(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 3, 2008)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
RECALLING resolutions AG/RES. 2144 (XXXV-O/05), “Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Gangs”; AG/RES. 2247 (XXXVI-O/06), “Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Gangs Involved in Criminal Activities”; and AG/RES. 2299 (XXXVII-O/07), “Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Criminal Gangs”;
HAVING SEEN the presentations by the agencies of the inter-American system and General Secretariat bodies during the special meeting of the Committee on Hemispheric Security to analyze the problem of criminal gangs, held on January 17, 2008;
TAKING NOTE of the comments by member states at that special meeting; and of their concern at the expansion of the phenomenon of criminal gangs to different countries and subregions, in various forms and with various characteristics, as well as at the trend, in some cases, toward more violent forms of behavior and growing links with illicit arms trafficking, illicit drug use and trafficking, extortion, and other offenses;
RECOGNIZING that poverty, inequity, and social exclusion, among other factors, may create conditions conducive to the emergence of criminal gangs;
REAFFIRMING that, in the Declaration of Mar del Plata of the Fourth Summit of the Americas, the Heads of State and Government emphasized their concern over the problem of criminal gangs and related phenomena, and over their impact on the economic and social environment, which threatens the progress our societies have made in their quest for stability, democratization, and sustainable development;
CONSIDERING that there are different categories of gangs, for each of which it is necessary to design and implement targeted, balanced, crosscutting, and comprehensive public policies that combine protection of human rights, effective and fair law enforcement, prevention of violence, rehabilitation, and the reincorporation of the transgressors and their victims;
BEARING IN MIND the opinion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that it is generally agreed “that the quest for initiatives aimed at guaranteeing public security needs to be based on firm principles of respect for human rights”;
UNDERSCORING the need for states to cooperate closely with one another and to adopt a regional strategy for dealing with criminal gangs; and
NOTING the conclusions, recommendations, and initiatives emerging from the forums and meetings being held at the subregional level on ways to deal with the criminal gangs problem,
1. To instruct the General Secretariat, working in coordination with the competent organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization of American States, to continue to lend coordinated support to initiatives by member states aimed at preventing and fully addressing the phenomenon of criminal gangs in its diverse forms and specific manifestations, as well as the social reinsertion of transgressors.
2. To instruct the General Secretariat to present, through the Department of Public Security of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and in coordination with the other pertinent areas of the Secretariat, a proposed background document for discussion of a regional cooperation strategy and to support the preparation of such a strategy.
3. To instruct the Permanent Council to establish, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, a working group, to replace the Contact Group made up of member states that are concerned or particularly affected by the phenomenon of criminal gangs, for preparing a regional strategy to promote inter-American cooperation in dealing with criminal gangs, paying due heed to the presentations given by the agencies of the inter-American system and by the member states during the special meeting devoted to analyzing the criminal gangs problem.
4. 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.