printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

AG/RES. 2619 (XLI-O/11) Special Security Concerns of the Small Island States of the Caribbean


Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 7, 2011

Share

(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2011)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly (AG/doc.5217/10 add. 1), in particular the section on the matters entrusted to the Committee on Hemispheric Security;

RECALLING:

Its resolutions AG/RES. 1410 (XXVI-O/96), “Promotion of Security in the Small Island States”; 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. 1886 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1970 (XXXIII-O/03), AG/RES. 2006 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2112 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2187 (XXXVI-O/06), AG/RES. 2325 (XXXVII-O/07), AG/RES. 2397 (XXXVIII-O/08), and AG/RES. 2485 (XXXIX-O/09), “Special Security Concerns of the Small Island States of the Caribbean”;

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]/

The decisions adopted at the tenth and eleventh regular sessions of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) to promote public-private cooperation in the fight against terrorism and to renew hemispheric commitment to enhance cooperation to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism, as well as the decisions adopted at all previous regular sessions of CICTE that address the special security concerns of small island states; and

The outcomes of the twelfth regular meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA);

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”; AG/RES. 2184 (XXXVI-O/06), “Natural Disaster Reduction, Risk Management, and Assistance in Natural and Other Disaster Situations”; AG/RES. 2492 (XXXIX-O/09) and AG/RES. 2610 (XL-O/10), “Existing Mechanisms for Disaster Prevention and Response and Humanitarian Assistance among the Member States”; 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 meetings of the Permanent Council’s Committee on Hemispheric Security held on March 25, 2010 and March 31, 2011, which addressed the follow-up on the implementation of resolution AG/RES. 2485 (XXXIX-O/09), “Special Security Concerns of the Small Island States of the Caribbean,” and which included expert presentations on CARICOM’s security priorities, among them disaster management and mitigation, violence and crime prevention, the impact of climate change as an ongoing threat to sustainable development, and border control enhancement;

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 renewed at the Second Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA II) held in Santo Domingo on November 4 and 5, 2009, and the importance of the undertakings therein to the security of small island states;

The convocation of the Third Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA III), to be held in Trinidad and Tobago on November 17 and 18, 2011, which will focus on the theme of Police Management; 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 concerns of the small island states, in compliance with the Statutes of the IADB, through the formation of a new office of “Small States Affairs” to expand, in accordance with its Statutes, cooperation and coordination with regional and subregional organizations on the needs of small island states in the Caribbean,[2]/

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 special security concerns of the small island states of the Caribbean.

2. 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.

3. To urge all member states that have not already done so to give prompt consideration to ratifying or acceding to, as the case may be, the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism; and the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions (CITAAC); and to adopting all necessary measures for their effective implementation.

4. 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 with member states, civil society, private-sector organizations, and relevant multilateral institutions, as appropriate, within their areas of competence and programming:

a. Strengthen regional, sub-regional, 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 money laundering and illicit trafficking in drugs;

d. Strengthen the capacity of small island states to combat the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in small arms, light weapons, and ammunition;

e. Continue to analyze the causes and effects of violence as it relates to criminal gangs and at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations with a view to identifying best practices and supporting capacity-building initiatives, including prevention, rehabilitation, and social reintegration programs aimed at reducing incidences of violence;

f. Continue to support states through the provision of capacity building programs and technical assistance regarding legislation aimed at countering trafficking in persons;

g. 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;

h. Provide training and technical assistance regarding legislation on counter-terrorism, terrorist financing, cyber-security, and cyber-crime to small island states;

i. 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

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

5. 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.

6. To request that the General Secretariat, through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and the relevant organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system, keep the Committee on Hemispheric Security duly apprised on the progress made in addressing the special security concerns of the small island states of the Caribbean.

7. To request the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to report to the General Assembly at its forty-second and forty-third regular sessions on the implementation of this resolution. Execution of the activities envisaged in this resolution will 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 the event, Nicaragua stated its position that it considered the Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas to be unacceptable and insufficient as it failed to address a number of issues of vital importance for the Hemisphere, which are still pending discussion. Similarly, Nicaragua does not accept the reference to that Declaration in various resolutions adopted by the General Assembly. Nicaragua insists that the items on the agenda for the General Assembly should be drawn from the discussions and debates of the heads of state and government gathered in Trinidad and Tobago.

[2]. Nicaragua respects the sovereign right of the CARICOM member states to create a new office of “Small States Affairs.” The Government of Nicaragua has maintained a critical stance towards the IADB, not agreeing that it should be engaged in matters of a military or defense nature in the countries of the hemisphere, or in any other activity that affects the sovereignty of states.



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.