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[Senate Treaty Document 105-49]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



105th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                      105-49
_______________________________________________________________________


 
  INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST THE ILLICIT MANUFACTURING OF AND 
  TRAFFICKING IN FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES, AND OTHER RELATED 
                               MATERIALS

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

  INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST THE ILLICIT MANUFACTURING OF AND 
  TRAFFICKING IN FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES, AND OTHER RELATED 
 MATERIALS, SIGNED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, ON NOVEMBER 11, 
 1997, AT THE TWENTY-FOURTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF 
                  THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES





 June 9, 1998.--Convention was read the first time and, together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                     The White House, June 9, 1998.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Inter-American 
Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking 
in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related 
Materials (the ``Convention''), adopted at the Special Session 
of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States 
(OAS) at Washington on November 13, 1997. The Convention was 
signed by the United States and 28 other OAS Member States on 
November 14, 1997, at the OAS Headquarters in Washington. So 
far, 31 States have signed the Convention and one (Belize) has 
ratified it. In addition, for the information of the Senate, I 
transmit the report of the Department of State with respect to 
the Convention.
    The Convention is the first multilateral treaty of its kind 
in the world. The provisions of the Convention are explained in 
the accompanying report of the Department of State. The 
Convention should be an effective tool to assist in the 
hemispheric effort to combat the illicit manufacturing and 
trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other 
related materials, and could also enhance the law enforcement 
efforts of the States Parties in other areas, given the links 
that often exist between those offenses and organized criminal 
activity, such as drug trafficking and terrorism.
    The Convention provides for a broad range of cooperation, 
including extradition, mutual legal assistance, technical 
assistance, and exchanges of information, experiences, and 
training, in relation to the offenses covered under the treaty. 
The Convention also imposes on the Parties an obligation to 
criminalize the offenses set forth in the treaty if they have 
not already done so. The Convention will not require 
implementing legislation for the United States.
    This treaty would advance important U.S. Government 
interests, and would enhance hemispheric security by 
obstructing the illicit flow of weapons to criminals such as 
terrorists and drug traffickers. In addition, ratification of 
this Convention by the United States would be consistent with, 
and give impetus to, the active work being done by the United 
States Government on this subject in other fora, such as the 
United Nations, the P-8 Group, and the OAS Inter-American Drug 
Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Convention, and that it give its advice 
and consent to ratification.

                                                William J. Clinton.


                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                          Washington, May 29, 1998.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a 
view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to 
ratification, the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit 
Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, 
Explosives, and Other Related Materials (the ``Convention''), 
adopted and opened for signature at the Special Session of the 
General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) 
in Washington on November 13, 1997. The Convention was signed 
by the United States and twenty-eight other OAS member states 
on November 14, 1997, and so far thirty-one States have signed 
and one (Belize) has ratified. The Convention will enter into 
force following the deposit of instruments of ratification by 
two States. I recommend that the Convention be transmitted to 
the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
    The Convention is the first instrument of its kind in the 
world. It establishes a treaty-based regime of obligations 
among the OAS member states to combat the illicit manufacturing 
of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and 
other related materials. Such obligations include various forms 
of cooperation analogous to those that exist pursuant to a 
number of multilateral treaties on law enforcement matters to 
which the United States is a party. The Convention will enhance 
the United States' ability to cooperate with, and receive 
assistance from, other countries in the hemisphere in 
connection with efforts to prevent, investigate, and prosecute 
the offenses covered by the Convention.
    The Convention will not require implementing legislation 
for the United States. As further discussed below, the existing 
body of federal laws in the United States is adequate to 
satisfy the Convention's provisions regarding requirements for 
legislation, and the other provisions contained in the 
Convention are self-executing and will not require new 
legislation.
    The Convention includes a Preamble, thirty articles and an 
Annex. The Preamble makes clear that the Convention is intended 
to address the problem of transnational trafficking in 
firearms, and is not meant to regulate the internal firearms 
trade of the States Parties. The Preamble expressly recognizes, 
for example, that the Convention ``does not commit States 
Parties to enact legislation or regulations pertaining to 
firearms ownership, possession or trade of a wholly domestic 
character. . . .'' Furthermore, the Preamble reflects the 
recognition that States have developed different cultural and 
historical uses for firearms, and ``that the purpose of 
enhancing international cooperation to eradicate illicit 
transnational trafficking in firearms is not intended to 
discourage or diminish lawful leisure or recreational 
activities such as travel or tourism for sport shooting, 
hunting, and other forms of lawful ownership and use recognized 
by the States Parties.''
    Article 1 (``Definitions'') sets forth definitions of a 
number of terms used in the Convention. ``Illicit 
manufacturing'' is defined as the manufacture or assembly of 
firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials 
from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or without a 
license from a competent governmental authority of the State 
Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or without 
marking the firearms that require marking at the time of 
manufacturing. This definition is consistent with existing U.S. 
law, and would not require the United States to render 
``illicit'' any act that is not already deemed to be such under 
U.S. law.
    ``Illicit trafficking'' is defined as ``the import, export, 
acquisition, sale, delivery, movement, or transfer of firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials from or 
across the territory of one State Party to that of another 
State Party, if any one of the State Parties concerned does not 
authorize it.'' This definition makes it clear that the 
Convention applies only to trafficking of atransnational 
nature, and, more specifically, to cross-border transactions in which 
the requisite authorization for the transaction has not been granted by 
all of the Parties whose territory will be transited by the items in 
question.
    ``Firearms'' are defined as any barreled weapon which will 
or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a bullet 
or projectile by the action of an explosive (except antique 
firearms manufactured before the 20th century or their 
replicas), or any other weapon or destructive device such as 
any explosive, incendiary or gas bomb, grenade, rocket, rocket 
launcher, missile, missile system, or mine. Although the 
definitions of ``firearms'' contained in relevant U.S. laws are 
not identical in all respects to the definition set forth in 
the Convention, such definitions are broad enough to enable the 
United States to comply with the obligations imposed in the 
Convention.
    ``Ammunition'' is defined as ``the complete round or its 
components, including cartridge cases, primers, propellant 
powder, bullets, or projectiles that are used in any firearm.'' 
``Explosives'' are defined as any substance or article that is 
made, manufactured, or used to produce an explosion, 
detonation, or propulsive or pyrotechnic effect (except 
substances and articles that are not in and of themselves 
explosive, or substances and articles listed in the Annex to 
the Convention). ``Other related materials'' are defined as 
``any component, part, or replacement part of a firearm, or an 
accessory which can be attached to a firearm.''
    As with the definitions of ``firearms,'' the definitions of 
``ammunitions'' and ``explosives'' contained in relevant United 
States laws are not identical in all respects to the 
Convention's definition of such terms. However, the definitions 
in U.S. law are broad enough to enable the U.S. to comply with 
the obligations imposed therein. Similarly, although there is 
no definition of the term ``other related materials'' as such 
in U.S. law, items covered under the Convention's definition 
are subject to regulation under relevant U.S. statutes. For 
example, all components and parts for firearms are regulated 
under the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. Sec. 2778. The 
implementing regulations also make it clear that certain 
accessory items, such as riflescopes, silencers, and flash 
suppressors, are subject to the import controls of the Act. See 
27 C.F.R. Part 47.
    The definition of ``controlled delivery'' was drawn by the 
negotiators largely from the definition of that term in the 
United Nations Convention Against the Illicit Trafficking in 
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, done at Vienna on 
December 20, 1988. The term is defined as ``the technique of 
allowing illicit or suspect consignments of firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials to pass out 
of, through, or into the territory of one or more states, with 
the knowledge and under the supervision of their competent 
authorities, with a view to identifying persons involved in the 
commission of offenses referred to in Article IV of the 
Convention.''
    Article II (``Purpose'') sets forth the purpose of the 
Convention, which is to prevent, combat, and eradicate the 
illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials; and to 
promote and facilitate cooperation and exchange of information 
and experience among State Parties to prevent, combat, and 
eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in these 
items.
    Article III (``Sovereignty'') requires States Parties to 
carry out the obligations under the Convention in a manner 
consistent with the principles of sovereign equality and 
territorial integrity of States, and of nonintervention in the 
domestic affairs of other States. The Article also prohibits a 
State Party from undertaking in the territory of another State 
Party the exercise of jurisdiction and performance of functions 
which are exclusively reserved to the authorities of that other 
State Party by its domestic law.
    Article IV (``Legislative Measures'') directs States 
Parties that have not yet done so to adopt the necessary 
legislative or other measures to establish as criminal offenses 
under their domestic law the illicit manufacturing of and 
trafficking in firearms,ammunition, explosives, and other 
related materials. The Departments of Treasury and Justice have 
concluded that the obligation to criminalize the acts of illicit 
manufacturing and trafficking mentioned in Article IV of the Convention 
can be fully satisfied under various existing federal laws. The Gun 
Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 921 et seq., the National Firearms 
Act, 26 U.S.C. Sec. 5801 et seq., the Arms Export Control Act, 22 
U.S.C. Sec. 2778 et seq. and other federal statutes, e.g., Title 18 
U.S.C. Chapter 40, establish criminal penalties for the acts covered 
under Article IV of the Convention. Accordingly, the United States 
would not be required to enact any additional legislation to comply 
with this provision of the Convention.
    Article IV also states that, subject to the respective 
constitutional principles and basic concepts of the legal 
systems of the States Parties, the criminal offenses 
established pursuant to the foregoing paragraph must include 
participation in, association or conspiracy to commit, attempts 
to commit, and aiding, abetting, facilitating, and counseling 
the commission of such offenses. Although with respect to some 
of these acts U.S. law uses a different terminology than the 
Convention, existing U.S. laws provide for criminal penalties 
for such acts. Therefore, this provision will not require 
additional U.S. legislation.
    Article V (``Jurisdiction'') sets forth provisions on the 
establishment of jurisdiction which are similar to those 
contained in a number of other multilateral treaties on law 
enforcement matters to which the United States is a party. 
Article V.1 obligates each State Party to adopt the necessary 
measures to establish its jurisdiction over the offenses it has 
established in accordance with the Convention when the offense 
in question is committed in its territory.
    Article V.2 allows, but does not require, each State Party 
to adopt the necessary measures to establish its jurisdiction 
over such offenses when committed by one of its nationals or by 
a person who habitually resides in its territory.
    Article V.3 requires that each State Party establish its 
jurisdiction over offenses established in accordance with the 
Convention when the alleged criminal is present in its 
territory but it declines to extradite such person to another 
country on the ground of the person's nationality.
    Article V.4 provides, finally, that the Convention does not 
preclude the application of any other rule of criminal 
jurisdiction established by a State Party under its domestic 
law.
    Article VI (``Making of Firearms'') states that, for the 
purposes of identification and tracing of the firearms referred 
to in Article I.3.a, States Parties shall require, at the time 
of manufacture, appropriate markings of the name of 
manufacturer, place of manufacture, and serial number. The 
Article further provides that such States shall also require 
appropriate markings on imported firearms permitting the 
identification of the importer's name and address, and 
appropriate markings on any firearms confiscated or forfeited 
pursuant to Article VII.1 that are retained for official use. 
U.S. law requires that licensed importers and licensed 
manufacturers mark the firearms they import or manufacture. 
There is no requirement of domestic law that government 
agencies must mark forfeited firearms that are retained for 
official use. However, this requirement can be imposed by 
amending relevant regulations or through issuance of an 
Executive Order.
    Article VI also requires that the firearms referred to in 
Article I.3.b be marked appropriately at the time of 
manufacture, if possible. U.S. law requires markings of 
certain, but not all, of such items. The negotiating 
delegations recognized that certain of the listed items, due to 
their nature, might not be susceptible to marking in a safe 
manner. Accordingly, the phrase ``if possible'' was included to 
indicate that such markings should be required only where doing 
so would be safe and practical.
    Article VII (``Confiscation or Forfeiture'') states that 
the States Parties undertake to confiscate or forfeit firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials that have 
been illicitly manufactured or have been the subject of 
illicittrafficking. The States Parties must adopt the necessary 
measures to ensure that all such items that are seized, confiscated, or 
forfeited as the result of illicit manufacturing or trafficking do not 
fall into the hands of private individuals or businesses through 
auction, sale, or other disposal.
    Article VIII (``Security Measures'') commits States 
Parties, in an effort to eliminate loss or diversion, to adopt 
the necessary measures to ensure the security of firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials imported 
into, exported from, or in transit through their respective 
territories.
    Article IX (``Export, Import, and Transit Licenses or 
Authorizations'') requires that the States Parties establish or 
maintain an effective system of export, import, and 
international transit licenses or authorizations for transfers 
of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related 
materials. Article IX.2 bars the States Parties from permitting 
the transit of such items until the receiving State Party 
issues the corresponding license or authorization. Article IX.3 
requires States Parties, before releasing shipments of such 
items for export, to ensure that the importing and in-transit 
countries have issued the necessary licenses or authorizations. 
The importing State Party must, under Article IX.4, inform the 
exporting State Party, upon request, of the receipt of 
dispatched shipments of such items.
    Existing U.S. federal laws provide a statutory framework 
sufficient to enable the United States to meet the obligations 
imposed under Article IX of the Convention. Appropriate 
modifications to current federal regulations or practices would 
be made as necessary by the appropriate agencies to comply 
fully with the obligations under the Convention. U.S. statutory 
authority to regulate international trade in munitions and 
related items and services is exercised by the Department of 
State, the Department of the Treasury (including ATF and the 
U.S. Customs Service), and the Commerce Department.
    Article X (``Strengthening of Controls at Export Points'') 
provides that each State Party must adopt the measures 
necessary to detect and prevent illicit trafficking in 
firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials 
between its territory and that of other State Parties, by 
strengthening controls at export points.
    Article XI (``Recordkeeping'') requires States Parties to 
ensure the maintenance for a reasonable time of the information 
necessary to trace and identify illicitly manufactured and 
illicitly trafficked firearms to enable them to comply with 
their obligations under Articles XIII and XVII. The phrase 
``reasonable time'' was included because the negotiating 
delegations were unable to agree upon a specific time period. 
The U.S. delegation explained that, with respect to most 
weapons, U.S. law currently requires that records be maintained 
for 20 years. Not all delegations thought it necessary to 
require so lengthy a period, and it was agreed that a shorter 
period of time could be appropriate. In any event, it was the 
understanding of the negotiating delegations that the period of 
time currently required by U.S. law would meet the requirements 
of this provision.
    Article XII (``Confidentiality'') provides that, subject to 
the obligations imposed by their Constitutions or any 
international agreements, the States Parties shall guarantee 
the confidentiality of any information they receive, if 
requested to do so by the State Party providing the 
information. If for legal reasons such confidentiality cannot 
be maintained, the State Party that provided the information 
must be notified prior to its disclosure. This provision is 
similar to that contained in bilateral mutual legal assistance 
treaties to which the United States is a party.
    Article XIII (``Exchange of Information'') requires, in 
paragraph 1, that the States Parties exchange among themselves, 
in conformity with their respective domestic laws and 
applicable treaties, relevant information on matters such as 
authorized producers, dealers, importers, exporters, and, 
whenever possible, carriers, of firearms, ammunition, 
explosives, and other related materials. The Article also 
contemplates exchanges of information on the means of 
concealment used in the illicit manufacturing of, or 
traffickingin, those items, and ways of detecting such means; 
and information on routes customarily used by criminal organizations 
engaged in such illicit trafficking. In addition, and in conformity 
with each State Party's domestic laws and applicable treaties, 
exchanges of information are required on legislative experiences, 
practices, and measures to prevent, combat, and eradicate such illicit 
manufacturing and trafficking, as well as on techniques, practices, and 
legislation to combat money laundering related to those offenses.
    Article XIII.2 contains requirements for information 
sharing, and for cooperation in the tracing of illicitly 
manufactured or illicitly trafficked firearms, ammunition, 
explosives, and related materials. Under their current 
statutory authority, certain U.S. agencies, such as ATF and the 
U.S. Customs Service, already engaged in the forms of 
international cooperation contemplated in this Article, and 
would continue to do so consistent with the Convention.
    Article XIV (``Cooperation'') provides that States Parties 
shall cooperate at the bilateral, regional, and international 
levels to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit 
manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, 
explosives, and other related materials. In addition, the 
Article calls for States Parties to identify a national body or 
a single point of contact to act as liaison among States 
Parties, as well as between them and the consultative committee 
established in Article XX, for purposes of cooperation and 
information exchange. It is expected that the Treasury 
Department would be designated to serve in this capacity for 
the United States.
    Article XV (``Exchange of Experience and Training'') 
requires the States Parties to cooperate in formulating 
programs for the exchange of experience and training among 
competent officials, and to provide each other with assistance 
to facilitate access to equipment or technology proven to be 
effective for the implementation of the Convention. The Article 
also provides that State Parties shall cooperate with each 
other and with competent international organizations, as 
appropriate, to ensure that there is adequate training of 
personnel in their territories to prevent, combat, and 
eradicate the illicit manufacturing of an trafficking in 
firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials. 
As with exchanges of information under Article XIII, various 
U.S. agencies such as ATF and the U.S. Customs Service already 
engaged in these types of international cooperation under their 
current statutory authority, and would continue to do so 
consistent with the Convention.
    Article XVI (``Technical Assistance'') requires States 
Parties to cooperate with each other and with relevant 
international organizations, as appropriate, so that States 
Parties requesting technical assistance receive it as necessary 
to enhance their ability to prevent, combat, and eradicate the 
illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials. Technical 
assistance would include assistance in matters identified in 
Article XV.2. United States federal agencies such as ATF and 
the U.S. Customs Service already engage in this form of 
international cooperation under their current statutory 
authority, and would continue to do so consistent with the 
Convention.
    Article XVII (``Mutual Legal Assistance'') contains 
standard provisions on mutual legal assistance contained in a 
number of multilateral treaties on law enforcement matters to 
which the United States is a party. It is expected that the 
U.S. Department of Justice would serve as the central authority 
for the United States for purposes of assistance under this 
Article, and would coordinate with other U.S. agencies as 
appropriate.
    Article XVIII (``Controlled Delivery'') directs that, if 
their domestic legal systems so permit, States Parties must 
take the necessary measures, within their possibilities, to 
allow for the appropriate use of controlled delivery at the 
international level, on the basis of agreements or arrangements 
mutually consented to, with a view to identifying persons 
involved in the offenses referred to in Article IV and to 
taking legal action against them. Existing U.S. law permits 
such controlled deliveries. The Article states that decisions 
by States Parties to use controlled delivery shall bemade on a 
case-by-case basis and may, when necessary, take into consideration 
financial arrangements and understandings with respect to the exercise 
of jurisdiction by the States Parties concerned. Finally, the Article 
provides that, with the consent of the States Parties concerned, 
illicit consignments under controlled delivery may be intercepted and 
allowed to continue with the firearms, ammunition, explosives, and 
other related materials intact or removed or replaced in whole or in 
part.
    Article XIX (``Extradition'') sets forth standard 
provisions on extradition which are found in other multilateral 
treaties on law enforcement matters to which the United States 
is a party. The Article applies to the offenses referred to in 
Article IV of the Convention, and provides that each such 
offense shall be deemed to be included as an extraditable 
offense in any extradition treaty in force between or among the 
States Parties. Moreover, the States Parties undertake to 
include such offenses as extraditable offenses in every 
extradition treaty to be concluded between or among them.
    Article XIX.3 provides that, if a State Party that makes 
extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a 
request for extradition from another State Party with which it 
does not have an extradition treaty, it may consider the 
Convention as the legal basis for extradition with respect to 
any offense to which this Article applies. In addition, Article 
XIX.4 establishes that States Parties that do not make 
extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall 
recognize offenses to which the Article applies as extraditable 
offenses between themselves.
    Article XIX.5 further provides that extradition shall be 
subject to the conditions provided for by the law of the 
Requested State or by applicable extradition treaties, 
including the grounds on which the Requested State may refuse 
extradition. Under Article XIX.6, if extradition for an offense 
to which this Article applies is refused solely on the basis of 
the nationality of the person sought, the Requested State is 
required to submit the case to its competent authorities for 
the purpose of prosecution under the criteria, laws, and 
procedures applied by that State to those offenses when 
committed in its own territory. The formulation of this 
provision is an improvement over that of similar provisions in 
other treaties, in that it requires, in cases where the 
Requested State refuses to extradite someone on the basis that 
the person is a national of that State, that decisions 
regarding domestic prosecution of such person be made under the 
same standards as would be applied had the offense been 
committed in that State's territory. This requirement was 
included as a compromise following the United States 
delegation's proposal to include a requirement for the 
extradition of nationals, which many delegations were unable to 
accept. The compromise language was included as a means of 
ensuring that any domestic prosecution carried out in lieu of 
extradition will be pursued with vigor. This Article also 
provides that the Requested and Requesting States Parties may, 
in accordance with their domestic laws, agree otherwise in 
relation to any such domestic prosecution. This provision is 
intended to provide the flexibility to not have the prosecution 
pursued in the Requested State if another arrangement is 
preferable or appropriate.
    Article XX (``Establishment and Functions of the 
Consultative Committee'') requires the States Parties to 
establish a Consultative Committee. It was made clear during 
the negotiations that this committee is not to be a new OAS 
organ, but rather will be a body composed of representatives 
from the States Parties. Accordingly, the Consultative 
Committee will not require the expenditure of additional OAS 
resources.
    The Consultative Committee will be responsible for 
promoting the exchange of information contemplated under the 
Convention; facilitating the exchange of information on 
domestic legislation and administrative procedures of the 
States Parties; encouraging cooperation between national 
liaison authorities to detect suspected illicit exports and 
imports of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related 
materials; promoting training and exchange of knowledge and 
experience among States Parties and technical assistance 
between States Parties andrelevant international organizations, 
as well as academic studies; requesting from nonparty states, when 
appropriate, information on the illicit manufacturing of and 
trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related 
materials; and promoting measures to facilitate the application of the 
Convention. The Article states expressly that decisions of the 
Consultative Committee shall be recommendatory in nature. The Article 
also requires the Consultative Committee to maintain the 
confidentiality of any information it receives in the exercise of its 
functions, if requested to do so.
    Article XXI (``Structure and Meetings of the Consultative 
Committee'') provides that the Consultative Committee shall 
consist of one representative of each State Party. The 
Consultative Committee is to hold one regular meeting each year 
and special meetings as necessary. The first regular meeting 
shall be held within 90 days following deposit of the 10th 
instrument of ratification of the Convention. The Consultative 
Committee will prepare its own internal rules of procedure and 
adopt them by absolute majority.
    Articles XXII-XXX contain the final clauses. Article XXII 
(``Signature'') provides that the Convention is open for 
signature by member states of the OAS.
    Article XXIII (``Ratification'') states that the Convention 
is subject to ratification, and that the instruments of 
ratification shall be deposited with the OAS General 
Secretariat. The negotiators expressly agreed to preclude the 
possibility of accession to the treaty by States other than 
member States of the OAS. Accordingly, the Convention does not 
include an accession provision as is customary in OAS 
conventions, and this Convention is to be open to participation 
only by OAS member States.
    Article XXIV (``Reservations'') permits reservations to the 
Convention, provided that they are not incompatible with the 
object and purposes of the Convention and that they concern one 
or more specific provisions thereof.
    Article XXV (``Entry into Force'') states that the 
Convention will enter into force on the 30th day following the 
date of deposit of the second instrument of ratification. For 
each State ratifying the Convention after such entry into 
force, the Convention shall enter into force on the 30th day 
following deposit of its instrument of ratification.
    Article XXVI (``Denunciation'') provides that the 
Convention shall remain in force indefinitely, but any State 
Party may denounce it by depositing an instrument of 
denunciation with the OAS General Secretariat. The denunciation 
will take effect six months after the date of deposit of the 
instrument, but will not affect any requests for information or 
assistance made during the time the Convention is in force for 
the denouncing State.
    Article XXVII (``Other Agreements and Practices'') states 
that no provision in the Convention shall be construed as 
preventing the States Parties from engaging in mutual 
cooperation within the framework of other existing or future 
international, bilateral, or multilateral agreements, or any 
other applicable arrangements or practices. The Article also 
stipulates that States Parties may adopt stricter measures than 
those provided for by the Convention if, in their opinion, such 
measures are desirable to prevent, combat, and eradicate the 
illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, 
ammunition, explosives, and other related materials.
    Article XXVIII (``Conference of States Parties'') states 
that five years after the entry into force of the Convention, 
the depository shall convene a conference of the States Parties 
to examine the functioning and application of the Convention. 
Each conference shall determine the date on which the next 
conference should be held.
    Article XXIX (``Dispute Settlement'') provides that any 
dispute that may arise as to the application or interpretation 
of the Convention shall be resolved through diplomatic channels 
or, failing which, by any other means of peaceful settlement 
decided upon by the States Parties involved.
    Article XXX (``Deposit'') provides that the original 
instrument of the Convention, the English, French, Portuguese, 
and Spanish texts of which are equally authentic, shall be 
deposited with the OAS General Secretariat, which shall forward 
an authenticated copy of its text to the Secretariat of the 
United Nations for registration and publication, in accordance 
with Article 102 of the U.N. charter. The OAS General 
Secretariat shall notify the OAS member states of signatures, 
deposits of instruments of ratification and denunciation, and 
of any reservations.
    Finally, the Convention includes an ``Annex,'' which 
contains a list of items that are not encompassed by the 
definition of the term ``explosives.''
    It is my belief that this Convention would afford 
substantial benefits to the United States, and would be 
consistent with existing United States legislation. The 
Department of the Treasury (including the U.S. Customs Service 
and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), the 
Departments of Justice and Commerce, the Arms Control and 
Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and the Office of the U.S. Trade 
Representative (USTR) join the Department of State in 
recommending that the Convention be transmitted to the Senate 
at an early date for its advice and consent to ratification.
    Respectfully submitted.
                                                     Strobe Talbot.