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AG/RES. 2431 (XXXVIII-O/08) Preventing Crime and Violence in the Americas


June 3, 2008

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(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 3, 2008) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

RECOGNIZING WITH CONCERN the negative impact of crime and violence on the quality of life in our member states;

NOTING that the World Health Organization’s World Report on Violence[1]/ and Health (2002), while recognizing that the multifaceted nature of violence requires the engagement of government and stakeholders at all levels of decision making–local, national and international–has additionally outlined concrete recommendations which reflect the need for multisectoral and collaborative approaches in countering societal violence;

RECALLING that the Joint Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank, Report No. 37820 (2007), addresses crime and violence as a development issue, implicates narcotics trafficking as a strong determinant of crime and violence, advocates the public health approach in conjunction with citizen security approaches to its solution, and, while recognizing the necessity for a criminal justice-focused approach in particular circumstances, cautions against an overreliance on this latter approach;

BEARING IN MIND the Ministerial Declaration on Violence and Injury Prevention in the Americas, adopted in Mérida, Mexico, on March 14, 2008, in which the ministers of health of the Americas committed to increase efforts to prevent violence and injuries through actions for the promotion of health within a broad perspective of safe, healthy, and sustainable environments, and to develop, implement, and evaluate national plans for violence and injury prevention in each country;

UNDERSTANDING that the public health approach does not replace criminal justice and human rights responses to violence but rather complements their activities and offers them additional tools and sources of collaboration;

AWARE that crime and violence in our Hemisphere has direct and indirect implications for the social, economic, and political development of our states;

RECOGNIZING that crime is manifested in numerous and diverse forms, including through trafficking in drugs, persons, and firearms, money laundering, corruption, kidnapping, robbery, and larceny;

RECOGNIZING ALSO that violence may manifest itself at different levels, including individual, relationship, and community;

AFFIRMING that violence limits the enjoyment and exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

RECOGNIZING that preventing violence and combating crime in the Americas must be accomplished with full respect for, and protection of, human rights;

BEARING IN MIND the need to strengthen cooperation and support for countries of the region that request them in order to combat crime and violence by adopting strategies that emphasize the role of prevention at its various levels and by effectively enforcing their laws; and

RECOGNIZING that the Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence (IACPV), whose Pro Tempore Secretariat currently falls to the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), was established to act as a catalyst for the prevention and reduction of the high levels of violence in the Americas,

RESOLVES:

1. To request the General Secretariat to deepen and widen its collaboration on violence prevention initiatives with international organizations, and to collect, examine, and distribute information to member states on crime and violence prevention initiatives.

2. To request the General Secretariat to promote the important role of prevention measures to accompany more traditional law enforcement efforts when considering the expansion of its programs to provide, when member states so request, technical and legal assistance in sensitizing and training government authorities in innovative methods, within the rule of law, for preventing and combating crime and violence in all their manifestations.

3. To instruct the General Secretariat to support initiatives by member states in actions aimed at preventing and comprehensively addressing the phenomenon of violence in its diverse forms and specific manifestations, and to keep the Committee on Hemispheric Security (CSH) informed of all such ongoing and planned initiatives.

4. To request the CSH to hold, in the first quarter of 2009, a meeting, that includes the participation of experts appointed by the member states, on matters relating to the prevention of crime and violence.

5. To request the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth and fortieth regular sessions 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.




[1]. The World Health Organization defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.



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