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Confidence and security-building measures


The ministers of foreign affairs and the heads of the delegation of the member states, meeting at the twenty-first regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Santiago, Chile, expressed their resolve to begin a process of consultation on hemispheric security in view of new regional and world realities.

Through its resolution AG/RES. 1123 (XXI-O/91), "Cooperation for Security in the Hemisphere," the General Assembly entrusted the Permanent Council with setting up a working group, with the specific mandate of studying and making recommendations on cooperation on the various dimensions of hemispheric security.

As a result of the work of the working group, the General Assembly, in 1993, through resolution AG/RES. 1237 (XXIII-O/93), resolved to convene the first meeting of government experts on confidence- and security-building measures in the Hemisphere, which was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March 1994.

The Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere, meeting at the First Summit of the Americas, held in December 1994, declared in the Plan of Action their intention to support "actions to encourage a regional dialogue to promote the strengthening of mutual confidence, preparing the way for a regional conference on confidence-building measures in 1995 …"

In accordance with the foregoing, the member states of the OAS held the Regional Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in Santiago, Chile, in November 1995. The Declaration of Santiago on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures emanating from this Conference contains 11 measures agreed by the states to build confidence, dialogue, and the exchange of views on hemispheric security-related matters.

The Second Regional Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in Follow-Up to the Santiago Conference was held in San Salvador, El Salvador, in February 1998. At this Conference, the member states agreed to nine additional measures, which are contained in the Declaration of San Salvador on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures.

The Committee on Hemispheric Security of the OAS is currently charged with studying this topic and is considering the possibility of holding another regional conference on confidence- and security-building measures in due course.

It should be mentioned that since 1997, the Organization has maintained a roster of experts (of the member states) on confidence- and security-building measures, in fulfillment of the mandate of the General Assembly.

The Inter-American Defense Board, in response to a request by the General Assembly, has also prepared an inventory of confidence- and security-building measures of a military nature. This inventory is based on information provided by the member states each year.

Currently, pursuant to document CP/CSH-1043/08 rev. 1, member states fill in a “Consolidated List of Confidence and Security Building Measures” to be reported, in accordance with OAS resolutions, by no later than July 15 of each year.

That has been done pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 2398 (XXXVIII-O/08), operative paragraph 3 of which instructed the Committee on Hemispheric Security, with the participation of the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB), to conduct a study on unification of the criteria for reporting confidence- and security-building measures adopted in Santiago, San Salvador, and the Miami Consensus. Those measures were ratified in resolution AG/RES. 2447 (XXXIX-O/09).


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