size enterprises in the hemisphere by the year 2000, to work with multilateral institutions and regional organizations to invest about $400-500 million over the next three years, and to streamline and decentralize property registration and titling procedures and assure access to justice for the poor. Governments will enhance participation by promoting core labor standards recognized by the ILO, strengthening gender equity, working to eliminate exploitative child labor, negotiating a new Declaration of Principles on Fundamental Rights of Workers, and promoting education and training for indigenous populations. To improve quality of life, Summit leaders pledged to pursue elimination of measles by the year 2000 and reduce the incidence of diseases such as pneumonia and mumps by the year 2002, to strengthen regional networks of health information such as through telemedicine, to give highest priority to reducing infant malnutrition, and to strengthen cooperation to implement Santa Cruz Sustainable Development Plan of Action.
Many Latin American nations have made tremendous advances in democracy and economic progress over the last several years. But our ability to sustain the hemispheric agenda depends in part on meeting the challenges posed by weak democratic institutions, persistently high unemployment and crime rates, and serious income disparities. In some Latin American countries, citizens will not fully realize the benefits of political liberalization and economic growth without regulatory, judicial, law enforcement and educational reforms, as well as increased efforts to integrate all members of society into the formal economy.
At the Santiago Summit, the hemisphere’s leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening democracy, justice and human rights. They agreed to intensify efforts to promote democratic reforms at the regional and local level, protect the rights of migrant workers and their families, improve the capabilities and competence of civil and criminal justice systems, and encourage a strong and active civil society. They pledged to promptly ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption to strengthen the integrity of governmental institutions. They supported the creation of a Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression as part of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. The Rapporteur will help resolve human rights cases involving the press and focus international attention on attacks against the hemisphere’s emerging Fourth Estate, as their investigative reporting provokes increasing threats from drug traffickers and other criminal elements. Summit leaders also agreed to establish an Inter-American Justice Studies Center to facilitate training of personnel, to exchange of information and other forms of technical cooperation to improve judicial systems, to end impunity, combat corruption and provide protection from rising domestic and international crime, and to create a secure legal environment for trade and investment.
The hemisphere’s leaders agreed at the Santiago Summit that education is the centerpiece of reforms aimed at making democracy work for all the people of the Americas. The Summit Action Plan adopted at Santiago will build on the achievements of the 1994 Miami Summit. It will advance numerous cooperative efforts based on the guiding principles of equity, quality, relevance and efficiency. The Santiago Plan’s targets are to ensure by the year 2010 primary education for 100% of children and access to quality secondary education for at least 75% of young people. The plan also includes solid commitments to finance schools, textbooks, teacher training, technology for education, to create education partnerships between the public and private sectors, to use technology to link schools across national boundaries and to increase international exchanges of students.
We are also seeking to strengthen norms for defense establishments that are supportive of democracy, transparency, respect for human rights and civilian control in defense matters. Through continued engagement with regional armed forces, facilitated by our own modest military activities and presence in the region, we are helping to transform civil-military relations. Through initiatives such as the Defense Ministerial of the Americas and the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, we are increasing civilian expertise in defense affairs and reinforcing the positive trend in civilian control.
Haiti and Cuba are of special concern to the United States. The restoration of democracy in Haiti remains a positive example for the hemisphere. In Haiti we continue to support respect for human rights and economic growth by a Haitian government capable of managing its own security and paving the way for a fair presidential election in 2000. Our efforts to train law enforcement officers in Haiti have transformed the police from a despised and feared instrument of repression to an accountable public safety agency. We are committed to working with our partners in the region and in the international community to meet the challenge of institutionalizing Haiti’s economic and political development. Haiti will benefit from a Caribbean-wide acceleration of growth and investment, stimulated in part by enhancement of CBI benefits. The United States remains committed to promoting a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba and forestalling a mass exodus that would endanger the lives of migrants and the security of our borders. While maintaining pressure on the regime to make political and economic reforms, we continue to encourage the emergence of a civil society to assist the transition to democracy when the change comes. In March 1998, President Clinton announced a number of measures designed to build on the success of the Pope’s January 1998 visit to Cuba, expand the role of the Catholic Church and other elements of civil society, and increase humanitarian assistance. As the Cuban people feel greater incentive to take charge of their own future, they are more likely to stay at home and build the informal and formal structures that will make transition easier. Meanwhile, we remain firmly committed to bilateral migration accords that ensure migration in safe, legal and orderly channels.
The Middle East, Southwest and South Asia
The May 1998 Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests clearly illustrate that a wide range of events in this region can have a significant impact on key U.S. security objectives. Choices made in the Middle East, Southwest and South Asia will determine whether terrorists operating in and from the region are denied the support they need to perpetrate their crimes, whether weapons of mass destruction will imperil the region and the world, whether the oil and gas fields of the Caucasus and Central Asia become reliable energy sources, whether the opium harvest in Afghanistan is eliminated, and whether a just and lasting peace can be established between Israel and the Arab countries.
The United States has enduring interests in pursuing a just, lasting and comprehensive Middle East peace, ensuring the security and well-being of Israel, helping our Arab friends provide for their security, and maintaining the free flow of oil at reasonable prices. Our strategy reflects those interests and the unique characteristics of the region as we work to extend the range of peace and stability.