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AG/RES. 2461 (XXXIX-O/09) Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing With Criminal Gangs


Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 4, 2009

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Organization of American States
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 4, 2009)

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) and AG/RES. 2380 (XXXVIII-O/08), “Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Criminal Gangs”;

HAVING SEEN the presentations by 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 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;

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 take into account the protection of human rights, effective and fair law enforcement, the prevention of violence, rehabilitation, the reintegration of transgressors, and assistance to victims;

REAFFIRMING that, in the Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain of the Fifth Summit of the Americas, the Heads of State and Government emphasized their decision to address the criminal gang problem, its related aspects, and its effects on the social environment, which challenge the progress made by our societies in the process to achieve stability, democratization, and sustainable development, taking a global approach that includes, inter alia, prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of individuals affected by this phenomenon. To that end, they will encourage efforts by the Organization of American States to prepare a comprehensive hemispheric strategy to promote inter-American cooperation in dealing with criminal gangs;[1]/

BEARING IN MIND the Commitment to Public Security in the Americas, adopted at the First Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas, held in 2008 in Mexico City;

CONSIDERING that the General Assembly instructed the Permanent Council to establish, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, a Working Group to Prepare a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter-American Cooperation in Dealing with Criminal Gangs, which was formally established on January 15, 2009;

BEARING IN MIND the opinion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 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 impact of criminal gangs on the economic and social environment, which threatens the progress our societies have made in the quest for stability, democratization, and sustainable development, and the need for states to cooperate closely with one another and to adopt a regional strategy for cooperation in dealing with criminal gangs; and

NOTING the conclusions, recommendations, and initiatives emerging from the forums and meetings being held at regional, subregional, and national levels on ways to deal with the criminal gang problem,

RESOLVES:

1. To encourage member states to promote, in coordination with pertinent institutions, the design and implementation of targeted, balanced, crosscutting, and comprehensive public policies that take into account the protection of human rights, effective and fair law enforcement, the prevention of violence, rehabilitation, the reintegration of transgressors, and assistance to victims.

2. 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 reintegration of transgressors into society.

3. To instruct the General Secretariat to draft, through the Department of Public Security of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, a document that may serve as reference for the preparation of a regional strategy to promote inter-American cooperation in dealing with criminal gangs.

4. To request the Permanent Council to convene, within the framework of the Working Group to Prepare a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter-American Cooperation in Dealing with Criminal Gangs of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, a second special meeting to continue analyzing the phenomenon of criminal gangs, in accordance with national and subregional priorities, at which member states, agencies of the inter-American system, and other international organizations and civil society may present their views and experiences at the national, subregional, and hemispheric levels, with a view to continuing to prepare a regional strategy to promote inter-American cooperation in dealing with criminal gangs, in accordance with resolution AG/RES. 2380 (XXXVIII-O/08).

5. To instruct the Working Group to continue its efforts to prepare a regional strategy to promote inter-American cooperation in dealing with criminal gangs.

6. To request the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to report to the General Assembly at its fortieth 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.



[1]. The Government of Nicaragua places on record its express reservation to the Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. During that event, Nicaragua expressed its view that the Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas was unacceptable and inadequate as it did not resolve a number of matters that were extremely important for the Hemisphere and were still under discussion. Nor does Nicaragua accept that references may be made to that Declaration in the resolutions to be adopted by the OAS General Assembly. Nicaragua reaffirms that the items on the General Assembly agenda should be derived from the debates and deliberations of the Heads of State and Government in Trinidad and Tobago.



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