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Visit to Panama Joint Statement Issued Following Multilateral Discussions.

June 17, 1978

The Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, the United States and Venezuela, the Chief of Government of Panama, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, present in Panama City on the occasion of the exchange of the Instruments of Ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties between the Republic of Panama and the United States of America, the culmination of a process with which we have been directly concerned, expressed the belief that the treaties represent an historic step forward in inter-American relations. These treaties symbolize a fundamental respect for sovereignty and a cooperative spirit which can motivate all countries to address the difficult problems which affect all the world.

They believe that the Panama Canal treaties demonstrate how all of us can work together in a new spirit of cooperation to shape the future in accordance with our ideals and to resolve all areas of friction in the region by peaceful means. They are determined to build on this example so that attention can be focused on economic cooperation and integration in order to promote socioeconomic development and thereby strengthen solidarity among the peoples of the Americas.

Accordingly, they pledge to work actively and in cooperation with each other and with other states.

To promote world peace, they pledge:

—To work to bring into effect the Treaty of Tlatelolco banning nuclear weapons from Latin America and the Caribbean.

—To strengthen the peacekeeping machinery of the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

—To work toward an effective regional limitation of conventional armaments based on cooperation among suppliers and purchasers to put an end to their acquisition for offensive purposes. They are deeply concerned about the waste of resources to purchase arms and are therefore encouraged by the decision of the countries which signed the Ayacucho Declaration to renew their determination to find a new agreement to limit purchases of weapons. They also hope that the Ayacucho example will be expanded to include all Latin American countries, and perhaps to other regions as well.

—To use their good offices and cooperation to encourage the solution of international disputes and to reduce areas of tension in the hemisphere. They hope that the patience and mutual respect which led to the successful negotiation of the canal treaties will help countries to resolve such problems and points of controversy in a mutually helpful way.

—To consult on a regular and continuous basis on a wide range of international issues in order to reduce the differences between national policies and increase the likelihood of reaching mutual agreement.

To promote greater respect for human rights and to widen the scope of international action in the defense of human dignity, they pledge:

—To strengthen the autonomy and capabilities of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

—To work to bring the American Convention on Human Rights into effect in this year, the 30th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The leaders viewed with sympathy the offer made by Costa Rica for San Jose to be the site of a proposed Inter-American Court on Human Rights, conscious of the advantages of this site.

—To speak out for human rights and fundamental freedoms everywhere and to work to eliminate repression.

—To facilitate the development of conditions that would promote democracy with popular and effective participation. In particular, they express gratification that the will of the people of the Dominican Republic was freely expressed in elections last month, and they reiterate their hope and understanding that the electoral commission in the Dominican Republic will adhere faithfully to the integrity of the democratic process.

—To work through international organizations to strengthen the juridical foundations of political, social, and economic rights.

To move forward toward a more just and equitable international economic system and to insure that ongoing multilateral negotiations, including those on the Common Fund and debt, are pursued expeditiously with the goal of bringing concrete and significant results for the benefit of all countries, particularly for the developing countries, and to help raise the living standards of the world's poor, they pledge:

—To help alleviate hunger and poverty by emphasizing food production and studying the implications of rapid population growth.

—To complete the work of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Geneva and thereby reduce trade barriers and increase the participation of developing countries in an improved world trading system.

—To seek ways to improve the efficiency, growth, equity, and stability of commodity markets, and to seek to bring into effect the International Sugar Agreement, the International Coffee Agreement, and other commodity agreements which will have the purpose of establishing fair prices for the products of developing countries. In particular, they consider that the achievement of equitable agreements of this character will strengthen political stability and promote regional solidarity and will benefit both producers and consumers of such products.

—To support fully the work and capital replenishments of the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

—To give full support to the Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development and in other ways to encourage the economic development of the region.

They also wish to express their strong support for negotiations in the United Nations toward the conclusion of a treaty prohibiting bribery and illicit payments in international transactions.

In pledging themselves to these objectives, they invite all states to join with them in this spirit of cooperation to work actively for peace, human rights, participatory government, and a just and equitable international economic system.

Note: The multilateral discussions were held in the Panama Room at the El Panama Hotel. The first meeting took place on the evening of June 16, and the second meeting was held on the morning of June 17.

Jimmy Carter, Visit to Panama Joint Statement Issued Following Multilateral Discussions. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248780

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