“IX MEETING OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MEMBER COUNTRIES OF THE AMAZON COOPERATION TREATY ORGANIZATION”
(Iquitos, Peru, November 25th of 2005)
In the city of Iquitos, Peru, on November 25 2005, the Chancellor of Peru and High Officials of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela, all Member States of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) have met to hold the 9th Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Country Members of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty.
The Delegations were headed by: H.E. Ambassador Jorge Asín Capriles, Deputy-Minister of Economic Affairs and Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bolivia; H.E. Ambassador Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães, Deputy-Minister – Secretary-General of the MRE of the Federative Republic of Brazil; H.E. Ambassador Alejandro Borda Rojas, Deputy-Minister of Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia; H.E. Ambassador Diego Ribadeneira, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ecuador; Mrs. Marilyn Cheryl Miles, Ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to Brazil; H.E. Ambassador Oscar Maúrtua de Romaña, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru; Mr. Robby Dewnarain Ramlakhan, Plenipotentiary Minister of the Embassy of Suriname in Brazil; and Mrs. Maria Pilar Hernández Deputy-Minister to North America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Furthermore, the Permanent Secretariat of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization was represented by the Secretary-General, Dr. Rosalía Arteaga Serrano. The full list of participants is attached hereto as Appendix I.
The Deputy-Minister Samuel Pinheiro Guimaráes, as the representative of the host country to the 8th Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs presented his compliments to the delegates, and welcomed the hospitality and kind attention of the Peruvian people and government.
Following that, he submitted the suggestion that H.E. Ambassador Oscar Maúrta should preside the meeting and ACTO Secretary-General should act as general secretary to the meeting to the plenary body for consideration. Both proposals were unanimously accepted.
The Chairman of the Meeting, H.E. Ambassador Oscar Maúrtua de Romaña, Peruvian Chancellor, opened the meeting welcoming the delegations of ACTO member countries. In his words, he expressed his congratulations for the hard and harmonized work developed, whereby a set of important documents and resolutions had been approved that should guide the tasks to be performed by the governments of ACTO member countries throughout the coming year.
He expressed the opinion that ACTO country chancellors, by the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Treaty, should be more ambitious and try to consolidate integration mechanisms and contribute towards affirming the confluence and institutional articulation of the South American Community of Nations. He stressed the concept of “environmental citizenship” that tries to harmonize the Andean and Amazonian ecosystems and incorporate equity and social justice as guiding principles to development. Furthermore, he underlined the need for enhancing the efforts oriented towards increasing scientific and technological cooperation to protect and promote the sustainable use of Amazonian biological and genetic resources.
He outlined the role played by international cooperation in environmental research, biotechnology, wood products, among others and called attention to the worrying issue of deforestation and its incidence on water resources.
He made reference to the major commitments undertaken by the country members, based on the resolutions approved and the Declaration of Iquitos. He emphasized the starting of negotiations based on the Peruvian initiative of approving an Amazonian Charter as a guideline for the region.
The President of XIII Meeting of the Amazon Cooperation Council (ACC), Ambassador Javier González Lumps, briefly presented the results of the meeting, the contents of which are in the meeting Minutes which were approved by the delegations, and thanked the personnel of the Chancellery of Peru and ACTO Permanent Secretariat for their persistence and results achieved.
2. Reading and Approval of the Agenda for the IX the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization.
The draft agenda was read and submitted for the approval of the delegations. Upon the Chairman’s request, the Secretary-General submitted the draft agenda, which was approved by the plenary session.
4. Activities Report of ACTO Secretary General, for the period between September 2004 and October 2005 (including administrative and financial aspects)
The chairman then granted the floor to the ACTO Secretary General to present the Activities Report to the plenary body.
Dr. Rosalía Arteaga greeted the delegates and presented the Activities Report, commenting the challenges posed to the Organization and the prospects for the future. Furthermore, she thanked the Member States’ confidence in assigning her the duty of heading the ACTO Permanent Secretariat.
In her intervention, the Secretary-General emphasized the commitment shared by the Governments towards protecting the Amazon region, and then informed about the most relevant achievements along the last year of work. Among such achievements, she stressed the political visibility reached at global level by a multilateral organization exclusively devoted to Amazonian regional themes.
She highlighted that this visibility has contributed to the process of enhancing the dialogue among the countries because the multi-theme structure of ACTO naturally leads the countries to get closer, debate and, sometimes, reach consensus and solutions for problems faced by all Amazon countries. In this regard, one could say that ACTO’s value lies in its capacity for viewing the basin as a whole.
She added that the PS/ACTO has fulfilled its duty, by translating the public mandate into concrete actions for sustainable development and preservation of the Amazon region, which was achieved by the implementation of the Strategic Plan, thus concretizing the mandates received in September 2004.
The Secretary General called attention to the great debt there was to those fellow countrymen that live in the Amazon, to future generations and to humanity because it had not been possible to avoid the destruction of a considerable part of the Amazonian Natural heritage, of incalculable value to the future of life on the planet. In that sense she highlighted the natural relationship that exists between the Andean and Amazon regions and which is reflected in this year’s surprising drought.
In her address she stressed that the ATCO is the best and most suitable space there is for integrating our countries and for the integration of South America.
She wound up by saying that to fulfill the ample mandate that it possesses, the ATCO needs to increase its technical capacity and to enjoy a political space in which it can act, strictly within the bounds of its mandate, but granting the means necessary to do so and avoiding bureaucratic impediments. For this reason she called for commitment to action in favor of the sustainable development of the Amazon.
The chairmen expressed his thanks for Dr. Rosalía Arteaga’s presentation and submitted the Activities Report for the consideration of the plenary body which duly approved it in accordance with the recommendations of the XIII ACC
5. Interventions of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member Countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador highlighted the importance of integration and interconnection of air transport among the Amazon capitals. He also pointed out the importance his country attributes to water resources, stressing what an honor it was to be in the city of Iquitos and he wound up his intervention by emphasizing the importance of cooperation giving as an example the Piura –Guayaquil highway, fruit of a peace treaty between Peru and Ecuador
The Brazilian delegate thanked Peru and Ambassador Torrões for conducting the XIII ACC so well and was emphatic in congratulating Dr. Arteaga on the Report she had presented and in declaring integral support not only for the report but also for the actions that had been carried out by the Executive Secretary. He also thanked Ambassador Ribadeneira for offering to host the III Summit Meeting of Presidents of ATCO Member Countries.
In his intervention, the Brazilian delegate stressed that the Amazon is on the outskirts of the outskirts and for that reason each Government had to give redoubled attention to development of the region.
He mentioned the responsibility of the developed countries in regard to climatic changes for which the developing countries and especially the Amazon countries could not be expected to meet the costs, as deforestation could not be considered as the only factor in global warming. He further expressed his government’s favorable opinion in regard to accrediting France as an ACTO observer.
The Bolivian delegate, in his remarks, informed the meeting that his country was going to take firm action in the field of education and in connection with that would be submitting a proposal. He also thanked the government of Peru for the organization and offered his congratulations on the Report presented by the Secretary General.
The Colombian delegate thanked Peru for the warm welcome and the organization of the event and congratulated the ATCO Secretary General on the enthusiasm with which had been acting and the efforts of the work team that accompanied her. In his remarks he highlighted the visionary nature of the treaty.
He further pointed out that the ACT continued to be a tool for the development of the region and for that reason should be fortified, adding that it was necessary to complement the efforts towards integration underway in South America but without setting up any new regional integration authorities.
He gave a special greeting to the French delegate and informed the meeting that the observations that had been made by his delegation during the ACC meeting, on the admission of observers to ACTO meetings, had referred to the urgent need for clear statutes establishing precise criteria for the admission of observers and especially to regulate their participation in the meetings.
In this sense he made a passionate appeal for advances in the writing of the statutes that would regulate the participation of observers based on the instructions to the ACC so that the task could be completed before the Meeting of ACTO Heads of State to be held in Quito in the coming year when it would be possible to welcome those states that had expressed interest in participating as observers.
The Guyana delegate apologized for the absence of Minister Samuel Rudolph Insanally and of the CARICOM Secretary General. She also expressed her gratitude for the courtesy of the Peruvian government and of the local authorities and expressed congratulations on the work of the Permanent Secretary. She added her words to those of the Colombian delegate welcoming the presence of France with whom her government maintained important links. The ATCO was in a new phase and Guyana supported this growth process. She expressed the importance of the Treaty as an instrument for promoting regional cooperation especially for her country, given its cultural bonds with the Caribbean. The fight against poverty and the improvement of the quality of life had to be the central point of the ACT taking into consideration the importance of the human being as an element of the environment.
She stressed the importance of, and the interest of her country in participating in the SIPAM-SIVAM system as an instrument for monitoring infrastructure development projects in remote areas of the country.
She closed by making an appeal for careful preparations for the Meeting of Presidents in Quito so that concrete results might be obtained.
The Surinam delegate also thanked the people and government of Peru and Iquitos for the warm welcome that had been given and apologized for the absence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He congratulated the Permanent Secretary on the important and enthusiastic work that had been done. He called attention to the fact that many of our activities in the ACTO also occur in other organizations like the IIRSA for which reason it was necessary to integrate efforts. He highlighted the impact of illegal mining on water resources and requested support from the Permanent Secretary in regard to that aspect.
Finally, he declared himself in favor of the presence of France as an observer.
The French delegate took the floor to express gratitude for the friendly invitation that had been extended by the government of Peru and by the ATCO member countries, to take part in the meeting.
He reminded them that France’s longest frontier is with Brazil and that it has kept up longstanding relations with the ATCO through high level Centers of Investigation such as IRD and CIRAD, among others. He highlighted the various programs that the latter had been developing with a regional orientation, on several themes of interest to the Amazon countries, such as water resources, food safety, health and biodiversity.
He informed the meeting of his government’s initiative in the sense of establishing a remote sensoring center in Cayenne with high-resolution images, and he offered this installed technical capacity to develop initiatives in cooperation with the Amazon countries.
Finally, he underscored the need to seek formulas to strengthen the cooperation between France and the ATCO countries.
6. Revision of themes resulting from the VIII Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of ACTO Member Countries (Manaus, Brazil, September 14 2004)
The chairman of the meeting informed it that the themes had been dealt with in the ACC meeting and the corresponding resolutions adopted or the relevant recommendations formulated in the Declaration of Iquitos.
7. Approval and Signing of the “Declaration of Iquitos” and its corresponding Resolutions
He requested the plenary body to approve the Declaration of Iquitos and the corresponding set of resolutions highlighting the main commitments undertaken by our countries, given the arduous work for an agreement that had preceded the meeting of chancellors.
The delegates acceded to the request
8. Signing of the Resolution modifying the Minutes of the VIII Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member Countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization held in Manaus, Brazil on September 14 2004.
The ACTO Permanent Secretary circulated the Addendum to the Minutes of the VIII Meeting of Chancellors, which was duly signed by the delegates.
9. Proposals of dates, venue and themes for the III Summit of Presidents of Member States of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization to be held in the Republic of Ecuador in 2006.
On this matter, the chairman expressed his pleasure in accepting the offer from the Republic of Ecuador to host the III Summit of Presidents of Member States of the ACTO to be held in the to be held sometime in the first six months of 2006.
10. Proposal for the date and venue of the X Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member Countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization
On this matter, the chairman expressed his pleasure in accepting the offer from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to host the X Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Venezuela sometime in the second six months of 2006 and offered the floor to the Venezuelan delegate.
In addressing the plenary body the Venezuelan delegate expressed gratitude for the hospitality, brotherliness and affection of Peru whilst at the same time congratulating the Surinam delegation on the celebration of the National Day of its country.
She expressed her recognition of the team which had made it possible to achieve the agreements for the approval of the documents.
She further declared what an honor it was for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to host the X Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the ATCO member Countries, especially at that moment, so important politically for the planet because of the interests of a country whose president had a clearly imperialist vocation and the pretension of establishing mechanisms of interference using multilateral bodies.
She stated that the ATCO team had an important role to play in raising a voice to declare that the Amazon had someone who could protect it. The region holds key energy and biodiversity resources for humanity but our territorial community is made up of free sovereign countries well aware of their responsibilities to future generations. She further declared the importance of reaffirming our duty to guarantee the harmonious development of the region by exercising the sovereignty of our peoples.
She pointed out the importance of thanking those men and women that had made possible the signing of a visionary agreement like the ACT. Finally she stated that the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela would feel themselves honored to receive the X Meeting of Chancellors in the second half of 2006.
11. Approval and Signing of the Minutes of the IX Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member Countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization
The Chairman of the meeting, Ambassador Oscar *Maúrtua, the Peruvian Chancellor, after finishing the work foreseen on the agenda expressed his thanks for the willingness and contributions of the delegations present and passed to the reading of the present minutes. Finding themselves to be in agreement with the same, the Heads of Delegations have duly signed them in this city of Iquitos, Peru on the twenty-fifth day of November of the year two thousand and five.
12. Closing Ceremony
To finalize the chairman once more thanked all the delegations for their willingness and valuable contributions in achieving the agreements and declared closed the IX Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member Countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization
Declaration of Iquitos