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OEA/Ser. G
2 noviembre1999
Original: inglés

La Comisión de Seguridad Hemisférica se reunió el 15 de diciembre de 1998 para considerar los siguientes temas: desarme y seguridad; armas pequeñas; el Registro de Armas Convencionales de las Naciones Unidas y el Informe Internacional Estandarizado sobre Gastos Militares de las Naciones Unidas. Dentro de este contexto, se escucharon las siguientes presentaciones: Secretario General Adjunto para el Desarme, Jayantha Dhanapala; el Director del Centro de las Naciones Unidas para la Paz, el Desarme y el Desarrollo, Pericles Gasparini Alves; y los Estados Miembros que participaron en el Grupo de Expertos en el Registro de Armas Convencionales.

La presentación del Subsecretario General de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarme, Jayantha Dhanapala se concentró en las actividades de la ONU en materia de desarme y seguridad, la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre Desarme, armas pequeñas y las actividades de cooperación ONU/OEA. /

El señor Gasparini Alves se dirigió a la Comisión y trató el tema del Registro de Armas Convencionales de las Naciones Unidas; el Informe Internacional Estandarizado sobre Gastos Militares; los objetivos y procedimientos operativos del Centro y propuso que el Centro de la ONU junto con la Junta Interamericana de Defensa (JID) y la OEA, y otras instituciones podrían comenzar a pensar sobre la forma adecuada para mejorar estos instrumentos para que se adapten de mejor forma para la función de fomento de la confianza. /

Algunos expertos de los Estados Miembros en el Registro de Armas Convencionales de las Naciones Unidas hicieron uso de la palabra en el orden siguiente: Juan Carlos Valle Raleigh, Argentina /; Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto, Brasil /; Dr. Mark Gaillard, Jefe de la División para la Noproliferación y el Desarme del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Canadá. /; y el Embajador Claude Heller, Representante Permanente de México ante la OAS. /


Presentaciones de representantes de las Naciones Unidas

en la reunión de la Comisión de Seguridad Hemisférica, celebrada el 15 de diciembre de 1998

1. Jayantha Dhanapala, Secretario General Adjunto para el Desarme.

2. Pericles Gasparini Alves, Director del Centro de las Naciones Unidas para la Paz, el Desarme y el Desarrollo




Distinguished delegates:

On behalf of the Department of Disarmament Affairs, and of my colleague, Pericles Alves Gasparini, I would like to thank you for the warmth of your welcome and for your invitation to me to be present here before your committee in order to brief you on the work of the Department of Disarmament Affairs, in general, but more in particular on the subject of small arms and light weapons.

I believe it is extremely important that the United Nations has a regular dialogue with regional organizations and with the Organization of American States, in particular in this subject in order to advance our common cause of disarmament and arms limitation.

As you know, the need for the UN to coordinate its activities with regional organizations is very much a part of the UN Charter. Chapter VIII lays down very clearly the ways in which we should be working together and the articles concerned, particularly Article 52, are articles that we take very seriously in New York. And my Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has attached special importance to the relations between the United Nations and regional organizations. Indeed, we have regular conferences between the representatives of regional organizations and the UN, and I was, myself, privileged to participate in the most recent meeting that was held a few months ago at New York.

We in the UN also attach a great deal of importance to the subject of regional disarmament in order to ensure that global norms that are evolved in UN fora are translated into practical action in the regions of the world. And it is in pursuance of that that we have established in three regions of the world regional centers for peace and disarmament: in Katmandu, we have a regional center for Asia and the Pacific; in Lomé, Togo, we have the regional center for Africa; and in Lima, we have a Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament for Latin America and for the Caribbean.

Now, the Centers in Lomé and Lima, unfortunately, have been not functioning at optimum level for some years for a number of reasons. But the Member States decided, in 1997, that these Centers should be reactivated. And in pursuance of that and following my own appointment as Under-Secretary-General, I have made it an important policy of my Department to reactivate these Centers. And I am proud therefore that my own appearance before your Committee coincides with the appointment of the new Director of the Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean in Lima -Mr. Gasparini has just begun his functions on December 1, and it is therefore a happy coincidence that he should be present here today with me and he will be making his own presentation after I provide you with an overview of the activities of my Department.

Let me begin by stating very clearly and up-front that the re-establishment of the Department of Disarmament Affairs was an important component in the reforms that my Secretary-General made last year in his document of July 1997, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly last year. This proposal to re-establish the Department of Disarmament Affairs after a lapse of about six years, was the result of a conviction on the part of the Secretary-General that disarmament in the post-Cold War period remained a very vital area of international activity. It also was an area of activity where the UN had a very central role to play, and it is out of this conviction therefore that the Department was re-established.

Now, in reestablishing the Department we were given a number of mandates to ensure that the Member States were able to, not only evolve new norms in the field of disarmament, but also have an organization committed to the implementation of existing norms in order to ensure that these norms were very widely adhered to in the international community.

In undertaking my tasks at the beginning of February, I decided it was necessary for us to ensure an organizational structure that would help to serve the international community better in the field of disarmament. And so, I decided that we would have a five-branch structure with a branch in Geneva servicing the needs of the Conference on Disarmament, which, as you know, is the sole multilateral negotiating body which negotiates treaties and agreements in the area of disarmament. And the branch there, which services the Conference on Disarmament both substantively as well as logistically, is also responsible for all activities in Europe with regard to disarmament matters.

In headquarters, in New York, we head four branches: a Weapons of Mass Destruction branch, which, as it says, deals with weapons issues –nuclear chemicals and biological as well as the missile question. It services the existing treaties like the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the nuclear field; the treaty with regard to biological weapons and liaises with the established organizations such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which implements the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as the Provisional Technical Secretariat in Vienna, which is there to set in motion the process that will have the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization in place when the CTBT is ratified by the 44 countries that are expected to ratify it under Article 14.

We also have then a Conventional Arms branch, and that branch, as the name implies, deals with the entire range of conventional weapons including particularly the subject of small arms, on which I will give you a more detailed presentation shortly. Conventional arms, as you know, are the arms that have been used in armed conflicts since World War II and have caused over 20 million deaths. We, therefore, have to address the issue of conventional arms. I have found from the inception of my own work in the UN that this issue of small arms assumed very important proportions and I’m particularly glad that the OAS and your Committee, in particular, has been of such great assistance in trying to formulate norms in this particular area.

Third, we have the branch in headquarters dealing with Regional Disarmament. Again, the fact that I have a special branch for the coordination of a regional disarmament and the three Centers is an example of the importance that we are attaching to the subject of regional disarmament in various parts of the globe.

And finally, we have a Monitoring Database and Information branch which maintains outreach activities with nongovernmental organizations, with the research institutes devoted to the subject of disarmament and security, as well as maintaining databases, which will be available to the general public as well as to the specialized scholars in this particular field. We also, through the Monitoring Database and Information branch, maintain liaison with the UN Institute of Disarmament Research, which is an autonomous institution in Geneva devoted to conducting research in the areas of disarmament and security; an organization which I was privileged to head for five years in the 1980s and early ’90s when my colleague was also working there.

We also maintain an Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters where we have 20 eminent persons in the field of disarmament providing the Secretary-General with expert advice on the work of the United Nations in this field. And here, I’m happy to state, that we have representatives from your region also on this board.

Let me now say that the work of the Department is, in the first instance, to provide advice and support, of course, to the Secretary-General in discharging his own responsibilities and in accordance with the relevant Charter provisions as well as the mandates given to us by the General Assembly and the Security Council. We monitor and analyze developments and trends in the field of disarmament; we prepare necessary reports and background papers to various intergovernmental bodies and we, generally, ensure that we also try to expand the frontiers of disarmament by providing new information and new ideas in order that the Member States could feel that the UN is providing a leadership role in this area.

Second, we also help the Secretary-General with regard to the multilateral disarmament agreements in order to monitor compliance with these agreements and to ensure that the review process of some of these treaties are undertaken, and so, for example, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Process is very much a responsibility of my Department. We conduct the Preparatory Committee’s meetings and the review conferences that are held once every five years. And we report on the effective implementation of these agreements.

Third, we, as I said before, help Member States in multilateral disarmament negotiations and deliberations in order to try to evolve new disarmament norms and agreements. And here, we provide the background support for the First Committee in the UN General Assembly, we provide support in the UN Disarmament Commission and other subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly and, of course, in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva where there are many subsidiary bodies and expert groups which require expert support and background work on the part of our department.

Fourth, we try to provide Member States and the international community with objective information on disarmament and international security matters, through our program of information and outreach activities. We organize conferences, seminars, and workshops, and also try to stimulate exchanges of views on arms control disarmament and international security.

Finally, we try to promote openness and transparency in military matters, in verification, in confidence-building measures, and in regional approaches to disarmament. Now, it is in this context that we have the Convention on Arms Register and the Standardized Instrument in order to try to have a military expenditure reported by all Member States. And my colleague, Mr. Gasparini Alves, will give you a detailed report on how the Convention on Arms Register and the Standardized Instrument for the reporting of military expenditure functions.

With that brief overview of what we do in the Department, let me move on to the subject of small arms. The issue of small arms, of course, has acquired considerable importance in the last few years, we estimate that there are something like 500 million pieces of small arms in circulation throughout the world today.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the end of the Cold War, we also estimate that there have been about four million deaths caused by small arms in armed conflicts, and of these four million deaths, 90 percent are civilians, 80 percent are women and children. And so the impact of the use of small arms in armed conflict has been much more on civil society rather than on the armies of the world.

We know that the use of small arms is very difficult to control because they are also used for legitimate national defense purposes by law enforcement agencies and by armies in various countries. But what has happened is that there has been an explosion in the proliferation of small arms and in their accumulation. And although we accept that arms by themselves do not cause conflicts, they certainly exacerbate conflicts and cause enormous death and destruction in countries throughout the world.

And so it is a priority today for the United Nations to work on this subject. And our own experience of working on this subject began with resolutions which set in place a panel of government experts who reported at the end of last year on exactly what the problem was and what their recommendations were to combat this problem. This panel of experts, Chaired by Japan, came up with a series of recommendations and a follow-up panel has been appointed, which continues to function until the end of next year when they will submit a further report on the implementation of these recommendations.

We derive our mandate, of course, from the General Assembly resolutions and this year, you will be interested to know and I have arranged for these resolutions to be circulated to you because they were only adopted in the General Assembly at the beginning of this month after the First Committee had already approved it. We adopted four resolutions on the subject of small arms: One was on Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and collecting them. There was a general resolution, second, on small arms; a third resolution on Illicit Traffic in Small Arms; and finally, a resolution on the Consolidation of Peace through Practical Disarmament Measures.

These four General Assembly resolutions–No. 53/77B, 53/77E, 53/77T, and 53/77V–are the mandates which gives my department additional responsibilities in the area of small arms. And I will, of course, be requiring the assistance of regional organizations such as the OAS in the implementation of these responsibilities.

Also in your batch of resolutions that were distributed to you is a resolution on the Security Council, which adopted its first ever resolution on illicit arms traffic. This was a consequence of a report submitted in April of this year by the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, on the causes of conflict in Africa. And this report included many paragraphs on the subject of the circulation of small arms and the Security Council decided that it would try to act out this issue and it had a resolution on illicit arms traffic, Resolution 1209, on Illicit Arms Flows to and in Africa and a new resolution on Arms Embargoes, Resolution 1196, on Strengthening the Effectiveness of Arms Embargoes.

As a result of these resolutions, the Secretariat has been given a mandate by the General Assembly to hold consultations with all Member States interested, regional and subregional organizations, international agencies, and experts, in the field of three areas. First, the magnitude and scope of the phenomenon of illicit trafficking in small arms; second, possible measures to combat illicit trafficking in and the illicit circulation of small arms including those suited to indigenous regional approaches; and third, the role of the UN in collecting, collating, and sharing and disseminating information on illicit trafficking in small arms.

Together with these established mandates that we have received from the General Assembly and the Security Council, we also receive. from time to time, requests from individual Member States to undertake weapons collection programs in their countries. And at the beginning of this year, the President and Prime Minister of Albania requested the Secretary-General to undertake such a program in Albania, which last year was the scene of a great deal of internal unrest when the people of Albania took away from government depots an estimated 650,000 small arms. And these small arms remained in the unauthorized possession of the people of Albania constituting a very great threat to a country that is in the process of establishing democratic institutions after the Cold War.

Therefore, it was my task, in June of this year, to lead an evaluation mission together with representatives of the Department of Political Affairs, my own Department of Disarmament Affairs, and the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations in order to try to draw up a proposal for weapons collection. In doing so, we visited Tirana; we undertook consultations with all aspects of Albanian society, governmental representatives, opposition parties, nongovernmental organizations, students, and all other interested organizations.

We visited districts where the problem was particularly acute and we came up with a program where we suggested that weapons collection should best be linked to development projects which would be of a value to the community. And so as an incentive to the surrender of weapons, we suggested that there should be community development projects and this proposal was welcomed by the people at the grassroot.

And we have begun a pilot project in a central part of Albania called Gramsh where we have the UNDP assisting us with this idea of having community development projects as a means of providing an incentive to the people to surrender their weapons in order to ensure that there would no longer be this danger of having an over-weaponized society in Albania. And in the process, the Government itself has undertaken to destroy many of these weapons that are being collected as a visible proof of the need to strengthen the peaceful resolution of disputes within Albania.

Now in doing so, we will draw from the lessons of other areas. I would like to emphasize that your experience here, in the OAS, and the experience in Latin America are experiences that we are learning from because we would like to see a cross-fertilization of ideas throughout the global community. We would like to see what has worked well in one region translated into action in other regions as well with, of course, adaptation taking into consideration specialized local conditions.

Let me also now mention that because of the increasing importance of small arms I found it necessary in addressing this issue to recommend to the Secretary-General that we should have a focal point within the United Nations to address the issue of small arms. And following a paper presented by me at the Senior Management Group, which functions as a cabinet in the UN headquarters presided over by the Secretary-General, we had—the Secretary-General—identified the Department of Disarmament Affairs as a focal point for small arms.

And we created a mechanism which we call “Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA)” an acronym whereby we wanted to address the small arms issue in all its dimensions—the security dimension, the humanitarian dimension, the development dimension, and all other dimensions including the human rights. And so in the CASA mechanism, which meets regularly, we have representatives from all the departments in the UN who are concerned about the subject of small arms. We have all the specialized agencies as well represented, for example, UNICEF, UNDP, and others also present and, in this way, we try to evolve a coordinated response on the part of the UN system to the problem of small arms.

And we have a number of projects that we are evolving as a result of this coordination that is working so smoothly. One is, for example, a documentary film on the subject of small arms. Another is an exhibit on the question of how small arms impact on children and here UNICEF is working very closely with my department in order to come up with this exhibit which will be funded by a contribution from Andorra, one of the smallest Member States in the UN. But this is an example of how we are trying to bring in the Member States, bring in all the different aspects of the UN system in order to provide precisely a coherent, a cohesive response to the problem of small arms. And my presence here is another indication about the importance that we are attaching to working with regional organizations also to address this issue.

Let me also tell you, in this context, what we have done with regard to the subject of practical disarmament measures which is a series of disarmament measures where we take disarmament to the grassroots, particularly in post-conflict situations in various countries. Where the problem of weapons collection from former combatants or defeated armies represents a very serious threat which could result in the recrudescence of violence in those countries. And so it is vital as part and parcel of any conflict resolution or peace agreement that is finalized in these countries that we should have a weapons collection component built into that agreement.

And we have analyzed the situations that have occurred throughout the world and tried to formulate something which will be going into a manual that we are preparing in my department on the subject of weapons collection. But in addition to weapons collection, we need to also integrate the combatants and the looser armies into civil society: Give them new skills, train them in order to be useful and productive members of society abandoning the life of wielding weapons which they have bled hitherto.

And for these practical disarmament measures, I would like to say that there is a group of interested states which has been formed at the beginning of this year. And I attended its fifth meeting yesterday, which has resulted in a great deal of money being generated to finance programs. One of the programs that we had was a workshop in Guatemala from November 18 to 20, which was entitled, “Weapons Collection and Integration of Former Combatants into Civil Society.” And we looked in this workshop at the experiences of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Colombia.

We are in the process of preparing an information paper on the findings of this workshop, which we will send to your committee as soon as it is ready.

I’d like to also say that we, in the evolution of norms with regard to the subject of small arms, have derived great encouragement from the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials. I’m particularly impressed by the fact that, under Article 8 of this convention, there is provision for an exchange of information whereby state parties shall exchange amongst themselves in conformity with their respective domestic laws and applicable treaties, relevant information on matters such as the producers, dealers, importers, and exporters of firearms; the means of concealment used in the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms; and third, in the legislative experiences, practices and measures to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms.

Now it is precisely in the context of this exchange of information that I would like to draw your attention to paragraph 9 of the Security Council’s Resolution 1209, where the Secretary-General was asked to explore means of identifying international arms dealers acting in contravention of national legislation or embargoes established by the UN on arms transfers to Africa. This is a welcomed development. Therefore we are learning from your experience and, I think, the greater scope there is for coordination between what you do in terms of Article 8 of your convention and the sharing of information with us will help us to advance this issue on a global scale.

I’d also like to take this opportunity of welcoming the signing in July of this year by Member States of MERCOSUR together with Bolivia and Chile of the Joint Mechanism for the Registration of Recipients and Suppliers of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials. I note that the Register provides minimal necessary information such as the name of the individuals or enterprises authorized to trade in arms as well as those ports which are authorized to host trade operations in firearms, explosives, ammunition, and other related materials.

Let me conclude by mentioning two instruments that are implemented by my department in the field of conventional weapons. The first is the Conventional Arms Register that has been in existence since 1992. Today, we have over 90 governments voluntarily providing us with information on imports, exports, and national production with regard to seven categories of conventional weapons. I will let my colleague give you a more detailed exposition of how the Convention operates.

But I would like to emphasize the fact that this is undertaken on the principle of voluntary submission of information. We would like to see the number of countries greatly expanded. As you know, we have 185 Member States, but only 90 countries, in fact, provide us with information.

Second, the scope of the Register is confined to seven categories and this is because this has been done through consensus. We have still not been able to expand beyond these seven categories into, for example, the area of small arms. But we need to, I think, gradually expand both the number of countries participating in the Conventional Arms Register as well as the categories of weapons in which we need to have statistical data.

My further point is that it is extremely important for the Department of Disarmament Affairs to work closely with regional organizations in order to encourage wider participation in the Conventional Arms Register because this is a vital tool in trying to promote transparency and confidence-building in regions. If you are confident about the arsenals of your neighbor you are more likely to have a stable relationship with that neighbor. And it is in this spirit that I appeal to the OAS and, particularly, to the Committee on Hemispheric Security to work closely with us so that the Conventional Arms Register will become an important item in building regional confidence measures as well as in building stability.

The other element of our work in this particular field is on the question of the standardized instrument for reporting of military expenditure. And here again the participation by Member States in the UN in this voluntary submission of the military expenditure has been very, very disappointing. We need to have more countries participating in it and most of the countries that have volunteered information happen to come from Europe. But we do need to have more countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Africa and in Asia and the Pacific participating in this standardized instrument which we have evolved as a result of working with experts in the World Bank, in the IMF, and in other regional organizations in order to try to be as scientific in our designing of the instrument that we would like countries to use in submitting this information.

And so let me conclude, distinguished delegates, by saying that we have a number of areas in which the Organization of American States and the Department of Disarmament Affairs can work in common in the cause of evolving a concept of cooperative security/common security at the lowest level of arms. And I think this is what we need to do to ensure that the use of arms to resolve disputes is put away so that we could emphasize peaceful resolution of disputes and also that we could divert resources that are being utilized at the moment for arms expenditure into more productive social and economic uses.

I would like to conclude now by thanking you once again for your invitation to address you and to express the hope that this is only the beginning of a close dialogue between my department and your committee in order to link the UN and the OAS closer together in the field of disarmament. Thank you very much.




Muchas gracias, señor Presidente. Para mí es un placer y un honor estar acá junto con el Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarme que demuestra la determinación de las Naciones Unidas para trabajar con las organizaciones regionales, principalmente en un marco histórico del desarrollo de un departamento con la reactivación del Centro Nacional de Naciones Unidas para Paz, Desarme y Desarrollo en Latino América y el Caribe, donde empecé como Director el primer de diciembre.

La semana pasada estuve participando en las Naciones Unidas en una reunión con la Organización de los Estados Americanos y CARICOM donde se están desarrollando un acuerdo de cooperación concreta en un tema muy específico “prevención de conflictos”. Esto se hace a través del Departamento de Asuntos Políticos, o sea, ya no se pregunta más si tenemos que trabajar juntos pero sí ¿qué vamos hacer juntos? Y hoy con la presencia del Departamento de Desarme, creo que también tenemos esta oportunidad de se preguntar ¿en que temas vamos a trabajar juntos? Los dos temas, donde voy hablar ahora y habló el señor Subsecretario son posibilidades muy concretas.

Voy a hacer una presentación muy corta, simplemente para dar algunas informaciones y algunos detalles sobre lo que pasa en los dos instrumentos que pueden ser útiles a ustedes en preparar los seguimientos de la resolución 1566 y 1570.

We will be looking at the two instruments that we use for reporting. Mr. Dhanapala has spoken about the Department’s activities, the Conference on Disarmament and Small Arms, the Registration of Conventional Arms, and the standardized report will be done by me. Let me just start by showing some of the objectives, the coordination, the CASA Agreement that was discussed by Mr. Dhanapala and the next one will be mine.

The Conventional Arms Register functions in a voluntary contribution approach and actually the operating article is this one here which holds the seven categories of weapons considered to be heavy weapons. The states are called on to give information on these elements including combat vehicles, large caliber artillery shells systems, attach helicopters, warships are really heavy weapons stuff equipment.

States are also invited to produce information on military holdings, procurements through national production and relevant policies, which actually give a greater picture of the military potential of the different countries and, therefore, enhances the capability of the Conventional Arms Register for being an instrument for confidence-and security-building and transparency.

States are all encouraged to produce additional information which includes national arms imports policies, legislation, and procedures on authorization and prevention of illicit transfers. Actually these two elements here are additional information which help build that environment for analyzing the military potential of a particular country.

Let us look at the data at what happens, in terms of the existence of the Conventional Arms Register in the last six years of existence 1992-1997 (as you know the calendar year for the 1998 year will finish only on March 31 next year).

Let me just call your attention to the exports because the Conventional Arms Register covers both exports and imports. If you look at the exports -the no answers, the yes answers, and the blank- there was an evolution in what we have received throughout these six years: a relatively stable number of reports; an increase in the new reports -it should be noted that a new report is also considered to be an important contribution to the Register because it indicates that the country does not have or has not exported any particular element of the seven categories; a sharp decrease in the years in the number of blanks -that is also important because it shows that whenever a country is reporting an export it believes that it is important to give the information yes or no and not necessarily just leave it in blank.

If you look at the data also related to imports, here too we have a relatively stable number of reports throughout the years; an increase again in the number of “nils”, which again reinforces the theory that states believe that whenever they give information they should give complete information, also evidenced by the decrease in the number of blank reports.

Let’s look at now another important data which would be the percentage of reports by region, and focus on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, which is of our particular interest. If you look at the five regional areas here you will see that -this is by percentage- in 1992, 100 percent of the countries in Western Europe and other states, which include the United States and Canada, have reported to the Register, and it is rather consistent throughout the years; it went down for maybe one or two countries that have not reported here one or two years, but it is a consistent line. So what comes out of this experience is that throughout the six years Western Europe and other states have been very consistent. There is a decrease in the number of reports from Latin America and the Caribbean Group though: about 39 percent at the end of the exercise, from 51 to 39 percent. It actually puts Latin America and the Caribbean as fourth in the group of countries.

Let’s look at the same data from another angle to better understand the implications here: the number of countries –the countries report by region. Here, too, we have Western Europe and other states as being the most predominant: 24 states out of 27 have reported here and you go all the way to the 100 percent, which is 27. A decrease in the number of reports from Latin America and the Caribbean group: 13 out of 33 countries report to this Register, which puts it as fourth out of five groups of states. So it’s not the last one, but it’s certainly less than half of the number of states.

Let me go a little bit further here and look at the reasons why -some of the reasons being discussed.

Definition of common terms: there is a feeling that the Register does not have the same meaning for every potential contributor .

Common standards: the standards within different countries are not the same; not necessarily only within the same region. So we may talk about the neighboring countries which look at the standards of the Register from a different angle.

Legal and administrative difficulties: sometimes some countries have difficulties in reporting a particular item according to their constitution or according to their practice of unarmed forces. Sometimes the three or four different branches of the armed forces do not have the same procedure. And also there is a feeling that there should be among some countries an increase in the scope of the Register including other items. Some speak about small arms that should be included or the weapons of mass destruction per se. So there is a host of different issues which for some countries are not yet resolved.

So if you ask me after the ongoing discussions how to improve the Register, particularly from the standpoint of Latin America and the Caribbean? Well, first, we believe that the causes of nonparticipation should be looked at and in these areas of the causes there are what we had mentioned in the previous lines. Also a call for 61 percent of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to resume participation in the Register.

It is also important to continue the effort of explanation that “nil reports” equal support for the Register. It is difficult at times for countries to have the same person in charge of the Register -the same focal point. Only two countries in Latin America have designated focal points for the Register.

So the question which may follow is how much is the Register talked about, how much is known of the Register, the importance of the Register in different countries?

This takes me into another area which could be discussed which is the increase in advocacy. The increase in advocacy, actually, could be seen from two different points of view. The first one is precisely gathering more people who actually work in the area of military procurement, military thinking, doctrine, and diplomatic political issues. Putting them together and continuing some sort of information of the Register, what the Register is all about and how it should be reported. This is what I would call a more “mechanical” solution to the problem.

There is a more fundamental issue which is what is the value of the Register. It seems that countries would not necessarily find any interest in the Register if they think that the Register is there only to collect information. And therefore the more fundamental question is what is the role of the Register? One of the roles and perhaps the most important one of the Register is to create an environment of transparency and therefore, confidence-building among different states.

Now this is a very delicate issue. As we saw from the evolution of the Register and the information that was given to the Register in the case of the Western European countries. That’s why I also highlighted that particular group of countries: it seems that these countries have started giving that information after the confidence-building process in Europe was very advanced. Therefore, the Register for the standardized information on military expenditures is used as a tool for confidence-building. It is not the confidence-building in itself but part of a process of confidence-building. It is perhaps time to look at the Register from the regional standpoint as part and parcel of a confidence-building tool.

If you look at the standardized reporting of military expenditures, the objective of these reports was, as per the resolution, the reduction of military expenditures, the transfer of 10 percent of savings to development programs, promotion of transparency, and confidence-building. Here, too, there is a willingness to use this instrument as a confidence-building tool. Well in order to use it as a confidence-building tool one needs to analyze it and see in what ways it could be used as a confidence-building tool. It serves no purpose for us to have it written in a resolution in the body of the agreement if it’s not conceived by the Member States as such.

So if you look at the reporting record since 1981 to 1997 you will see three different trends at least: one is the very low reporting levels. You can see 20 countries per year. In the first group, Western Europeans and other states: you can see a sort of a stable reporting level, actually picking up a little bit more after the end of the Cold War, which also confirms that within the OSCE’s framework there was a lot of involvement of information exchange on military expenditures, and therefore, that the Europeans looked at the global reporting system as an additional report: it is something which is part of a whole process.

When you look at Latin America and the Caribbean, again, you see very low levels; no more than five countries. At least I believe one year, only six countries, but no more than four or five countries at a time, have reported to this instrument throughout the existence of the agreement which is 20 years old.

So there is a perception, expressed in the lack of reporting, that this instrument is not used as a confidence-building tool, it’s not used as a transparency tool, as was intended, and certainly not as an instrument which would permit the diversion of military funds–saved in the diminishing purchase of weapons–into the program for development.

If you look at the reasons, it’s basically what you see in the Arms Register: problems of definition of common terms, common standards. It is understandably very difficult: some countries develop certain weapon systems or maintain certain troops under budgets which are not necessarily budgets for military expenditures. Maybe the Ministry of Education has part of the military school under its budget. So there are a number of points which are not common especially when you talk about worldwide spectrums. Legal and administrative difficulties may also apply to this type of instrument. And a perception that there has to be an increase in the scope of the reporting instrument, which also is derived from this understanding of the fact that different countries may have different elements for designing their budgets -procurement.

Let us look at how to improve reporting instruments. Here I would say we could address the causes of nonparticipation, again, in the Conventional Arms Register and in the Standardized Reporting of Military Expenditures. We will find similar problems and similar proposals to address them. A call for the countries to participate, particularly Latin America, which does not have the greatest participation, and as we saw in the case of Europe, that maybe there is a need to undertake cross-regional comparisons, understand how the process went through in the European context -an increased advocacy.

Perhaps here I could make a call for your reflection as you think on how to proceed, how the United Nations Regional Center could, eventually, with the OAS, the Inter-American Defense Board, or other organizations, embark on a deeper reflection of information on how the two instruments could be improved. Also, and perhaps most importantly, how these two instruments could fit hemispheric security better.

I will end with that, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.


Presentaciones de los representantes de los Estados Miembros que participaron en el Grupo de Expertos en el Registro de Armas Convencionales de las Naciones Unidas de 1997,

formuladas en la reunión de la Comisión de Seguridad Hemisférica,

celebrada el 15 de diciembre de 1998

1. Argentina: Juan Valle Raleigh, Consejero, Representante Alterno de Argentina ante la Organización de los Estados Americanos.

2. Brasil: Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto.

3. Canadá: Dr. Mark Gaillard, Jefe de la División sobre la No-proliferación y Desarme del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Canadá.

4. México: Embajador Claude Heller, Representante Permanente de México ante la Organización de los Estados Americanos.

Intervención de la Delegación Argentina en la reunión de expertos de los Estados Miembros que participaron en el grupo de expertos gubernamentales sobre el Registro de Armas Convencionales de Naciones Unidas, de conformidad con el párrafo resolutivo 6 de la resolución AG/RES. 1566 (XXVIII-0/98).

Organización de Estados Americanos, 15 de diciembre de 1998

Señor Presidente,

La Delegación Argentina quiere expresar su agradecimiento al señor Subsecretario para Asuntos de Desarme de Naciones Unidas, Sr. Dhanapala, por la valiosa información brindada a esta Comisión en relación con las actividades que se encuentra desarrollando la oficina a su cargo, y en el mismo sentido agradecer al Sr. Pericles Gasparini por sus comentarios sobre el funcionamiento del Registro de Armas Convencionales de Naciones Unidas y del Instrumento para la Presentación Internacional Estandarizada de Informes sobre Gastos Militares.

Argentina también quiere expresar sus felicitaciones al Dr. Gasparini por su reciente nombramiento al frente de la Oficina Regional para la Paz y el Desarme de las Naciones Unidas, con sede en Lima, y desearle éxitos en sus funciones.


El registro Armas Convencionales de Naciones Unidas es un ejercicio que al momento de su lanzamiento, en 1991 fue realmente novedoso. Debe recordarse al respecto que durante muchos años diversas iniciativas sobre este tema fracasaron, en gran medida debido al hecho incontestable que se trata del tipo de sistemas efectivamente utilizados en conflictos armados.

Superando no pocos obstáculos el registro se estableció sobre una base universal y no discriminatoria. Se escogieron para su funcionamiento siete categorías, que si bien recogían el ejemplo adoptado para el Acuerdo sobre Fuerzas Convencionales en Europa, son las que concretamente revisten una especial significación desde el punto de vista militar para operaciones de tipo ofensivo en cualquier lugar del mundo.

Desde su entrada en vigor el Registro ha funcionado de manera remarcable. Mas del 90 por ciento de las transacciones dentro de las siete categorías son captadas por el mismo, y en este sentido, las voces que prematuramente anunciaron la irrelevancia o las dificultades del sistema se han visto desmentidas. Debe destacarse que los sucesivos informes del Secretario General de Naciones Unidas prueban que estadísticamente el Registro ha alcanzado una velocidad de crucero que nos permite afirmar que ya forma parte del paisaje de medidas y acuerdos tendientes a dotar de la tan necesaria transparencia a las transferencias de armas.

Sin embargo existen áreas en las que el Registro de Armas Convencionales de Naciones Unidas podría aun ofrecer más. Como ustedes saben, la resolución 46/36 f estableció una secuencia concreta según la cual el mismo debe ampliarse a fin de incorporar las existencias militares y las adquisiciones de material de producción nacional en un pie de igualdad con las transferencias. Esta ampliación, bueno es recordarlo, surgió en respuesta a un legitimo reclamo de los países en desarrollo, quienes deseaban asegurar el carácter no discriminatorio del Registro, el que de limitarse de modo indefinido a las transferencias focalizaría la transparencia en aquellos países que adquieren en el mercado internacional sus armas, dejando de lado a los grandes productores que poseen industrias domesticas y que por la misma razón adquieren gran parte de sus arsenales dentro de sus fronteras.

Esa iniciativa, sin embargo, ha probado ser más difícil de llevar a la practica que lo que podía preverse inicialmente. A pesar de tratarse de una idea inspirada en ese marco, surgieron dificultades de orden político, ajenas a la naturaleza y a los alcances mismos del Registro de Armas convencionales que por el momento no han hecho posible su concreción. Ellas se refieren a problemáticas como la de las armas de destrucción masiva, cuya importancia nadie puede poner en duda, pero que se sitúan mas allá de los alcances actuales del Registro.

Desarrollos recientes

Mas allá de estos debates, la evaluación efectuada en 1997 fue de gran utilidad, en la medida en que permitió constatar la validez del sistema y el compromiso de la mayoría de la comunidad internacional con el Registro y aun con la idea y el principio de su ampliación. Esto debe ser prolijamente apuntado de cara a la futura revisión del Registro.

Con relación a las existencias y adquisiciones, el ejercicio de 1997 permitió anexar a los informes nacionales los datos que sobre una base voluntaria muchos países ya aportaban. En este sentido es alentador constatar que el ultimo informe del Secretario General evidencia que los estados han hecho uso de esta facultad, lo que parece prefigurar una evolución favorable hacia la ampliación del registro.

Un aspecto importante al que los expertos dedicaron considerables esfuerzos fue el de la operación practica del Registro. En este sentido se analizaron, o volvieron a analizar según el caso, la panoplia de temas y cuestiones que conforman el cuerpo del Registro. Se reconfirmó la descripción de las transferencias como una forma practica de ingresarlas, sin recurrir a una definición común, que por la propia complejidad y diversidad de las legislaciones nacionales hubiese resultado un objetivo inalcanzable. Se acordaron algunos aspectos prácticos como la designación de puntos de contacto en cada país, los que servirán para aclarar dudas y eliminar discrepancias entre los informes nacionales de países que hubiesen realizado una transacción.

Con relación a las definiciones de los sistemas se estudiaron posibles modificaciones, referidas por ejemplo a los Sistemas de Artillería de Gran Calibre. En este acápite se considero seriamente la posibilidad de reducir de 100 a 75 mm el calibre a fin de captar algunos sistemas (morteros) vastamente utilizados en conflictos regionales y que escapan al Registro tal y como existe actualmente. Los debates sobre esta y otras modificaciones (tonelaje de naves de guerra) fueron inconclusos debido a una serie de factores entre los que debe apuntarse el hecho que al momento de las sesiones del grupo de expertos, otro grupo, encargado del análisis de las armas pequeñas estaba abocado al análisis de propuestas que podían en cierto sentido encabalgarse a las del Registro. Algunos expertos prefirieron aguardar los resultados de esas deliberaciones antes de decidir una eventual ampliación que -temían- pudiese resultar en mecanismos redundantes.


Hoy, la comunidad internacional cuenta con las conclusiones de aquel grupo sobre armas pequeñas y existe en la actualidad otra instancia de seguimiento cuyos resultados esperamos con sumo interés.

En todo caso queda claro que entre el ámbito de las armas que capta el Registro y el ámbito de las armas pequeñas existe una brecha que se conoce con mayor claridad. Hoy por hoy, el Registro sigue siendo el único instrumento universal de intercambio de información oficial entre estados sobre sus importaciones y exportaciones de armas. Ello debería comprometernos aún más para avanzar de modo mas decidido cuando en las Naciones Unidas se encare una nueva revisión del Registro. Los expertos de África y Asia reiteraron de modo muy enfático la importancia que para sus regiones tendrían algunos retoques técnicos de las actuales categorías. En ausencia de esquemas análogos para otros sistemas y tipos de armas el Registro reviste aun más relevancia que en el pasado. Queda entonces esta asignatura pendiente para la próxima revisión.

Como se puede ver, el Registro de las Naciones Unidas ha dado mucho pero mucho mas puede esperarse de él. Entendemos que las iniciativas que se han adoptado en el marco interamericano indican un camino y evidencian la voluntad de transparencia que impera entre los estados miembros de la OEA.

Los criterios comunes que puedan desarrollarse para el tratamiento de las armas pequeñas; instrumentos como la Convención contra la Fabricación y el Tráfico Ilícito de Armas de Fuego, Municiones, Explosivos y otros Materiales Relacionados; la adopción de un acuerdo sobre transparencia para la adquisición de armas convencionales y la adopción de códigos de conducta a nivel regional; son todas líneas de convergencia que encuentran en el Registro de Armas Convencionales de las Naciones Unidas el único sistema universal en vigor. El Registro de la ONU puede y debe ser el punto de encuentro e interfase entre lo global y lo regional, en un terreno en el que indiscutiblemente los esfuerzos deben coordinarse y converger para ser útiles a la seguridad de todos.

En el ámbito de la Comisión de Seguridad Hemisférica de la OEA, nuestra Delegación considera impostergable subrayar cuan útil resulto el apoyo de los expertos de la región a la labor de la Presidencia argentina del grupo. En todo momento los expertos de las Américas se mostraron a la vanguardia de los esfuerzos para fortalecer el Registro, lo que contribuyó a consolidar la imagen de un Hemisferio legítimamente preocupado por la seguridad internacional.



El REPRESENTANTE DEL BRASIL (Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto): Muito obrigado, Senhor Presidente. Gostaria de, por seu intermédio, agradecer a exposição do Secretário-Geral Dhanapala e do Doutor Pericles Gasparini.

Confesso, nesse momento, que é a primeira vez que compareço a Organização dos Estados Americanos e não estou muito acostumado a falar em português em reuniões multilaterais, de modo que peço desculpas pela possível falta de ordem com que eu fale aqui, principalmente aos meus colegas da Missão junto à OEA. Estou, no momento, lotado na Missão do Brasil junto às Nações Unidas e lá o português não é uma língua oficial.

Inicialmente gostaria de fazer alguns comentários à questão do Registro de Armas Convencionais. O Brasil dá uma grande importância ao Registro de Armas Convencionais e a expressão que o Doutor Pericles Gasparini utilizou na sua excelente exposição, pergunta que nós fazemos, qual é o objetivo e a utilidade do Registro. Muitas vezes nós nos perguntamos em debates internos no Brasil com os representantes das Forças Armadas e, até o momento presente, o Brasil é um país que não tem um Ministério da Defesa, então nós temos debates, de certa maneira, multilaterais no nosso país. O Ministério da Defesa está sendo criado neste momento. Há uma mensagem do Presidente da República ao Congresso para certas modificações na Constituição. E alguns oficiais me perguntavam no início da nossa preparação para enviar as primeiras informações do Brasil à Registro: qual é a diferença entre este Registro e o Military Balance do Instituto Internacional de Estudos Estratégicos de Londres que, de certa maneira, é o padrão de registro de armas convencionais utilizado pela maior parte das forças armadas no mundo. O Military Balance não é um documento oficial, e essa era exatamente a resposta que nós, diplomatas discutindo com os nossos colegas militares, dávamos para incentivar a resposta efetiva do nosso país a essa solicitação das Nações Unidas.

E a segunda era a questão da medida de confiança. Na medida em que o Estado informa ao Registro de Armas Convencionais, ele está dando o seu aval a uma informação que é previamente conhecida. Nós ao enviarmos as nossas informações ao Registro de Armas Convencionais da ONU, nós, em princípio, não estamos enviando segredos militares, mas informações que são amplamente conhecidas. Então trata-se também de uma ação de cunho político, de uma vontade de engajamento num exercício que levará a esta maior confiança entre os nossos países e entre os nossos estamentos militares.

O Brasil desde o início da discussão do Registro de Armas Convencionais tem encontrado este objetivo, que é um objetivo inclusive de preparação das nossas forças armadas e das nossas sociedades neste tipo de exercício global. Outro aspecto que gostaríamos de sublinhar e que também foi levantado pelo Doutor Pericles Gasparini, é a diferença de participação entre os países da América Latina e do Caribe e os países chamado Grupo dos Países Ocidentais e outros. Os outros, em princípio, são a Austrália, Nova Zelândia, são aqueles países pertencentes ao Japão, a alianças militares. Esses países vinham de um exercício anterior onde havia um enorme grau de desconfiança entre os participantes. O Processo de Helsinki era um processo de diminuição de tensão entre duas alianças opostas, inimigas e voltadas, em princípio, para a destruição da outra.

No nosso continente, apesar de existirem casos, tópicos de desconfiança baseadas em – no que chamamos às vezes – “fósseis históricos” quer dizer, um legado de nossos antepassados e que está extremamente localizado em certas áreas de fronteiras, nunca houve este tipo de percepção. Quer dizer as nossas sociedades não estavam necessariamente preparadas para a destruição da outra ou das forças armadas da outra. Isso talvez explique esta falta de participação maior no Registro de Armas Convencionais, porque era difícil explicar a certos organismos militares que muitas vezes tinham muito mais a missão tradicional da defesa do território, da soberania do território e principalmente da manutenção da ordem interna, de mostrar e de ser tão transparente. A posição brasileira nas Nações Unidas é de dizer que o Registro, do nosso ponto de vista, ele é um êxito, ele é um sucesso.

A participação de metade dos países das Nações Unidas, cerca de noventa, varia entre 90 e 97 de acordo com o ano, num universo de 185, é significativa. Se examina dentro do quadro ou aqueles países que não informam são aqueles que são pequenos, que têm uma estrutura administrativa que não tem condições de levantar todo ano, ou que acham, de certa maneira, inútil fazê-lo porque não compram muitas armas, são forças armadas que têm equipamentos que estão abaixo das categorias indicadas pelo registro, ou então países que têm problemas de segurança que os impedem de participar com a transparência que seria desejável. Isso é muito característico dos países do Oriente Médio, alguns casos no nosso continente e de certos casos no Sudeste da Ásia. Então a lição que o Brasil tira disso e que tem sido expressa pelos nossos peritos no Grupo de Peritos sobre Armas Convencionais, é – e aqui vou criar um problema para os nossos intérpretes – é um velho provérbio brasileiro que diz: “Devagar com o andor que o santo é de barro”. Basicamente diz que nós devemos andar relativamente de uma maneira cautelosa I think I caused a problem for Mr. Dhanapala, but in Catholic tradition, during a procession, you have all those Catholic saints that are taken to the streets, and if you go too fast, maybe the saint will fall and as it is made of clay it might break [take it easy in procession; saints are made of clay.]. Voltando ao português, essa é a percepção que nós temos.

Quais são os grandes problemas do Registro? Diríamos, num extremo os países do Oriente Médio, não só do Oriente Médio, querendo incluir a questão das armas de destruição em massa. O Brasil – faria aqui um parêntesis – vota afirmativamente nas duas resoluções que são anualmente apresentadas na Primeira Comissão das Nações Unidas sobre Registro de Armas Convencionais. Uma delas, de iniciativa do Egito, tem essa preocupação de tentar incluir ou de dizer que é necessário incluir as armas de destruição em massa. A outra, tradicionalmente apresentada pelos Países Baixos, pela Holanda, não se refere a esta área. Nós votamos positivamente porque compreendemos as posições de ambos grupos de países.

No entanto, nós não co-patrocinamos a resolução de iniciativa do Egito, porque consideramos que o Registro é de armas convencionais, ou seja, ainda que reconheçamos a preocupação com armas atômicas e gostaríamos que essas armas atômicas, que são as únicas armas de destruição em massa que não estão cobertas por tratados multilaterais que as proíbe, porque as armas químicas estão, as armas biológicas estão e os mísseis, se são de destruição em massa, estão cobertos pelo TNP por esta área, porque os mísseis, em princípio, eles são vetores que levam certas cabeças de guerra. Então nós não consideramos que seja apropriado colocar as armas de destruição em massa dentro do Registro de Armas Convencionais porque elas não são armas convencionais.

Depois as pequenas armas. As pequenas armas – e nós utilizamos no foro das Nações Unidas a perspectiva da Organização dos Estados Americanos – nós temos uma convenção que está referida na resolução do Conselho de Segurança, recém mencionada pelo Embaixador Dhanapala, a 1290, e nós procuramos mostrar a Convenção como um instrumento modelo e um instrumento que se adapta às necessidades do nosso Continente. Isso é um outro ponto que o Brasil defende no Registro de Armas Convencionais, é que nós aceitamos a criação de registros regionais e até o incentivamos em algumas regiões como a região africana. E incentivamos que estes registros sejam compatíveis com o registro das Nações Unidas. Isto por uma questão prática.

O Brasil é um país relativamente grande, que tem uma burocracia relativamente numerosa – o FMI de qualquer maneira quer que nós a reduzimos, há um empenho permanente na redução do número de funcionários – públicos, mas os nossos funcionários encarregados de preparar os dados para o registro da ONU tem um trabalho difícil, porque todos os anos há que descer até o escalão mais baixo das forças armadas para verificar quais são as armas que são obsoletas, que foram transferidas para a reserva, que foram destruídas, que foram danificadas e tudo isto subir e ser consolidado. Imagine se nós temos que fazer isto com todas as pequenas armas! Nós deixamos de responder a um questionário enviado pelo Doutor Dhanapala este ano, que foi o questionário sobre explosivos e munições. Um questionário extremamente completo, mas tão completo que eu, como perito encarregado de enviar à Brasília, disse, vou deixar a administração pública brasileira enlouquecida. Porque nós teríamos que ir a cada pequena pedreira quarry no Brasil, para verificar a quantidade de pólvora e dinamite que seria utilizada, a cada organização de policia municipal, num país federal, com 5 mil municípios. Se tivesse que efetivamente entregar uma informação que fosse fide digna, completa, o meu país não tem neste momento condições de fazê-lo.

Então nós temos que ter muito cuidado, do ponto de vista prático, quando ao prepararmos as nossas resoluções e os nossos questionários entregamos à nossa administração pública, em casa, em países, exceto Canadá e Estados Unidos e um ou outro país caribenho, como Trinidad and Tobago, são países em desenvolvimento, que têm instituições ainda em processo de aperfeiçoamento.

Nós vemos que o Registro é uma bandeira a ser mantida, a ser aperfeiçoada e que devemos discutir com muito cuidado e que a discussão nas organizações e organismos regionais deve ser compatível com a das Nações Unidas, porque, por exemplo, se formos estudar a questão das informações na categoria de navios de guerra, de meios navais, barcos abaixo de 700 ou 800 toneladas quase nenhum país do Caribe, exceto talvez Cuba, disponha. Então se os países do Caribe têm uma intenção ou se os países da África Ocidental de desenvolver um registro complementar que possa colocar dentro daquele registro das Nações Unidas certos tipos de armas que aumentem a confiança naquela região, nós consideramos bem-vinda. Então, se nós pudéssemos partir para, isso é uma idéia, da criação, digamos, de building blocks que sejam complementares ao registro das Nações Unidas, mas que nós também devamos evitar grandes regras gerais que sejam tão complexas que na verdade elas vão evitar que países que gostaríamos que participassem melhor como a Índia, a China, de uma maneira mais completa, que teriam, efetivamente, dificuldades de aceitar.

Então a nossa percepção é: temos um instrumento de idealismo, que é um instrumento de um registro amplo, profundo, que cubra todos os países do mundo e que seja efetivamente um instrumento de confiança mútua, algo que se aproxime a um military balance feito pelas Nações Unidas, complementada pela informação objetiva sobre orçamento militar. Brasil é um país que desde o início – e farei aqui, se o Senhor Presidente me permitir, um pequeno parêntesis – de que o registro de armas convencionais seja pouco a pouco colocado em paralelo com a informação sobre despesas militares. A informação sobre despesas militares é de extrema utilidade. Ela pode ser melhorada, o documento deste ano, que é o documento A53218, apenas a Argentina, o Brasil e os Estados Unidos apresentaram informações dos seus gastos militares. Nós temos ainda, dentro do processo brasileiro, algumas dificuldades de fazê-lo. A nossa informação antes da adoção do plano real, era quase inútil, no sentido que tínhamos uma moeda cadente e saber qual o cruzeiro que se aplicava para medir em termos de dólar aquelas despesas, eram uma dificuldade para o próprio Estado brasileiro.

Depois, foi levantado também pelo Pericles, o que são gastos militares? No nosso país, as forças armadas, ao contrário do que foi mencionado, elas cobrem grande parte de instituições educativas. O Ministério da Aeronáutica ele é na verdade o Ministério da Força Aérea e do Transporte Aéreo, então gastos com aeroportos são colocados dentro das despesas militares, e a marinha e a força aérea não colocavam os seus aposentados enquanto o exército colocava. Mas de qualquer maneira, este tipo de informação é um indicador importante, inclusive para a nossa própria sociedade saber, quanto estamos gastando, que tipos de gastos vamos fazer, para a própria sociedade examinar se aquele gasto com defesa é um gasto eficaz.

Fui um pouco desorganizado, tinha uma série de instruções do meu Governo, de dizer que basicamente o Brasil dá um valor, deseja continuar e convida os países do Continente a apresentarem, de uma maneira voluntária, tanto nas importações quanto nas exportações, informações sobre os seus estoques de armamento, informações de compras no seu mercado interno, e também, como nós temos procurado fazer e que é algo muito importante, informações sobre a política de defesa, sobre a visão estratégica de aplicação das forças armadas, porque esse conjunto de dados, junto com as despesas militares é que mostra qual é a atitude de cada país na utilização dos seus meios de defesa.

Nós temos uma certa precaução em dizer que vamos diminuir ou que vamos nos abster de comprar armas. Muitas vezes, falando em palavras internas no Brasil, quando diziam para que é que o Brasil necessita de um avião de guerra moderno? Eu respondia: sou um pai, tenho um filho de 18 anos e realmente não gosto de entregar a ele um volkswagen 1954 para que ele dirija pelas estradas esburacadas do meu país, e tenho certeza que a mãe de um piloto da Força Aérea não gostaria que o seu filho pilote também um avião de 1950, 1960. Essa preocupação com a segurança dos operadores militares, com a segurança do país tem que ser levada em conta.

Acho que a participação do instrumento que a Nações Unidas criou como Registro de Armas Convencionais possibilita aos nossos países de atenderem legitimamente as suas preocupações de defesa ao mesmo tempo em que, de uma maneira transparente, dão segurança aos seus vizinhos e parceiros de que aquela compra de arma não é ou não se dirige a um objetivo de agressão. Era isto o que tinha que dizer. Muito obrigado, Senhor Presidente.






Washington, D.C., 15 December, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

The Canadian delegation is grateful to the Committee on Hemispheric Security for this opportunity to share with you some Canadian perspectives on the issue of conventional arms registers. Also, through you, Mr. Chairman, we would like to express to Under Secretary-General Dhanapala and Dr. Gasparini our gratitude for their illuminating briefings.

Your Excellencies, distinguished delegates, senhores e senhoras,

Transparency has come to be understood as the systematic provision of information on specific activities in the military field under formal or informal international arrangements. Depending on the terms of the arrangements, the information can be made available between States or provided to a central repository.

The UN Register of Conventional Arms is a concrete manifestation of the principle of transparency.

The primary function of the UN Register on Conventional Arms is to promote greater transparency in international conventional arms transfers in the hope that better information on the nature and extent of the arms trade will encourage greater restraint on the part of both supplier states and recipient states.

Canada has strongly supported efforts to improve the utility of the UN Register of Conventional Arms. We were active participants in the 1997 Group of Experts on the Register, as we were in the Group convened by the Secretary General in 1994. Canada has consistently called for a measured and careful deepening of the Register to improve the qualitative nature of the data. There are qualitative differences between different types and models of conventional weapons within each of the categories. Thus, types and models should be part of the reporting requirements at the same level of commitment as transfers. To encourage the development of greater transparency, Canada routinely provides additional "background" information to the Register on our domestic holdings, and national production of conventional weapons, and we have argued in support of the addition of this information to the Register.

Canada has also actively supported the provision of the UN Register data to regional organizations by their participating states, as a supplement to the annual submission to the UN. We have also advocated analysis and discussion of the relevant data in regional fora, including in special sessions devoted to the UN Register.

Since the inception of the UN Register of Conventional Arms, many countries have pointed out that it is categories of small arms and light weapons that are of the most direct security concern to them. These weapons, which include fully-automatic weapons, grenades and their launchers, as well as shoulder-fired rockets and missiles, are "conventional weapons" par excellence in that they are the principle tactical weapons used by ground forces in "conventional warfighting". These weapons in many cases in many parts of the world and in large numbers have spread from military arsenals into the hands not of soldiers but of criminals and terrorists. The impact of these weapons is not abstract nor theoretical. It is real and deadly. They cause death and injury today. We know this only too well.

An idea has been mooted in some circles that perhaps an eighth category, one to cover small arms and light weapons, could be added to the already existing seven categories of conventional arms. However, the 1994 Group of Experts thought such an inclusion was inappropriate or impractical. These weapons are traded in such large volumes and among many different kinds of traders that it was felt that it would be an impossible task for states to report on these transactions.

Is it time to reconsider this view? For one thing, the problem is probably getting worse, not better. The UN Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms, whose work was noted by the 1997 Panel, reporting at roughly the same time as the 1997 Panel of Experts on the Register, noted:

"In one way or another, virtually every part of the UN system is dealing with the direct and indirect consequences of recent armed conflicts fought mostly with small arms and light weapons. Some of the most intractable armed conflicts ...are those in which a recurring cycle of violence, or erosion of political authority and a loss of economic viability have deprived a State of its authority to cope either with the causes or the consequences of the excessive accumulation, spread and use of small arms".

Would increased transparency for small arms help? Of course. Only by developing a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the global trade in small arms can we really begin to tackle its negative consequences on communities and people. We know, however, that event the best transparency measures are unlikely to include illicit trafficking or grey market flows. We must still work harder to deal with these. Nevertheless, transparency measures which spotlight overt and legal transfers can act to stem the overall trade. This can be done by the gaining of the ability to measure flows against international norms, and by the focussing of international attention on the scope and nature of the problem, locally, regionally, or globally.

To date, measures to render conventional weapons more transparent have consistently focussed on the seven categories of the UN Register. As small arms are not included in any of these categories, the UN Register is not directly relevant to this trade. The Register does however provide potentially useful models and precedents for future measures.

There are three basic approaches to increasing transparency in small arms that one could take:

(1) expand the UN Register to include small arms;

(2) develop a UN or global register exclusively for small arms; and

(3) develop regional registers.

As to (1), the UN Register we believe is probably not the ideal instrument to deal with the small arms issue. The main reason is that the Register is a mechanism to promote "regional peace and security" and its principle purpose is to reduce the threat of armed conflict across international borders. The greatest threat posed by small arms is the destabilization, insecurity and suffering occurring within states. The effects of the spread and accumulations of these weapons are not so much on military and strategic affairs as they are on the political, social and humanitarian concerns of States and people.

As to (2), there is some potential here, but there has been little discussion to date. We are certainly open to hearing ideas about how a separate global register might operate. Canada desires to contribute in a modest way to the ongoing discussion and thinking on this issue. Accordingly, the Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Division has recently commissioned a study on an international register of small arms, identifying certain issues and describing a possible model approach.

And as to (3), we feel that there is promise in this approach. There are three reasons for this optimism. First, because the small arms problem is usually regional in nature, a geographically focussed mechanism is more likely to be effective than a global one. Second, in some places of the world, support for a regional register is already beginning to develop. The OAS is a good example of this. And third, because a regional register would be the product of an indigenous process, the norms established are more likely to reflect local concerns and sensitivities. These will act to enhance the credibility and the effective-ness of the register process.

In conclusion, let me say that there is no dispute that the trade and excessive accumulation of conventional weapons can, and does, in some circumstance, threaten regional security, divert resources needed elsewhere for basic social and economic development, and increase the likelihood of destruction and human suffering in the event of armed conflict. Canada remains committed to the process that will improve the efficacy of the UN Register of Conventional Arms, and is desirous of contributing to the process leading to the establishment of regional registers where these are appropriate.

Canada is also very concerned about the uncontrolled spread and excessive accumulations of small arms and light weapons. To some, these are also "conventional weapons". Notwithstanding this, by noting the conclusions of the 1994 Experts Panel, it is arguably inappropriate to include small arms as a new category of conventional arms in the existing UN Register. A more promising approach might be to consider including them when deciding on the scope and operation of yet-to-be crafted regional registers.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Intervención por el Embajador Claude Heller,

Representante Permanente de México ante la OEA

Comisión de Seguridad Hemisférica: Registro de Armas Convencionales de la ONU

En primer lugar quiero agradecerle la organización de esta sesión que me ha parecido extraordinariamente productiva y rica, así como agradecer las presentaciones que hicieron tanto el Secretario General Adjunto de Desarme, el Embajador Dhanapala, como el Director del Centro Regional de Lima, doctor Gasparini, y los expertos de la Argentina, Brasil y Canadá.

Yo quisiera hacer unos cuantos comentarios generales. Primero me quisiera referir al tema de las armas pequeñas, de las armas ligeras, como un tema –que ustedes bien saben– preocupó al Gobierno de México desde hace varios años y que motivó de hecho la presentación de una iniciativa que culminó el año pasado con la Convención Interamericana contra la Producción y el Tráfico Ilícitos de Armas de Fuego, Municiones, Explosivos y Otros Materiales Relacionados.

Creo que debemos de ser profundamente realistas al tratar de este tema. Avanzar en la Convención no fue una tarea fácil, hubo que vencer resistencias y escepticismo. Creo que hay un problema más que conceptual que enfrentamos constantemente: cual es la diferencia, o donde está la frontera entre lo que es legal y lo que es ilegal. Ustedes bien saben de que la Convención –cuando se planteó y se negoció– quedó muy en claro de que estaba esencialmente orientada, digamos a la naturaleza legal. ¿Porqué razón? Porque existe un comercio legal que es muy importante en varios países, incluso de nuestra región y es tan importante que incluso la adquisición de armas pequeñas es favorecida. No se han tomado, incluso en algunos casos, justamente legislaciones que permitan reducir este proceso. Esto es un problema, creo yo que es fundamental, que tenemos que abordar, hay países productores, exportadores, hay también productores ilegales, efectivamente. Pero creo que hay que ver en sus distintas vertientes este problema.

Cuando México hizo la presentación de su iniciativa, lo hizo pensando obviamente en el vínculo que existía del tráfico y la producción ilegal con tres vertientes fundamentales, con la del terrorismo, la del narcotráfico, y el crimen organizado como fenómenos esencialmente transnacionales.

Lo que nos debe de preocupar en estos momentos, sentimos nosotros, es la multiplicación de iniciativas que se vienen presentando en distintos foros. De alguna manera este tema está siendo abordado en Viena, está siendo abordado en Nueva York. Hay un riesgo, sentimos, de cierta duplicación y duplicidad de esfuerzos. En algunos casos se piensa que hay que hacer registros, en otros convenciones. Creo que falta todavía claridad sobre lo objetivo que debemos perseguir en esta dirección.

Por lo que nos parece esencial al Gobierno de México es precisamente si vamos a avanzar en el tema de la codificación de la adopción de nuevos instrumentos, es la importancia de los medios de seguimiento de estos instrumentos. Yo quisiera destacar aquí, y es una iniciativa que el Gobierno de México piensa tomar próximamente, que la Convención Interamericana contra la Producción y el Tráfico Ilícitos de Armas de Fuego, Municiones, Explosivos y Otros Materiales Relacionados establezca un comité consultivo. Un comité consultivo que desafortunadamente todavía no está en funcionamiento porque este comité no podrá existir hasta que se obtenga la décima ratificación por parte de los Estados. Es decir, todavía el proceso legislativo ha sido lento. Pero nos parece muy importante la tarea que realizará este comité consultivo porque será el que realmente podrá darle un monitoreo y un seguimiento a la Convención.

En el mismo sentido nos proponemos establecer una coordinación entre este comité consultivo y otras entidades o instancias competentes en materia internacional. Voy a dar un ejemplo, muy reciente tuvimos la reunión en Mar del Plata sobre el tema del terrorismo en que la propuesta que se presentará a la Asamblea General de la OEA en año próximo es la creación de un comité interamericano para combatir justamente el terrorismo, integrado por las autoridades competentes en la materia. Lo que se propone el documento de Mar del Plata es precisamente una coordinación entre comité y el comité consultivo de la Convención. Pensamos que debemos de crear justamente una red, una coordinación entre las distintas instancias que tienen un vínculo con este tema.

Aparte del tema de las armas pequeñas, ligeras, etcétera, unos breves comentarios sobre el tema de registro de armas. Sin duda, el Gobierno de México así lo vio desde un principio, la creación del registro como un paso positivo en la búsqueda del fomento de la confianza pero también pensamos que debemos de reconocer las limitaciones que está viviendo este proceso. Las limitaciones en el sentido de que no hay una respuesta todavía, como la deseáramos. Se preguntaba el director del Centro de Lima, pues que tal vez uno de los temas fundamentales será el de analizar las causas de la no-participación. Creo que es un tema fundamental, creo que sería muy interesante organizar seminarios para buscar unas respuestas a estas preguntas. Pero también tengo la impresión que en ocasión hablamos de transparencia, hablamos de información como se fuera un objetivo en sí mismo y, as veces, creo que es un poco abstracto como se maneja el tema.

Francamente, muchas veces, uno ve una de las respuestas que existen de información que se da en documentos de este tipo, pues, tiene que ser interpretada y será válida en la medida en que sepamos conectarla con otras variables y otros factores importantes. El país en cuestión tiene unos conflictos con países vecinos, se ven inmersos en algún tipo de situación externa o interna especial y, creo, que muchas veces se pierde un poco de vista, parecería con que basta con contestar información, dar información, para cumplir, casi por inercia, un objetivo.

Coincido plenamente con el experto del Brasil que mencionaba que el importante es lograr tener una visión sobre la concepción estratégica que tiene cada uno de nuestros países sobre la utilización de los medios nacionales de defensa y al mismo tiempo sus prioridades y sus concepciones mismas de seguridad nacional.

Creo que hay una pregunta que hay que hacerse muy frecuentemente ¿Cuando hay amenaza a una carga armamentista? Creo que el interés de tener información no es únicamente como fomento de la confianza, pero cuando podemos prender una luz amarilla o una luz roja porque está pasando algo inusual que amenaza o que puede amenazar a la estabilidad regional. Creo que este tipo de preguntas deberían orientar más, por lo menos un debate teórico e intelectual en el ámbito de la OEA y de las mismas Naciones Unidas.

México ha favorecido, también coincide con la necesidad de ampliar el tema del registro de armas convencionales a altas armas destrucción masiva. Nos parece que este es un criterio correcto, el cual México ha apoyado.

Pero al mismo tiempo pensamos de que volviendo al tema de que la presentación de información no es un fin en sí mismo, es que debe haber un vínculo entre la información que se da a Naciones Unidas, posteriormente en el marco de la misma Organización de los Estados Americanos, un vínculo con el objetivo de emprender negociaciones concretas sobre regulación de transferencias de armas convencionales y sobre reducción de armas convencionales. Pensamos de que el objetivo del desarme como tal, de la utilización de recursos cada vez menos disponibles en tiempos de crisis, debe estar orientado fundamentalmente a la satisfacción de las necesidades básicas de la población, obviamente teniendo en cuenta las percepciones, las necesidades de seguridad nacional. Pero creo que rescatar, precisamente, todo este trabajo que se ha venido haciendo en el marco multilateral con el objetivo esencial de la búsqueda de acuerdos de desarme, sigue siendo el objetivo y la prioridad principal. Muchas gracias, señor Presidente.


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