Advertisement

Peru celebrates landmark political accord

LIMA, July 22 (UPI) -- Representatives of the Peruvian government, political parties and social and religious groups signed a historic national accord Monday night in the capital Lima.

The landmark agreement enshrines 29 key principles and is intended to guarantee governability in Peru, which has suffered greatly from political instability and violence in recent decades.

Advertisement

The accord commits all its signatories to respect democracy and the rule of law, as well as to building a national consensus on issues such as social justice, government efficiency and transparency, and decentralization.

President Alejandro Toledo, who first proposed the accord in April 2001 during his campaign for the presidency, said its signing was a sign that Peruvian politics had matured significantly.

"We have reached an impressive and unprecedented level of consensus," Toledo said. "I know we can make this happen and I congratulate you all."

Dozens of representatives of governments from Europe and the Americas attended the signing ceremony. Also attending was the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Cesar Gaviria, who will hold a copy of the agreement and act as its guarantor.

Gaviria congratulated Peruvians on the historic accord, which he said showed that despite their political differences all the parties "agreed on fundamentals."

Advertisement

The OAS secretary-general added that the accord would be crucial in helping Peru establish a healthy democratic tradition in the wake of the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori, who fled the country in 2000. "This has an enormous symbolic value," Gaviria said.

The 29 points contained in the accord aim to represent all the key issues facing Peru and that are of greatest concern to ordinary Peruvians. The final version of the document represents the results of almost a year of public consultations.

The government carried out 25 seminars around the country prior to the drafting of the accord, which were attended by over 2,000 civil organizations. Officials also considered suggestions made in 44,000 popular surveys and via a website set up to canvas opinions, which received 330,000 visits.

The accord is binding until 2022 and its coordinator, former Peruvian Prime Minister Roberto Danino, said it was intended to be "a living document" that new organizations or parties could sign in the future and that could be amended to take account of evolving circumstances in Peru.

Danino said similar pacts had proved invaluable in restoring democracy and prosperity after dictatorships in countries such as Spain, Chile and Venezuela. The former prime minister expressed his hope that the agreement would usher in a new period of relative harmony in Peru, where President Toledo has come under increasing fire from the opposition for failing to deliver on a number of his pre-election pledges.

Advertisement

"The National Accord is the map that will guide this country to prosperity," he said. "It is a guide that will help us deliver sustained economic growth alongside social justice."

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement