June 2, 1998


(Resolution adopted at the third plenary session, held on June 2, 1998)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

HAVING SEEN the Permanent Council report on the special security concerns of small island states (AG/doc.3718/98);

BEARING IN MIND the conclusions and recommendations of the High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States (SEPEIN/doc.7/98 rev. 1) and the Declaration of San Salvador on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (COSEGRE.II/doc.7/98 rev. 3);

RECOGNIZING:

That the small island states have concluded that their security is multidimensional in scope and application and encompasses, inter alia, the military-political aspects traditionally associated with the security of states; the protection and preservation of the state's sovereignty and territorial integrity; freedom from external military attack and coercion; freedom from external interference by states or by non-state agents in its internal political affairs; protection from environmental conditions and ecological disasters which could imperil its viability; the link between trade, economic development, and security; and the ability to maintain and protect democratic institutions which ensure domestic tranquility;

That the security of small island states can be strengthened by collaboration among small island states and between these states and other states in the Hemisphere;

That the security of small island states can be enhanced by the application of those confidence- and security-building measures identified in the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures; and

That the High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States concluded that the security of small island states can be enhanced by declaring the Caribbean a Zone of Peace;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the recommendation of the San Salvador Regional Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in Follow-up to the Santiago Conference: that the General Assembly consider convening another high-level meeting on the special security concerns of small island states when appropriate;

RECALLING:

That the member states, pursuant to Article 1 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, have pledged "to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence"; and Article 2.a of the Charter, which establishes that one of the essential purposes of the Organization is "to strengthen the peace and security of the continent"; and

That Article 3.b of the Charter establishes that "international order consists essentially of respect for the personality, sovereignty, and independence of States, and the faithful fulfillment of obligations derived from treaties and other sources of international law"; and

ACKNOWLEDGING the important work undertaken by the OAS General Secretariat and other organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system in order to assist the small island states in addressing the special security concerns of these states,

RESOLVES:

1. To take note of the Report of the High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States, held on February 25, 1998, in San Salvador, El Salvador; and to recognize its appreciation of the generous hospitality extended by the Government of El Salvador.

2. To instruct the Permanent Council to study, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security and in collaboration with the General Secretariat, ways to generate greater awareness and understanding of the special security concerns of the small island states and to identify and promote the application of new measures of cooperation to address these concerns.

3. To encourage member states of the Organization of American States to exchange and share information which could strengthen the security and defense capabilities of small island states.

4. To urge member states to support efforts by the small island states to deal with their special security concerns, particularly those of an economic and financial nature, taking into consideration their vulnerability and level of development.

5. To instruct the General Secretariat to strengthen programs of cooperation in small island states to prevent and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, based on the request and authorization of the states involved.

6. To engage in discussions to develop a cooperation program, taking into account the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, which would address maritime and air transport of nuclear and other hazardous wastes, especially through the Caribbean; and, where appropriate, to work with the relevant international organizations to strengthen or develop standards governing the transport of such goods and its safety.

7. To adopt policies to preserve the natural environment of the Caribbean, including policies on the movement of hazardous waste pursuant to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

8. To urge member states to cooperate with the small island states in the eradication of transnational criminal activity that threatens the stability and security of the said small island states; and to instruct the Permanent Council and its appropriate committees and working groups, in collaboration with the General Secretariat, to identify ways in which to combat such criminal activity and to support the small island states in their efforts to eradicate the said activity.

9. To instruct the General Secretariat to cooperate, within allocated resources approved in the program-budget and other resources, with the small island states, through the University of the West Indies (UWI), to advance the examination of the special security concerns of these member states.

10. To request that the Permanent Council study the proposal that security for small island states can be enhanced by declaring the Caribbean a Zone of Peace, and to report on its findings to the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth regular session.

11. To request that the Permanent Council continue its consideration of the special security concerns of small island states with a view to convening, when appropriate, another high-level meeting on this issue, and to carrying out the requisite preparatory work for that meeting.

12. To instruct the General Secretariat to continue to implement appropriate action to address the special security concerns of small island states, including those identified at the High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States, held in San Salvador in February 1998, and at the special meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security held in October 1996.

13. To instruct the General Secretariat to report to the Permanent Council, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security and prior to the twenty-ninth regular session, on its compliance with the provisions of this resolution.

14. To instruct the Permanent Council to report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth regular session.

15. To request that the OAS Secretary General transmit this resolution, along with the Final Report of the High-Level Meeting on the Special Security Concerns of Small Island States and the Declaration of San Salvador on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to other appropriate international organizations.