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As a proponent of strengthening property rights in the Latin America and Caribbean region, you are invited to participate in launching the Alliance for Accountability on Property Rights.  This new Alliance is an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development as part of its support to the Summit of the Americas process.  

The Alliance seeks to bring together advocates for the advancement of property rights systems in the hemisphere, such as yourself, to support countries of the region in their individual and collective efforts to meet the commitments for strengthening property rights made at the Special Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico in January, 2004. Continued support for on-going efforts to implement the agenda set forth in prior summits will also be encouraged as the Alliance goes forward. 

At the Special Summit, as part of the Economic Growth with Equity to Reduce Poverty basket within the Declaration of Nueva León, leaders of the countries of the region committed to:

“…we commit, where necessary and appropriate to: strengthen property rights and expand the use of property as collateral, ensuring enforceable, efficient, transparent, comprehensive, and equitable rules governing property contracts; and improve or promote the related measures governing the transfer of property, property registries ,the use of property as collateral, and the rights and responsibilities of debtors and creditors.


With regard to these measures, we commit to undertake concrete actions prior to the next Summit of the Americas to be held in Argentina in 2005, and to report at that time on progress achieved.  We will seek to ensure that property rights benefit all people without discrimination.”


This ‘second generation commitment’ builds on previous Summit agreements regarding property rights that began in 1998, in particular the Santiago and Quebec Summits.  In Santiago, regional leaders agreed to simplify processes for land titling and registration, to modernize registry and cadastral information systems, to improve donor coordination and to take measures to improve the security of indigenous land rights.   In Quebec, the leaders reiterated their commitments to these reforms and highlighted the importance of an adequate legal framework backing these reforms as well as the need to accelerate the process of including informal property in the formal system.  The new declaration challenges countries in the region to close the circuit between property information, title security and the use of property for secured transactions as a means to meet economic and social development needs of the Region and help alleviate poverty.

Within this context, we hope that participants in the new Alliance will share our commitment to facilitating the legal and regulatory reforms needed to allow effective property rights systems to fully emerge.   More specifically, as a participant in the launch of the Alliance for Accountability on Property Rights, you will engage in three activities:

(i)   through discussion of  individual participant ideas for standards, indicators and benchmarks for the principles reflected in the Summit commitment – enforceability, efficiency, transparency, comprehensiveness and equity—contribute to the development of a tool to help countries track  progress in strengthening property rights;

(ii)  exchange participant viewpoints on priority countries or sub regions for engagement in outreach activities and technical guidance focused on facilitating legal and regulatory reforms essential for strengthening property rights; and

(iii) share ideas and information among participants regarding current and proposed initiatives in order to identify opportunities for developing linkages to leverage the greatest impact from existing funds and intellectual resources.


The Opening Meeting of the Alliance has been scheduled for Thursday, July 22nd, 2004 in Washington, DC. to launch the Alliance, begin to engage in the activities listed above, and agree on next steps in this endeavor to help countries meet the commitments of the Summit of the Americas.  While participation in the Opening Meeting is limited, we hope that through each participant’s good will and effort, the Alliance will grow to include more proponents of the agenda established in the Summit.  For your reference a Preliminary Agenda for the Opening Meeting as well as some brief background information from the Summit process is attached.  USAID is also preparing further draft material related to the activities listed above to help orient this first conversation.  After the Opening Meeting, USAID will revise this material and make it available for comment at the OAS hosted website: http://www.landnetamericas.org.  This venue will serve as a way to inform interested parties of the Alliance and related activities. 

To confirm your interest and availability to join us on July 22nd, 2004 in Washington, DC, please contact Ms. Katherine Martin at Chemonics International, Inc, in Washington, DC at 202-955-4084 (phone), 202-775-6670 (fax), or kmartin@chemonics.net.  Logistic information and further detail will be made available upon your confirmation.  Thank you for your interest in participating in the Alliance and I look forward to meeting you in Washington this July.


Dr. Jolyne Sanjak
Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean
United States Agency for International Development


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