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AG/RES. 2485 (XXXIX-O/09) Special Security Concerns of the Small Island States of the Caribbean


Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 4, 2009

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Organization of American States
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 4, 2009)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly, in particular the section on the matters entrusted to the Committee on Hemispheric Security (AG/doc.4992/09 add. 1);

RECALLING:

Its resolutions AG/RES. 1886 (XXXII-O/02) and AG/RES. 1970 (XXXIII-O/03), “Special Security Concerns of Small Island States of the Caribbean; AG/RES. 2006 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2112 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2187 (XXXVI-O/06), AG/RES. 2325 (XXXVII-O/07), and AG/RES. 2397 (XXXVIII-O/08), “Special Security Concerns of the Small Island States of the Caribbean”; AG/RES. 1497 (XXVII-O/97), AG/RES. 1567 (XXVIII-O/98), AG/RES. 1640 (XXIX-O/99), and AG/RES. 1802 (XXXI-O/01), “Special Security Concerns of Small Island States”; and AG/RES. 1410 (XXVI-O/96), “Promotion of Security in the Small Island States”;

That the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation recognized, as stated in the Declaration of Bridgetown: The Multidimensional Approach to Hemispheric Security (Bridgetown, Barbados, June 4, 2002), that the security threats, concerns, and other challenges in the hemispheric context are diverse in nature and multidimensional in scope, and that the traditional concept and approach must be expanded to encompass new and nontraditional threats, which include political, economic, social, health, and environmental aspects;

That, at the Special Conference on Security, held in Mexico City on October 27 and 28, 2003, the member states addressed, in paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Declaration on Security in the Americas, the multidimensional scope of security and the new threats, concerns, and other challenges and, in paragraph 8 of that Declaration, called for “renewed and ongoing attention to, and the development of appropriate instruments and strategies within the Inter-American system to address the special security concerns of small island states as reflected in the Declaration of Kingstown on the Security of Small Island States”; and

That, in the Declaration of Kingstown on the Security of Small Island States, the member states reaffirmed that the political, economic, social, health, and environmental integrity and stability of small island states are integral to the security of the Hemisphere;

REITERATING that the security of small island states has peculiar characteristics which render these states particularly vulnerable and susceptible to risks and threats of a multidimensional and transnational nature, involving political, economic, social, health, environmental, and geographic factors; and that multilateral cooperation is the most effective approach for responding to and managing the threats and concerns of small island states;

MINDFUL of the potentially disastrous impact of acts of terrorism on the stability and security of all states in the Hemisphere, particularly the small and vulnerable island states;

ACKNOWLEDGING that effectively addressing the security threats, concerns and challenges of small island states requires simultaneous efforts to reduce both threats and vulnerabilities;

RECOGNIZING the asymmetry that exists between the institutional capacity of small island states and the volume and scope of transnational organized criminal activity in the region;

AWARE that the small island states remain deeply concerned about the possible threats posed to their economies and maritime environment should a ship transporting substances such as petroleum and potentially dangerous materials, radioactive material, and toxic waste, have an accident or be the target of a terrorist attack while transiting the Caribbean Sea and other sea-lanes of communication in the Hemisphere;

RECOGNIZING the international obligations of member states, particularly obligations of the states parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and relevant instruments of the International Maritime Organization;

UNDERSCORING the importance of sustained dialogue on the multidimensional aspects of security and their impact on the small island states of the Caribbean, in support of ongoing subregional efforts to enhance law enforcement, violence prevention, security cooperation, and disaster mitigation and preparedness;

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION:

The Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain of the Fifth Summit of the Americas, in which the Heads of State and Government recognized, inter alia, that it is important to address the threats, concerns, and challenges to security in the Hemisphere that are diverse, multidimensional in scope, and impact on the well-being of our citizens; that violence is preventable; and that climate change has adverse effects on all countries of the Hemisphere, in particular, on small island states and countries with low-lying coastal areas;[1]/ and

The decisions adopted at the Ninth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) to strengthen border controls and international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, as well as the decisions adopted at all previous regular sessions of CICTE that address the special security concerns of small island states;

BEARING IN MIND the decisions adopted at the Thirteenth Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), held in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2008, which identified the special security concerns of the region and have been formulated into the security cooperation agenda, instruments, and strategic priorities currently being pursued and implemented in that region;

RECALLING:

Its resolutions AG/RES. 2114 (XXXV-O/05), “Natural Disaster Reduction and Risk Management,” and AG/RES. 2184 (XXXVI-O/06), “Natural Disaster Reduction, Risk Management, and Assistance in Natural and Other Disaster Situations”; and

Its resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXXII-E/06), “Statutes of the Inter-American Defense Board,” which mandates the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB), in carrying out its purpose, to take into account the needs of the smaller states, whose level of vulnerability is greater in the face of traditional threats and of new threats, concerns, and other challenges;

WELCOMING:

The meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, held on November 26, 2008, that addressed the follow-up of implementation of resolution AG/RES. 2397 (XXXVIII-O/08), “Special Security Concerns of the Small Island States of the Caribbean,” and included reports from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, and the IADB;

The Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from March 25 to 27, 2009;

The Commitment to Public Security in the Americas (MISPA/doc.7/08 rev. 4), adopted at the First Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas, held in Mexico City, on October 7 and 8, 2008, and the importance of the undertakings therein to the security of small island states;

The convocation of the Second and the Third Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas, to be held in the Dominican Republic in 2009 and in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010, respectively, and the meeting on public security, to be held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on August 4 and 5, 2009; and

The actions taken to address the special security concerns of the small island states by the organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system and by the General Secretariat, through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development; and

NOTING WITH INTEREST the intention of the IADB to address more effectively the special security concerns of the small island states,

RESOLVES:

1. To reemphasize the importance of strengthening and enhancing the hemispheric security agenda of the Organization of American States (OAS) by addressing the multidimensional nature of security as it relates to the security of the small island states of the Caribbean.

2. To renew its appeal to member states to continue collaborating with the small island states of the Caribbean in the further development of effective ways of addressing the security issues of the small island states, through capacity-building assistance, including on intelligence and information sharing, strategic and operational planning, and the procurement of equipment.

3. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue considering the issues which have an impact on the security of small island states, including global climate change, and, to this end, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security (CSH), to evaluate progress made in addressing the security concerns of those states and the development of strategies for the implementation of related General Assembly resolutions.

4. To request that, in support of the small island states’ efforts to address their special security concerns, the CSH coordinate and maintain the necessary liaison with the organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms of the Organization and other institutions and mechanisms related to the various aspects of security and defense in the Hemisphere, respecting the mandates and areas of competence of each.

5. To reiterate its request that the General Secretariat, through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and the relevant organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system and in collaboration, as appropriate, with civil society and private sector organizations and relevant multilateral institutions, within their areas of competence and programming, support the ongoing efforts made by the small island states to:

a. Strengthen regional, subregional, and national crime management systems, taking into account those initiatives currently being implemented or pursued by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM);

b. Enhance border security systems and capacities, including transportation security, at airports, seaports, and border crossing points, and assist border control authorities in the small island states in accessing critical information;

c. Strengthen the capacity of small island states to fight illicit trafficking in drugs and the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in firearms;

d. Continue the analysis of violence related to criminal gangs and problems that affect youth in the small island states;

e. Conduct awareness-building programs on trafficking in persons in the small island states;

f. Promote technical cooperation and institutional capacity-building, in order to strengthen natural and man-made disaster response and mitigation and crisis management capacity in the small island states, including the development of reconstruction capability, training in humanitarian assistance, search and rescue operations, and strengthening of critical infrastructure protection, as well as the security of tourism and recreational facilities and the use of simulation exercises;

g. Provide training and technical assistance regarding legislation on counterterrorism, terrorist financing, cybersecurity, and cybercrime;

h. Improve coordination among the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS, and with regional and subregional organizations, including the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the Regional Security System (RSS), on matters related to the special security concerns of small island states, so as to ensure awareness and avoid duplication in their response to these concerns; and

i. Improve coordination and information-sharing among member states on immigration policies, including deportation.

6. To urge member states and the international community to adopt measures to strengthen international cooperation with a view to complying with security measures on the transportation of radioactive and hazardous materials.

7. To request the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to report to the General Assembly at its fortieth and forty-first regular sessions on the implementation of this resolution, the execution of which shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.



[1]. The Government of Nicaragua places on record its express reservation to the Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. During that event, Nicaragua expressed its view that the Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas was unacceptable and inadequate as it did not resolve a number of matters that were extremely important for the Hemisphere and were still under discussion. Nor does Nicaragua accept that references may be made to that Declaration in the resolutions to be adopted by the OAS General Assembly. Nicaragua reaffirms that the items on the General Assembly agenda should be derived from the debates and deliberations of the Heads of State and Government in Trinidad and Tobago.



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