The United States is committed to promoting sustainable development in the Americas, said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a speech to the Organization of American States. But he noted that this will only be possible if the fundamental pillars of "human rights, good governance, security development, and democracy" are upheld.
Civil society across the Americas is critical to amplifying the voices of the governed and weaving an inclusive social fabric. That's why the decision to exclude civil society from OAS proceedings is very disappointing, said Secretary Kerry: "Transparency and citizen participation are, frankly, not optional within democracies, and they are not prerogatives of only a host government."
The United States supports establishing a permanent, public, consultative role for civil society in future Summits of the Americas.
The U.S. also supports protecting and advancing human rights in the Americas and is redoubling its commitment to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
There are some encouraging trends with respect to transparency and accountability in the Hemisphere. More and more citizens are saying no to corruption within their governments, and are working to increase openness, expose abuses, and hold leaders to a higher standard. To support anti-corruption measures, the United States will contribute more than $5 million to the OAS mission against corruption and impunity in Honduras.
Like all people of the Americas, Venezuelans have the right to express their will in a peaceful and a democratic manner. The United States joins with Secretary General Luis Almagro and others in the international community in calling on the Venezuelan Government to release political prisoners, to respect freedom of expression and assembly, to alleviate shortages of food and medicine, and to honor the call for a fair and timely constitutional recall referendum.
And in Haiti, the people deserve the chance to express their will and elect a president without further delay.
The United States will continue to support a unified OAS as means of promoting a peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive hemisphere.