General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 6, 2006
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
Having seen the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly, in particular the section on the Committee on Hemispheric Security (AG/doc.4548/06 add. 2);
BEARING IN MIND:
That among the essential purposes of the Organization of American States set forth in its Charter are to strengthen peace and security in the Hemisphere; guarantee the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the states; eradicate extreme poverty, which constitutes an obstacle to the full democratic development of the peoples of the Hemisphere; and achieve an effective limitation of conventional weapons that will make it possible to devote the largest amount of resources to the economic and social development of the member states; and
That, in the Declaration of Quebec City, the Heads of State and Government stated that they would strive to limit military expenditures while maintaining capabilities commensurate with legitimate security needs and would promote greater transparency in the acquisition of arms, and undertook to develop effective, practical, and compassionate solutions for the problems that confront the societies of the Hemisphere;
CONSIDERING that in the Declaration of Quito of the Sixth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas, member states reaffirmed their commitment to continue to support and promote mutual confidence-building measures and transparency in military matters, by implementing the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador, and the Consensus of Miami, which contribute to the Hemisphere's stability and strengthen regional cooperation;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that, in the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted in Mexico City, on October 28, 2003, the states of the Hemisphere reaffirmed their commitment to continue to strive to limit military spending while maintaining capabilities commensurate with their legitimate defense and security needs and fostering transparency in arms acquisitions, and declared that continued implementation of confidence- and security-building measures is conducive to the creation of a favorable environment for this purpose;
RECOGNIZING that the above-mentioned Declaration on Security in the Americas emphasizes that transparency in defense and security policies contributes to increasing stability, safeguarding hemispheric and international peace and security, and consolidating democracy;
That confidence- and security-building measures contribute to enhancing security, safeguarding peace, and consolidating democracy in the Americas, as well as to building transparency, dialogue, and trust in the Hemisphere;
That the study "Common Standardized Methodology for the Measurement of Defense Expenditures," prepared by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) at the request of the Governments of Argentina and Chile, is a step forward in the area of confidence- and security-building measures; and that there are other initiatives under way in the region for the same purpose, such as in Chile and Peru, which include the participation of ECLAC and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LiREC); and
That the United Nations Standardized Reporting of Military Expenditures is a contribution to transparency and confidence-building;
COMMENDING the contributions to disarmament, nonproliferation, and arms limitation and control in the region made by the states of the Hemisphere, especially in the 1974 Declaration of Ayacucho; the 1987 Esquipulas Agreements; the 1995 Framework Treaty on Democratic Security in Central America; the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START I and II); the September 1991 Mendoza Commitment; the Agreement of December 1991 between Brazil, Argentina, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) for the application of safeguards, in December 1991; the 1991 Declaration of Guadalajara and 2001 Declaration of Lima of the Ibero-American Summits; the 1999 Political Declaration of MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile as a Zone of Peace (Declaration of Ushuaia); the study "Common Standardized Methodology for the Measurement of Defense Expenditures," prepared by ECLAC at the request of the Governments of Argentina and Chile; the 2002 Lima Commitment: Andean Charter for Peace and Security and the Limitation and Control of the Expenditure on Foreign Defense; the 2003 Consensus of Miami: Declaration by the Experts on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures: Recommendations to the Summit-Mandated Special Conference on Security; and the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted in Mexico City, on October 28, 2003, which are exemplary initiatives of historic leadership;
TAKING NOTE of the First Meeting of the Forum on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, held in Washington, D.C., on April 25 and 26, 2005, and of the Rapporteur's Report and the Chairman's Conclusions of that meeting;
NOTING WITH SATISFACTION that the Governments of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela have deposited their instruments of ratification of the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions and that, to date, 20 member states have signed it; and
RECALLING its resolutions AG/RES. 1887 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1963 (XXXIII-O/03), AG/RES. 2001 (XXXIV-O/04), and AG/RES. 2152 (XXXV-O/05), "Limitation of Military Spending"; and AG/RES. 1694 (XXIX-O/99), "Dividends for Peace,"
1. To continue promoting in the Hemisphere an environment conducive to arms control, the limitation of conventional weapons, and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, making it possible to devote a larger amount of resources to the economic and social development of the member states, which is an essential purpose set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States, bearing in mind the fulfillment of international commitments and the legitimate security and defense needs of the member states.
2. To urge member states to continue to implement confidence- and security-building measures that contribute to transparency so as to attain the goals indicated in the preceding paragraph, which represent a concrete step forward in strengthening peace and security in the Hemisphere.
3. To urge member states to participate in the United Nations Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures, in accordance with the pertinent United Nations General Assembly resolution.
4. To encourage member states to continue to make progress on subregional and bilateral efforts for the development of a common standardized methodology for the measurement of defense expenditures.
5. To request member states to provide to the Permanent Council their views on the topic of limitation of military expenditures and the promotion of greater transparency in the acquisition of arms, bearing in mind, among other elements, the legitimate defense and security needs of the states, prior to the Meeting on Limitation of Military Spending and the Promotion of Greater Transparency in the Acquisition of Arms convened by the Permanent Council for December 1, 2006.
6. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue considering, in the context of the work of the Committee on Hemispheric Security and in compliance with the mandate contained in the Declaration adopted at the Third Summit of the Americas (Quebec City, 2001), the topic of limitation of military expenditures and the promotion of greater transparency in the acquisition of arms, bearing in mind, among other elements, the legitimate security and defense needs of states and unilateral, bilateral, subregional, and hemispheric perspectives of the topic.
7. To express its pleasure at the convocation, by the Permanent Council, of the Meeting of Government Experts on Limitation of Military Spending and the Promotion of Greater Transparency in the Acquisition of Arms, with representatives of subregional and international organizations as guests, for December 1, 2006.
8. To encourage member states to hold subregional meetings on the subject under the aegis of the General Secretariat and with the participation of subregional and regional entities, specialized international organizations, and civil society organizations in preparation for the abovementioned Meeting on Limitation of Military Spending and the Promotion of Greater Transparency in the Acquisition of Arms.
9. To instruct the General Secretariat to support, within the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources, the activities of the Permanent Council that may be required for implementation of this resolution.
10. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-seventh regular session on the implementation of this resolution.