In Dec 2006, leaders and envoys of 12 Latin American nations came together for a two-day summit and signed the Cochabamba Declaration, agreeing to study the idea of forming a continent-wide community similar to the European Union. The principles of this declaration will serve as the cornerstone for the formation of a South American union. Contrast them with the proposed principles for the Asean Charter (from the Eminent Persons Group report), and notice especially the heavier emphasis given to democracy, human rights and the environment in Latin America.
Principles of South American integration
Retrieving the principles of Cuzco, Ayacucho and Brasilia declarations, our integration model has the following as guiding principles:
I. Solidarity and Cooperation: in search of greater equity, poverty reduction, diminishment of asymmetries and strengthening of multilateralism as a guiding principle for international relations.
II. Sovereignty, respect for territorial integrity and self determination of people according to principles and goals of the United Nations, that ensures the prerogative of States to decide on their development strategies and their relations at the international level, without external interference in their internal affairs.
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III. Peace, so that South America remains as a Zone of Peace where international conflicts are solved through peaceful settlement of controversies.
IV. Democracy and Pluralism in order to consolidate an integration without dictatorships and respectful of human rights and human dignity, for native peoples, Afro-descendants and migrants, with gender equality, respect of all minorities and their cultural and linguistic manifestations and acknowledging contribution of social movements and civil society organizations, and their right to democratic participation in every South American country and in the process of integration.
V. Human Rights are universal, interdependent and indivisible. Similar effort should be given to developing both civil and political rights, as well as to economic, social and cultural rights, thus recognizing right to development as a fundamental right, under the integrating and multidisciplinary principle of human rights.
VI. Harmony with Nature for a sustainable development, assuring environmental concerns and those related to climate change are present in every initiative of regional development, particularly in those related to infrastructure and energy, thus preserving ecosystems balance and protection of biological diversity, with recognition and valuing of traditional knowledge.
Source: Cochabamba Declaration
Asean Community: Proposed principles and objectives
The Eminent Persons Group recommends that these principles and objectives be reflected in the Charter which broadly cover the following areas:
• Promotion of Asean’s peace and stability through the active strengthening of democratic values, good governance, rejection of unconstitutional and undemocratic changes of government, the rule of law including international humanitarian law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
• Promotion of Asean’s prosperity and resilience through closer cooperation and integration namely the Asean Economic Community, Single Market, greater economic linkages, regional connectivity and narrowing the development gap.
• Promotion of Asean’s timely and effective responses to non-traditional and transboundary challenges and crises through mutual assistance or regional and international cooperation. Asean may need to calibrate the traditional policy of non-intervention in areas where the common interest dictates closer cooperation.
• Promotion of an Asean identity through greater awareness of Asean cultural heritage, investment in learning, empowering the lives of the people and communities and engagement with civil society.
• Expressing the resolve to realise an Asean Community and ultimately an Asean Union.
Source: Asean Eminent Persons Report
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