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Diplomacy in Action

References to Security in the Quebec Summit Documents


Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
January 29, 2009

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From the Quebec City Summit Declaration

We reaffirm our commitment to maintain peace and security through the effective use of hemispheric means for the peaceful resolution of disputes and the adoption of confidence- and security-building measures. In this regard, we support and commend the efforts of the OAS. We reiterate our full adherence to the principle that commits states to refrain from the threat or use of force, in accordance with international law. In conformity with the principles of international humanitarian law, we strongly condemn attacks on civilian populations. We will take all feasible measures to ensure that the children of our countries do not participate in armed conflict and we condemn the use of children by irregular forces. We reaffirm that the constitutional subordination of armed forces and security forces to the legally constituted civilian authorities of our countries, as well as respect for the rule of law on the part of all national institutions and sectors of society, are fundamental to democracy. We will strive to limit military expenditures while maintaining capabilities commensurate with our legitimate security needs and will promote greater transparency in the acquisition of arms.

We reiterate our commitment to combat new, multi-dimensional threats to the security of our societies. Foremost amongst these threats are the global drug problem and related crimes, the illicit traffic in and criminal use of firearms, the growing danger posed by organized crime and the general problem of violence in our societies. Acknowledging that corruption undermines core democratic values, challenges political stability and economic growth and thus threatens vital interests in our Hemisphere, we pledge to reinvigorate our fight against corruption. We also recognize the need to improve the conditions for human security in the Hemisphere.

From the Quebec City Summit Action Plan

Hemispheric Security

Recognizing that democracy is essential for peace, development and security in the Hemisphere which, in turn, are the best basis for furthering the welfare of our people, and noting that the constitutional subordination of armed forces and security forces to the legally constituted authorities of our states is fundamental to democracy.

Strengthening Mutual Confidence

Governments will:

Hold the Special Conference on Security in 2004, for which the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security will conclude the review of all issues related to approaches to international security in the Hemisphere, as defined at the Santiago Summit;

Continue with priority activities on conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of disputes, respond to shared traditional and non-traditional security and defense concerns and support measures to improve human security;

Support the efforts of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to address their special security concerns, recognizing that for the smallest and most vulnerable states in the Hemisphere, security is multi-dimensional in scope, involves state and non-state actors and includes political, economic, social and natural components, and that the SIDS have concluded that among the threats to their security are illicit drug trafficking, the illegal trade in arms, increasing levels of crime and corruption, environmental vulnerability exacerbated by susceptibility to natural disasters and the transportation of nuclear waste, economic vulnerability particularly in relation to trade, new health threats including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) /Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic and increased levels of poverty;

Improve the transparency and accountability of defense and security institutions and promote greater understanding and cooperation among government agencies involved in security and defense issues, through such means as increased sharing of defense policy and doctrine papers, information and personnel exchanges, including, where feasible, cooperation and training for participation in UN peace-keeping activities and to respond better to legitimate security and defense needs, by improving transparency of arms acquisitions in order to improve confidence and security in the Hemisphere;

Continue promoting greater degrees of confidence and security in the Hemisphere, inter alia through sustained support for measures, such as those set forth in the Santiago and San Salvador Declarations on Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs), and for existing mechanisms, agreements and funds, and consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as soon as possible and as the case may be, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions, and the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials, giving full support to the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all Its Aspects to be held in July 2001, bearing in mind the results of the Regional Preparatory Meeting of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Brasilia in November 2000, and the work of the OAS, which contributed a regional perspective to the discussions;

Strongly support the Third Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, to be held in September 2001 in Managua, Nicaragua, and the Review Conference of the 1980 UN Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, to be held in December 2001 in Geneva; as well as the efforts of the OAS to pursue the goal of the conversion of the Western Hemisphere into an anti-personnel- landmine-free zone;

Call for an experts meeting, before the Special Conference on Security, as a follow-up to the regional conferences of Santiago and San Salvador on CSBMs, in order to evaluate implementation and consider next steps to further consolidate mutual confidence;

Promote financial support to the OAS Fund for Peace: Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes, established to provide financial resources to assist with defraying the inherent costs of proceedings previously agreed to by the parties concerned for the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes among OAS member states; and

Support the work leading up to the Fifth Meeting of Defense Ministers of the Americas to take place in Chile, as well as meetings that will take place subsequently.

Fight Against Terrorism

Support the work initiated by the Inter-American Committee on Terrorism (CICTE) established within the OAS as a result of the Commitment of Mar del Plata adopted in 1998, and encourage hemispheric cooperation to prevent, combat and eliminate all forms of terrorism, taking into account the approval of the Statute and Work Plan of CICTE; and

Consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as soon as possible and as the case may be, those international agreements related to the fight against terrorism, in accordance with their respective internal legislation.



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