Media Center

Press Release


  October 22, 2003

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today approved, for the consideration of the region’s foreign ministers, a draft declaration that defines a broad, new concept of hemispheric security.

Foreign ministers and other high-level authorities from the 34 countries in the hemisphere are expected to adopt the Declaration on Security in the Americas during the Special Conference on Security, to be held in Mexico City on October 27 and 28.

The document defines a “multidimensional” approach that goes beyond the traditional concept of security to encompass new threats, which include political, economic, social, health and environmental aspects. It highlights the importance of strengthening hemispheric cooperation on every aspect of security, within a democratic framework.

“Peace is a value and a principle in itself, based on democracy, justice, respect for human rights, solidarity, security, and respect for international law,” the draft Declaration on Security in the Americas states.

The Chairman of the Permanent Council’s Committee on Hemispheric Security, Ambassador Luis Enrique Chase Plate of Paraguay, emphasized that drafting a document based on consensus has been an “arduous and intense task, but valuable in the sense of exchanging experiences, knowledge and criteria about issues of great importance for our states and for the Americas.”

“The important thing is that, even with the governments’ diverse perspectives and interests, a consensus has been reached on the principles, perspectives and measures related to hemispheric security,” he said.

Apart from being a political declaration, the document is also a “plan of action” on security issues, since it includes a number of commitments and cooperation measures to be taken, according to Mexico’s Ambassador to the OAS, Miguel Ruiz-Cabañas, who headed a working group in charge of preparing the declaration.

Reference: E-204/03