CONFIDENCE- AND SECURITY- BUILDING MEASURES
MEETINGS OF MINISTERS OF DEFENSE OF THE AMERICAS
The Ministers of
Defense and Heads of Delegation of the participating States in the Third Conference of the
Ministers of Defense of the Americas in the City of Cartagena de Indias, Republic of
Colombia, on November 29 through December 3, 1998.
CONSIDERING that the
Second Summit of the Americas, held in Santiago de Chile, defined the initiatives aimed at
fostering regional dialogue to revitalize and strengthen the Inter-American system.
BEARING IN MIND the
will of the participating States to foster the conferences of the Ministers of Defense as
a mechanism of hemispheric engagement concerning matters of security and defense.
important role of the Conference of Ministers of Defense in furthering the principles and
objectives established at Williamsburg and San Carlos de Bariloche including the urgency
to deepen Inter-American cooperation for maintaining peace and enhancing hemispheric
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT
the need to generate a greater awareness and understanding of the vulnerability and
special security concerns of the small Caribbean Island States.
furthermore, that the combination of democratic process and respect for human rights
strengthens hemispheric security and harmony between states.
The relevance of the commitments
undertaken by the Heads of State and Government during the Summit of the Americas to
promote regional dialogue and foster an environment of security and trust among the
nations of the hemisphere which committed themselves to democratic systems of government
as the fundamental element for hemispheric security as adopted in Santiago de Chile in
1991, and reconfirmed in Williamsburg in 1995 and in San Carlos de Bariloche in 1996.
The need to strengthen institutions
within the Americas responsible for security issues, including mechanisms for natural
disaster preparedness and assistance.
The importance of promoting meetings
and exchanges between military and defense authorities of the hemisphere, whether
bilateral, sub-regional, or regional.
Each nation has the right to
maintain military forces to fulfill its responsibilities as enshrined in their
constitutions and in accordance with the Charters of the United Nations and of the
Organization of American States.
That the adoption of confidence and
security building measures has strengthened mutual understanding and has contributed to
regional security, economic and social development, and hemispheric integration.
The importance and effectiveness of
the Conference of the Central American Armed Forces (CFAC) as a regional security and
defense body whose underlying principles are in keeping with the spirit of hemispheric
integration that has permitted the development of cooperation, confidence building
measures, and transparency.
Their support for voluntary and
active participation in peacekeeping operations of the nations of the hemisphere and
promotion of the efforts of the OAS to free the region of the danger posed by
That the participating countries are
committed to the solution of conflicts between the States through the peaceful settlement
of disputes in accordance with the Charters of the United Nations and the Organization of
Support for OAS efforts to adopt the
Convention on Transparency in the Procurement of Weapons as a step to increase hemispheric
security and reduce the risk of conflict.
. Support a practical approach
regarding the potential destabilizing effects of the proliferation of small arms and light
weapons, acknowledging the OAS Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of
and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Material.
. To support the efforts of
countries and institutions dedicated in the struggle against the problem of illicit drugs
and related criminal activities.
. Their condemnation of all forms of
terrorism, including non-traditional forms, and support the implementation of the
recommendations of the Specialized Inter-American Conference on Terrorism held in Lima,
and the consensus reached in Mar de Plata, aimed at fostering hemispheric cooperation
against all forms of terrorism as a serious crime threatening hemispheric democracy.
. The commitment to international
law, a basic element in achieving consensual and representative agreements aiming at
coexistence with solidarity and mutual respect among states, and with due respect for the
principle embodied in the Charter of the Organization of the American States (OAS) that
international order consists essentially of respect for the personality, sovereignty, and
independence of States.
. The full satisfaction of
participating States on the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the
Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
. The need to encourage education
and training in human rights and international humanitarian law for the members of the
military and defense forces.
. They will intensify their efforts
at the OAS Hemispheric Security Committee to revitalize and strengthen the institutional
framework of the Inter-American system related to security.
. Their special satisfaction for the
peace agreement obtained by the republics of Peru and Ecuador.
. Their sympathy and solidarity for
the governments and peoples of the Caribbean and Central American states who recently
suffered the devastating effects of natural disasters.
. Their full support for the
internal peace initiative undertaken by the government of Colombia.
. That the host country for the next
Defense Ministerial of the Americas will perform the functions of Protempore Secretariat
of the conference.
. Their appreciation for the
decision by the Government of Brazil to host Defense Ministerial of the Americas IV during
the second half of the Year 2000.
. Their most sincere thanks to the
Government and people of Colombia for their warm welcome and the efficient organization of
the Third Defense Ministerial of the Americas.
Cartagena De Indias, December 2, 1999