CHDS Opens Sub-Regional Conference on Security in the Americas

CHDS Opens Sub-Regional Conference on Security in the Americas

By Dialogo
July 22, 2011

With an introduction by Chilean Minister of National Defense Andrés Allamand, the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) of the National Defense University, in Washington, D.C., opened its 2011 Sub-Regional Conference, the seventh in the series, in Santiago, Chile, on 20 July 2011.

Under the heading “New Security Environment, New Defense Alternatives,” the forum brings together around 350 military personnel, academics, and civilians from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The event, sponsored by the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE) of the Chilean Defense Ministry, has the aim of responding to the challenges defined at the Ninth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in November 2010.

This opportunity “is especially relevant,” CHDS director Richard D. Downie emphasized, “because it enables us to bring together the political leaders who design policies, the military personnel who execute them, and the academics who study them in order to create a new reality.”

The conference, which will continue until 22 July, is focused on three main topics: consolidating peace, confidence, security, and cooperation in the Americas; democracy, Armed Forces, security, and society; and cooperation in regional security and natural disasters.

“Security is a task for everyone,” Allamand stressed in his opening speech. The minister also highlighted the importance of jointly addressing the topic of security, due to the borderless nature of the threats that states are facing today. “The dividing lines between internal and external security have been dissolving,” he affirmed.

The event included the participation of former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who spoke about the new security environment and new defense alternatives. “We have the great challenge of building modern democracies,” he said, and he emphasized that democracies depend on their security policies, on the freedoms of their societies, and on states established on the basis of independent institutions, both for their progress and for their decay.

As part of his speech, Uribe enumerated the enormous riches of the Latin American people and also mentioned the great social chasms that need to be closed in order to create these democracies.

This conference is especially important for the Inter-American Defense System, the respective countries’ national security and the principals of national progress that guaranty democracy, due to alleged and hidden challenges that threatens society on all continents. There is hope in the meeting with Chile. An unfolding effect in the resolutions and recommendations to raise awareness among Latin American countries’ main politicians. Manly the responsible parties who make the policies for the public defense.