Media Center

Press Release


  June 23, 2005

Terrorism, organized crime, environmental degradation and disease featured among non-traditional but significant threats to the hemisphere’s security that Secretary General José Miguel Insulza of the Organization of American States, (OAS) accentuated in his commencement address to the 44th graduating class of the Inter-American Defense College. “This, therefore, is a broader, more comprehensive perspective of security in our hemisphere,” he declared.

Addressing some 50 graduates from 15 countries of the Americas, the Secretary General underscored the need for regional as well as military-civilian cooperation to tackle global threats that, he said, called for a global response. “They are all real threats, concerns and challenges to our democracies,” said Insulza of the scourges he identified. “And they call for appropriate responses that combine wisdom, commitment and joint effort by the states.”

Citing a declaration on security in the Americas—which the foreign ministers adopted at the OAS General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, earlier this month—Insulza said, “We agreed that the threats facing the hemisphere are multidimensional… and tackling security threats takes effort that also addresses the causes.” He pointed to OAS bodies engaged in this effort, among them the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) and the follow-up mechanism for the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Material (CIFTA).

Meantime, Director of the Inter-American Defense College and Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board Major General Keith M. Huber gave an overview of the study program, outlining as well the history of the both the Defense Board and the College.

The 11-month professionally-oriented, multidisciplinary graduate-level course is geared towards providing senior military, civilian and security personnel an understanding of governmental systems, the current international environment, the structure and foundation of the inter-American system, peace-keeping operations and hemispheric security.

Reference: E-126/05