AG/RES. 2143 (XXXV-O/05) Protecting Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism

June 7, 2005

(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2005)


RECALLING its resolutions AG/RES. 1840 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1906 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1931 (XXXIII-O/03), and AG/RES. 2035 (XXXIV-O/04), and the Report on Terrorism and Human Rights, prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.116 - Doc.5 rev. 1);

REAFFIRMING the principles and purposes of the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Charter of the United Nations;

EMPHASIZING that everyone is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, without distinction of any kind as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status, and that this applies in all circumstances, in accordance with international law;

REITERATING that all persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties established in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor;

CONSIDERING that terrorism poses a serious threat to the security, the institutions, and the democratic values of states and to the well-being of our peoples and impairs the full enjoyment and exercise of human rights;


That, in the Declaration of Port-of-Spain, adopted on February 17, 2005, the member states reaffirmed "that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its origin or motivation, has no justification whatsoever and constitutes a grave threat to international peace and security, undermines on-going efforts to foster stability, prosperity and equity in the countries of the region, and violates the democratic values and principles enshrined in the OAS Charter, Inter-American Democratic Charter and other regional and international instruments";

That, in the Declaration on Security in the Americas, the states of the Hemisphere renewed their commitment to fight terrorism and its financing, with full respect for the rule of law and international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international refugee law; the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism; and United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001); and

That, in the Declaration of Nuevo Le´┐Żn of the Special Summit of the Americas, the Heads of State and Government agreed to take all necessary steps to prevent and counter terrorism and its financing, in full compliance with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law;

WELCOMING that, with the ratifications of Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Chile, Dominica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru, the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism came into force on July 10, 2003, and that Panama and Venezuela became states parties to the Convention in 2004, which brings to 12 the number of countries that have ratified the Convention; and

CONSIDERING the report of the Meeting of Government Experts to Exchange, from a Human Rights Perspective, Best Practices and National Experiences in Adopting Antiterrorism Measures, held on February 12 and 13, 2004 (CP/CAJP-2140/04),


1. To reaffirm that the fight against terrorism must be waged with full respect for the law, human rights, compliance with due process, and democratic institutions, so as to preserve the rule of law and democratic freedoms and values in the Hemisphere.

2. To reaffirm that all member states have a duty to ensure that all measures adopted to combat terrorism are in compliance with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law.

3. To encourage all member states, with a view to fulfilling the commitments undertaken in this resolution, to consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as the case may be and as soon as possible, the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and the American Convention on Human Rights; and to encourage the states parties to take appropriate steps to implement the provisions of those treaties.

4. To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to continue promoting respect for and the defense of human rights and facilitating efforts by member states to comply appropriately with their international human rights commitments when developing and executing counterterrorist measures, including, in particular, the rights of persons who might be at a disadvantage, subject to discrimination, or at risk as a result of terrorist violence or counterterrorist initiatives, and to report to the Permanent Council on the advisability of conducting a follow-up study.

5. To request the IACHR to continue preparing recommendations for the protection of human rights by member states in the fight against terrorism, in coordination with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) and in consultation with national experts, as requested in resolution AG/RES. 2035 (XXXIV-O/04), prior to the thirty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly.

6. On the basis of the recommendations referred to in the preceding paragraph, the Permanent Council may consider preparing draft common terms of reference for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the fight against terrorism, that compile current international standards based on applicable international law, as well as best practices, for consideration by the General Assembly.

7. To reiterate the importance of intensifying dialogue among the CICTE, the IACHR, and other pertinent areas of the Organization, with a view to improving and strengthening their ongoing collaboration on the issue of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

8. To request the Permanent Council to present a report to the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth regular session on the implementation of this resolution, which will be carried out within the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.