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Press Release


  September 10, 2003

The terrorist attacks against the United States two years ago represented a “brutal collective awakening” of the need for solidarity to ensure the security of the region, the Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council, Ambassador Raymond Valcin of Haiti, said today.

Valcin said “the entire hemispheric community” suffered along with the United States on September 11, 2001, adding that the attacks claimed victims from many different countries in the region.

On that day, the foreign ministers of the OAS member states were meeting in Lima, Peru, to adopt the Inter-American Democratic Charter. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell joined his colleagues in approving the Democratic Charter before he headed back to Washington, underscoring the particular urgency of defending democracy in light of the attacks.

At the Permanent Council today, Valcin recalled that the OAS member states immediately condemned the terrorist attacks and called a Meeting of Consultation days later, then moved decisively to develop and adopt the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. The treaty was signed in June 2002 in Barbados and entered into force in July of this year.

Reference: E-172/03