Confidence and Security Building Measures

The Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBM) are all actions promoted by member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) aimed at preventing crises and situations of conflict, strengthening international peace and security, promoting development and create and foster the conditions necessary for effective cooperation. In other words, the true CSBM are those that can give transparency and effectively represent goodwill among the various states, considering their nature, their constitution, their strategic interests and their limitations to contribute to peace.

The implementation of these actions can soften potential threats and avoid possible situations of hostility, seeking to influence the perceptions of one state over the intentions of the other. The basic premise is the idea that armed conflict can arise from a false perception of national military policies or from the difficulty of distinguishing between offensive and defensive military preparations. Therefore, it seeks to transfer stability to relationships, laying the groundwork for relying on future commitments.

As an objective, it is expected CSBM can contribute with the following fundamental characteristics:

  • Ability to alleviate situations of crisis or conflict, generating an effective interweaving in relations between countries in order to reduce the possibility of premature military actions and inhibit the use of force;
  • Capacity to promote cooperation and joint work in all other areas outside Defense related to the implementation of CSBM as they contribute to measures from various other fields of public activity related to this topic;
  • Rationale in treaties and agreements not to be subject to abrupt changes as a consequence of the regional or global political framework;
  • Requirement of wide dissemination and public access to applied CSBM in order to allow Member States to verify or simply know what the neighboring states have done, which in turn further contributes to increased mutual trust;
  • To be viable and relevant because they have the capacity to promote the interest and commitment of the states to carry them out through their actors at different levels (heads of government, ministers, parliamentarians, judicial authorities, diplomatic military authorities, among others);
  • Capacity to increase the number of exchanges, benefiting political stability as well as the consolidation and dynamism of economies; and
  • To be a slow and gradual process, where success at one stage justifies the next step, until a series of measures achieves the ultimate goals. The first actions are the most delicate and complex since there is a need for States to risk in some initiatives.

2016 Report of the CSBM