors should be carried out annually and, in this sense, extended an invitation of his Government for carrying out the next meeting Ministers of Foreign Affairs to the ACTO, in the City of Iquitos, Peru, during the month of September 2005. The delegations agreed to this invitation. The exact date for the event will be coordinated by the PS/ACTO and the other Country Members opportunely, using diplomatic channels.
The Chancellor Celso Amorim, retook the floor and contributed to the theme of the participation of countries and other organizations as observers to ACTO meetings. In these sense, the delegate of Colombia took the floor, and after expressing his gratitude to the government of Brazil for the warm welcome in the City of Manaus, and presented the greeting of the Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, extended his congratulations to the General Secretary and the ACTO staff that supports her, in her important and efficient task. With regards to the theme of the observers, he established that this would support the Organization in following two aspects:
· International Recognition of the Amazon Region and its potentialities;
· Configuration of the Organization as a valid regional interlocutor before the international community, especially among organizations and cooperative resources that will facilitate the execution of projects that strengthen the Organization.
The Chancellor of Suriname, expressed his gratitude to the government of Brazil for the warm welcome in the City of Manaus, and to also congratulated the PS/ACTO. Before that, the Chancellor of Suriname streessed that her Governmen considers the SIVAN/SIPAM initiative as an important tool to protect the Amazon region as a whole. She valorized the willingness of Brazil in sharing information with the other Country Members with the use of the aforementioned tool, yet proposed to discuss the SIPAM mechanism within the framework of a broader perspective as a sub regional initiative.
In relation to the contribution of the government of Suriname to the budget of ACTO, she informed that it would be paid in a month or before.
The delegate of Bolivia agreeded with the proposals made by Brazil and Peru to invite as observers of the mechanisms of the Treaty, but that those invitations must consider some parameters, since these are to be incorporated to the technical meetings. He highlighted the importance of including local goverments as active parts in the regional development process within the activities of the Treaty.
The Chancellor Zuquilanda, in his turn, highlighted that his country's government made the best selection when presenting Dr. Rosalía Arteaga, as their candidate for General Secretary to the ACTO, and congratulated the other governments for their selection.
The Chancellor of Ecuador also stressed that the answer to the initiative to invite observers to the meetings of the Treaty, should be aimed to exercise sovereign activities in the Amazon region, and in such a way, support the incorporation of observers, but emphasized that it is important to avoid bureaucracy and that the observers must be selected respecting a series of criteria, as for example, direct involvement to satisfy the interests of the Organization, which will enable an efficient implementation of rational use of natural resources of the Amazon region.
The Chancellor of Venezuela greeted the government of Brazil, and congratulated the work of the PS/ACTO, and expressed that he agrees with the initiative of the observers with reference to the sectorial meetings and established that it is important to incorporate the themes of Environment and Education which are directed affiliated to the themes of study.
The Ministers in that sense, agreed on the sectorial meetings are carried out every two months and that each country, if needed, proposes a headquarters to carry them out.
The Chancellors have also suggested holding a Summit Meeting of the Presidents of the Amazon Countries.
Chancellor Amorim suggested that the Organization should establish an Ad Hco Working Group on the study of responsible and sustainable use of the resource "water".
The General Secretariat emphasized the relevant work performed by the Organization, through the prompt implementation of GEF project "Integrated and Sustainable Management of Water Resources of the Amazon Basin", and that coincidently, informed about an invitation of the Brazilian Regulatory Agency on Waters (ANA), to visit the place where the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões meet.
Following the agenda, the delegations agreed on approving the Resolution whereby the Strategic Plan of the Organization is approved.
The Chancellor of Venezuela requested to record in the Minute:
"Due to constitutional provisions concerning the participation of Indigenous peoples in the decisions involving their vital environment, Venezuela signs the Strategic Plan WITH RESTRICTION" (this paragraph is recorded as a footnote to item 6 of the Declaration of Manaus and the Resolution whereby the Strategic Plan is approved).
That resolution is compliant to its constitution that demands a broader mechanism of consultation previously to the approval.
Thus, the paragraph of the Resolution whereby it is established the provision that the Strategic Plan is a open document that allows official modifications and contributions and, in the specific case of Venezuela, it will be recorded that the document is signed with restriction of its Government, strictly due to constitutional requirements of the country.
Following, the delegations read and approved the draft Declaration of Manaus and its corresponding Resolutions, attached hereto as Annex VI.
DATE AND SITE OF THE IX MEETING OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Government of Peru offered the city of Iquitos to host the next Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the State Members of ACTO, in September 2005, and the date will be dully informed through the pertinent channels.
SIGNING OF THE MINUTE OF THE VIII MEETING OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND ITS CORRESPONDING RESOLUTIONS
The Chairperson to the Meeting proceeded the final reading of the Minute and the corresponding Resolutions to be signed by the Chancellors.
CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE MEETING
The Speech of Closing was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru, Ambassador Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros, as the Head of Delegation of the next host country of IX Meeting Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the State Members to the Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization.
CONSIDERATION, APPROVAL AND SUBSCRIPTION OF THE MINUTE VIII MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE COUNTRY MEMBERS OF THE AMAZON TREATY COOPERATION ORGANIZATION
The Delegates revised the Draft Minute and decided to subscribe it.
ENDING OF THE MEETING
Before closing the meeting, Chancellor Celso Amorim, granted the Government of Amazonas and the SUFRAMA for their importante contribiutions and support that allowed achieved the results of this meeting. He also congratulated the efficient work carried out by the PS/ACTO.
On Behalf of the Republic of Bolivia, Minister of Sustainable Development
On Behalf of the Federative Republic of Brazil
On Behalf of the Republic of Colombia
On Behalf of the Republic of Equador
On Behalf of Co-operative Republic of Guyana
On Behalf of the Republica of Peru
On Behalf of Republic of Suriname
On Behalf of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Declaration of Manaus