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Esquipulas Declaration of the Central American Presidents

General Assembly                     Security Council Distr.
28 May 1986
Fortieth session
Agenda item 21
Forty-first year

Letter dated 27 May 1986 from the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to request you to have circulated as an official document of the fortieth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 21, and of the Security Council, the text of the "Esquipulas Declaration", signed at Esquipulas, Guatemala, by the five Central American Presidents on 25 May 1986 (see annex).

As the international community will doubtless recognize, the Esquipulas Presidential Summit is the most eloquent testimony to the age-old striving for integration and firm determination to co-operate which continues to prevail among the fraternal peoples of Central America in their search for unity-promoting solutions to the range of problems facing the region.

Permanent Representative


Esquipulas Declaration

Having met at Esquipulas, Guatemala, on 24 and 25 May 1986, the Central American Presidents state that they have held a useful meeting marked by the frankness with which they dealt with the problems of Central America. In their discussions, they analysed the areas of agreement and the differences which persisted in their ideas about life and the structure of power in a pluralistic democracy.

They agree that the best political forum which is at present available to Central America for the achievement of peace and democracy and the reduction of tensions produced in countries of the region is the Contadora process sponsored by a number of Latin American countries and recognized by the international community. They agree to continue their dialogue on those issues and others not taken up on this occasion.



1. That they have decided to hold meetings of Presidents on a regular basis as a necessary and appropriate forum for analysing the most urgent problems facing the area with respect to peace and regional development and for seeking appropriate solutions to those problems.

In that connection, they express their profound gratitude to the international community for all its efforts to solve the serious problems of the region, and they once again affirm their confidence that they can continue to rely on its valuable support.

2. That they are willing to sign the "Contadora Act for Peace and Co-operation in Central America", and agree to comply fully with all the undertakings and procedures contained in the Act. They recognise that some aspects remain outstanding, such as military manoeuvres, arms control and the monitoring of compliance with the agreements. Today, however, in this dialogue among the leaders of fraternal peoples, they find the various proposals put forward by the countries to be sufficiently productive and realistic to facilitate the signing of the Act.

3. That there is a need to undertake efforts aimed at understanding and co-operation and to back them up with institutional machinery for strengthening dialogue, joint development, democracy and pluralism as basic factors for peace in the area and for Central American integration. Accordingly, they have agreed to establish the Central American Parliament. The members of the Parliament shall be freely elected by direct universal suffrage in keeping with the principle of participatory political pluralism. Towards that end, the vice-presidents shall, by mutual agreement, propose to their respective Governments, within 30 days, the membership of a preparatory commission for the Central American Parliament; the commission shall be responsible for preparing a draft treaty on the establishment of the Parliament no later than 90 days after the appointment of its members.

4. That peace in Central America can be achieved only through an authentic democratic process that is pluralistic and participatory, which entails the promotion of social justice and respect for human rights, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and the rights of every nation to choose, freely and without outside interference of any kind, its own economic, political and social pattern, it being understood that such a choice is the result of the freely expressed will of the peoples concerned.

5. That they intend to review, update and give new impetus to the processes of economic and social integration of the area so as to realize its development potential to the fullest extent for the benefit of their peoples and to deal more effectively with the serious difficulties they are facing.

They likewise intend to promote and foster joint positions for the area on common economic problems such as the external debt, the deterioration of the terms of trade and the transfer of technologies which are appropriate to the area's needs.

They have also decided to strengthen both institutionally and financially the agencies for Central American integration and to foster regional agreements and actions aimed at securing for those institutions and the region as a whole a treatment in keeping with its needs and special circumstances.

They thank President Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, the Government of Guatemala and its noble people, for their far-sighted initiative in calling for a Presidential Summit Meeting and the important progress achieved towards peace and democracy in the region. They express their gratitude for the hospitality and kind attention shown to their delegations. They express their wishes for the success of the efforts of President Cerezo and his Government and for the well-being and progress of the fraternal people of Guatemala and the hospitable city of Esquipulas, a Central American symbol of faith, unity and peace.

They have signed this Declaration at Esquipulas, Republic of Guatemala, on the twenty-fifth of May, nineteen hundred eighty-six.

President of Costa Rica

President of El Salvador

President of Guatemala

President of Honduras

President of Nicaragua

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