The Democratic Charter is a manifesto, a collective affirmation and recognition of representative democracy as the only legitimate form of government in the Americas. Leaving behind difficult decades of dictatorships and armed conflicts, a new process began of garnering consensus regarding the importance and value of democracy as a form of government, State, and society. The destabilizing moments that several incipient democracies endured initially, as they learned the ropes, ultimately served only to reinforce that consensus.
Also built into the Democratic Charter is a collective mechanism for defending democracy in the region. Foreseeing moments of instability and political crises, the regulatory framework set forth in the Charter provides for diplomatic moves and joint action mechanisms for a collective response to threats to the democratic political intitutional process and the legitimate exercise of power. Over the past 10 years, these tools have played a fundamental part in preventing the occurrence or exacerbation of destabilizing situations.