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Security of small island states

 

Reports

 

OEA/Ser.G
CP/doc.2990/97 corr.1
17 November 1997
Original: English

SPECIAL SECURITY CONCERNS OF SMALL ISLAND STATES

[Document prepared by the General Secretariat in compliance with resolution AG/RES. 1497 (XXVII-O/97), operative paragraph 5]


ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

17th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006

October 30, 1997

Mr. Chairman:

I have the honor to address Your Excellency, in compliance with the mandate given by the XXVII Regular Session of the General Assembly, through which it requested "the General Secretariat and the appropriate organs, agencies, and entities of the Inter American System to study ways in which they can address the special security concerns raised at the Special Meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security and to present the results of this study to the Permanent Council by October 1997" (AG/RES.1497).

After reviewing the conclusions of the Special Meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States, the appropriate inter American organs, agencies, and entities identified ways in which they could assist the small island states to address the range of concerns raised during the Special Meeting and developed programs and projects to this end. The following report, prepared by the General Secretariat, describes the action undertaken by the various organs, agencies, and entities of the inter American system to address the special security concerns of the small island states.

I. SECURITY CONCERNS OF SMALL ISLAND STATES: ECONOMIC ISSUES

The Special Meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States (hereinafter "Special Meeting") recognized that, for the small island states of the Caribbean. security is multi dimensional in scope and includes economic elements, in addition to military, political, social, and natural components. Point 3 (ii) of the "Rapporteur's Report on the Special Meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States", CP/CSH 58/97 corn 1 (hereinafter "Rapporteur's Report"), highlighted some of the economic issues that pose a threat to the security of small island states.

His Excellency Ambassador Osbert W. Liburd Permanent Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the Organization of American States President of the Permanent Council Washington, D.C.

Specifically, the report noted that "small island states are characterized by limited domestic markets, open economies with high dependence on trade, and dependence on one or two exports of primary products and raw material destined for one or two major markets". Therefore, "trade policies of more developed economies and of the international community are critical variables in the economic viability of small island states". The trade integration and liberalization process, while it presents new opportunities for small island states, also brings new challenges.

The concerns noted in the Rapporteur's Report were among those that prompted the Trade Ministers of the Hemisphere, meeting in Denver in June 1995, to create the Working Group on Smaller Economies, chaired by Jamaica, in order to address the specific challenges to the participation of the smaller economies in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The objective of the Working Group is to operationalize the opportunities and mitigate the imbalances inherent in a process that includes the largest and several of the smaller economies in the Hemisphere. Since its establishment, the Working Group has set about addressing these issues through its mandate to: (1) identify and assess the factors affecting the participation of the smaller economies in the FTAA and the expansion of trade and investment stimulated therefrom; (2) identify and examine ways to facilitate the adjustment of the smaller economies to the FTAA process, including the promotion and expansion of their trade; and (3) provide recommendations on measures to be taken, including technical assistance, to facilitate the integration and effective participation of the smaller economies in the FTAA, and issues to be taken into account in the negotiations of the FTAA.

The OAS Trade Unit is the primary supporting institution to the Working Group on Smaller Economies. In responding to its mandate from the Hemisphere's Trade Ministers to support the Working Group on Smaller Economies, the Trade Unit simultaneously has acted in fulfillment of the General Assembly mandate embodied in AG/RES. 1497 "to study ways in which they can address the special security concerns raised at the Special Meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security...". Indeed, significant initiatives were undertaken by the Trade Unit in advance of the Special Meeting that address the issues raised therein. In particular, as part of its contribution to the work of the FTAA Working Group on Smaller Economies, the Trade Unit has prepared a number of technical documents that address the opportunities and challenges to the smaller economies, including small island states, that will come with the hemispheric integration process. These include:

a. Special and Differential Treatment in International Trade b. Trato Especial y Diferenciado en el Comercio Internacional SG/TU/WG.SME/Doc.1/Rev. 1. 5 February 1996. Original. English The paper examines the methods by which international trading agreements and arrangements have sought to assist the participation of less developed countries in their activities. The paper covers the GATT, the WTO, and a number of Western Hemisphere regional and sub regional arrangements such as ALADI, MERCOSUR, NAFTA, CARICOM, the Central American Common Market and the Andean Pact.

a. Observations on Small Economies and Western Hemisphere Economic Integration b. Observaciones sobre las Economias Pequeñas y la Integración Económica del Hemisferio Occidental SG/TU/WG.SME/Doc.2/95. 27 November 1995. Original: English The paper sets out indicators of size in terms of population, land area, and/or national income. and examines these indicators for the countries of the Hemisphere.

a. Mechanisms and Measures to Facilitate the Participation of Smaller Economies in the Free Trade Area of the Americas

b. Mecanismos y Medidas para Facilitar la Participación de las Economías más Pequeñas en el Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas SG/TU/WG.SME/Doc.4/96/Rev 1 September 1996. Original. English The paper presents a thorough analysis of trade policy options available to facilitate the participation of smaller economies in the FTAA process. The paper analyzes the challenges facing the smaller economies in their efforts to integrate into the FTAA and provides a survey of the trade policy areas under consideration in the FTAA process (i.e. tariff elimination, standards and technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, etc).

In the twelve months since the Special Meeting, the Trade Unit has produced the following additional document:

a. Mechanisms and Measures to Facilitate the Participation of Smaller Economies in the Free Trade Area of the Americas. An Update b. Mecanismos y Medidas para Facilitar la Participación de las Economías más Pequeñas en el Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas: Actualización SG/TU/WG.SME/Doc. 4/96/Rev. 2 October 1997. Original. English The paper builds upon the previous analysis of trade policy options available to facilitate the participation of smaller economies in the FTAA process. The paper examines, in detail, a wide range of trade policy areas, such as tariff elimination, standards and technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, etc.

Trade Unit staff also have participated as invited guests in a number of events organized in the small island states of the Caribbean by providing briefings on the FTAA process.

Finally, the Trade Unit is also supporting five projects presently under consideration for funding by the OAS Member States under the auspices of the Inter American Council for Integral Development (CIDI). These projects, which specifically respond to the concerns of the small island states, received a favorable review from the Non Permanent Specialized Committees (CENPES) of the CIDI, and final funding decisions on these projects are expected to take place in late October, 1997. The five projects currently under final review are:

A. Multilateral and Regional Trade Issues for the Americas: Advanced Training Course for Government Officials

The training program will be a joint effort of the OAS, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Georgetown University. The program envisioned will have two stages. The first stage will involve a planning workshop during which trade policy specialists and experts in training government officials will be brought together to design the curriculum and structure of the training program. This workshop will take place in the second semester of 1997 in Washington, DC. It will be complemented by a second workshop in the first semester of 1998 to prepare curricular materials for the training program in light of the results of the April 1998 Summit of the Americas.

The second stage will be the centerpiece of the program: two three week training courses on the FTAA process at Georgetown University. These courses will address the key issues of regional and multilateral trade talks. Class sessions will be offered on the following topics:

Recent Trends in Economic Integration and Trade The World Trade Organization Regional Trading Arrangements Smaller Economies: Multilateral Issues Smaller Economies: Regional Issues Market Access Rules of Origin Trade in Agricultural Goods Sanitary and Phytosanitary Provisions Textiles Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade Government Procurement Competition Policy Investment Rules Intellectual Property Rights Services Dispute Settlement Mechanisms Status of Multilateral and Regional Trade Talks

Course sessions, which will be offered in both English and Spanish, will be taught by a mix of trade analysts and practitioners drawn from the Georgetown University faculty, the WTO, the OAS Trade Unit, sub regional organizations such as CARICOM, SIECA, and MERCOSUR, as well as law firms and think tanks. The participants will be key trade policy officials, primarily from the smaller economies of the Americas. Approximately 25 officials will attend each course. The tentative course dates for 1998 are June 1 20 for the course taught in English and June 29 July 17 for course taught in Spanish.

B. Three (3) Regional Seminars on Issues Related to the Free Trade Area of the Americas Process

The complex issues of the Free Trade Area of the Americas and their relationship to multilateral and sub regional trading arrangements require consideration in fore dedicated separately to these issues. These regional seminars will be carried out by the appropriate technical agency in Latin America and the Caribbean in areas such as investment, services, and trade remedies. The seminars will be targeted to small economies and will focus on elements related to trade negotiations. They will include speakers from organizations such as the OECD, UNCTAD, and the WTO.

C. Trade and Integration in the Americas: Public and Private Sectors Workshop on the Free Trade Area of the Americas

The Free Trade Area of the Americas deliberations to date have highlighted the need for technical assistance for full participation in the FTAA process and the fact that dialogue with, and support of, the private sector is essential. This workshop will contribute to the two larger goals of supporting smaller economies and involving the private sector in trade debates. The proposed three day workshop on the FTAA issues, organized jointly with the Guatemalan Development Foundation, is a pilot project that, first, will be conducted in Guatemala for a select group of Guatemalan trade officials and representatives of the business community. This project not only will provide the Guatemalan government and business representatives with intensive exposure to the relevant issues of the FTAA, but also will facilitate exchange on these issues between the public and private sectors. If this project is a success, it will be replicated in Central America and in the small island states of the Caribbean.

D. Free Trade Area of the Americas Seminar on Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade

Standards for products traded among nations have become a key component of trade agreements. The international debate on standards setting and implementation of standards policy is one of the most technical areas of trade policy. Many national policy makers are now in the process of upgrading their government offices to be able to better manage the design and implementation of standards policies. This proposed four day seminar aimed at participants from the Caribbean region will take place in Trinidad and Tobago in November 1997. The seminar is designed to provide government officials from the Caribbean countries with a detailed understanding of standards issues. Similar seminars will be offered in Guatemala for the Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, and in Uruguay for participants from South American countries. NB: Funding for the Caribbean project already has been approved. The Central American project is awaiting final approval by CIDI.

E. Competition Policy in Latin America: A Regional Seminar

Competition policy is a new area of trade negotiations. Information on policy design options, the experience of other countries, and treatment of the subject in other regional and multilateral fore is in demand among the nations participating in the FTAA process. Peru, as the nation chairing the FTAA Working Group on Competition Policy, responded to this demand by organizing a regional seminar on the subject in August 1996. This seminar, which was open to participation from Caribbean countries, was very well received. A second, follow up seminar is now proposed to examine issues in more depth. INDECOPI, the Peruvian organization sponsoring the seminar, will select the speakers and invite participants from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Trade Unit, through its support of the FTAA process, will continue to assist the small island states to address the concerns raised at the Special Meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security.

II. TOURISM AND THE SECURITY OF SMALL ISLAND STATES

As the Rapporteur's Report notes in section 3(b), "the livelihood of [the] small island states [in the Caribbean] is founded largely on ... tourism". As such, tourism is a significant driver in the economic development process of these countries. With the erosion of preferential trading arrangements enjoyed by the small island states, pointed out in section 3(a)(ii) of the Rapporteur's Report, tourism has become even more fundamental to the economies of these countries.

The growth of the tourism industry in the small island states of the Caribbean, however, is threatened as a legitimate engine of economic growth by the pervasive increase in the trafficking of illicit drugs. For small island states, this increase in the trafficking in, and abuse of, drugs, together with the criminality associated with these activities, threaten not only the sustained development of tourism, but also the security of the state itself. Over the past twelve months CICAD has undertaken programming that responds specifically to the concerns of the small island states in this area. Detailed information on activities of CICAD to combat the scourge of drugs, which fully apply in this context, can be found in section V of this report.

Additionally, during the Seventeenth Inter American Travel Congress, which met in April 1997, the issue of tourism sustainability from the standpoint of security management at tourist destination points was examined in detail. While tourist safety and security is an internal security matter, its effect on the tourism industry can be so far reaching that in depth consideration by the Congress of the security of tourists and their property was warranted. As a result of its discussion and analysis of this matter, the Congress adopted resolution TURISMO/RES. (XVII 3/97), entitled "Tourist Security", through which it urged the governments of OAS member states "to implement joint public and private sector programmes aimed at providing security for tourists and their property", and itself resolved "to intensify cooperation in promoting integral training programmes for the different public and private agents involved in the tourism sector", and "to compile the existing information on tourist security and disseminate it among the member states". The Inter Sectoral Unit for Tourism, as the Permanent Secretariat of the Congresses, will work to implement this resolution during the intervening period leading up to the next Congress.

Finally, following the April meeting of the Inter American Travel Congress, the Inter Sectoral Unit for Tourism has developed programming aimed at the general strengthening the tourism industry to ensure that this critical driver of the economic development process of the small island states remains viable and sustainable for the future. In this regard, planned programming of the Inter Sectoral Unit for Tourism for 1998, which will positively impact on the efforts of the small island states to address the issue of security as a critical element in the area of tourism sustainability, includes projects and programmes that will:

1. Create a database to facilitate effective assessment policy determination and transfer of knowledge. 2. Assess the effects of trade liberalization and economic integration on tourism. 3. Provide training in tourism public attitudes awareness that will communicate to the general public the value and benefits of tourism to the economy. 4. Assist countries in diversifying their tourism product. 5. Encourage investment in the tourism sector. 6. Assist in the development of national policies and development plans. 7. Support tourism marketing activities.

Successful completion of these programs and projects will help to maintain the viability and ensure the sustainability of this very important sector. These projects were favorably reviewed by the CENPES and are awaiting final approval for funding by the Member States.

III. THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAE HAZARD DIMENSIONS OF THE SECURITY OF SMALL ISLAND STATES

As noted above, for the small island states of the Caribbean, security is multi dimensional in scope and includes environmental, as well as other elements. CP/CSH 58/97 corn 1 at page 2. The Rapporteur's Report, in section 3(b) specifically dedicated to environmental issues, stressed the fact that the economic activities of small island states highly depend on "their fragile ecosystems", and recognized that "the adverse impact of natural disasters (hurricanes, volcanos, floods, and drought) on their economies and on the fabric of their societies is significantly heightened as any of these can cause immediate devastation, loss of life, extensive damage to property, leading to the disruption to key sectors of the total economy for protracted periods of time".

The Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment, in order to respond to the special concerns of small island states is implementing the following programs and projects:

A. Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP)

The Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project seeks to address some of the adverse effects of natural disasters on the economies and societies of the small island states. The CDMP includes the following components. which are currently in execution:

1. Disaster preparedness programs at community level in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 2. Reducing vulnerability of low income housing through formal construction programs and the introduction of building codes in Eastern Caribbean. 3. Disaster loss reduction in Caribbean infrastructure in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Electrical Utility Association (CARILEC). 4. Promoting partnerships with the insurance industry for the promotion of risk reduction among policy owners. 5. Increasing safety of emergency shelters and schools in conjunction with CDB and the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO). The program has been executed in conjunction with a Hemispheric Program for Disaster Reduction in the Education Sector, funded by ECHO. The resulting plan is being presented to regional political and technical fora for review and adoption. 6. Strengthening the hazard mapping and mitigation planning capacity at national levels with planning offices and, at the regional level, with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI).

Additional planned activities under the CDMP, include:

1. Transfer of CDMP activities to regional institutions. 2. Development of a variety of training programs in the specialized institutions and the UWI to extend and institutionalize capacity building.

B. Integrated Coastal Area Management in the Caribbean

To preserve the fragile ecosystems of the Caribbean, on which many of the economic activities of the small island states depend, the Unit is implementing the Integrated Coastal Management Project in the Caribbean, which aims to support national and regional initiatives with a program that targets institutional strengthening, training, and development of integrated legislation; and develop and maintain an INTERNET based resource and information exchange network.

C. Caribbean: Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC)

The CPACC project involves the installation of a Caribbean wide network of multi sensor climate and sea level gauges; providing data analysis and improving dissemination capacity; and capacity building and institutional strengthening in the areas of coastal vulnerability assessment, integrated coastal zone management, coral reef monitoring, and development of regulatory and economic measures for sustainable management of coastal resources.

Additional planned activities under this project include the development, within the regional institutions involved in the CPACC project (University of the West Indies, Caribbean Meteorological Institute, etc.), of the capacity to prepare follow up project proposals and attract funding for implementation.

D. Bolivia Summit on Sustainable Development Follow up

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas entrusted to the OAS the role of coordinating follow up on the various decisions of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development. In fulfillment of this mandate, the Unit of Sustainable Development and the Environment has undertaken a number of activities that also address some of the environmental concerns raised by the small island states during the Special Meeting. Specifically, the Unit has facilitated the establishment of an Inter American Dialogue on Disaster Reduction and an inter agency consultative meeting on incorporating disaster reduction into economic development plans. It is also promoting a consultative process on civil participation in disaster reduction.

IV. MAINTAINING SECURITY THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF DEMOCRACY

It is generally accepted that the political environment in and among most of the small island states benefits from a traditional culture of democracy. Yet, recognizing the nexus between the quality of governance and the effectiveness with which the countries deal with factors that impact, either positively or negatively, on national/hemispheric security, the governments of the small island states of the English speaking Caribbean have identified a need to strengthen the traditional cultural fabric of their societies. This is evidenced by their adoption of a CARICOM Charter of Civil Society and, more so, by decisions taken at the Eighteenth Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in July of this year. The Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD), working within this context, has provided support to these governments for the strengthening of their domestic institutions, and by doing so, has contributed to the effort to maintain security. In particular, the UPD co sponsored two activities this year in which the English speaking small island states participated. They were the following:

A. A Workshop on Legislative Drafting

This workshop, which was held during July and August 1997 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), was co sponsored by the UPD and the Faculty of Law of the UWI. It was a sub regional program for participants from the English speaking Caribbean member states in response to indications by those states of a need for Caribbean personnel trained in that specialized branch of the law. The member states had indicated that the shortage of persons suitably qualified in this discipline was resulting in serious delays in the drafting of new legislation and other legal instruments which, in turn, impeded the proper functioning of their public administrators. A total of nineteen participants, all mid level law professionals, from eleven Caribbean member states, participated in the workshop.

B. A Conference on Governance, Democracy, and Civil Society in the Caribbean Community

This conference took place in Barbados on September 9 and 10, 1997, under the joint sponsorship of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the General Secretariat of the OAS, through the UPD. The objective of the conference was to provide a forum for dialogue between government and civil society representatives on their respective roles in governance and democracy, in light of changing regional and international environments. Attending were approximately ninety participants, including senior government officials and wide representation from civil society in the region, including trade unions, the private sector, community leaders, NGO's opposition party members, the academic sector, the Church, and youth and women's organizations.

Deliberations during the conference centered on four agenda items: democracy and institutional development; governance and community participation; governance, ethic and transparency; and the role of international cooperation. A number of conclusions and recommendations were presented, among them, the desirability of seeking a mechanism for institutionalizing such dialogue in the future. It was agreed that these recommendations should be brought to the attention of the Conference of the Heads of Governments of CARICOM.

In addition to these projects, the UPD has planned the following three new initiatives for execution during 1998:

A. A Conference for Young Leaders From the Caribbean

This activity is to be sponsored jointly by the UPD, the Washington Working Group and Conference of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the UWI. It is part of a program of leadership training for eighteen persons who are participants in the CSIS Caribbean Leadership Group and who are drawn from eleven countries in the Caribbean. The broader CSIS/UWI program in this regard, provides training for young emerging leaders to better equip them to meet the challenges that Caribbean countries will face as they move towards the 21st century. Those challenges include strains on democratic governance, deriving from disaffected electorates and low voter turnout rates, illegal narcotic trafficking, pressures on the environment (which, as noted above, is a critical asset in tourism based economies), and the susceptibility of the countries to natural disasters due to their small size. As part of their training, the participants are required to undertake joint preparation of research papers on a range of topics, which include "The Role of Local Leaders in Shaping Development Policies", "Caribbean Leadership Challenges", and "Conservation of Biological Diversity as a Niche for Caribbean Integration". They will be expected to present their research papers at the conference before a broad audience of Washington based policy makers.

B. Training in Legislative Drafting

This legislative drafting course will offer more advanced training in this discipline and will build upon the workshop that was held in July and August of this year. Sponsors again will be the UPD and the UWI and, hopefully, other contributors, including the CARICOM Secretariat. Participants again will be drawn from the Caribbean member states.

C. A Program of Civic Education in the Caribbean

This program proposes the development of a comprehensive curriculum on civic education for use in the primary and secondary schools of members countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, some of the smallest of the island nations in the Hemisphere. This initiative is being taken in light of decisions reached at the July 1997 Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. The UPD will be seeking co sponsors and external funding for this project.

These three projects have been favourably reviewed by the CENPES and are awaiting a final funding decision by the member states. During 1998, work also will be done to explore the possibilities of creating a Special Program to Support the Strengthening of Democracy in the Parliamentary System.

V. MAINTAINING PEACE AND SECURITY THROUGH THE ERADICATION OF THE ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING IN, AND ABUSE OF, DRUGS

Broadly speaking, illegal trafficking in drugs and their abuse is a social threat to all societies and states and, once again, broadly speaking, is universally recognized as such. In addition, many states recognize the threat from the illegal trafficking in, and abuse of, drugs, together with all the criminal behaviors associated with these activities, as a major non military threat to the security of the state itself. As the Rapporteur's Report recognizes in section 3(a) (i), "the limited capacity by small island states to deal fully with this problem demands greater support for these measures and further collaboration in this area, while respecting the sovereignty of states". CICAD, over the past year, has continued to lend support to the OAS member states, including the small island states in the Caribbean, to address the problem of the illegal trafficking in, and abuse of, drugs. Programming by CICAD that specifically responds to these concerns includes the following:

1. An effort to improve communications among national drug councils or their equivalents through a computer network. This has been established throughout the Caribbean (and the Americas) and is now operational. It enables any national drug commissioner (or equivalent) to communicate instantly and economically with any counterpart on any matter, by secure means if necessary.

2. An organizing effort to improve Witness Protection in the Caribbean. A first organizing session at the regional level was held with the assistance of the government of Trinidad and Tobago in January of this year. CICAD plans to continue this important activity and anticipate progress in 1998.

3. CICAD has organized two organizational development seminars in the Caribbean in 1997 aimed at strengthening national drug commissions. These seminars, developed to answer a need identified by CICAD, employ a highly interactive and computer assisted technique. Seminars this year included the Dominican Republic (April) and Jamaica (September). This is an ongoing program, dependent on external funds.

4. CICAD has participated very actively with the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the European Commission, since May 1996, in developing an overall, integrated initiative against drugs in the Caribbean. The proposed plan was reviewed at the technical level at a meeting of a task force of the Caribbean Drug Control Coordination Mechanism (CCM) in Bridgetown, Barbados from 22 24 October 1997. A full policy review will be held in December, with the expectation that the result will then be implemented. Parts of it involving CICAD already have been deployed, as described above.

5. The Commission has approved a project to provide simple, efficient, and fast means of making national assessments of use. The project is now well advanced, with all instrumentation, software, and teaching materials produced. This included much participation and design work by Caribbean participants. Funding for the project is expected from the European Union, and will be discussed in detail at the Barbados meeting referred to in paragraph 4. All data are comparable, and each state has the ability to add custom elements at its discretion.

6. The CICAD Group of Experts has completed its work on the design of a hemispheric system to control commercial shipments of firearms through common import export documentation. The Model Regulation will be considered by CICAD at the Commission level in November 1997. This basic step forward, taking into consideration together with the Draft Inter American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials, which soon will become effective, provides a very significant response to regional concerns on illegal arms trafficking.

7. With respect to training of drug control personnel, CICAD's ongoing programs in money laundering control, precursors chemical control, and other areas, provide state of the art, hands on skills in drug control measures throughout the region.

8. Regarding prevention and treatment of drug abuse, CICAD recognizes that the high social and economic cost of drug abuse in small states strains the existing capacities of the health care, youth, and judicial systems. CICAD provides training courses for drug prevention and treatment personnel to help alleviate a long term need.

VI. THE CARIBBEAN AS A ZONE OF PEACE

The Rapporteur's Report recognizes the benefits to the security of the Hemisphere of declaring the Caribbean a zone of peace within the context of the United Nations proposal to create specific geographic areas as zones of peace. To this end, some member states have noted that the Caribbean region has not yet been declared a zone of peace within the framework of the OAS. These delegations have urged that the Organization turn its attention to this matter as a declaration to this effect, within the inter American context, would have a clear political significance and would act as a catalyst in focussing the attention of the international community on this issue.

As one step towards being declared a zone of peace, the Special Meeting also urged small island Caribbean states which had not yet done so, to ratify the amendments to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (the "Treaty of Tlatelolco"). Since the Special Meeting in October 1996, no member state has joined the six countries that have already done so (Argentina, Belize, Chile, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia), in ratifying the Treaty.

Mr. Chairman, as evidenced by this report, the General Secretariat, in fulfillment of AG/RES. 1497, already has undertaken, and plans to undertake in the future, various activities, which, in a direct or an indirect manner. address the special security concerns of the small island states.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

César Gaviria
Secretary General
Organization of American States

 


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