INTER-AMERICAN COMMITTEE AGAINST TERRORISM (CICTE)
FIRST REGULAR SESSION
October 28 - 29, 1999
Miami, Florida
OEA/Ser.L/X/2/1    CICTE/doc.8/99
28 October 1999
Original: Spanish

REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMITTEE AGAINST TERRORISM (CICTE)
TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

(Preliminary version)


EXPLANATORY NOTE

This report was approved by the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) at its first regular session, held October 28 and 29, 1999, in Miami, Florida.

In accordance with Article 8 (b) of the CICTE Statute, this report will be submitted to the General Assembly through the Permanent Council.


REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMITTEE AGAINST TERRORISM (CICTE)

TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

I. INTRODUCTION

Through resolution AG/RES. 1650 (XXIX-O/99) "Hemispheric Cooperation to Prevent, Combat, and Eliminate Terrorism," the General Assembly, at its twenty-ninth regular session, created the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) and approved the CICTE Statute. It also requested that the Permanent Council make the necessary arrangements to hold the first regular session of CICTE during the second half of 1999 and accepted the offer by the Government of the United States to host that meeting in Miami, Florida.

The Permanent Council, at its meeting on July 23, 1999, referred the mandates contained in the above-mentioned resolution AG/RES.1650 (XXIX-O/99) to the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs.

At the meeting on August 26, 1999, the Permanent Council, by means of Resolution CP/RES. 752 (1198/99), scheduled the first regular session of CICTE for October 28 and 29 and requested the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs to proceed with the drafting of the agenda and schedule for the meeting and to continue the requisite preparatory work.

To that end, at the meetings held on September 28 and 29, the Committee made preparations for the first regular session of CICTE, approving drafts of the agenda, schedule, Rules of Procedure, and Work Program. These drafts were submitted to the Permanent Council which referred them to CICTE via Resolution CP/RES. 753 (1207/99), of October 25, 1999.

  1. PROCEEDINGS
1.  Preparatory Meeting

The preparatory meeting opened on Thursday, October 28, 1999 at 9:00 a.m. The Interim Chair was entrusted to Ambassador Claude Heller, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS and President of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, who gave a brief outline of the preparatory work of the first regular session of CICTE.

This was followed by the election of the Chair of the Committee. The Head of the Canadian Delegation proposed Ambassador Michael Sheehan, Head of the Delegation of the United States and Coordinator of Antiterrorist Affairs of the Department of State. This nomination was seconded by the representative of the Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, who requested approval thereof by acclamation.

The meeting immediately proceeded to elect the Vice Chair of CICTE. The Argentine Head of Delegation, representing the Mercosur countries, Bolivia, and Chile, proposed Dr. Walter Guiteras Denis, Head of the Delegation of Bolivia and Minister of the Interior. That nomination was seconded by the Head of the Delegation of Panama, who requested approval thereof by acclamation.

The Interim Chairman invited Ambassador Sheehan to take the chair and he placed before CICTE for consideration the draft agenda and rules of procedure, which were approved without amendment and are attached hereto as annexes A and B.

2.  Opening Session

During that session, the Chair of the Second Inter-American Specialized Conference on Terrorism, Dr. Carlos Vladimiro Corach, Head of the Delegation of Argentina and Minister of the Interior; Dr. César Gaviria, Secretary-General of the OAS; and Chair of CICTE, Ambassador Michael A. Sheehan took the floor.

3.  First Plenary Session

The first plenary session of CICTE’s first regular session was held on Thursday, October 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Chair of CICTE gave the floor to the delegations present to speak on the "The Role of CICTE in the Inter-American System." The following delegations took the floor: Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Dominica, United States, Bolivia, Panama, and Paraguay.

The various delegations pointed out that the exchange of information, strengthening of mechanisms for extradition and proper control of weapons flows in the hemisphere should be key features of the cooperative action undertaken by CICTE member states in their struggle to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism. It was noted that terrorism exacerbates conditions of poverty through its collusion with organized crime and drug trafficking, fosters corruption, and underscores the importance of taking concerted action against terrorist fundraising activities. It was indicated that the United States needed to make sure that that individuals requesting asylum have not participated in terrorist activities or actions before granting such requests, in order to consolidate inter-state cooperation in the battle against this scourge.

The delegations also expressed their desire to ensure that CICTE did not duplicate the initiatives being implemented in other forums and, in that regard, stressed that the OAS can make a specific contribution in the area of training specialized personnel. An appeal was also launched to the countries with the largest capacity to financially support the training programs referred to in the work program, to guarantee the success of CICTE’s efforts.

For its part, the Delegation of Uruguay articulated the need for a hemisphere-wide diagnostic study of terrorism and announced its government’s offer to act as coordinator general of such a study, which could be submitted at the second regular session of CICTE. In that connection, other delegations indicated how beneficial a list of experts in the field could be to small states. Also noted was the need to focus attention specifically on acts of terrorism aimed at maritime ports and other similar targets. The Delegation of the United States expressed its readiness to collaborate with CICTE in designing an information network, in sharing information on the detection of false documents, and in the implementation of training programs, stressing the importance of model legislation in these areas.

Finally, the delegations affirmed that CICTE support is key to each country’s efforts to combat terrorism and expressed their desire to see the institution become fast-acting and dynamic in meeting its objectives, always mindful of the sovereignty of states and the principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs. It was noted that CICTE is becoming a new forum of cooperation that represents a major challenge for the OAS, gives a broader focus to all the efforts launched with the adoption of the Declaration of Lima to Prevent, Combat, and Eliminate Terrorism and the associated Plan of Action.

4.  Second Plenary Session
    1. Consideration of the Work Program

The second plenary session of the first regular session of CICTE was held on Thursday, October 28, 1999 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. The CICTE Chair gave the floor to the attending delegations to deliberate the item "Consideration of the draft work program." The delegations of Peru, United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Argentina, Canada, and Uruguay spoke on the topic.

The Delegation of Peru proposed the inclusion of an introductory paragraph to the draft work program, which was supported by the delegations of the United States and Costa Rica. Said paragraph was approved by consensus.

Immediately thereafter, the Head of the Delegation of Mexico made a general presentation of the draft work program of CICTE and concluded that, in the first phase, the General Secretariat could draw up a questionnaire to gather information on the competent authorities, the status of the international law applicable to this area, the legislative and regulatory standards in force in the member states, and the mechanisms for the application of the international law standards envisaged in conventional instruments, which would cover point I.1 of the proposed work program.

The Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda proposed that the questionnaire include a question to ascertain the needs of the various states in that area. The Delegation of Peru proposed that the Inter-American Juridical Committee be entrusted with preparing an analytical study of all the pertinent aspects of juridical cooperation once the responses are received from the member states. The Chair of CICTE requested that General Secretariat to draw up the questionnaire within one week and grant the member states 60 days to reply.

Regarding personnel training (Point I.2.b of the Work Program), emphasis was placed on the importance of having an updated list of programs providing experience in the field, to maintain states’ interest in those programs. In that connection, the Delegation of the United States outlined the type of assistance that its government could provide to others.

Regarding Point I.3.c of the Work Program and in light of offer by the Delegation of Uruguay to prepare a hemispheric survey on the subject, some of the delegations thought that such a survey could lead to the use of definitions of terrorism that are not commonly held. With that in mind, they suggested re-examination of the idea of organizing workshops with experts in the field to define the bases on which the survey would be carried out.

With respect to the Inter-American data collection and transmission network (Point I.3.d of the Work Program), it was noted that criteria needed to be established for the compilation and management of such data, owing to its sensitive content. This will be a core task of CICTE, with support from the General Secretariat. Some delegations expressed their concerns about the manner in which the data would be managed and noted that it was important for states to determine their respective liaison offices as soon as possible.

Concerning the measures to prevent terrorist fundraising (Point I.3.e of the Work Program), it was suggested that CICTE support the adoption of the International Convention to Eliminate Terrorist Fundraising, without prejudice to the other legal instruments enumerated in Point 14 of the Mar del Plata Commitment. It was also suggested that the Committee urge OAS member states to cooperate with CICAD to ensure the best use of the model laws on laundering offenses connected to illicit drug trafficking and other serious offenses (May 1999), as they pertain to terrorist fundraising.

In relation to Point II.1 "Inter-American network for data transmission between competent authorities as a first step toward the creation of a permanent database," it was proposed that the relevant consultations be carried out by the CICTE Chair during the recess, with a view to harmonizing the criteria to be used for this task.

Based on these observations, the Secretariat was requested to present a work program with the suggested modifications to the next day’s meeting.

b. Consideration of the type of technical-administrative support from the General Secretariat for CICTE activities

On this point, the Head of the Delegation of Mexico referred to Article 7 of the CICTE Statute and Article 9 of its Rules of Procedure. He indicated that the matter had been extensively discussed within the framework of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs and that it had been resolved after a number of rounds of consultations.

c.  Consideration of the item on financing for CICTE activities

In that regard, the Delegation of the United States announced that its government was exploring the possibility of assigning some funds to CICTE activities.

d. Consideration of the date and place of the second regular session of CICTE

In that connection, it was agreed that the second regular session of CICTE would be held during the last quarter of 2000. It was also agreed to request the Secretary General to proceed with the design of the support mechanism, under the terms of the CICTE Statute and Rules of Procedure, so as to effectively carry out the tasks mandated.

5.  Third Plenary Session

The third plenary session of the first regular session of CICTE was held on Friday, October 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The meeting approved the CICTE Work Program attached as Annex C of this report.

The meeting also approved the CICTE Report to the General Assembly on its activities, in accordance with Article 8 of its Statute.

6.  Closing Session

At 12:00 noon on Friday, October 29, 1999, the first regular session of CICTE was closed. Speaking at the closing were ….

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