October 10, 2006


Managua, Nicaragua

The Ministers of Defense and Heads of Delegation participating in the Seventh Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas, meeting in the city of Managua, Republic of Nicaragua, 1-5 October 2006,

REAFFIRMING the indissoluble relationship between democracy, hemispheric security and economic opportunity;

INSPIRED by the principles of the Summits of the Americas, the Declaration on Security in the Americas, and the six prior Conferences of Ministers of Defense of the Americas;

RECOGNIZING that we share common threats, concerns and other challenges that affect us all, albeit to different degrees of intensity in each country and sub-region of the continent;

CONVINCED that each State has the right to determine its own defense and security requirements and to identify its own priorities in this regard, fully respecting the rules of international law and the principles of the Charters of the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS);

BEARING IN MIND that the Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas was created for the sole purpose of serving as a forum of debate among the Defense Ministers of the Americas, so as to increase cooperation and contribute to the defense and security of the Member States;

CONSIDERING thatthe concept of security is multidimensional in scope, as set forth in the Declaration on Security in the Americas;

RECOGNIZING the contribution to international peace and stability made by the countries of the Americas in implementing defense policies consistent with the treaties and conventions of the United Nations and the OAS; and

NOTING that the principal theme of the Seventh Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas is "hemispheric and sub-regional cooperation," and applauding the positive steps that countries and sub-regions have taken to advance such cooperation,

DECLARE:

    1. The urgent need to strengthen and modernize the hemisphere's defense and security institutions, implementing and supporting programs and activities of cooperation and education in this regard, and taking into account the threats, concerns and other challenges identified in the Declaration on Security in the Americas (Mexico 2003).

    2. The will to strengthen the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security and to further promote bilateral and sub-regional agreements on security and defense that contribute to the development of the Inter-American Security System, recognizing the sub-regional strategic contexts of the hemisphere.

    3. The fundamental importance of adopting and implementing Confidence and Security-Building Measures of the OAS for strengthening bilateral, sub-regional and hemispheric relations, contributing to international stability, peace, cooperation and security. In this regard, we urge those Member States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions.

    4. Their most vigorous condemnation of all forms of terrorism and transnational organized crime, including drug trafficking, corruption, trafficking in persons, money laundering and other crimes, and the need to confront these threats in a cooperative, decisive and comprehensive manner, as provided under each state's respective constitutional order and national legislation and in international instruments, especially the OAS conventions currently in force and applicable to them.

    5. Their firm determination to support the United Nations Program of Action and the OAS Convention on the issue, in order to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit trafficking in, the illegal use of and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and their lethal effects, and to support the OAS guidelines for the control and security of small arms, including Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), as provided under national legislation and in accordance with international instruments currently in force.

    6. The region's commitment to comply with the different resolutions of the United Nations Security Council to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and to convey to their respective governments the possibility of supporting the Proliferation Security Initiative.

    With almost forty years having passed since the Treaty of Tlatelolco, we view with satisfaction the extent to which Latin America and the Caribbean have fulfilled their desire to remain a zone free of nuclear weapons. This instrument, together with the entity created by it -the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (OPANAL)- has contributed to the consolidation of our region as an example of peace and coexistence.

    7. Their commendation of the region's progress on humanitarian demining as it contributes to hemispheric confidence and security building measures, and also to recommend the implementation of the international instruments governing these issues by those states that are parties to such instruments.

    8. The importance of the active and voluntary participation in peacekeeping operations of the countries in the hemisphere, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the constitutional provisions of the Member States, highlighting the outstanding work carried out by the Member States of this Conference participating in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) that have contributed to the stabilization process in Haiti and to the free election of its democratic authorities, with full participation of the electorate and with the support of the international community.

    Their encouragement of the continued participation of Member States in peace operations authorized by United Nations mandates and those carried out within the framework of peace treaties and international agreements.

    9. Their support for humanitarian relief operations carried out by the armed forces in the wake of natural disasters, strengthening cooperation mechanisms for disaster prevention, relief and mitigation, drawing on scientific and technological resources, as well as fostering the exchange of experiences and other activities in order to build subregional response capacities in the face of such events.

    10. Their support for the efforts of the countries of the hemisphere to maintain peace and internal democratic stability as a contribution to subregional and hemispheric security.

    11. Their support for Nicaragua's initiative to create the International Humanitarian Demining Center, and for the preparation of the Subregional Security Strategy proposed by Guatemala.

    12. To continue consultations with a view to sustain the institutional memory of the Conferences of Ministers of Defense of the Americas.

    13. To take note of the proposals, initiatives and conclusions reached by the Working Committees on the Thematic Agenda of this VII Conference.

    14. Their satisfaction at Canada's designation as the host country of the Eighth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas in 2008, and to note Bolivia's intention to act as host country of the Ninth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas in 2010.

    15. Their gratitude to the Government and people of Nicaragua, through the Ministry of Defense, for their hospitality over the course of this Ministerial meeting.