Joint Communique of the Presidents of the MERCOSUR Countries, Bolivia, and Chile

June 30, 2000

Buenos Aires, Argentina
June 30, 2000

1. The 23rd Meeting of the Common Market Council was held in the city of Buenos Aires on June 30, 2000, on which occasion the presidents of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile reiterated the priority they attach to the process of regional integration, hailed the strengthening of relations among their governments and peoples, and agreed on the necessity of pursuing efforts to achieve the objectives of the agreements now in place.

2. The presidents reaffirmed the importance that MERCOSUR places on greater participation by Bolivia, and Chile in the various forums of its institutional structure, and in this context they declared their intention to pursue the process of convergence with a view to achieving increased integration of both countries into MERCOSUR, within a context of open regionalism.

3. They reiterated their support for the principles and objectives enshrined in the Protocol of Ushuaia on Democratic Commitment and reasserted the value of democratic institutions and the republican form of government as fundamental conditions for pursuing integration within a context of security and stability. They called for prompt conclusion of all the processes now underway to ratify the Protocol. They also reaffirmed the commitments assumed by their states in the Political Declaration of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile as a Zone of Peace, to keep the region peaceful and free of weapons of mass destruction. They further expressed their hope that the commitments contained in these two documents could be extended to cover all Latin American countries.

4. They declared their firm conviction that economic development will inevitably depend on overcoming social problems, and they agreed on the need to strengthen the social dimension of MERCOSUR at the same time as progress is being made in political consultation and coordination and in economic integration.

5. To this end, they called for immediate steps to implement the provisions of the Charter of Buenos Aires on Social Commitment in MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, signed at this Summit, and in particular those provisions relating to the ultimate objective of eradicating poverty and all forms of discrimination, by giving priority attention to the most vulnerable sectors of the population in terms of nutrition, health, employment, housing, and education. In this respect, they instructed the Political Consultation and Coordination Form of MERCOSUR to monitor the guidelines and actions contained in the Charter of Buenos Aires, and called for establishing an institutional basis for meetings of authorities responsible for social development.

6. The Presidents reiterated the commitments assumed at the Summit of the Rio Group, held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on June 15 and 16 of this year, and in particular the commitment relating to security and the human dimension of development.

7. They also reaffirmed their full commitment to representative democracy as the best form of government and they repeated their readiness to improve the quality of democratic institutions, including greater social integration and more effective participation in the democratic process, within a framework of equity and justice.

8. They reaffirmed the importance of proceeding further with the coordination of macroeconomic policies and they welcomed the progress made at the meeting of Ministers of Economy and Presidents of Central Banks of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, which will lead in the near future to establishment of mutually agreed goals relating to fiscal management, public debt and prices, and the corresponding process of convergence. In this context, they expressed satisfaction at the creation of a High-Level Macroeconomic Monitoring Group responsible for overseeing the commitments undertaken.

9. They welcomed the First Meeting of Government Representatives on Human Rights from the countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, which was held in Asuncion, Paraguay on March 21, 2000, to coordinate policies and initiatives in the area of human rights, particularly in the respective international forums.

10. They expressed their firm intention to incorporate a gender perspective in their governments' public policies, in the belief that full equality between men and women is an integral component of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

11. They reaffirmed their commitment to disarmament and to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in the conviction that a clear and committed policy in this regard will help to enhance world security in general, and that of its different regions in particular, while at the same time improving the prospects for growth and development. In this context, which includes the accession of their states to the various international juridical instruments dealing with this issue, the presidents welcomed the consensus reached at the recent review conference for the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and paid tribute to the efforts of the Ad Hoc Group for the Convention on the Prohibition of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons. They also noted with satisfaction that all countries of South America have ratified the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, thereby moving closer to the objective of universality.

12. They highlighted the importance of pursuing efforts and initiatives to achieve transparency in the armaments area. In particular, they stressed the usefulness of mechanisms for exchanging relevant information in the area of conventional arms transfers, such as the Conventional Arms Registry of the United Nations. They reiterated their commitment to confidence-building measures of this kind, and issued a call for universal participation in the Registry.

13. They declared their standing concern over the illicit use of narcotics drug trafficking and its associated crime, as well as over the incidence of transnational crime.

In this respect they declared their determination to foster common efforts within the region to combat these scourges. In particular, they expressed satisfaction at the efforts under way in Bolivia too promote substitute crops, and they called attention to the need for international support in these efforts.

14. The Presidents declared their determination to ensure that the developing political dialogue within MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile should translate into concrete benefits for the residents of those countries, and into a deeper sense of regional identity.

15. In this context, they welcomed the upcoming implementation of cooperative measures relating to consular assistance and protection in the six countries. They pointed to this step as a clear example of the spirit of cooperation that prevails among their governments and as a measure that will allow better use to be made of representative offices abroad, to the direct benefit of the citizens of MERCOSUR.

16. They also pointed to the significant progress made in terms of registering automotive vehicles and drivers in MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, with a view to facilitating vehicle and driver control and preventing criminal activities. At the same time, they noted the creation within the Political Consultation and Coordination Form of a Working Group on Non-Commercial Road Transport, intended to enhance the safety of private automotive travel foster tourism, and strengthen the notion of the MERCOSUR space.

17. They also welcomed the progress made with respect to the Cross-Border Transit Regime, and approval of the Cross-Border Identity Card for use between MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, noting that facilitating the flow of traffic between neighboring frontier communities constitutes one of the most significant aspects for the development of regional economies in the member countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile.

18. They welcomed the steps taken to supplement the Reciprocal Cooperation and Coordination Plans for Regional Security with respect to trafficking in minors, financial crime, environmental offenses and illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive substances, agreed at the meetings of Ministers of the Interior of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile.

19. The presidents pointed to the success of their governments in coordinating and establishing common positions in international forums and agencies, as evidence of the progress that MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile are making in consolidating their regional role on the international stage, stressing the outstanding work of the Political Consultation and Coordination Forum in the process of integration among the six countries, as well as in promoting political dialogue with other regions.

20. The presidents declared their agreement with the proposal put forward by the Andean Council for holding a meeting of political dialogue among Ministers of Foreign Relations of the Andean Community and of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, and they expressed their hope that this dialogue will begin during the second half of the current year.

21. They noted the points of agreement achieved in the context of the Ministerial Meeting on Political Dialogue between the European Union and MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, held in Vilamoura, Portugal, on February 23, 2000, and they noted the proposal presented to the European Union, contained in the Declaration and Program of Action for Political Cooperation between the two regions.

22. They also noted the progress of negotiations to establish an Interregional Association of MERCOSUR-European Union and Chile-European Union and, in particular, the holding of the first and second meetings of the respective negotiating committees, at which consideration was given to establishing negotiating guidelines for future agreements of association.

23. They welcomed the participation at the Summit, as a special guest, of the Secretary-General of the European Council and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy and Common Security, Mr. Javier Solana Madariaga. At the same time, they reaffirmed their desire to see the traditional links uniting the two regions transformed into concrete accomplishments on the basis of the democratic, social, and cultural values that they have historically shared.

24. They hailed the results of the Fifth Meeting of the FTAA Trade Negotiations Committee, held in Guatemala, and in particular the progress made with respect to implementing business facilitation measures and the preparation of draft texts on the issues for substantive negotiation, as well as the consensus reached on the need to address the different levels of development and the varying economic size of countries of the Hemisphere.

25. They reiterated their commitment to continue efforts towards liberalizing world trade in the context of the World Trade Organization and, in particular, towards eliminating agricultural subsidies. In this respect, they pointed to the coordination that now exists among member countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile on this issue.

26. The Presidents noted that strengthening the integration process among member states of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile will make it possible to work jointly towards the common objective of economic and social progress for the peoples of the region and to meet the growing challenges of the international system by assuring an appropriate international presence for the six countries in the context of a strategy of open regionalism.

27. They welcomed the decision of Chile to adhere to the Social and Labor Declaration of MERCOSUR, which reiterates the political will for an integrated regional approach to social, labor, and employment issues.

28. They noted with interest the reports presented by the Parliamentary Commission of MERCOSUR on the meeting held in Santa Fe, Argentina, and they welcomed the full incorporation of Chile into the work of the commission and the firm determination of the parliamentarians of Bolivia to do likewise, factors that will contribute to strengthening permanent and active links among parliamentarians of the region and that constitute a political achievement of great importance in strengthening the process of integration.

29. Finally, the Presidents paid tribute to the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil and declared their intention to contribute to be the full success of the Meeting of Presidents of South America, which is to be held in Brasilia on the occasion of those celebrations.