June 10, 2003


(Resolution adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 10, 2003)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

Having seen the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly (AG/doc.4156/03 add. 4), in particular the section on the Committee on Hemispheric Security;

BEARING IN MIND:

That among the essential purposes of the OAS 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;

That, in the Declaration of Quebec City, adopted at the Third Summit of the Americas, the Heads of State and Government decided "[w]e will strive to limit military expenditures while maintaining capabilities commensurate with our legitimate security needs and will promote greater transparency in the acquisition of arms";

That, in that same declaration, the Heads of State and Government undertook to develop effective, practical, and compassionate solutions for the problems that confront our societies; and

That, in the Declaration of Santiago, Chile, the Ministers of Defense of the Americas referred to the need to promote and develop transparency in defense and public security policies, considering that they contribute to stability and security among states in the region;

CONSIDERING:

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," developed 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 the United Nations Standardized Reporting of Military Expenditures is a contribution to transparency and confidence-building;

APPLAUDING the contributions to disarmament 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 Quadripartite Agreement on safeguards signed by Brazil, Argentina, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, in December 1991; the 1991 Declaration of Guadalajara and 2001 Declaration of Lima of the Ibero-American Summits; 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," developed by ECLAC at the request of the Governments of Argentina and Chile; the Lima Commitment: 2002 Andean Charter for Peace and Security and the Limitation and Control of the Expenditure on Foreign Defense; and the 2003 Consensus of Miami: Declaration by the Experts on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures: Recommendations to the Summit-Mandated Special Conference on Security, which are exemplary initiatives of historic leadership; and

RECALLING its resolutions AG/RES. 1887 (XXXII-O/02), "Limitation of Military Spending," and AG/RES. 1694 (XXIX-O/99), "Dividends for Peace,"

RESOLVES:

1. To promote 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 aim 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 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 of Quebec City, adopted at the Third Summit of the Americas, 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 needs of the states and the unilateral, bilateral, subregional, and hemispheric perspective of the topic, and to organize a meeting of the Committee with the participation of experts on the subject and representatives of relevant subregional and international bodies.

4. To instruct the Permanent Council to consider including in the draft political declaration of the Special Conference on Security the topic of military spending limits and greater transparency in arms acquisitions, taking into account progress made at the unilateral, bilateral, subregional, and hemispheric levels.

5. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue developing, in the context of the preparatory work for the Special Conference on Security, the most appropriate common approaches that allow discussion of the issues referred to in this resolution.

6. To request member states to provide to the Permanent Council their comments on the topic "Dividends for Peace," in accordance with resolution AG/RES. 1694 (XXIX-O/99).

7. 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.

8. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth regular session on the implementation of this resolution.