Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 4, 2009


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);

UNDERSCORING the importance of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA);

REITERATING the urgent need for all member states to take appropriate measures for full implementation of the Convention, and the importance of promoting and facilitating cooperation and the sharing of information and experiences among all the states at the bilateral, regional, and international levels with a view to averting, combating, and eradicating the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials;

REAFFIRMING the principles of sovereignty, nonintervention, and the juridical equality of states;

RECALLING resolution AG/RES. 2381 (XXXVIII-O/08) and previous General Assembly resolutions on the CIFTA, as well as the Declaration of Bogotá on the functioning and application of the CIFTA and the Tlatelolco Commitment, adopted at the First and the Second Conference of States Party, respectively;

CONSIDERING that the states of the Hemisphere recognized, in the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted on October 28, 2003, in Mexico City, that the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials are a threat to hemispheric security and, when used by terrorists and criminals, undermine the rule of law, breed violence and, in some cases, impunity, exacerbate conflicts, and represent a serious threat to human security, and agreed to combat the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials;

BEARING IN MIND the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, as well as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention);

CONSIDERING the substantial progress made by the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA, especially the decisions adopted at its Tenth Regular Meeting, held on April 24, 2009;

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION:

The results of the Fourth Meeting of the OAS Group of Experts to Prepare Model Legislation in the Areas to Which the CIFTA Refers, held on April 23, 2009, at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), in connection with its consideration of the model legislation and commentaries in relation to confiscation and forfeiture of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials (Article VII);

The seminar “Practical Approaches to Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials across Borders: Meeting of Law Enforcement Authorities and Customs Officials,” organized by the General Secretariat, through its Department of Public Security, in conjunction with the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, and held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from March 16 to 18, 2009, with the aim of improving cooperation and the exchange of experiences among customs authorities on trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials;

The participation by the Technical Secretariat of the CIFTA in the Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, held from July 14 to 18, 2008, at United Nations Headquarters, in New York;

The Work Program 2009-2010 of the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA, which the Committee adopted at its tenth regular meeting; and

The firearms destruction programs implemented by member states in the framework of the CIFTA, the Declaration of Bogotá, and the Tlatelolco Commitment, and the technical support of the General Secretariat in this area;

CONGRATULATING the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security for forging a closer relationship with the United Nations and other international organizations so as to foster cooperative efforts on programs implemented in this Hemisphere and promote greater collaboration in the area;

RECALLING that the Fifth Meeting of the OAS Group of Experts to Prepare Model Legislation in the Areas to Which the CIFTA Refers will be held on October 8 and 9, 2009, at OAS headquarters;

WELCOMING that the Dominican Republic deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention at the General Secretariat on April 24, 2009, and that, as a result, 30 states are now parties thereto; and

CONVINCED that illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials are a threat to security, breed violence, exacerbate conflicts, and adversely affect the rule of law. We reiterate the need for effective cooperation to prevent, combat, and eradicate this threat and, in this regard, we reaffirm the value of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) and of its model legislation as a basis for such cooperation. We will continue combating the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials by, among other actions, marking and tracing firearms, destroying excess stocks of firearms designated by each state, securing and managing stockpiles, and regulating firearms brokering, including sanctions for illicit arms brokering for the purpose of avoiding their diversion through illicit channels and their proliferation,

RESOLVES:

1. 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), and to adopting all necessary measures for its effective implementation.

2. To urge the member states to strengthen, as appropriate, border control to combat illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials

3. To continue consideration of the draft model legislation and commentaries in relation to confiscation and forfeiture of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials; and to begin consideration of the draft model legislation on recordkeeping, confidentiality, and exchange of information, in accordance with Articles XI, XII, and XIII of the Convention, at the Fifth Meeting of the OAS Group of Experts to Prepare Model Legislation in the Areas to Which the CIFTA Refers, convened for October 8 and 9, 2009.

4. To encourage the member states to implement, as appropriate, the model legislations adopted by the General Assembly, and to request assistance, where appropriate, through the Technical Secretariat in the development and enactment of these legislations.

5. To convene, in the framework of the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA, the Sixth Meeting of the OAS Group of Experts for February 11 and 12, 2010, at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), to consider the draft model legislation on security measures, pursuant to Article VIII of the Convention.

6. To convene, in the framework of the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA, the Seventh Meeting of the OAS Group of Experts for October 21 and 22, 2010, at OAS headquarters, to consider the draft model legislation on controlled delivery, pursuant to Article XVIII of the Convention.

7. To convene for April 23, 2010, at OAS headquarters, the Eleventh Regular Meeting of the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA, pursuant to Article XXI of the Convention, and also to provide support for such preparatory meetings as are relevant.

8. To request the General Secretariat to continue organizing, in the framework of the CIFTA, the Declaration of Bogotá on the functioning and application of the CIFTA, and the Tlatelolco Commitment, specialized workshops and training programs on the destruction of small arms, light weapons, and ammunition, on stockpile management, and on the identification, marking, tracing, and inventory and diversion control of firearms, ammunition, and explosives.

9. To request the General Secretariat to update periodically the document “Summary of Country Compliance with CIFTA: Status of Ratifications and National Firearms Legislation in Force” (CIFTA/CEP-II/doc.5/08).

10. To invite the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA to continue reporting periodically to the Committee on Hemispheric Security of the Permanent Council on developments in the implementation of the Declaration of Bogotá and the Tlatelolco Commitment, so that said Committee may take such information into account when preparing coordinated strategies and integrated action plans in connection with the new threats, concerns, and other challenges to hemispheric security, including transnational organized crime.

11. To invite the member states to consider making voluntary contributions, in the form of financial and human resources, to bring about the full implementation of the CIFTA and the strengthening of its Technical Secretariat.

12. To request the member states, permanent observers, and international, regional, and subregional organizations interested in the subject, as well as the international community, to consider the possibility of providing the Technical Secretariat with technical, human, and educational assistance to support the implementation of measures to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials.

13. To invite member states, permanent observers, and international organizations to consider contributing to the OAS fund established by the General Assembly for the collection and destruction of firearms as well as for related training programs, in order to channel financial and technical resources to those member states that require assistance and support in implementing the CIFTA.

14. To direct that the meetings of the Consultative Committee, including meetings within this framework, be held within the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other available resources; and to request the General Secretariat to provide the necessary administrative and technical secretariat support for these purposes.

15. To request the Secretary General to present a report to the General Assembly at its fortieth regular session on the status of signatures and ratifications of, and accessions to, the CIFTA.

16. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its fortieth regular session on the implementation of this resolution.