Title: V Conference of Ministers of Defense of Americas. Thematic Conclusions
V CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF DEFENSE OF AMERICAS. THEMATIC CONCLUSIONS
Santiago de Chile
November 18-22, 2002
Thematic Line 1: Regional Security at the Onset of the 21st Century
Subtheme 1a: New Threats to Regional Security
Speaker: United States of America
The following considerations were made in regard to the presentation of the United States of America:
1. The Hemisphere is facing threats to the security of people and of States, such as terrorism, narcotics trafficking and related criminal activities, organized crime, illegal arms, ammunitions and explosives trafficking. Also, cyber crime and money laundering, among others, make up the new challenges that in addition to the former ones affect the stability of States and the Inter-American System as a whole. These threats' potential increases when they are linked to conditions of serious economic and social underdevelopment, natural disasters and environmental degradation.
2. In an international context characterized by change and uncertainty, flexible and creative approaches are necessary. The efforts undertaken by the hemispheric community to dissuade and eliminate real or potential threats shall be successful in the extent that there is political will, trust and international cooperation.
3. The strengthening and adaptability of security and defense hemispheric institutions are understood to be a priority as appropriate instruments to face the challenges and threats to democracy and the development of societies.
4. Among other forms of possible cooperation, ideas were presented to carry out combined maritime operations and for "cooperative participation " in Peacekeeping Operations. Both initial ideas require detailed studies at States' appropriate levels.
The next Special Conference on Hemispheric Security (Mexico 2003) offers a suitable forum to advance in the consideration of these ideas, which should be founded, on existing international cooperation and security mechanisms and in each Country's juridical order.
Subtheme 1b: Structures and Mechanisms to Face the New Threats
The changes that have taken place in the international security agenda and the appearance of new threats have determined the urgent need for countries in the Hemisphere to re-define and re-vitalize the basic and comprehensive conceptual framework on security institutions. Said framework would be based on the flexible security and defense architecture that the countries of the Americas have developed in the past years, which includes both the Inter-American System and a rich and diverse network of cooperative security institutions, developed at global, hemispheric, regional, sub-regional and bilateral levels.
This renewed Hemispheric perspective with regard to security concepts and institutions could be reflected in a document containing the principles that have already been established in the Inter-American System, incorporating new ones to reflect the Hemisphere's advances in recent years. This set of principles translated in a political declaration that the region's countries could adhere to would articulate the specific instruments or international agreements developed or to be developed in order to make them operational.
It is understood that the coming Special Conference on Hemispheric Security to be held next May in Mexico City would be the appropriate forum to discuss this institutional renewal proposal.
Subtheme 1c: Border Cooperation in the Prevention and Containment of Conflicts
1. Based on a Hemispheric Security system, the design of sub-regional security sub-systems should be considered with a view to complement and strengthen prevailing inter-state relational and association mechanisms, on the basis of a multilateral cooperative and solidary approach.
2. The above is based both on the desire to comply with a country's need to be free from the culture of violence and the good offices proposed by the Hemispheric Security Commission.
Crystallizing this aspiration means that the region would take pragmatic steps vis-à-vis a potential crisis and that the continent would consolidate the changes required to re-direct Hemispheric Security and Reciprocal Assistance, which have supposedly been surpassed by the new state demands.
3. The need to deepen national and international inter-institutional border cooperation for the prevention and containment of conflicts is envisaged.
Thematic Line 2: Mutual Confidence in the Americas
Sub-Theme 2a: Common Standardized Methodology for the Assessment of Defense Expenditure
1. We recognize the work carried out by Chile and Argentina, with the important contribution of the ECLAC, in proposing a common standardized methodology for the assessment of defense expenditure as a measure of mutual confidence-building, which promotes the conduction of further studies in the region aimed at making progress in defense expenditure transparency policies.
2. The development of said methodology in other countries in the region requires the definition of common factors and elements among such countries, as well as the consideration of their specific problems. In this sense, expenditures made by the armed forces associated with the productive and social development in each country may be highlighted.
3. We call on countries in the region to disclose their defense expenditure, in compliance with UNO and OAS's resolutions, which contributes to promoting mutual trust, security and transparency in this field.
Sub-Theme 2b: The Role of Defense Book as a Measure of Mutual Confidence
1. The publication of the Defense Book is a sovereign decision made by each State. This document should contain the defense policy, in accordance with the unique characteristics of each country, and promote civil participation with a view to contributing to the strengthening of democracy.
2. The Defense Book is a tool to inform civil society and other States about aspects of national defense policies, and also constitutes a measure of transparency that contributes to building trust in relations among States.
3. The publication of a Defense Book, according to the specific reality of each country, is a token of international cooperation and a contribution to the stability achieved in the region. In such sense, we compliment countries that already have published Defense Books, recognize the efforts made by those that are in the process of preparing one, and encourage the rest to consider this initiative.
4. We take note of the document "Guidelines for the Preparation of Documents on National Defense Policies and Doctrines" prepared by the OAS Commission for Hemispheric Security, for the consideration of countries attending the Fifth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas.
Sub-Theme 2c: Combined Forces in Peacekeeping Operations
Speaker : Canada
1. We recognize the efforts made by countries that participate in Peacekeeping Operations, thereby cooperating with the United Nations Organization in maintaining peace around the world.
2. We support the voluntary participation in peacekeeping operations, stressing the training of civilian, military and police personnel, as well as the exchange of information; and invite countries in the region to increase their contribution to this type of operation.
3. We take note of the initiatives to discuss regional approaches regarding participation in Peacekeeping Operations mandated by the United Nations Organization.
4. In the light of the BRAHIMI report, each country shall discuss its recommendations, based on national legislation and the interests of each country, including the development of rapid reaction regional capacities, to contribute to the United Nations Organization's efforts to maintain peace in the world.
Thematic Line 3: Defense and Society; Possibilities for Regional Cooperation
Moderator: Dominican Republic
Sub-Theme 3a: "Experiences in Demining Processes"
1. The Sub-Committee agreed to raise at the Plenary Session the need of including the following paragraph in the final declaration of the Fifth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas:
"We support the efforts undertaken by the United Nations Organization and the Organization of American States aimed at the elimination of the threat of anti-personnel land mines that affects civilian population, and express our satisfaction for the progress made by countries in the region that have signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Land Mines and on their Destruction, or United Nations Convention of 1980 on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW)".
2. The demining process, regardless of its geographical location, concerns not only the affected country but also the international community as a whole, including humanitarian assistance to all affected individuals.
3. The demining process is a responsibility not only of the Armed Forces in general but also involves governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Sub-Theme 3b: Contribution of the Armed Forces to Social Development
Countries participating in the Fifth Conference of Ministers of Defense recognize the important support provided by the Armed Forces to social development in their respective countries in accordance with local realities and legislation.
Sub-Theme 3c: Support of Military Forces in Cases of Natural Disasters
Speaker: El Salvador
1. Natural disasters are variables beyond man's control that seriously affect civilian population and their economic resources; therefore, we support all bilateral and multilateral programs, mechanisms and efforts aimed at preparing the region's response to natural disasters.
2. Damages caused by natural phenomena usually exceed governmental organizations' reaction capacity to solve the problems arising therefrom, and are therefore an incentive for regional cooperation. Increased exchange of experiences, preparation, training and technological transfers among the countries in the Region via Defense Institutions and civil protection agencies would somehow mitigate these damages, thereby facilitating a prompt and efficient response.
NOTE: According to the Heads of the Delegations of Canada and Haiti, the final text should name the military and civil organizations that usually provide their support in cases of natural disasters.
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional de Chile