Media Center

Press Release


  May 28, 2007

During a special meeting today, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism and the Impunity of its Perpetrators, in response to a proposal initially presented by the government of Venezuela.

In today’s session, the President of the Permanent Council, Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero, expressed appreciation for the good offices of OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and the Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic, Roberto Alvarez, for bringing about a complete consensus in the formulation and approval of the Declaration.

In the text that was adopted, the Permanent Council expresses its “vehement condemnation of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of its origin or motivation, as criminal and unjustifiable, as a grave threat to international peace and security, and because it undermines efforts under way to promote stability, prosperity, and equity in the countries of the Hemisphere.”

It also urges “all member states to prosecute and, as appropriate, extradite, in accordance with their domestic laws and relevant treaties and conventions, anyone participating in the planning, preparation, commission, or financing of terrorist acts or, where appropriate, the attempted commission of said offenses.”

The Declaration establishes that “it is an inescapable duty of all countries of the Hemisphere to prevent, fight, and eliminate acts of terrorism and to prosecute, in accordance with their domestic law and international law, any person who has participated in the planning, preparation, financing, or commission of terrorist acts, and to cooperate, in accordance with their domestic law, so that member states may also bring to justice those responsible for acts of terrorism committed in their territories or against their citizens.”

The issue of terrorism was raised by the Venezuelan Mission to the OAS during a regular session of the Permanent Council last week, with no agreement having been reached on a pronouncement. Over the weekend, representatives of Venezuela and the United States conducted intense negotiations that—with the help of the Secretary General and the Dominican Ambassador—resulted in the document approved this morning, to applause, during a brief meeting of the Permanent Council. The session took place on Memorial Day, on which the United States honors the memory of those who have fought and died in wars.

Reference: E-139/07