Intervention by the United States on the Summit Mandate
"Building Confidence and Security Among States"
XVII Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group
Washington D.C., November 19, 1999
Throughout the world, the diplomacy of confidence and security building measures has become a widespread phenomenon. Today, we see ongoing discussions on confidence and security building measures in Europe, Asia, Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. Many of these regions are at peace, yet they are exploring how to deepen that peace and create greater security through arms control, in particular confidence and security building measures.
The Western Hemisphere has taken into account its own unique circumstances in crafting and establishing a regime of confidence and security measures as part of its overall political and security architecture. Over the past several years, this hemisphere has been successful in defining its own process and identifying its own solutions. Building mutual confidence is now a priority agenda item on each of our countries agendas.
In Santiago, and in Miami at the Summit of the Americas our Presidents and leaders envisioned a hemisphere in which our democracies are consolidate, our economies are integrated, and our security is indivisibly enhanced through dialogue, mutual confidence and transparency. Today, that vision brings us together to review progress we have made to continue to carry it forward.
In February 1998, our Governments meet for the second time to discuss confidence and security building measures. The 1995 Santiago Conference and 1998 San Salvador Conference on CSBMs were historic events for the region, charting our common path in a new phase of Inter-American cooperative efforts to build security.
The hemisphere's activities on a bilateral and regional basis to increase confidence and transparency indicate a growing consensus in the hemisphere on the value of arms control, in particular CSBMs, as a component of a national security strategy. The hemisphere's activities in this area also reinforce the basic tenet that participation by civilian and military officials, in partnership, constitutes an important factor in the development and implementation of CSBMs.
In preparation for the upcoming Summit, the U.S. is taking every opportunity to advance the Santiago Summit of the Americas commitments to promote hemispheric confidence and security building measures. Recognizing the importance of implementing our Summit commitments, last May, the U.S. delegation to the OAS announced that the United States will contribute the hardware and start-up funding to the Organization of American States to establish a communications network among the 34 OAS member states. The network will one day provide instant communications among OAS member states in the hemisphere on measures agreed upon at Summits, Defense Ministerial, and the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador on CSBMs. In addition to the communication value, the network will provide each country with its own archive of documents exchanged. We look forward to the day the OAS makes this system a reality.
The following are brief highlights of some of the activities that the U.S. has undertaken to implement the Presidents and leaders' commitments from the Santiago Summit.
(Summit mandates are italicized and quoted)
U.S. Implementation of the Summit Action Plan and Declarations of San Salvador and Santiago on CSBMs
("Carry out, in the manner in which they are set forth, the measures and recommendations resulting from the Regional Conferences on Confidence and Security Building Measure, held in November 1995, in Santiago, Chile, and in February 1998, in San Salvador, El Salvador, under the auspices of the Organization of American States.")
The U.S. places great importance on increasing transparency and openness in military matters and in using such openness to build confidence among nations. For our part, the United States has moved forward in implementing several of the CSBMs cited in the Summit Action Plan and the Declarations of San Salvador and Santiago. On October 25, 1999, the United States for the fourth time presented to the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General, the chairman of the Committee on Hemispheric Security and the OAS member states a report on steps we have taken to implement the declarations. This information was provided in compliance with our governments' agreement in the Declarations and OAS General Assembly in Guatemala City.
The U.S. will continue to provide these documents on an annual basis as part of the adopted hemispheric confidence building and transparency measures. We suggest that we work together to see how universal participation by this hemisphere in this openness and transparency measure can be achieved in compliance with OAS General Assembly resolutions.
Concept of Hemispheric Security
("Promote regional dialogue with a view to revitalizing and strengthening the institutions of the Inter-American system, taking into account the new political, economic, social and strategic-military factors in the Hemisphere and in its subregions. To that end, they will seek to expand further a climate of confidence and security among the States of the Hemisphere.")
The U.S. recognizes the importance of the mandate our leaders gave us to "promote regional dialogue with a view to revitalizing and strengthening the institutions of the Inter-American system." We are pleased with the careful and deliberate steps the OAS has taken with regard to this mandate and look forward to the OAS convening the special conference to consider hemispheric security.
Removal of Mines in the hemisphere
(" In furtherance of efforts to transform the western Hemisphere into an antipersonnel mine-free zone, and in recognition of the contribution in this regard of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, including its early entry into force, they will encourage actions and support international humanitarian demeaning efforts in this area, with the goal of ensuring that priority is given to mines that threaten civilians and of ensuring that land can be restored for productive purpose. The latter will take place through effective regional and international cooperation and coordination, as requested by the affected States, to survey, mark, map, and remove mines; effective mine awareness for the civilian population and assistance to victims; and development and deployment of new mine detection and clearance technologies, as appropriate.")
Although U.S. security concerns have prevented us from signing the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines (APL), we continue to work toward an APL-free world. The U.S. will end all APL use (except mixed anti-tank systems) outside of Korea by 2003 and seeks to have alternatives ready both to APL for Korea and to our mixed anti-tank systems by 2006. The U.S. will adhere to the Ottawa Convention by 2006 if we succeed in identifying and fielding suitable alternatives to our APL and our mixed anti-tank systems by then. While there is no guarantee that we will meet this goal by 2006 and alternatives have not yet been identified, our search for alternatives is an aggressive effort exploring, at considerable cost, the widest range of options.
In addition to attempting to develop alternatives to APL so that we can accede to the Ottawa Convention, the U.S. is addressing the landmine problem by: 1) strongly contributing to humanitarian demining programs; and 2) seeking to further strengthen the Convention on Conventional Weapons Amended Mines Protocol.
Through President Clinton's Demining 2010 Initiative, the U.S. has been working to increase effective international coordination and raise funds, through public and private sources, to reach our goal of removing from the ground by 2010, all mines that threaten civilians. In addition, the U.S. is working to expand public awareness of the issue and encourage public-private partnerships to create additional resources for humanitarian demining. Through grass roots activity, we are pooling creative talents and resources to develop imaginative approaches to address the g1obal landmine tragedy. Twenty such partnerships now exist with NGOs, universities, business, and other groups.
The U.S. provides assistance through its-Humanitarian Demining Program. The U.S. began its formal program in 1993 and, since then, has supported humanitarian demining programs in more than 30 countries with education, training, equipment and financing mine clearance operations. The U.S. has contributed over $350 million since 1993, supporting all four elements of humanitarian mine action: awareness, detection, clearance, and victim's assistance. The U.S. has also committed substantial resources on research and development of new demining technologies.
In our new budget year, the U.S. plans to commit nearly $110 million more to mine action initiatives and expand our humanitarian mine action assistance.
Within the hemisphere the U.S. will continue to contribute to the goal of a Western Hemisphere free of APL. Annually, we have reported on our activities in compliance with OAS General Assembly Resolutions 1411 (XXVI-0/96), 1496 (XXVII0/97) and 1569 (XXVIII-0/98). We encourage all countries to implement those resolutions and provide information to the newly created OAS Register.
("Continue promoting transparency in matters related to defense policy, among other aspects, with regard to modernizing the Armed Forces, comparing military expenditure in the Region, and strengthening the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.")
The United States places great importance on increasing transparency and openness in military matters and in using such openness to build confidence. For the third time, we have transmitted to the OAS and its member states a copy of our defense policy and doctrine paper, the "Secretary of Defense's Annual Report to the President and Congress." This document includes information on the size, structure, and capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces, their deployment, and major U.S. military programs.
The United States has published such information about itself ever since President John F. Kennedy decided we should do so. From the beginning, our annual defense posture statement has represented a deliberate effort to increase the understanding of both the American public and the world, including potential adversaries, of what the United States does and does not intend by our defense program. These reports have contributed substantially to our security and to public understanding.
As a follow-up to the Defense Ministerial, we look forward to working with other countries in order to hold a seminar on defense policies and doctrines in preparing white papers. We hope this will foster the development by other countries of defense white papers as called for by our Presidents in the Summit Action Plan.
Our governments on June 7th of this year signed a significant convention that sets an important cornerstone in building an important Inter-American foundation for peace -the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions. To date, the Convention has been signed by 19 OAS member states including all major hemispheric conventional weapons importers and exporters. This unprecedented Convention puts in place a concrete mechanism for strengthening regional stability through mutual confidence and transparency and is a significant achievement for the OAS and our hemisphere.
The U.S. was proud to be part of that effort and encourages countries to consider signing and or ratifying the convention.
Likewise, since it inception, the U.S. has participated in United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and the United Nations program for standardized reporting of military expenditures. This information is provided annually to the OAS Secretary General, the Committee on Hemispheric Security, and OAS member states.
Security of Small Island States
("Encourage the development of cooperative programs to deal with natural disasters and humanitarian search and rescue operations.")
The U.S. remains committed to developing cooperative programs to he1p our hemispheric partners deal with natural disasters and humanitarian search and rescue. We are pleased that the OAS in June agreed to establish the Inter-American Committee on Natural Disaster (IACDNR). This mechanism will assist in identifying, preventing preparedness problems and taking hemispheric action to address the challenges our hemisphere faces from natural disasters.
To date, the U.S. has provided more than $1.1 billion in assistance in the wake of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges to the nations of Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, along with Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean nations. We also provided $10 million to assist in earthquake relief in Colombia.
In addition to providing food, medicine, emergency shelter and agricultural assistance, this funding has been used in the reconstruction and restoration of these hard hit economies. Such relief totals $559.3 million. Furthermore, $64 million has been put to use in what is referred to as environmental management and disaster mitigation. This can be viewed as responsible reconstruction through the development of effective land use policies in a concerted effort to reduce possible future devastation brought about by powerful hurricanes or other natural disasters. The U.S. will continue this assistance and hope the new mechanism at the OAS will facilitate a swift and effective response.[SIRG/1999/XVII/tracker.htm][SIRG/1999/XVII/tracker.htm]