June 2, 1998


THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

BEARING IN MIND that, under Article 2 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, one of the essential purposes of the Organization is to strengthen the peace and security of the Hemisphere;

RECALLING its resolutions AG/RES. 1121 (XXI-O/91) and AG/RES. 1123 (XXI-O/91) on strengthening peace and security in the Hemisphere, and AG/RES. 1179 (XXII-O/92), AG/RES. 1237 (XXIII-O/93), AG/RES. 1284 (XXIV-O/94), AG/RES. 1288 (XXIV-O/94), AG/RES.1353 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1409 (XXVI-O/96), and AG/RES. 1494 (XXVII-O/97) on confidence- and security-building measures;

RECOGNIZING that the recommendations of the San Salvador Regional Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in Follow-up to the Santiago Conference, held in San Salvador in February 1998 and of the Regional Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, held in Santiago in November 1995, the contribution of the Meeting of Experts on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, held in Buenos Aires in March 1994, and the pertinent OAS General Assembly resolutions identify experiences in the application of confidence- and security-building measures in the Americas and foster an exchange of such experiences;

EMPHASIZING the importance of the Declarations of San Salvador and Santiago on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, which recommend that confidence- and security-building measures be applied in the manner deemed most appropriate;

RECOGNIZING the consolidation of democracy in the region, efforts to promote disarmament, international peace, and security, and the willingness of states to continue strengthening confidence and security in the Hemisphere;

NOTING the significant progress made in identifying and applying confidence- and security-building measures since the adoption of the Declaration of Santiago, which has helped to reduce factors that generate distrust and has contributed to the promotion of transparency and mutual confidence, in keeping with the purposes and principles of the OAS Charter, respect for international law, and the promotion of friendly and cooperative relations among states in the region;

REAFFIRMING:

That respect for international law, faithful adherence to treaties, the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for state sovereignty and the principle of nonintervention, and prohibition of the use or threat of use of force, as set forth in the charters of the Organization of American States and the United Nations, are the basis for peaceful coexistence and security in the Hemisphere and constitute the framework for the development of confidence- and security-building measures;

That support for democratic processes strengthens coexistence among states and security in the Hemisphere;

That the growing application of confidence- and security-building measures is an expression of the political will of the states to strengthen peace and security in the Hemisphere, and that their implementation in the most appropriate manner, in accordance with the geographic, political, social, cultural, and economic conditions of each country or region, contributes to increasing security in the Hemisphere; and

That the application of confidence- and security-building measures, through practical and useful actions, will facilitate more far-reaching cooperation processes in the future in areas such as arms control and hemispheric security; and

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION the report of the Permanent Council on the activities of the Committee on Hemispheric Security (AG/doc.3718/98),

RESOLVES:

1. To urge member states to implement in the manner they deem most appropriate the recommendations of the Declarations of San Salvador and Santiago on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and of resolution AG/RES. 1179 (XXII-O/92).

2. To call on all member states to continue to provide the General Secretariat, prior to April 15 each year, with information on the application of confidence- and security-building measures, so as to facilitate, in particular, the preparation of the complete and systematic inventory of these measures, in light of the provisions of the Declarations of San Salvador and Santiago and resolutions AG/RES. 1284 (XXIV-O/94) and AG/RES. 1288 (XXIV-O/94).

3. To urge member states to continue promoting transparency in matters related to defense policy, among other aspects, with regard to modernizing the armed forces, comparing military expenditures in the region, and improving the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.

4. To reiterate the importance of full participation by all member states in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, and of providing the required information for the preparation of the United Nations Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures, in accordance with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.

5. To renew its request to member states to provide the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, by June 15 of each year, with the information referred to in the preceding paragraph.

6. To instruct the Permanent Council to hold a meeting to be attended by available experts from the member states that participated in the group of experts on the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, so that they may provide information on the results of the group's work, and to promote the holding of a special meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security to exchange views on the best way to increase participation in that Register.

7. To request the Permanent Council to establish contacts, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security and with support from the General Secretariat, with a view to holding, as soon as possible, the meeting of parliamentarians on confidence- and security-building measures envisaged in the Declaration of San Salvador.

8. To urge member states once again to continue consultations and the exchange of ideas within the Hemisphere so as to make progress in the limitation and control of conventional arms in the region; and to instruct the Permanent Council to endeavor, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, to advance the development of the most appropriate approach at the hemispheric level to strengthening dialogue aimed at addressing questions related to the handling of conventional arms.

9. To instruct the Permanent Council to endeavor, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, to advance the development of the most appropriate approach, at the hemispheric level, to strengthening dialogue aimed at addressing questions related to small arms and trafficking therein.

10. To instruct the Permanent Council to hold each year a special meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, in which experts would participate, and which would be dedicated to the analysis and exchange of information on the confidence- and security-building measures identified in the Declarations of San Salvador and Santiago and in the relevant mandates of the General Assembly, with a view to assessing related progress and their implementation in the Hemisphere.

11. To instruct the General Secretariat to update each year, on the basis of information submitted by the member states, the roster of experts on confidence- and security-building measures, and to circulate it to the member states each year by the month of June.

12. To urge the member states to exchange experiences in confidence- and security-building measures in order to strengthen international peace and security.

13. To encourage the exchange of experiences in strengthening confidence- and security- building measures with other regions that include, as appropriate, the participation of the Committee on Hemispheric Security as an observer in meetings of other international organizations working on the subject, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, within allocated resources approved in the program-budget and other resources.

14. To instruct the Permanent Council to consider, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, the possibility of holding, in due course, another regional conference on confidence- and security-building measures, as well as a high-level meeting on the special security concerns of small island states, and to report thereon to the General Assembly.

15. To instruct the Permanent Council, working through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, to:
a. Follow up on and expand topics related to the strengthening of confidence- and security-building measures;

b. Analyze the meaning, scope, and implications of international security concepts in the Hemisphere, with a view to developing the most appropriate common approaches by which to manage their various aspects, including disarmament and arms control; and
c. Identify ways to revitalize and strengthen agencies of the inter-American system related to the various aspects of hemispheric security.

16. To hold the Special Conference on Security once the tasks envisaged in the previous paragraph have been completed.

17. To renew its invitation to the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) to provide to the Committee on Hemispheric Security, pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 1240 (XXIII-O/93), advisory and consultative services in matters related to confidence- and security-building measures of a military nature; and to ask it to keep an updated inventory of these measures and to prepare draft guidelines for the standardized presentation of the information provided by member states in keeping with resolution AG/RES. 1409 (XXVI-O/96).

18. To instruct the Secretary General to provide specialized support to the Committee on Hemispheric Security, within existing budgetary resources, and to strengthen that of a technical-administrative nature which currently exists, so that the Committee may fulfill the mandates entrusted to it by the General Assembly and the Second Summit of the Americas; and to report to the Permanent Council on this mandate prior to the first meeting held by that Committee after the twenty-eighth regular session of the General Assembly.

19. To request that the Permanent Council report to the General Assembly on the implementation of this resolution.

20. To transmit this resolution to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to other regional organizations, as appropriate.