Illustrative List of Confidence- and Security-Building Measures

February 3, 2003

Organization of American States
Meeting of Experts on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures
Miami, Florida
February 3-4, 2003

This illustrative list seeks to identify measures for future consideration and elaboration. It represents an updating of the Buenos Aires Group of Experts "Illustrative List of Confidence and Security Building Measures for Countries to Consider Adopting on the Bilateral, Sub-regional, and Regional Level." The identified measures can be applied on a voluntary basis at the bilateral, subregional, or regional level.

I. Diplomatic and Political Measures

  1. Study of necessary measures to honor compliance with the UN Charter on the prohibition of the threat or use of force in international relations, respect for international law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

  2. Increase in joint planning at appropriate levels for consideration of matters of common interest.

  3. Political initiatives, especially in the areas of security and defense, that demonstrate the purpose of promoting peace, inter-American security, and cooperation in its multiple facets.

  4. Consolidation of representative democracy as an indispensable condition for the stability, peace, and development of the region.

  5. Promotion of legislative contacts for discussion of security questions.

  6. Promotion of high-level bilateral meetings, especially between border countries, to address topics linked to conventional security, consideration of which is essential to strengthening and consolidating mutual confidence.

  7. Promotion of fair and equitable trade that will contribute significantly to reducing poverty and to greater democratic stability and security in the Hemisphere.

  8. Promotion of economic and social measures for enhancing the living standards of the inhabitants of the region in order to create a climate conducive to confidence, cooperation, and development at the hemispheric level.

  9. Closer cooperation for the eradication of transnational criminal activities and terrorism, which affect peace and democracy.

  10. Strengthening of regional cooperation programs to respond to natural disasters, in coordination with existing organizations.

  11. Promotion of joint development and infrastructure integration projects, particularly in border areas.

  12. Adequate access to technology for satellite sensing.

  13. Increase in cooperation on environmental issues.

  14. Enhance the awareness and adoption of principles that support a culture of respect for human rights and international humanitarian law within military and security forces.

  15. Legal cooperation and harmonization of legislation.

  16. The holding of high-level meeting involving the ministries of defense and foreign affairs at the bilateral, subregional, and regional levels in order to provide for frank and direct dialogue on the joint evaluation of various aspects of defense and security and to exchange ideas and views with respect to the objectives of national defense policy, as well as the shared means of addressing common problems.

  17. Promotion of the signing of bilateral or multilateral conventions that strengthen confidence and security among states, subregions, and regions.

  18. Exchange of experiences on the organization and structure of ministries of defense.

II. Educational and Cultural Measures
  1. Incorporation in school curricula and textbooks of concepts to promote democratic values and lay the foundations for developing a culture of peace and the rejection of violence.

  2. Promotion of studies on disarmament, security, and development, as well as studies on the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Promotion of studies on factors which contribute to terrorism.

  3. Development of regional and international support for educational and cultural studies on peace and development.

  4. Promotion of joint studies and research with professional groups from other countries on topics related to security and defense.

  5. Promotion of seminars on the role of the media in forming and guiding public opinion on security questions.

  6. Promotion of courses and seminars on human rights and international humanitarian law as applied to the missions and activities of military and security forces.

  7. Implementation of the program Education for Peace in the Hemisphere, adopted by the OAS Permanent Council through resolution CP/RES. 769/00, especially with respect to the promotion of peace among states.

  8. Introduction of courses in foreign service institutes on disarmament, arms limitation, and related topics.

  9. The holding of academic seminars with the participation of diplomats and military officers on various topics under the broad umbrella of security.

  10. Establishment of special offices or sections on these subjects in the foreign ministries, to which diplomats from other countries could be detailed for study tours.

  11. Increase current levels of exchanges in diplomatic training institutions.

  12. Organize and participate in sporting competitions and exchanges among security and law-enforcement services at both the regional and international levels.

III. Military Measures

A. Confidence- and Security-Building Measures relating to the Deployment of Armed Forces

    1. Advance notification of any planned military ground, air, or naval maneuver, deployment, or exercise in border areas regarding the number of troops, location in terms of borders, and the nature and quantity of equipment.

    2. Periodic communications between border forces in order to coordinate activities undertaken by all organs at the border.

    3. Meetings of naval and air officials to deal with navigation issues.

    4. Invitations to armed forces of neighboring countries to send observers to maneuvers and troop exercises carried out in areas near the respective borders.

    5. Establishment of mutual confidence and security zones in border areas, adapting the number and strength of military units and detachments to the security and development needs of each country.

B. Confidence- and Security-Building Measures relating to Information Exchange

    1. Strengthening of machinery for information and cooperation on search and rescue operations.

    2. Periodic meetings of the general staffs of the armed forces.

    3. Exchange of information on military budgets.

    4. Exchange of information on the production and/or purchase of new equipment and weapons.

    5. Exchange of information on military doctrine and organization.

    6. More active participation in the United Nations Register of Conventional Weapons and the UN instrument for standardized international presentation of reports of military expenditures.

C. Confidence- and Security-Building Measures relating to Personal Exchange

  1. Personnel exchange visits to military units and institutes.

D. Confidence- and Security-Building Measures relating to Communications 

    1. Direct and frequent communication between authorities with a view to ensuring the exchange of information that will permit reciprocal understanding of military activities.

E. Confidence- and Security-Building Measures relating to Contacts

    1. Normal safety procedures when naval and air units are in operation, in accordance with the applicable international agreements in force.

    2. Sharing of experiences on:
      -- armed forces;
      -- peacekeeping operations;
      -- analysis of specific problems of mutual interest.

    3. Establishment, use, and exchange of procedural manuals and security handbooks among units of the armed forces deployed in border zones.

F. Confidence- and Security-Building Measures relating to Training and Education 

    1.  Exchange of military personnel of various ranks on diverse subjects, such as:
      -- survival training;
      -- confidence- and security-building measures training;
      -- general staff and higher-level courses;
      -- military training and refresher courses;
      -- exchange of basic information on confidence- and security building measures;
      -- exchange of cadets, students, and advisers;
      -- human rights and international humanitarian law.

    2. Joint activities of military academies.

    3. Visits and exchange of chiefs and units of the respective armed forces.

    4. Exchange of specialized military personnel in areas of personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, civil affairs, legal, data procession, and other areas of interest.

    5. Joint training exercises with armed forces of other countries.

G. Measures for Verification

    1. Exchange of information on various global, regional, and bilateral verification regimes.

    2. Holding of seminars on cooperative monitoring technology that can be used for verification.

IV. Other Measures

The experts consider it necessary to adopt cooperative measures in various areas so as to confront the new threats, concerns, and other challenges to security in the region. To that end, the experts recommend that the competent bodies of the OAS and other appropriate national, subregional, and regional institutions elaborate the specific confidence-enhancing measures to address the following new threats, concerns, and other challenges:

  • Terrorism
  • Illicit drug trafficking
  • Illicit trafficking in chemical substances
  • Trafficking in persons
  • Illicit trafficking in weapons
  • Transnational organized crime
  • Corruption
  • Money laundering
  • Transportation security
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Efforts against smuggling
  • Mitigation of, and response to, natural disasters
  • Environment
  • Health-related measures, especially HIV/AIDS
The competent bodies of the OAS will report to the Committee on Hemispheric Security on the elaboration of specific confidence-enhancing measures to address new threats, concerns, and other challenges so that they may be incorporated into the preparatory work for the Special Conference on Security, to be held in Mexico.