MEETING ON TERRORISM CONCLUDES ON UPBEAT NOTE
Out of tragedy springs hope, declared Steven Monblatt, Chairman of
the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), as he wrapped up deliberations of
the anti-terrorism group's second regular session at the Organization of American States
two-day meeting had brought together high-level delegations from the member states.
Monblatt said the
meeting was an important step by free peoples of the Americas to respond to the tragedy of
last September 11. He
said it showed that those who mistake tolerance for weaknessand who see destruction
as the only solutionwill find no shelter among us.
In his remarks, OAS Assistant Secretary General,
Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, lauded the political will the member states signaled by sending
high-level delegations to the meeting. He said too that the
draft inter-American Convention against Terrorism is likely to be ready for presentation
to the next OAS General Assembly session, slated for Barbados in early June.
It makes clear that
the basic juridical framework within which cooperation against terrorism can take
placethe rules of the gameare going to be advanced, and that CICTE will be in
a strong position to advance its coordinating efforts."
Einaudi stressed that
more cooperation, coordination and information-exchange will be needed in order to
implement various recommendations the delegates approved, adding that CICTE should provide
member states and all citizens of this Hemisphere greater security and prosperity.
The CICTE meeting also noted the report by Mexico's Ambassador Miguel
Ruiz-Cabañas, the Chairman of the Working Group asked to prepare a draft inter-American
Convention against Terrorism.
He reiterated Einaudi's observation that if the cooperation demonstrated by all the
delegations continues, the work could be concluded in time for a draft convention to be
ready for submission to the upcoming General Assembly session in Barbados.
During the deliberations,
Ambassador Lisa Shoman of Belize argued that in combating terrorism, the particularly
tight financial, economic and social situation of the smaller, more vulnerable countries
should not be overlooked.
She said the OAS should do everything it can to ensure that the smaller countries
do not fall victim to these economic measures, because terrorists would thus have achieved
objectives beyond anyone's imagination.
Addressing the plenary session, Nicaraguan Interior Minister Arturo Harding Lacayo
detailed the recent measures his government had implemented to combat terrorism and drug
said the government remained resolutely determined that the country would never harbor
terrorists, nor be a haven for money that covers up activities that threaten world peace
Peru's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros,
recalled that "the sad and dramatic result of violence stemming from terrorism in
Peru had left more than 25,000 Peruvians dead and more than $20 million in economic damage
to the country." On
his government's behalf, Rodriguez Cuadros offered the city of Lima as a
possible venue "to host a meeting of the Permanent Council, for the OAS to approve
The head of Chile's delegation, Gustavo Villalobos, who is Director Public Security
and Information, explained that his government's decision to tackle international
terrorism by cooperating with other states "is based on our sense that we are
fighting a common, hostile enemy of the principles of human coexistence, in order to
ensure peace, development and international security." He stressed that only ongoing
action to combat and prevent terrorism through international cooperation "can bring
about peace and tranquility for our peoples."