Declaration of Renewed Hemispheric Commitment to Enhance Cooperation to Prevent, Combat and Eliminate Terrorism

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
March 21, 2011


(Adopted at the Third Plenary Session held on March 17, 2011)

THE MEMBER STATES OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMITTEE AGAINST TERRORISM (CICTE) OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS), meeting at the Eleventh Regular Session, in Washington, D.C., in the United States of America, on March 17, 2011,

REAFFIRMING the nature, principles and purposes of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) whose main purpose is “to promote and develop cooperation among member states to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism, in accordance with the principles of the OAS Charter and with the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and with full respect for the sovereignty of states, the rule of law, and international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international refugee law”;

REITERATING their most vehement condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its origin or motivation, which has no justification whatsoever and constitutes a grave threat to the lives, well-being and fundamental freedoms of all people, threatens international peace and security, and undermines the values and principles underlying the Inter- American system, democratic institutions, the rule of law, and the freedoms enshrined in and promoted by the OAS Charter, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and other international instruments;

RECOGNIZING that the threat of terrorism is exacerbated when connections exist between terrorism and illicit drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in arms, money laundering, and other forms of transnational organized crime, and that such illicit activities may be used to support and finance terrorist activities;

RENEWING the commitments set out in the CICTE Declaration of the First Special Session of Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE/DEC.1 (I-E/01), Declaration of San Salvador on Strengthening Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism (CICTE/DEC. 1/03 rev. 2 corr. 1), Declaration of Montevideo (CICTE/DEC. 1/04 rev. 3), Declaration of Port-of-Spain on Strengthening Cooperation on Strategies to Sustain and Advance the Hemispheric Fight against Terrorism (CICTE/DEC. 1/05 rev. 1), Declaration of San Carlos on Hemispheric Cooperation for Comprehensive Action to Fight Terrorism (CICTE/DEC. 1/06), Declaration of Panama on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure in the Hemisphere in the Face of Terrorism (CICTE/DEC. 1/07), Declaration on the Reaffirmation of the Hemispheric Commitment to Fighting Terrorism (CICTE/DEC. 1/08), Declaration on Strengthening Border Controls and International Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism (CICTE/DEC.1/09), and in the Declaration on Public-Private Partnerships in the Fight against Terrorism (CICTE/DEC. 1/10);

RECOGNIZING that Member States have made considerable progress in the global fight against terrorism and that it is necessary to continue identifying and taking effective measures at the national level to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism;

UNDERSCORING the urgent need to further strengthen the capacity of Member States to cooperate with one another in the fight against terrorism bilaterally, sub-regionally, regionally, and internationally;

RECALLING the significant restructuring of CICTE in 2001 with the development of a comprehensive work plan and the subsequent adoption of a new Statute and Rules of Procedure in 2004 and 2005 respectively, along with the establishment of a permanent Secretariat and a network of National Points of Contact;

RECALLING ALSO:

The historic adoption by the General Assembly of the OAS on June 3, 2002, of the Inter- American Convention against Terrorism and the recognition by the General Assembly on that occasion of “the urgency of strengthening and establishing new forms of regional cooperation against terrorism with a view to its eradication”; and

That the purposes of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism are to prevent, punish, and eliminate terrorism and that the States Party agreed to “adopt the necessary measures and to strengthen cooperation among them”, in accordance with the terms of that Convention;

ENDORSING all resolutions related to combating terrorism adopted by the OAS General Assembly;

ENDORSING ALSO the international counter-terrorism framework adopted by the United Nations through resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy;

EMPHASIZING the importance for the Member States of the OAS to sign, ratify, or accede to, as the case may be, and implement in an effective way the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism as well as the pertinent universal legal instruments, including the 18 related international conventions, protocols and amendment, resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004) and 1624 (2005) and other pertinent UN Security Council resolutions, and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the UN General Assembly to fight terrorism, including to find, deny safe haven to, and bring to justice, on the basis of the principle of extradite or prosecute any person who supports, facilitates, participates, or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation, or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe haven;

RECOGNIZING the importance of the adoption and opening for signature of the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol Supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, concluded at Beijing on September 10, 2010, which contributed to a significant strengthening of the global aviation security regime;

UNDERSCORING their support to the victims of terrorism and their family members and expressing their solidarity with them as well as the importance of providing appropriate assistance; and

AWARE of the need to continue strengthening the CICTE Secretariat in its supporting role to Member States and to enhance their capacity to cooperate to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism,

DECLARE ANEW:

1. Their most vehement condemnation of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, as they consider it criminal and unjustifiable under any circumstances, regardless of where and by whom it is committed, and because it constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security and to the democracy, stability, and prosperity of the countries of the region.

2. Their firmest conviction that, in the spirit of joint effort and cooperation, it is incumbent upon Member States to work together at the subregional, regional and international levels to prevent, combat, and fully and effectively eliminate terrorism.

3. Their firmest commitment to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism through the broadest cooperation possible, in full respect for the sovereignty of the States and compliance with their obligations under national and international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law.

4. Their commitment to continue implementing and enhancing strategies for multilateral cooperation in order to improve their capacity to prevent and eliminate terrorism and enable and sustain the fight against terrorism.

5. Their commitment to continue promoting multilateral cooperation aimed at strengthening Member States’ capacity to benefit from the mutual exchange of information, best practices and expertise and better access to sources of technical and financial assistance for institution-building.

6. Their commitment to adopt measures to strengthen international cooperation mechanisms, especially at the hemispheric level, including the application of extradition and mutual legal assistance, as well as the exchange of information, including financial information, in accordance with domestic law, in order to find, deny safe haven to, and bring to justice any person who supports, facilitates, participates, or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorists acts or provides safe haven.

7. Their recommendation that the OAS Regular Fund contribute the necessary resources to provide the CICTE Secretariat with human and financial resources to ensure continuity in its endeavors and in the implementation of its mandates, programs, and activities contained in the CICTE Work Plan adopted at the Eleventh Regular Session.

8. Their appeal to the Member States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, or accede to, as the case may be, and to implement in an effective way, the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism as well as the pertinent universal legal instruments and resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

9. Their appeal to the Member States, Permanent Observers, and pertinent international agencies that they provide, maintain, or increase, as appropriate, their voluntary financial and/or human resource contributions to CICTE, to facilitate the performance of its functions and promote enhancement of its programs and the scope of its work.

10. Their commitment to implement this Declaration and the CICTE Work Plan, which includes its work areas of border controls, legislative assistance and combating terrorism financing, critical infrastructure protection, strengthening strategies on emerging terrorist threats, and international coordination and cooperation adopted at the Eleventh Regular Session of CICTE.