IV MEETING OF FIRST LADIES OF CENTRAL AMERICA, BELIZE,
"CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND POVERTY"
Panama City, August 28, 2003
1. WE: Joan Musa, Wife of the Prime Minister of Belize; Leila Rodríguez de Pacheco, First Lady of the Republic of Costa Rica; Rosa Gómez de Mejía, First Lady of the Dominican Republic; Lourdes Rodríguez de Flores, First Lady of the Republic of El Salvador; Evelyn Morataya de Portillo, First Lady of the Republic of Guatemala; Aguas Ocaña de Maduro, First Lady of the Republic of Honduras; Lila Abaunza de Bolaños, First Lady of the Republic of Nicaragua and Ruby Moscoso de Young, First Lady of the Republic of Panama, on the occasion of the holding of the IV Meeting of First Ladies of Central America, Belize, Dominican Republic and Panama, held in Panama on August 28 of the year 2003, are gathered to analyze important aspects of Childhood, Adolescence, Youth and Poverty.
2. EVOKING: The three Meetings of First Ladies of Central America, Belize, Dominican Republic and Panama which have served as background to this meeting, held in the following order: First Meeting of First Ladies on August 20 through 22 of 2000 in San Salvador; Second Meeting of First Ladies on October 21, 2001 in Managua and the Third Meeting of August 20, 2002 in Guatemala City.
3. WHEREAS: At several Meetings of First Ladies, a series of topics have been discussed in relation to social, cultural, family, community development and other aspects of childhood, adolescence, youth and family.
4. WHEREAS: The contents and Agreements of the Ibero-American Summits of Heads of State, in particular, the one held in Panama City in November 2000, where emphasis was placed on the issue of Childhood and Youth, and which originated the Declaration "United for Childhood and Adolescence, Basis of Justice and Equity in the New Millennium".
5. WHEREAS: Our countries have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments regarding childhood, in particular, those of the International Labor Organization (ILO) related to child labor, Conventions 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. For which reason, the review and harmonization of our national legislations is necessary, in keeping with these and other instruments of integral protection of children.
6. WHEREAS: The United Nations has made an appeal to the international community to reconsider the suggestions and recommendations of the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, by promoting actions of a varied nature in the States of the Region, with a view to strengthening the central role of the family, nucleus of society and the state, and aimed at the holistic protection of childhood, adolescence and youth.
7. WHEREAS: It is necessary and urgent to count on information tools on such varied agenda which may allow for monitoring compliance with the rights of this population, with the technical support of organizations specialized on the issue, in particular, the Inter- American Children’s Institute.
WE AGREE TO:
8. Strengthen the bonds of collaboration among us, for designing and implementing information systems aimed at the scientific administration of relevant information regarding childhood, adolescence, youth and family, that may allow us to follow up the subregional agenda derived from our previous meetings.
9. Urge our governments and civil society to continue to support social inclusion programs aimed at childhood, youth, adolescence and family, based on subregional and national strategies to combat poverty, which is recognized as the main obstacle to the creation of healthy and favorable environments, and which may generate integral services with warmth, efficiency and effectiveness for arriving at new capable, full, trained and informed generations.
10. Support the development of mechanisms that may analyze the social condition of childhood, adolescence, youth, and their families through the implementation of national systems aimed at the monitoring of rights, in order to precisely determine the progress achieved in their integral protection, as well as in the combat of poverty.
11. Fully contribute to the development of a culture of full knowledge and respect for the fundamental rights of childhood, adolescence and youth, that may promote a culture of peace, tolerance, dialogue and respect for the cultural, religious, political, ethnic and ecological diversity.
12. Give special attention to the family as sphere of protection of childhood, adolescence and youth, as well as the programs and projects that are carried out by the institutions that support it, in particular, within the context of the commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, and likewise promote the review and modernization of legislation on the subject.
13. Follow up the Declarations signed in the previous meetings of First Ladies of Central America, Belize, Dominican Republic and Panama.
14. Request the valuabIe support of the Inter-American Children’s Institute in relation to information systems and the provision of educational material for disseminating the rights of children and adolescents.
15. Express a special tribute to the Panamanian Nation on commemorating its First Centennial as a Republic, constructing a democratic and peaceful country, where its children and adolescents may grow in an environment of welfare and development.
16. Thank the First Lady of the Republic of Panama, the Honorable Ruby Moscoso de Young, the Panamanian People and Government for the warm welcome afforded us in this IV Meeting of First Ladies of Central America, Belize, Dominican Republic and Panama.
17. Thank the Honorable Aguas Ocaña de Maduro, First Lady of the Republic of Honduras, for her kind invitation to hold in her country, the V Meeting of First Ladies of Central America, Belize, Dominican Republic and Panama in the year 2004.
18. Thank the Honorable Leila Rodríguez de Pacheco, First Lady of the Republic of Costa Rica, for her kind invitation to hold in her country, the VI Meeting of First Ladies of Central America, Belize, Dominican Republic and Panama in the year 2005.
Signed in the city of Panama, Republic of Panama, in eight original documents, on the twenty eighth day of the month of August of the year two thousand three.
The Honorable Ruby Moscoso
The Honorable Joan Musa
The Honorable Leila
Rodríguez de Pacheco
The Honorable Rosa Gómez de
The Honorable Lourdes
Rodríguez de Flores
The Honorable Evelyn
Morataya de Portillo
The Honorable Aguas Ocaña
The Honorable Lila Abaunza