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Cooperation for Hemispheric Security




In Article 2 of the Charter of the Organization of American States the member states proclaim that one of the essential purposes of the Organization is "to strengthen the peace and security of the continent."

Since 1991, the General Assembly has adopted a series of resolutions on cooperation for hemispheric security, covering its various aspects. In resolution AG/RES. 1123 of that year, the General Assembly established the framework for cooperation in the Hemisphere, in stating that "the … international situation would seem to dictate the adoption of measures to ensure hemispheric security, strengthen democratic processes in all of the member states and devote maximum resources in those countries to economic and social development" and that "such measures call for mechanisms for mutual consultation and an exchange of regional information to promote a climate of institutional international stability, progress, and confidence …"

The Organization has recognized that "peace is not merely the absence of war but also includes interdependence and cooperation in promoting economic and social development. Moreover, disarmament, arms control and limitation, human rights, the strengthening of democratic institutions, environmental protection, and improvement of the quality of life for all are indispensable elements for the establishment of democratic, peaceful, and more secure societies."

In this framework, the Organization has emphasized regional contributions to global security and the need for enhanced dialogue on cooperation in peace, confidence, and security issues among the nations of the Hemisphere, and has recommended that a consultation process be initiated at the earliest possible date as a step towards the limitation and control of conventional weapons.

The General Assembly has considered the Treaty of Tlatelolco to be a cooperation security measure, as it represents one of the most momentous contributions to international law and to the ceaseless efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and guarantee international peace and security. This Treaty has become the model for the establishment of other nuclear-weapon-free zones in various regions of the world, such as the South Pacific (Treaty of Rarotonga), Southeast Asia (Treaty of Bangkok), and Africa (Treaty of Pelindaba), which, when they enter into force, will cover more than half the countries of the world and all of the Southern Hemisphere.

Thus, through resolution AG/RES. 1500 (XXVII-O/97), "Mutual Confidence in the Americas," the General Assembly instructed the Permanent Council to consider the desirability of approving a legal framework on the issue of advance notification of major arms acquisitions covered by the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. As a consequence, in 1999, the General Assembly adopted the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions.


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