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October 5, 1999


A proposal to review the concept of hemispheric security was put forward today by Uruguay’s Minister of National Defense, Juan Luis Storace at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington. He called for inclusion of political, social and economic issues "beyond the traditional concept of security as only military."

Mr. Storace told the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security that his country was convinced that a forum like the OAS was most suited to ensuring respect for such rules of international law as peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

In his presentation, the Uruguayan minister noted that the inter-American security system was devised after World War II had ended, under conditions that were very different from what now prevails. "The perspectives on hemispheric security are perhaps quite different today from what they were under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, and this calls for an in-depth look at the issue," he said.

He also pointed to such subregional activities as joint operations and fact-finding and humanitarian support missions, which he viewed as "demonstrating operational capacity and an adequate level of understanding among the armed forces."

Mr. Storace also spoke about the level of involvement of Uruguayan armed forces in peace-keeping operations, observing that by the volume, intensity and frequency of missions carried out in the 90s, Uruguay had the highest rate of participation in terms of its armed forces involved in peace-keeping operations, at the international level.