Updated September 5, 2002

Hemispheric Security
For more information on activities in the area of Hemispheric Security,
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Hemispheric Security mandates from the
Third Summit of the Americas


XXXI OAS General Assembly
San José, Costa Rica, June 3-5, 2001

       During the General Assembly the following resolutions were approved:

  • AG/RES. 1789 (XXXI-O/01) Support for the Work of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism

    This Resolution urges Member States to fulfill the recommendations found in the Work Program of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE).
  • AG/RES. 1792 (XXXI-O/01) Support for Action against Mines in Peru and Ecuador

    This Resolution urges the Secretary General to continue supporting the work initiated by the Governments of Ecuador and Peru as they work to implement all activities corresponding to the Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines in both countries.

  • AG/RES. 1793 (XXXI-O/01) Support for the Program of Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines in Central America

    This Resolution calls Member States and the Permanent Observing States' to continue collaborating and lending their support to the Assistance Program for Demining in Central America and the other programs of the Program of Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines in Central America. It also reiterates to the Secretary General that he continue developing, through the UPD, cooperation and coordination activities to raise the population's awareness and work towards the rehabilitation of victims and their families and the socioeconomic recuperation of demining areas.

  • AG/RES. 1794 (XXXI-O/01) The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone

    This Resolution reaffirms the goal for the global elimination of antipersonnel landmines, as well as the goal to convert the Western Hemisphere into a zone free of antipersonnel landmines. Those Member States that have not already done so are urged, as well, to ratify the Convention on the Prohibition of Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and On Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) and to become Party to the 1980 United Nations Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects and its four protocols. This Resolution also reiterates the importance of all Member States participation in the OAS Register of Antipersonnel Land Mines before April 15 of each year.

  • AG/RES. 1795 (XXXI-O/01) Preparations for the Summit Mandated Special Conference on Security

    This Resolution seeks to accelerate the tasks necessary for the execution, in 2004, of the Special Conference on Security. The Permanent Council is also asked to carry out, through its Inter-American Commission on Hemispheric Security, several meetings over the next two years in preparation for the Conference and to make recommendations on all pertinent subject matter. The Resolution also requests that the Permanent Council complete a study on the problems and risks for peace and security in the hemisphere and on the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

  • AG/RES. 1796 (XXXI-O/01) Support for the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects

    This Resolution seeks to increase Member States active participation in the United Nations' Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. It also urges those Member States to consider the implementation of national and regional elements of the 2001 Program of Action that will emanate from the UN Conference. At the same time, the Permanent Council, at the level of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, is asked to hold an annual meeting on small arms and light weapons.

  • AG/RES. 1797 (XXXI-O/01) Proliferation of and Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons

    This Resolution encourages Member States to apply the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission's (CICAD) Model Regulations when formulating national legislation and regulations. The Permanent Council is asked, as well, to continue discussing, through its Commission on Hemispheric Security and with the support of CICAD, the advisability of undertaking a study concerning small arms and lights weapons brokering and transit. The Resolution also requests that CICAD continue its training programs in order to foster Member States' capacity to implement the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and other Related Materials. At the same time, it asks the Permanent Council, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security, to hold a seminar on stockpile management, destruction, and identification of small arms and light weapons. Finally, pertinent Member States are encouraged to destroy the small arms and light weapons that they have confiscated as a result of interdicting illicit trafficking and have under their control.

  • AG/RES. 1799 (XXXI-O/01) Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions

    This Resolution reaffirms adhesion to the principles of the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions. The Resolution also encourages Member States that have not already done so, to sign, ratify or adhere to the Convention as soon as possible.

  • AG/RES. 1800 (XXXI-O/01) Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and other Related Materials (CIFTA)

    A Resolution through which all Member States, that have not already done so, are encouraged to sign and ratify, depending on the case, the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials.

  • AG/RES. 1801 (XXXI-O/01) Confidence- and Security-Building in the Americas

    This Resolution urges Member States to implement the recommendations from the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador on Confidence and Security Building Measures. It also requests that the Permanent Council prepare a meeting of experts dedicated to evaluate the implementation of these measures and to consider future steps to continue consolidating mutual confidence. Member States are encouraged to continue promoting transparency in their defense policies related to the modernization of the armed forces. At the same time, the Permanent Council is asked to execute a meeting on the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions and two United Nations confidence and security measures. The Resolution asks the Permanent Council, as well, to continue stimulating the exchange of experiences in the area of confidence and security building measures with other regions. Finally, the General Secretariat is charged with putting into operation the cooperative communication network for the instant exchange of information on confidence- and security-building measures.

  • AG/RES. 1802 (XXXI-O/01) Special Security Concerns of Small Island States

    This Resolution convenes a Second High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States, with a view towards adopting a management model through which the security of small island states is appropriately and adequately addressed. Another objective of this Conference, as well, would be forming a definition for the term, security, that applies to those small island states.


Follow Up to Hemispheric Security Mandates

Strengthening Mutual Confidence

Third Conference of the States Parties of the Ottawa Convention 

In an effort to follow up on progress made towards signing and ratifying the Ottawa Convention, the Third Conference of the States Parties of the Ottawa Convention took place on September 18-21, 2001.  At this Conference, in which more than 300 delegates from 72 countries and 100 non-governmental organizations participated, countries that have not yet signed the treaty were called to do so.  Moreover, the participants congratulated those countries that had eliminated extensive mining areas, diminished the number of victims affected by such mines and improved the help offered to those victims. 

At the meeting’s conclusion, a Declaration containing 17 points was approved, which encourages that national, regional and international measures are adopted in order to fulfill treaty obligations.  The document urges, as well, that governments and communities throughout the world unite around the common task of confronting the enormous challenges that surround anti-mine action.  It also asks them to provide greater technical and financial assistance to those programs associated with demining. 

The next Conference of the States Parties of the Ottawa Convention will meet next year, in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 16-20, 2001.  For more information on demining, please see the following Web site.  Also, below you will find the most recent destruction (as of November, 2001) of antipersonnel landmine stockpiles in three affected Member States.

Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmine Stockpiles in OAS Member States 

Over a period of four months, Peru and Ecuador destroyed more than 313,000 and 154,344 antipersonnel mines respectively, joining Honduras as the Member States that completed the destruction of their antipersonnel landmine stockpiles before the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, which took place on September 18-21, 2001.  Nicaragua, despite having not completed destruction of all landmines, was able to destroy 20,000 additional mines on September 17, 2001.  The remaining 46,813 mines will be destroyed during the year 2002.

Uruguay ratifies two Inter-American Conventions

On July 20, 2001, the government of Uruguay gave its full support to the Inter-American Juridical System by depositing, at the OAS Headquarters, the instruments for its ratification of two Conventions. Uruguay deposited the instruments to ratify the Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities as well as the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials.

Fund for Peace

During a ceremony celebrated on June 3, 2001, and as a part of the XXXI General Assembly, the OAS announced that both Member States and country observers would contribute new donations to the Peace Fund, at a total of $350 million. The purpose of this fund is to support the pacific resolution of territorial controversies, and the money recently donated to it will aid efforts to resolve problems between Belize and Guatemala and between Honduras and Nicaragua. Five OAS Member States will make new contributions to the Fund, including Canada, the United States and Mexico. Argentina and Brazil will send experts on military issues to specifically support the recently announced Civil Verification Mission in Honduras and Nicaragua. Observing countries that have contributed include Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel and Italy.

Fight against Terrorism

Second Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism 

On January 28-29, 2002, the Second Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) took place at the OAS Main Building in Washington DC.  At the meeting, Member States approved recommendations made at the Second Special Session of the CICTE (November 29, 2001) on border control, financial control and the CICTE Work Plan. 

Member States also presented their reports on actions taken by their countries in accordance with the decisions taken by the XXIII Consultative Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in order to strengthen domestic security and hemispheric and international cooperation.  They also expressed that measures have been intensified to contribute to the fight against terrorism within the framework of individual, civil and political liberties and respect to human rights.  They also stated that the United Nations (UN) Resolution 1373, combined with the 12 UN anti-terrorist Conventions, provide the base from which every country develops legislative and operational measures.  Among those measures proposed were: the prevention and suppression of the financing of terrorism; the establishment of serious penalties within each legal system for those who participate in and support terrorism; and the improvement of mechanisms for mutual legal assistance and extradition. 

Finally, the Chair of the Working Group responsible for the preparation of the draft Inter-American Convention against Terrorism presented the report on the advances achieved in its elaboration.  These advances were concentrated on the issues related to hemispheric cooperation in the fight against terrorism.  At the same time, it was decided that the draft Convention would be written as a complement to the twelve existing Conventions, and that it would address such issues as money laundering and border control.  It is hoped that deliberations on this draft will be concluded for the next General Assembly, which will take place in Barbados, in June 2002.  Peru offered to be the host for the signing of the Convention.

Second Special Session of CICTE 

On November 29, 2001, the Second Special Session of CICTE took place at the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington D.C.  The Chairs of the Sub-committees on Financial Control, Border Control and the CICTE Work Plan presented their recommendations for the prevention, combat and elimination of terrorism. 

The recommendations for financial control addressed legal frameworks, international instruments, national and international cooperation and training and technical assistance. 

The Subcommittee on Border Control recommended the improvement of border control mechanisms, the security of identity and travel documents, the optimization of customs control and cooperation mechanisms among countries to combat terrorism. 

The Working Plan for CICTE was approved, although its financing and structure will be considered for approval in the future. The Work Plan includes programmatic activities for 2002-2003 and activities for the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention and Elimination of Terrorism. 

At the meeting, participants also approved the Draft Agenda for the next Ordinary Meeting, which will take place on January 28-29, 2002.

Consultation on Bioterrorism

Dr. George A.O. Alleyne, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), convened a consultation meeting of experts on Bioterrorism on October 24, 2001, in Washington, DC. The objective of this meeting was to analyze the assistance and technical cooperation that PAHO will offer to the countries of the Americas in the efficient prevention, control and response to the security threats posed by this type of terrorism, since it endangers public health in the continent. For more information on this meeting, please click here.

Declaration of the Ministers of the Interior of Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile

On October 8th, 2001, the member states of MERCOSUR along with Bolivia and Chile, issued a joint statement regarding the events and aftermath of September 11th , 2001. In addition to condemning the terrorist attacks and expressing solidarity with the international community, the countries expressed strong support for concerted international action against terrorism, using legal instruments consistent with the principles of International Law and available within the framework of the Organization of American States and the United Nations. MERCOSUR also announced the creation of a Permanent Working Group to coordinate anti-terrorist activities on a regional basis, with the anticipated cooperation of Bolivia and Chile. For a full copy of the statement (in Spanish), please click here.

OAS agrees to support the United States under the TIAR 

The Organization of American States agreed on September 21, 2001, to give full support to the United States of America within the framework of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty). The summoning of the meeting under the Rio Treaty was made by Brazil.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 23 countries members of TIAR considered the terrorist attacks as "attacks against all the American States" and asked from all its members to collaborate in taking to justice those who are responsible for them. The approved resolution emphasizes that if a State Party of TIAR has "reason to believe that persons in its territory may have been involved in or in any way assisted the September 11, 2001 attacks, (…) such State party shall use all legally available measures to pursue, capture, extradite and punish those individuals". It also says that “all States Party to the Rio Treaty shall provide effective reciprocal assistance to address such attacks and the threat of any similar attacks against any American state, and to maintain the peace and security of the continent".

OAS member countries unite in the fight against terrorism 

On September 21, 2001, in Washington DC, OAS member countries agreed to raise a united front against terrorism and reiterated their solidarity with the United States of America in relation to the September 11, 2001 attacks that took place in New York and Washington. 

In a special meeting of the Organization's 34 Members the Ministers of Foreign Affairs approved by consensus a resolution exhorting all OAS countries to "reinforce regional and international cooperation against terrorism". The document establishes that the fight must be done with "full compliance to the law," to human rights and to democratic institutions in order to preserve the rule of law, the liberties and the democratic values of the hemisphere. It also instructs the OAS Permanent Council to convene at the earliest time possible a meeting of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), to decide urgent measures to strengthen regional cooperation to "prevent, fight and eliminate terrorism in the Hemisphere". The resolution entrusts the Permanent Council to elaborate a draft of an Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, to be presented at the next OAS General Assembly in June 2002, and invites the Inter-American Defense Board to advise the Committee on Hemispheric Security when necessary. Another paragraph commends the Committee on Hemispheric Security to speed up work towards a Special Conference on Security. 

In order to diminish the impact of the new international economic reality created by the terrorist attacks against the United States, the Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guillermo Fernández de Soto, proposed the prompt celebration of a meeting of Ministers of Economy of the hemisphere with the participation of the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.   To see more about CICTE, please see this site.

The OAS convenes the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance  

On September 19, 2001, the Organization of American States called upon the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) to consider the terrorist attacks perpetrated against the United States of America on September 11, 2001.

The 34 members of the OAS Permanent Council agreed by acclamation to summon the Organ of Consultation of the TIAR by means of the Ministers on Foreign Affairs, to examine measures against terrorism. The Council also convoked a Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs under the provisions of the OAS Charter to consider an exhaustive strategy on hemispheric security. The two meetings will take place consecutively on September 21, 2001.

The Council responded to Mexico’s call to convene the Foreign Affairs Meeting under the OAS Charter and to that of Brazil to activate the mutual defense treaty (TIAR).

Those countries that are not members of the TIAR will attend the consultation meeting as observers. Canada, one of the 12 countries that is not a member of the TIAR, urged all the OAS members, whether TIAR members or not, to integrate a united front against terrorism and dedicate all their energies and available resources to this objective.

Updated September 5, 2002

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