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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T

D-01/98
Subject: The General Secretariat's Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs: Designation and Functions 

Date: 10/02/98

Code: SG/97

To:              Executive and Assistant Secretaries, Chiefs of Staff, Directors, and the Executive Coordinators 

   From:              The Secretary General 

   Subject:              DIRECTIVE:    The General Secretariat's Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs: Designation and Functions

At its Twenty-eighth Regular Session in Caracas, Venezuela, the OAS General Assembly adopted Resolution AG/RES. 1566 (XXVIII-O/98), entitled "Confidence-and Security-Building in the Americas." In pertinent part, that Resolution instructs the Secretary General:

To provide, within existing budgetary resources, to the Committee on Hemispheric Security, specialized support and to strengthen that of a the technical administrative nature which currently exists, so that the Committee can comply with the mandates entrusted to it by the General Assembly and the Second Summit of the Americas, and to also report to the Permanent Council on this mandate prior to the first meeting of the Committee after the twenty-eighth regular session of the General Assembly.

Similarly, in Resolution AG/RES. 1567 (XXVIII-0/98), entitled "Special Security Concerns of Small Island States," the General Assembly instructed the General Secretariat, in accordance with allocated resources in the approved program budget and other available resources: (1) to strengthen its programs of cooperation in small island states in the prevention and mitigation of the effects of natural disasters; (2) to cooperate, in accordance with the University of the West Indies to advance the examination of the Special security concerns of small island states, and (3) to continue implementing "appropriate action to address the special security concerns" of those states.

Resolutions AG/RES. 1568 and 1569 (XXVIII-0/98) entrust the General Secretariat with significant responsibilities in the Organization's Mine-Clearing Programs in Central America. Specifically, Resolution AG/RES. 1568, entitled "Support for the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America," urges the General Secretariat to "continue to provide, within the resources assigned in the program-budget and other resources, the necessary support for the Central American countries to continue mine-cleaning programs and programs aimed at preventative education, rehabilitation of victims, and the reclamation of demined areas." Similarly, Resolution AG/RES. 1569, entitled "The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-landmine Free Zone," requests the General Secretariat "to continue to provide, as necessary, to the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other appropriate international organizations, updated information on OAS activities to promote the elimination of all use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel land mines and to promote programs supporting the removal of such mines.

Currently, the work of the General Secretariat in the area of Hemispheric Security is performed by a panoply of specialized units. Nonetheless, in view of the General Assembly's recent request to the General Secretariat for more specialized and additional support in implementing the Hemispheric Security mandates, it is now necessary to designate an official within the Office of the Secretary General as the General Secretariat's "Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs," with responsibility for coordinating the Secretariat's support to the Committee on Hemispheric Security and the Secretariat's other mandates in that area. To that end, I have decided to take the following decisions, effective the date of this Directive:

1. Mr. Ricardo Santamarķa, Advisor to the Secretary General, shall also serve as the General Secretariat's Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs.

2. The functions of the General Secretariat's Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs shall be as follows:

a. To attend all meetings of the Committee on Hemispheric Security as the Secretary General's representative, to speak for the Secretary General at those meetings as required, to coordinate the Secretariat's response to the Committee's requests (including preparation of reports and other documents), and to work closely with the Committee and its Chairman as required;

b. To coordinate, liaise with, and assist the other dependencies of the General Secretariat charged with providing technical support, advice, and other services to the Committee on Hemispheric Security and with implementing the Secretariat's mandates in the area of Hemispheric Security;

c. To maintain the Secretariat's files, archives, and data bases on Hemispheric Security Affairs, except for those within the specific competence of the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy and the Department of International Law, and to make those materials available to the Member States;

d. To serve as a central clearinghouse for all requests from the Member States, Permanent Observers, other dependencies of the General Secretariat and organs of the Organization for requests for assistance and for information from the General Secretariat relating to Hemispheric Security and Confidence Building;

e. To advise and make recommendations to the Secretary General for improving the Secretariat's support to the Committee on Hemispheric Security and its support for programs and activities which strengthen Hemispheric Security and building confidence in that area; and

f. To perform such other functions as the Secretary General shall assign in relation to Hemispheric Security-and Confidence-Building process.

3. The other dependencies of the General Secretariat involved in the area of Hemispheric Security and Confidence Building shall provide the Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs with the information and support necessary for carrying out the foregoing functions.

4. The Coordinator for Hemispheric Security Affairs shall report to the Secretary General through the Secretary General's Chief of Staff.

cc: The Assistant Secretary General


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