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AG/RES. 1568 (XXVIII-O/98): Support for the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America


June 2, 1998

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(Resolution adopted at the third plenary session, held on June 2, 1998)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

BEARING IN MIND that the presence of thousands of antipersonnel mines sown indiscriminately in Central America continues to constitute a threat to the population and has deadly effects, primarily on innocent civilians, causing tragedy to individuals and families, standing in the way of socioeconomic development in vast, rich rural areas, and affecting border integration in those areas;

CONSIDERING:

That the Central American countries have given top priority to mine-clearing operations and have reaffirmed, in a declaration issued in Ottawa, Canada, on December 3, 1997, their commitment to the region's people to become an antipersonnel-mine-free zone by the year 2000; and

That, in the same declaration, the Central American countries reiterated their commitment to implement, with support from the international community, programs to provide assistance and rehabilitation services to antipersonnel-mine victims so as to bring about their reintegration into society and the socioeconomic reclamation of the demined areas to further development and integration in the region;

RECOGNIZING:

That the Organization of American States adopted the goal of completing mine-clearing operations in Central America by the year 2000;

The efforts being made by the Governments of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to complete anti-personnel mine-clearing activities;

The work accomplished by El Salvador, a country that has completed its national Mine-Clearing Plan, as well as its support for and solidarity with the mine-clearing programs under way in the other states of the region; and

The important responsibility assumed by Central America in its constant denunciation of the use of these weapons, as well as its efforts to include the humanitarian aspects of the problem in every relevant international instrument;

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION:

The important contribution by member states, such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and by permanent observers, such as France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America; as well as that of Denmark;

The joint Mexico-Canada-Central American states cooperation program to provide care to antipersonnel-land-mine victims in Central America, with technical assistance by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO);

The important coordination and fund-raising work of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, through the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, for the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America and for programs aimed at the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas; and

The valuable support of the Committee on Hemispheric Security and the technical assistance provided to the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America by the Inter-American Defense Board;

RECALLING resolution AG/RES. 1498 (XXVII-O/97), "Support for the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America," in which the General Assembly renews its appeal to the member states, the permanent observers, and the international community in general to lend their assistance to the Central American countries affected by the presence of antipersonnel mines, especially by supporting preventive education programs for the civilian population and the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims; and

HAVING SEEN the Permanent Council document "The Organization of American States' Mine-Clearing Assistance Program in Central America-Responsibilities of Participants" (GT/PDCA-7/97 rev. 1),

RESOLVES:

1. To reiterate that the OAS endorses the commitment of the Central American states to their region to become an antipersonnel-mine-free-zone by the year 2000, with the valuable support of the international community.

2. To reiterate its appeal to the member states and permanent observers, as well as to the international community as a whole, to continue cooperating in and supporting the Organization's Mine-Clearing Program in Central America and also to offer their support to programs aimed at preventive education for the civilian population on the danger of said mines, the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims, and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas.

3. To urge the General Secretariat to continue to provide, within resources assigned in the program-budget and other resources, the necessary support for the Central American countries to continue mine-clearing programs and programs aimed at preventive education, rehabilitation of victims, and reclamation of demined areas.

4. To request the Inter-American Defense Board to continue to provide technical assistance to the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America.

5. To request the Inter-American Council for Integral Development to develop, with the appropriate offices of the OAS, as part of its cooperation program, and in keeping with the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development 1997-2001, programs of socioeconomic and educational support to communities in Central America where anti-personnel mine-clearing has been completed.

6. To request the Pan American Health Organization to continue its technical support to the joint Mexico-Canada-Central American states program to provide care to antipersonnel-mine victims in Central America.

7. To request that the organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system offer their collaboration on the demining programs and on those aimed at preventive education for the civilian population on the danger of antipersonnel mines, the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims, and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas in Central America.

8. To request the Secretary General to transmit this resolution to the United Nations Secretary-General and to other international organizations that he deems appropriate.

9. To request the General Secretariat to present a report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth regular session.



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