II Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas

SAN CARLOS DE BARILOCHE – REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA

CONCLUSIONS OF GROUP 3 

INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK AND RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
DEFENSE SYSTEMS

 

1. DISCUSSION ON CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES AND TRANSPARENCY

After listening to the comprehensive and varied explanations on the activity developed by each of the participant countries regarding the strengthening of confidence- building measures and transparency, in military relationships and defense related issues,. we may summarize that the spirit and general objectives focused on the following aspects:

  1. The adherence to the Santiago Declaration on Confidence and Security Building Measures, as adopted by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), as per Resolution 1409/96.
  2. . It is clear that Defense and Foreign Ministries play an important role in the implementation of the e Santiago Declaration, and Resolutions adopted by the OAS on this issue.
  3. Communication, exchange of information, exchange of professional and educational activities, combined military exercises, meetings of civilian and military officers in charge of the defense policy of each country, and above all, a policy of openness and good will, are important to reaffirm mutual confidence among states. This includes exchange of information and participation of all states in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, and the International Standardized Report on Military Expenses.
  4. Some of the participant States underlined their view that the adoption of Confidence Building Measures does not indicate the existence of distrust in the Hemisphere.
  5. Various countries stated the need to develop public documents expressing policies and doctrines related to defense issues. In that regard, the United States offered the organization of a workshop on the subject.
  6. Full and participative democracy is a fundamental basis for the establishment of confidence building measures.

The Group took note of the United States decision to provide information in advance on the acquisition of significant weapons covered by the UN Register of Conventional Arms, and it further called upon all states to join in this measure.

2. EDUCATION FOR DEFENSE

A general opinion was reached on the benefits of developing professional civilians proficient in defense issues. Within this context, various. topics were discussed, among these:

  1. How democracies can be strengthened by civilian participation in defense related matters, which may also be achieved through the promotion of education on said topics.
  2. Some of the countries high-lighted the participation of their respective Armed Forces in activities contributing to national development as a positive contribution to the relationships between civilians and the military.
  3. The United States presented its Initiative on the Inter American Center for Defense Studies.

The Working Group expressed its agreement on the need to promote, develop, and improve civilian training in the sphere of defense.

The delegates from participating States made comments and suggestions regarding the Initiative, especially in relation to the links with the Inter American Defense College, its financing, its plans and programs, and its development as an Inter American institution, and in general on the participation of civilians and military personnel from throughout the Hemisphere in this Initiative.

Some of the countries expressed the possibility that the Center could cooperate with already existing institutions.

Delegates to the participant States agreed to carry out consultation for the development of the Initiative.

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