South American leaders adopt Peace Zone Declaration
Guyana Chronicle
August 6, 2002

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SOUTH American Presidents at their July 26-27 meeting in Ecuador adopted a declaration regarding South America as a Peace Zone.

The Heads of State declared that in South America, the use of, or the threat of the use of force between States, shall be banned. The Declaration is in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Charters of the United Nations and the Organisation of American States (OAS).

The Presidents also declared that the siting, development, manufacture, possession, deployment, testing and the use of any type of weapon of mass destruction shall be banned. This would include nuclear, chemical, biological and toxic weapons, and the transport of such weapons will also be prohibited.

The Presidents have committed themselves to establishing a gradual system of elimination that will lead to complete eradication of anti-personnel mines. They underscored initiatives aimed at promoting efforts that will gradually limit defence spending and promote greater transparency in arms acquisition.

In a communique issued following the conclusion of the meeting, the Presidents reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations as a threat to international peace and security.

In this regard the Presidents and country representatives reaffirmed the need for countries to fight for the elimination of terrorism in a coordinated manner and in strict compliance with the United Nations Charter and international laws.

According to Guyana's Foreign Minister, Mr. Rudy Insanally, the meeting noted the linkages between terrorism and arms and drug smuggling and their implications for national security and issues related to governance.

He said there is renewed effort by the region for national leaders to consult each other on international issues and boost their defence against terrorism.

Insanally added that the security of most Latin American countries is affected by the drug trade. The meeting noted that as the fight goes on against production in one country, the drug operation might shift to another state.

The Presidents recognised the need for collaboration and coordination in their efforts in a network to eliminate the drug trade.
(Guyana Information Agency--GINA)