October 16, 2000


Manaus-Amazonas-Brazil
October 16, 2000

The Chiefs of the Delegations, participating in the IV Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas in the city of Manaus, Federative Republic of Brazil, from October 16 to 21, 2000,

INSPIRED by the commitments made by our Presidents and leaders at the Miami and Santiago Summits of the Americas and the objectives decided upon in Williamsburg, San Carlos de Bariloche and Cartagena de lndias, and

HAVING EXAMINED and evaluated a broad range of issues facing their mutual defense and security interests, at the closure of the debates, the Chiefs of the Delegations participating in the IV Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas declared that:

  1. democracy and democratic institutions are vital for hemispheric security;

  2. the main objective of the IV Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas is to promote mutual understanding and the exchange of ideas in the field of defense and security;

  3. the Defense Ministerial process should be continued. Fundamental to this process are coordination and cooperation. It is advisable to continue to hold preliminary meetings with the specific purpose of elaborating this agenda. The agenda resulting from the agreement among the states participating in the Conference is fundamental to the success of this Conference;

  4. the past and present Defense Ministerial Conferences of the Americas have considered some themes of great interest for the participating states, such as:

    • security of the hemisphere;

    • measures of mutual confidence;

    • regional cooperation for defense and development;

    • democracy and the role of the Armed Forces;

  5. the differences in subregional contexts do not constitute a barrier to cooperation and exchange, but should be respected and taken into account in the development of a balanced security system that recognizes the particular strategic contexts throughout the Americas. This includes the need to continue studies to review the current hemispheric security system;

  6. it is necessary to define concepts of security and defense in order to facilitate their understanding as doctrinal concepts in the hemisphere;

  7. the states must consolidate peace in the hemisphere, respecting the principles and the rule of international law stated in the Charters of the United Nations and the Organization of American States including self-determination, non-intervention, peaceful settlement of disputes, economic and social development and the right to self-defense;

  8. in the environment of peace and cooperation in the hemisphere, each state of the Americas is free to determine its defense needs, including missions, personnel strength and the Defense Forces necessary to guarantee sovereignty. We support the regional commitments regarding non-proliferation and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction;

  9. the security and defense of each state are the responsibility of society as a whole, and not merely a responsibility of the armed forces. Therefore, it is imperative to educate the public in defense issues and to involve civilians and members of the armed forces in discussions concerning military matters;

  10. the participation of those responsible for the defense of states in meetings and events of bilateral, sub-regional or regional character is important and should be encouraged;

  11. the adoption of measures which foster mutual trust and security has contributed to understanding among the countries of the Americas, facilitating the social-economic development and regional and bilateral integration at hemispherical level. We will work to:

    • consider adopting new confidence building and security measures that help to maintain peace and foster increasing levels of cooperation and transparency on defense hemispheric security issues;

    • urge the ratification of the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions and the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials;

    • we urge full participation in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms;

    • we also urge greater participation in effective implementation of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Land Mines and or their Destruction;

    • encourage participants to produce defense policy and doctrine papers consistent with the call by our heads of government in the Santiago Declaration;

  12. the creation of defense policies and the publication of White Papers are important factors to the strengthening of mutual confidence measures;

  13. the new threats to the security of states are a real risk to global and hemispheric peace. Therefore, the exchange of information and cooperation according to the needs and laws of each country is recommended;

  14. we support active and voluntary participation in peacekeeping operations, when necessary. With this in mind, we recommend continued strong support for regional peacekeeping training;

  15. it is important to continue to support the efforts of states and institutions dedicated to the struggle against illicit drugs and related criminal activities that cross national boundaries and pose singular challenges to regional security and stability;

  16. all forms of terrorism are condemned; continued hemispheric cooperation against all forms of terrorism should be fostered keeping in mind that terrorism poses a serious threat to hemispheric democracy;

  17. cooperation in the area of natural disasters, taking advantage of technological and scientific resources to prevent their occurrence and control their effects, should continue to be promoted to avoid or reduce the impact of such disasters on people, the environment, and our heritage;

  18. implementation of educational programs in human rights and international humanitarian law for members of the armed forces and civilian defense personnel contribute to the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law,

  19. there must be greater training for civilian defense experts. Transparency in budgetary processes and defense resource management is important for strengthening the relationship between civilians and the armed forces; and

  20. the conclusions reached by the Working Groups and the proposals they have presented have our complete support since they contribute to the objectives that were set for this Conference.

Last but not least, the Chiefs of the Delegations participating in the IV Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas express their sincere appreciation to the government of the Federative Republic of Brazil for its gracious hospitality and its efficient organization and development of the work for the IV Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas, and to the Government of Chile for its gracious decision to host the V Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas, to pursue dialogue and cooperation on defense among the States of the Americas.