On January 20, 2020, the Republic of Colombia hosted the Third Hemispheric Ministerial Conference to Combat Terrorism and its financing, in the Hemisphere and as follow-up to the Conferences held in Washington in 2018 and Buenos Aires in 2019.
With the participation of the following States:
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Saint Lucia and the United States of America.
And the following observers:
Israel, México, Uruguay, Venezuela, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee, The Inter-American Committee on Terrorism (OAS), INTERPOL, and AMERIPOL.
1. 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. To that effect, they stated that justifying or validating terrorism as a means of political action in democracies are inadmissible.
2. Recognized that transnational terrorism knows no geographical boundaries and, to that effect, ratified the inarguable commitment of States to, in accordance with, deny refuge, asylum, safe haven and/or any type of support to those who finance, plan or commit terrorist actions, or to those who lend them collaboration, in accordance with their respective legal frameworks, the obligations of international law, international treaties and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, among them: 1267 (1999),1373 (2001), 1540 (2004), 1988 (2011), 2178 (2014), 2309 (2016), 2322 (2016), 2368 (2017), 2396 (2017) 2482 (2019), 2462 (2019); and General Assembly resolution 74/194 (2019), and in line with compliance with Financial Action Task Force FATF/GAFI Recommendations 5, 6, 7 and 8.
3. Stressed the importance of a holistic approach that considers the links between terrorism, its financing that may include various manifestations of transnational organized crime. To that effect, they reaffirmed the responsibility of States to deny financial and operational safe haven to terrorists and to bring them to justice. At the same time, they condemned the actions of those actors who intentionally provide support or protection to terrorist groups or organizations, or perpetrators, organizers, and sponsors of terrorism.
4. 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 persons within their jurisdictions.
5. Expressed their concern about Hezbollah networks’ activities in some areas of the Western Hemisphere. Applauded recent actions from the region’s States in to countervail the activities of Hizballah networks; as well as encouraging other governments to seek more effective ways to counter this threat.
6. Recognized as a threat for regional stability the activity of the self-proclaimed Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), which perpetrates terrorist acts of unacceptable violence acts and is funded through illicit means. Moreover, the countries expressed their rejection of the criminal activities of Shining Path.
7. Condemned the terrorist attack perpetrated by the ELN against the General Santander Police Cadet School on January 17, 2019, in which 21 Colombian cadets and one Ecuadorian cadet were callously killed and others injured.
8. Expressed their rejection and condemnation of the terrorist actions and criminal activities such as those perpetrated by the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (ELN) and by the Residual Armed Group (GAO-r), that constitute a threat to international peace and security, to freedom, democratic order and human rights.
9. Recognized as a threat to the stability of the region, the terrorist actions of organizations such as the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (ELN), that perpetrate acts of unconscionable violence and brutality and obtain their financing from illicit activities related with transnational organized crime.
10. Expressed their concern that organizations that commit terrorist acts such as the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (ELN), are able to profit from situations of institutional weakness, internal and other conflicts, as is the case in Venezuela, in order to maximize terrorist acts and criminal activities in the region.
11. Reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation against transnational crime and terrorism, improving state coordination to respond to the threat of terrorism in all spheres (physical and digital).
12. Agreed on the need to promote and implement hemispheric initiatives to combat terrorism, in order to allow for regional coordination to combat the actions of transnational terrorist organizations.
13. Underscored the importance of increasing transnational cooperation and the strengthening of regional coordination fora such as the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), on matters of information and intelligence exchange, as well as judicial cooperation, extradition and the implementation of travel alerts.
14. Encouraged the governments in the region to use the tools and capacities of the International Organization of Criminal Police INTERPOL, including the secure global communication system I-24/7 and the notices and diffusions, to prevent and affect the movement of terrorists, and suppress terrorist financing as indicated in United Nations Resolutions 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017) and 2462 (2019). Likewise, expressed their will to strengthen the Community of Police Forces of the Americas – AMERIPOL, as an effective regional mechanism to combat the association between terrorism and transnational organized crime.
15. Expressed their commitment to participating in and utilizing, within the framework of the OAS/Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (OAS/CICTE) the new Inter-American Network on Counterterrorism, that was proposed at the preparation conference in Santiago de Chile and agreed to by States at the Second Conference in Buenos Aires; which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in order to facilitate the timely exchange of information to respond more effectively to terrorist threats.
16. Noted that practices such as participating in the Inter-American Network on Counterterrorism 24/7, are among the most effective tools available to States for detecting and preventing travel by terrorists and other threats in accordance with United Nations Security Resolution 2396 (2017) and other international commitments.
17. Emphasized the importance of preventing, combatting, countering and suppressing Internet use, for terrorist purposes, of new technologies, FINTECH virtual platforms, social networks, and of virtual assets as a means for planning, radicalization and recruitment of persons, fundraising and financing, while taking measures to maintain an open and free internet and a secure cyberspace, with full respect for privacy and freedom of expression.
18. Reaffirmed their commitment to redouble efforts to combat the sources of terrorism financing, including those derived from money laundering.
19. Stressed the need to continue strengthening their domestic legal frameworks to implement targeted financial sanctions and other effective measures to freeze assets linked to terrorist organizations and prevent Organized Armed Groups and Transnational Organized Crime Groups from using financial and/or economic systems to give their assets an appearance of legality or obscure the illicit origin of such assets.
20. Renewed their commitment to strengthening their financial intelligence units, to create regional spaces for cooperation with the purpose of locating, tracing and recovering and confiscating the assets of criminal organizations within their jurisdictions.
21. Ratified their commitment to strengthening their capacities in matters of border control, joint investigation teams, intelligence including financial intelligence, transborder transport of cash and negotiable valuables, to combat terrorism, organized crime and their means of financing, as well as to prevent the influx of returning foreign terrorist combatants in the region.
22. Underscored the actions that, at the level of bilateral mechanisms, are available to States’ authorities, in accordance with resolutions of international organizations. To that effect, they expressed support for successful experiences between countries and international organizations, that promote new forms of cooperation.
23. 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;
24. The Delegation of Peru announced its offer to host the IV Hemispheric Ministerial Conference to Combat Terrorism.
Bogota, January 20, 2020