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Declaration: Reaffirmation of the Hemispheric Commitment To Fighting Terrorism


March 7, 2008

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(Adopted at the Fifth Plenary Session held on March 7, 2008)

The Member States of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS), gathered at its Eighth Regular Session, held in Washington, D.C., in the United States of America, from March 5 to 7, 2008,

MINDFUL of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the Organization of American States and of the Charter of the United Nations;

REAFFIRMING that terrorism constitutes a grave threat to the lives, well-being and fundamental freedoms of all people, threatens international peace and security, and undermines the values and principles underlying the inter-American system, democratic institutions, and the freedoms enshrined in and promoted by the Charter of the OAS, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and other international instruments;

REITERATING their commitment to prevent, combat, and eliminate acts of terrorism and the financing of such acts through the broadest cooperation possible, in full compliance with their obligations under national and international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law;

EMPHASIZING the importance of the historic adoption by the General Assembly, at its thirty-second regular session, on June 3, 2002, of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and the deposit of the instruments of ratification of 23 member states, which strengthens the inter-American commitment in this area and constitutes a comprehensive framework for Member States;

EMPHASIZING that it is important for the member states of the Organization of American States to sign, ratify, implement, and continue implementing, as appropriate, the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, as well as pertinent regional and international conventions and protocols, including the 13 international conventions and protocols1 and United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) in order to find, deny safe haven to, and bring to justice, on the basis of the principle of extradite or prosecute, any person who supports, facilitates, participates, or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation, or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe havens, as well as resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004);

REAFFIRMING the commitments and conclusions adopted in the Declaration of Panama on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure in the Hemisphere in the Face of Terrorism, in the Declarations adopted at the six previous regular sessions of CICTE, as well as the importance of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and the relevance of the implementation of these in the fight against terrorism; and

REAFFIRMING the importance of the efforts of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and their commitment to implement and promote internationally its 40 Recommendations on Money Laundering and Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorism Financing,

DECLARE:

1. Their most vehement condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its origin or motivation, which has no justification whatsoever, affects the full enjoyment and exercise of human rights, and constitutes a grave threat to international peace and security, democratic institutions, and the values enshrined in the OAS Charter, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and other subregional, regional and international instruments.

2. Their concern that the activities of transnational organized crime can be used by terrorist groups to finance and facilitate their criminal activities.

3. Their recognition of the ongoing need to strengthen measures that deal with the threat of terrorism and, when possible, to reduce and prevent its devastating consequences for its victims, society as a whole, and its infrastructure.

4. The importance of combating terrorism, with full respect for the obligations under national and international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law.

5. Their recognition of the significant contribution made by the security forces of the Member States in the fight against terrorism and that, in this respect, adequate capacity-building, training, and equipment are necessary to face this threat, and that this requires strengthening international cooperation in these areas.

6. That terrorism is a scourge without boundaries and it is therefore indispensable to continue the coordinated efforts of member states to exchange information and best practices in order to prevent, combat and eliminate it in a comprehensive and effective manner, and to improve international cooperation in areas that include extradition and mutual legal assistance, in accordance with the domestic legislation of each State.

7. The need for member states that have not yet done so to ratify or accede to, as the case may be, the inter-American and universal instruments against terrorism, and to apply their provisions.

8. That compliance by member states with their obligations under anti-terrorist agreements is paramount and that in this regard information-sharing among them within the framework of CICTE should be encouraged.

9. The commitment to fighting terrorism in keeping with the principles of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of Member States.

10. Their concern about the threat posed to critical infrastructure by terrorism, according to the Declaration of Panama on Protection of Critical Infrastructure in the face of Terrorism in the Hemisphere, and their commitment to continue strengthening their subregional, regional and international cooperation efforts to prevent, mitigate, and discourage potential terrorist threats to this infrastructure.

11. The imperative need to fully implement Special Recommendation V of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on international cooperation, so that countries take all possible measures to ensure that they do not provide safe havens for individuals charged with the financing of terrorism, terrorist acts, or terrorist organizations.

12. The urgent need to fully implement FATF Special Recommendation IX on Cash Couriers to ensure that their competent authorities have the legal authority to stop or restrain currency or bearer negotiable instruments that are suspected to be related to terrorism financing or money laundering, or that are falsely declared or disclosed, noting that the use of bulk cash smuggling and the use of illicit cash couriers can be a major method of financing terrorist activities. This should not restrict the freedom of capital movements.

13. Their decision to recommend that the OAS Regular Fund contribute the necessary resources to provide the CICTE Secretariat with human and financial resources to ensure continuity in its endeavors and fulfillment of its programs and activities.

14. Their appeal to the Member States, Permanent Observers, and pertinent international agencies that they provide, maintain, or increase, as appropriate, their voluntary financial and/or human resource contributions to CICTE, to facilitate the performance of its functions and promote enhancement of its programs and the scope of its work.

APPENDIX: UNITED NATIONS CONVENTIONS DEPOSITED WITH THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1973

2. International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 17 December 1979

3. International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 15 December 1997

4. International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1997

5. International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism
New York, 13 April 2005

MULTILATERAL CONVENTIONS DEPOSITED WITH OTHER DEPOSITARIES

6. Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, signed at Tokyo on 14 September 1963. (Deposited with the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization)

7. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, signed at the Hague on 16 December 1970. (Deposited with the Governments of the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America)

8. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, signed at Montreal on 23 September 1971. (Deposited with the Governments of the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America)

9. Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, signed at Vienna on 3 March 1980. (Deposited with the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency)

10. Protocol on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, signed at Montreal on 24 February 1988. (Deposited with the Governments of the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and with the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization)

11. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety o Maritime Navigation, done at Rome on 10 March 1988. (Deposited with the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization)

12. Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf, done at Rome on 10 March 1988. (Deposited with the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization)

13. Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, signed at Montreal on 1 March 1991. (Deposited with the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization)



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