(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 3, 2008)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
CONCERNED that the security of the states of the Hemisphere is affected, in various ways, by traditional threats and by new threats, concerns, and other challenges of diverse types, such as transnational organized crime, as well as by the growing complexity and diversity of the activities of organized criminal groups;
RECALLING that in the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted at the Special Conference on Security, held in Mexico City in October 2003, the member states condemned transnational organized crime, since it constitutes an assault on institutions in our countries and negatively affects our societies, and therefore renewed the commitment to fighting it by strengthening the domestic legal framework, the rule of law, and multilateral cooperation, respectful of the sovereignty of each state;
BEARING IN MIND:
The Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by the Permanent Council through resolution CP/RES. 908 (1567/06), for the purpose of preventing and combating transnational organized crime in the framework of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the three additional protocols thereto–the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition;
Resolution AG/RES. 2026 (XXXIV-O/04), “Fighting Transnational Organized Crime in the Hemisphere,” which laid the foundations for addressing this topic in the Organization;
The conclusions and recommendations of the Meeting of Government Experts to Consider the Advisability of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime, held on April 18 and 19, 2005, in Washington, D.C., which established, among other things, that it would be advisable to develop such a plan of action;
Resolution AG/RES. 2116 (XXXV-O/05), “Fighting Transnational Organized Crime in the Hemisphere,” which established the Special Committee on Transnational Organized Crime (CEDOT), under the auspices of the Permanent Council, as a mechanism for preparing a plan of action against transnational organized crime, taking as a point of reference the Palermo Convention and the protocols thereto;
Resolution AG/RES. 2189 (XXXVI-O/06), “Fighting Transnational Organized Crime in the Hemisphere,” which authorized the Permanent Council to adopt the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime once the work of the Special Committee had been completed;
The report of the Chair of the Special Committee on Transnational Organized Crime (CE/DOT-56/06), which highlights the efforts carried out to draw up the Hemispheric Plan of Action; and
Resolution AG/RES. 2334 (XXXVII-O/07), “Execution of the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime”;
NOTING WITH SATISFACTION:
The Conclusions and Recommendations of the First Meeting of the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime (GT/DOT-I/doc.6/07 rev. 1), held in Mexico City on July 26 and 27, 2007, which will serve as a basis for drawing up the Technical Group’s work program;
The conclusions and recommendations of the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VII), held in Washington, D.C., in April 2008; and
The establishment, by Executive Order No. 05-13 Rev. 1, of the Department for the Prevention of Threats against Public Security, which is responsible for coordinating, inter alia
, the efforts of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) in areas related to the prevention of and the fight against transnational organized crime;
WELCOMING the offer by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to host the Second Meeting of the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime during the third quarter of 2008, to further strengthen cooperation among member states; and
RECOGNIZING that it is important that member states improve and strengthen measures designed to eradicate poverty, inequity, and social exclusion, which in some circumstances make vulnerable groups more likely to become victims of the actions of transnational organized crime,
1. To promote full implementation of the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime, the principal purpose of which is to further application by member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the three protocols thereto.
2. To exhort those member states that have not yet done so to consider acceding to or ratifying, as the case may be, and to implement as soon as possible the Palermo Convention and the three protocols thereto, and to participate actively in the Conference of States Parties to the Palermo Convention, including by responding to the self-assessment questionnaires./
3. To invite member states that have not yet done so to designate as soon as possible a national point of contact to coordinate and facilitate follow-up to this Hemispheric Plan of Action at the domestic level, pursuant to Section III, paragraph 3, of the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime. With this information, the General Secretariat will prepare a directory, which will be distributed to the member states every six months, thus ensuring that it is kept updated.
4. To request the General Secretariat to collaborate in drawing up the work program of the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime on the basis of the document containing the conclusions and recommendations of the first meeting of the Group, for subsequent evaluation and adoption by the Permanent Council.
5. To encourage the member states to continue playing an active part in the fight against transnational organized crime in its diverse manifestations and to adopt the necessary measures for implementation of the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime in their respective countries, and to contribute to the OAS with financial or human resources, or in kind, in order to achieve the objectives established in the Plan of Action.
6. To urge the member states that have not yet done so to submit to the General Secretariat by the end of October 2008 a list of the technical assistance and training they can provide and/or they need, as the case may be, to combat transnational organized crime, so that this information may be incorporated into the assessment prepared by the Department of Public Security of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security.
7. To urge member states to participate in the Second Meeting of the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago during the third quarter of 2008.
8. To instruct the Permanent Council to prepare and consider, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, the agenda and schedule for the Second Meeting of the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime, with assistance from the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security.
9. To urge the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime to consider meeting at least once a year to decide on activities and programs to continue implementation of the Hemispheric Plan of Action.
10. To request the General Secretariat to pursue its efforts in training, technical assistance, and capacity-building to prevent, investigate, and eradicate acts of transnational organized crime at the bilateral, subregional, regional, and multilateral levels, in coordination with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other relevant assistance providers.
11. To instruct the Permanent Council to present a report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth regular session.
12. To request the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth regular session on the implementation of this resolution, the execution of which shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.
. The delegation of Colombia wishes to make the following declaration on operative paragraph 2 of the resolution “Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime and Strengthening of Hemispheric Cooperation.”
Colombia has ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Additional Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and is fully committed to their application.
However, Colombia has stated that it will not ratify the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, or the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.
Colombia does not agree with the text of Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, concerning its scope of application. Colombia would have preferred that the Protocol apply to all transfers of firearms, their parts and components, and ammunition, in order to make a real contribution to preventing and combating illicit trafficking therein, and in order that transfers between states, like all other transfers, be subject to the control mechanisms set out in the Protocol.
The definition of “illicit trafficking” contained in Article 3, section (e), of the Protocol must be borne in mind: it states that, for a transfer to be licit, the authorization of all states parties involved in it is required. An escape clause, such as that appearing in Article 4, runs counter to that definition inasmuch as it implies that a state may transfer arms without the authorization or consent of one of the other states concerned. This would not only make such a transfer illicit but also open up the possibility for arms to be transferred to non-state actors.
Colombia, a country that has been seriously affected by the illicit trafficking in arms, cannot accept that certain arms transfers, such as transfers to non-state actors–which in our view constitute a grave crime–and transfers between states be excluded from the Protocol’s control measures, and therefore, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, took the sovereign decision not to ratify this Protocol.
With reference to the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Colombia has stated that it will not ratify this instrument inasmuch as it considers that it contains provisions designed to legitimize the forced repatriation of migrants who have not necessarily been smuggled. That approach was promoted during the negotiation of the Protocol by the destination countries, none of which has ratified the 1990 United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
Colombia believes that the clause contained in Article 6, paragraph 4, could lead to the criminalization of migrants, whereas the purpose of the Protocol is to pursue criminal groups, not migrants.
Pursuant to the above, and in compliance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Colombia took the sovereign decision not to ratify the Protocol.