The Brazil Declaration
This important development came on the 30th anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, a landmark regional refugee instrument that broadened the refugee definition for Latin America and proposed new cooperative approaches to the humanitarian needs of refugees and the internally displaced.
The meeting in Brazil came at the end of a year-long commemorative process known as Cartagena +30, which included consultations in Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Cayman Islands with governments, international and regional organizations, ombudsman offices and civil society.
Participants adopted by acclamation the Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action, agreeing to work together to uphold the highest international and regional protection standards, implement innovative solutions for refugees and other displaced people and end the plight of stateless persons throughout the region within a decade.
The Brazil Declaration builds upon previous regional frameworks, including the 1994 San José Declaration on Refugees and Displaced Persons, which focused on internal displacement, and the 2004 Mexico Declaration and Plan of Action to Strengthen the International Protection of Refugees in Latin America.
It devises a new regional framework for the coming years, acknowledging the new realities forcing people in Latin America and the Caribbean to flee their homes and seek protection. The wording of the declaration and the plan of action reflect the commitment of governments to address the needs of the most vulnerable. The plan of action includes 11 strategic programmes, to be implemented by willing governments by 2024.