On July 19th, 2019, Argentina convened the Second Hemispheric Ministerial Conference for the Fight against terrorism, following on the Hemispheric Ministerial in Washington in December, 2018, on the same subject.
The participants of the Conference included Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the United States of America. In addition, Mexico, Uruguay and the Organization of America States – Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) attended the Conference as Observers.
At the Conference, the participating governments:
- Condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and whatever its motivations might be, emphasizing that it constitutes a threat to the peace and security of the countries and the international community, deploring its effects on democratic stability, economic and social development, and citizens inside and outside their national territories, as well as deploring its effect on the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the part of the victims;
- Underscored the importance of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, particularly resolutions 1267(1999), 1373(2001), 1540 (2004), 2178(2014), 2242(2015), 2396(2017) and 2462(2019), as well as of the international instruments against terrorism, including the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism;
- Reaffirmed the conviction that efforts in the fight against terrorism and terrorism financing, both in the scope of individual and collective responses, must be carried out within the framework of the rule of law and national legislation, and with respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and in compliance with international law;
- Acknowledged that countering violent extremism and terrorist radicalization should be a critical aspect of our broader efforts to fight terrorism;
- Affirmed that the terrorist organizations ISIS/Daesh and Al-Qaida and their affiliated organizations constitute a threat to collective security, to the security of citizens inside and outside their territories, and to all person within their jurisdictions;
- Expressed their concern about Hezbollah networks’ activities in some areas of the Western Hemisphere;
- Recognized as a threat for regional stability the activity of the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), which commits unacceptably violent acts and is funded through illicit means. Moreover, the countries expressed their rejection of the criminal activities of Shining Path;
- Emphasized that bilateral, regional and international cooperation is essential to prevent the Hemisphere from being exploited for operational, logistical, and fundraising activities to support terrorism and other related crimes;
- Noted that, in addition, other terrorist and organized crime networks also threaten the Hemisphere, and countries must maintain a robust cooperation against those networks as well as their facilitators and supporters;
- Committed themselves to take measures to prevent terrorist groups from benefiting from national and transnational organized crime;
- Resolved to continue developing tools to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism, fully aware of the evolving challenges posed by the continuous evolution of the increasingly complex and decentralized terrorist threat, requiring therefore a response that should evolve accordingly;
- Condemned kidnapping as a means for terrorism, whether for political, religious or economic purposes and expressed their deep commitment to the fight to eradicate this evil; as well as they stand in solidarity with the victims, families and society who have suffered from this despicable scourge;
- Resolved to increase international cooperation to counter violent extremism, particularly incitement to terrorist activity, terrorism and terrorist groups, as well as terrorists' use of new technologies and electronic communication platforms to recruit or radicalize, spread terrorist material, and incite violence, while remaining committed to an open, free and secure internet;
- Noted the need to increase international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and terrorism financing, through the exchange of information and best practices in order to reduce vulnerabilities, as well as through the use of judicial cooperation mechanisms, such as extradition and the implementation of travel alerts;
- Committed not to grant safe havens, refugee status or asylum, as appropriate in accordance with their respective legal frameworks, to terrorists and their financiers who move to and from areas of operation and to prevent their respective territories from being used for terrorist recruitment and terrorist propaganda;
- Expressed their concern about the risk for terrorist groups to profit from situations of institutional weakness, internal and other conflicts, such as in Venezuela, in order to strengthen their criminal activities in the region;
- Committed as well to effectively implement the international standards in countering crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing, and in controlling other illicit or vulnerable financial operations, as well as to increase efforts to prevent the use of their national territories for the financing of terrorist organizations, individuals or activities, through both licit and illicit means, which could include the development and use of national-level sanction regimes;
- Committed to encouraging competent authorities, particularly finance intelligence units and other intelligence services, to establish and strengthen their alliances, between themselves and the private sector, so as to evaluate and monitor the trends and patterns of terrorism and terrorism financing, and to exchange operational information for intelligence purposes;
- Committed to creating, within the framework of CICTE, a 24/7 Network of National Security Focal Points for Counterterrorism to facilitate the timely exchange, through secure communication platforms, of early warnings regarding threats and other subjects related to terrorism as well as any other relevant information;
- Solemnly observed and condemned the most serious transnational terrorist attack in the Argentine Republic, which was perpetrated 25 years ago at the headquarters of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), for which Hezbollah is under ongoing judicial investigation, and confirmed their commitment to international legal cooperation with respect to the ongoing judicial investigation, ratifying it with their presence in the very headquarters of the Association.