OAS TO ADDRESS THREATS ASSOCIATED WITH MAN PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS (MANPADS)
March 5, 2007
The Organization of American States
(OAS) will bring together experts from government and civil society to
discuss national and regional strategies for mitigating the threats
associated with weapons known as Man Portable Air Defense Systems
(MANPADS). The special meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security
will take place on Thursday, March 8, at OAS headquarters in Washington.
are short-range surface-to-air missiles that can be carried and fired
by a single individual. Because they are easily concealed and
transported, such weapons are attractive to terrorists, criminals and
other non-state actors and thereby pose a unique and significant threat
to the international community, particularly to international civil
aviation. Although precise numbers are difficult to obtain, it is
believed that 500,000 MANPADS are in existence in the world today,
thousands of them illegally.
The International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO), the global forum for civil aviation, in 2004
called on the international community to enact measures to ensure and
maintain effective physical security and management of MANPADS
stockpiles. In response, the OAS General Assembly approved a resolution
urging member states to, among other things, adopt and maintain strict
national controls and security measures on MANPADS, ban their transfers
to non-state end users and destroy excess stockpiles.
special meeting has been convoked to increase awareness of this threat,
as well as to promote mitigation strategies that can be implemented by
governments of the region. Speakers at the event will include
representatives from the ICAO, United Kingdom Ministry of Defense,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Federation of American Scientists.
special mobile exhibit will also be on display on C Street, to the side
of the main OAS building, on the day of the meeting. Experts from the
U.S. Department of Defense will be on hand to answer questions
concerning the display, which will include actual MANPADS and
information on how they work.
WHAT: Special meeting on
“Effective Strategies to Mitigate the Threat Posed by the Use of Man
Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS)”
WHEN: Thursday, March 8
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Simón Bolívar Room
OAS Main Building
17th Street & Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20006