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AG/RES. 2299 (XXXVII-O/07) Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing With Criminal Gangs


June 5, 2007

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(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 5, 2007)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION the findings of studies by different international organizations and some member states on the issue of gangs, which conclude that it is a very complex matter and should be addressed from a holistic viewpoint, including, inter alia, prevention, social support, respect for and protection of human rights, and mutual legal assistance in international matters;

BEARING IN MIND that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has called upon member states "to foster national and regional public debate and reflection on their obligation to provide security for their citizens in a framework of full respect for fundamental guarantees and freedoms";

RECOGNIZING that poverty, inequity, and social exclusion might, among other causes, create conditions conducive to the emergence of criminal gangs;

RECALLING resolutions AG/RES. 2144 (XXXV-O/05), "Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Gangs," and AG/RES. 2247 (XXXVI-O/06), "Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Gangs Involved in Criminal Activities";

STRESSING 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, as well as their impact on the economic and social environment, which threaten the progress our societies have made in their quest for stability, democratization, and sustainable development-a situation that requires additional urgent action to promote crime prevention, prosecute those who commit crimes, rehabilitate and reintegrate them, and create opportunities to facilitate access to decent work for young people, as expressed in Articles 2 and 3 of the Plan of Action of the Fourth Summit of the Americas;

NOTING the initiatives of the General Secretariat to address the phenomenon of criminal gangs, within the context of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security; and

NOTING ALSO the 2002 World Health Organization's World Report on Violence and Health, which refers to possible links between societal violence, the use of illicit substances, drug traffickers and gangs, and the tendency of gang members involved in criminal activities to join organized crime, as well as the need for solutions that are based on preventive public health and sound social policy,

RESOLVES:

1. To instruct the General Secretariat, working in coordination with the competent organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization of American States (OAS), 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, and at studying possible related aspects and its possible bearing on the social, cultural, and economic environment.

2. To instruct the Permanent Council to establish, under the coordination of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, a contact group made up of member states that are concerned or particularly affected by the phenomenon of criminal gangs to advise the General Secretariat on this matter and guide its work, which would include perfecting a regional strategy for promoting inter-American cooperation in dealing with gangs, in their various manifestations, with full respect for human rights.

3. To request the Permanent Council to hold, under the coordination of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, a special meeting devoted to analyzing the phenomenon of criminal gangs in their diverse forms and specific manifestations, using a crosscutting and integral approach. At that meeting, member states, agencies of the inter-American system, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), other international organizations, and civil society would present their views and experiences at the national, subregional, and hemispheric levels.

4. To instruct the General Secretariat, through the Department for the Prevention of Threats against Public Security of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, and in coordination with the other pertinent areas of the Secretariat, to support preparations for that special meeting, compile background material, and subsequently present a proposed inter-American strategy for the states to consider.

5. To instruct the General Secretariat, through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and as part of the preparatory work for the special meeting mentioned in paragraph 3 above, to evaluate with PAHO and other inter-American organizations the need to establish measures to prevent gang-related violence in the Americas, and to report on the result of such evaluation at the special meeting.

6. To request the General Secretariat to identify the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS that can contribute to the fulfillment of existing national, subregional, and regional strategies to address gangs in all their forms and specific manifestations.

7. To instruct the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to carry out, as appropriate, the activities mentioned in this resolution, in accordance with the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.

8. To instruct the Permanent Council to follow up on this resolution and to present a report on its implementation to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth regular session.



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