PAN-AMERICAN JUDGES’ SUMMIT
ON SOCIAL RIGHTS AND FRANCISCAN DOCTRINE
The undersigned, participants in the First Pan-American Judges’ Summit
on Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine
We are deeply concerned about the deterioration of national and international regulatory systems and, in particular, about the degradation in the universal exercise of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
We observe a pronounced global process of social dualization that entails structural injustice and violence. In an unprecedented way, a shrinking minority is accumulating the world’s wealth, diminishing the wellbeing and dignity of millions of human beings.
At the same time, we note that the current global economic system does little or nothing to keep the environment stable, thus contributing to an integral degradation of human existence.
The teachings and example of Pope Francis make us question ourselves and, irrespective of our personal religious beliefs, encourage us to reconsider the way we approach our judicial mission.
Humanity’s current situation entrusts us with the enormous responsibility of judicially monitoring the fulfillment of human rights, a firm and courageous stance that, in practice, limits those actions which are destructive and degrading for humanity and for our planet.
We consider it essential for states to recognize the unconditional effectiveness of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and to modify their budgetary policies in order to achieve equitable and fair operations for the purposes of strict compliance.
We call on all countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are our generation’s specific and time-bound commitments to fulfill the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related human rights agreements.
We call on all countries to take decisive actions to fulfill the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement, which are vital for human survival and wellbeing, especially for the poor and for coming generations.
We understand that it is impossible to live in peace and democracy when our political and social processes strive to disenfranchise people and destroy the environment.
We caution against any attempt to exploit the judiciary in order to limit Human Rights in political and economic scenarios, denature judicial functions and destroy democracy.
We emphasize that when communication systems are focused on pressurizing public powers to the detriment of Human Rights, they lose their essence and endanger the institutions by replacing public powers with media operations of dubious legitimacy.
In this context of planetary crisis, we ask our fellow judges of the Americas to assume the role that the present time demands of us, coordinating efforts, designing strategies and ratifying on a daily basis our commitment to human dignity, global peace, and the realization of human rights in all dimensions.