June 7, 1999


(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 7, 1999)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council (AG/doc.3830/99) and in particular the chapter on hemispheric security, which includes the topic "Special Security Concerns of Small Island States";

RECALLING:

Its resolutions AG/RES. 1497 (XXVII-O/97) and AG/RES. 1567 (XXVIII-O/98), "Special Security Concerns of Small Island States" and AG/RES. 1410 (XXVI-O/96), "Promotion of Security in the Small Island States"; and

Its instruction, in resolutions AG/RES. 1567 (XXVIII-O/98) mentioned above and AG/RES. 1566 (XXVIII-O/98), "Confidence- and Security-Building in the Americas," to the Permanent Council to consider convening another high-level meeting on the special security concerns of small island states;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT its resolution AG/RES. 1674 (XXIX-O/99), "Climate Change in the Americas";

CONSIDERING:

That the member states, pursuant to Article 1 of the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), 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 that Article 2.a of the Charter 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";

REAFFIRMING 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 states' sovereignty and territorial integrity; freedom from external military attack and coercion; freedom from external interference by states or by non-state agents in their internal political affairs; protection from ecological disasters and environmental conditions, which could imperil their viability; the link between trade, economic development, and security; and the ability to maintain and protect democratic institutions, which ensure domestic tranquility;

RECOGNIZING:

That small island states are particularly vulnerable to the potential effects of global climate change, such as sea-level rise, and that hurricanes and tropical storms have resulted in serious loss of resources and infrastructure and have severely affected the economic and social development of these countries;

That by virtue of their size, small island states are characterized by their smaller economies;
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, held in San Salvador in 1998, concluded that the security of small island states can be enhanced by declaring the Caribbean a zone of peace;

RECALLING that at the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development, held in Bolivia in 1996, Heads of State and Government undertook "to promote the agreements reached at the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States held in Barbados in 1994";

NOTING:

That member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have proposed that the Caribbean Sea be internationally recognized as a special area in the context of sustainable development; and

That at their Third Western Hemispheric Meeting, ministers responsible for transportation agreed to actively and collectively encourage international maritime and air carriers to fully comply with international standards for the carriage of nuclear waste and other hazardous cargo and agreed to continue regional discussions on progress achieved; 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 their special security concerns,

RESOLVES:

1. To take note of the Annual Report of the Permanent Council insofar as it relates to the special security concerns of small island states.

2. To instruct the Permanent Council to continue 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 (OAS) 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 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 request that the General Secretariat and the appropriate organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system develop and 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 urge member states to actively implement the cooperation program in the Plan of Action of the Third Western Hemispheric Ministerial Meeting on Transportation on maritime and air carriage of nuclear and other hazardous wastes.

7. To recommend that member states 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 recognize the importance of participation by the OAS in the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly for the review and appraisal of the Barbados Programme of Action and to encourage consideration of issues of specific concern to small island states at relevant sectoral meetings, including the Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development.

10. To take note with satisfaction of the ongoing technical support provided by the General Secretariat to small island states as smaller economies in the negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

11. To request the Permanent Council to 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 thirtieth regular session.

12. To reiterate its request to the Permanent Council that it 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.

13. 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.

14. To instruct the Permanent Council to carry out the activities mentioned in this resolution in accordance with the resources allocated in the program-budget and other resources.

15. To instruct the General Secretariat to report to the Permanent Council, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security and prior to the thirtieth regular session of the General Assembly, on its compliance with the provisions of this resolution.

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

17. To request the Secretary General to transmit this resolution to the Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.