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Organization of American States Plan of Action Meeting of Government Experts to Consider the Advisability of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime

Published April 19, 2005

The Organization of American States (OAS) produced these conclusions and recommendations regarding a "Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime" at their meeting on April 19, 2005 in Washington, DC.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

OF THE MEETING OF GOVERNMENT EXPERTS TO CONSIDER

THE ADVISABILITY OF DEVELOPING A HEMISPHERIC PLAN OF ACTION

AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME

The Government Experts meeting to consider the Advisability of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime, in the framework of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, in accordance with the General Assembly resolution AG/RES. 2026 (XXXIV-O/04) and the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Fifth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-V), on April 18 and 19, 2005, in Washington, D.C., agreed as follows:

1. It is advisable to develop a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime (Plan of Action). The Plan of Action should promote the broadest level of coordination of the work of the organs, agencies, entities and mechanisms of the Organization of American States in the fight against transnational organized crime.

2. The Plan of Action should reflect the multidimensional nature of hemispheric security, adopted in the Declaration of Bridgetown: The Multidimensional Approach to Hemispheric Security (2002) and the Declaration on Security in the Americas (2003).

3. Components of the Plan of Action should include:

(i) measures for broad and effective coordination within the Organization and for the support of member states, taking into account paragraph 4;

(ii) a legal framework and promotion of legislative and regulatory development as described in paragraph 5, and

(iii) improvement of national capacities and strengthening hemispheric cooperation, as reflected in paragraph 6.

4. The measures for broad and effective coordination within the Organization and for the support of member states should have a political and a technical dimension.

a. The political dimension should consist of a special joint committee of the Permanent Council comprised of the Committee on Hemispheric Security and the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, in view of the follow-up that the latter provides to the Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA), and with the participation of government experts, to draft the Plan of Action and follow-up on its implementation. The General Assembly should request that the Permanent Council establish the said special joint committee. The Plan of Action should be presented for consideration at the Sixth Meeting of REMJA, with a view to its adoption at the Thirty-Sixth Regular Session of the General Assembly. Cooperative action in this area may begin from the time of the establishment of the special joint committee. The Plan of Action should focus on giving effect to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and its Protocols, drawing on the work and relying on the expertise of the organs, agencies, entities and mechanisms of the Organization that currently address this issue.

b. The Secretary General should oversee the technical dimension of this endeavor by supporting the special joint committee. The Secretary General should convene monthly or bi-monthly meetings of the relevant General Secretariat units, such as the Department of Multidimensional Security, the Department of Legal Affairs and Services, and the Permanent Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission of Women, and report regularly to the special joint committee. The Secretary General should coordinate efforts of the OAS organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms that currently address this issue with a view to eliminating the duplication of efforts and maximizing institutional resources. The Secretary General's efforts in this regard should begin once the General Assembly has decided that the special joint committee should be established.

5. The Palermo Convention and its three protocols[1] should remain the framework for strengthening international cooperation against transnational organized crime. Measures should be promoted to facilitate the development of legislation by Member States. Efforts undertaken at the United Nations to combat transnational organized crime should not be duplicated at the hemispheric level.

6. The Plan of Action should include a call to implement the Palermo Convention and use existing hemispheric mechanisms to prevent, investigate and prosecute transnational organized crime. Measures to strengthen regional and subregional cooperation among member states should include, inter alia, bilateral agreements, mutual legal assistance, asset recovery and/or sharing, institutional cooperation mechanisms, technical assistance, exchange of information, dissemination of best practices, technology transfer, training, special investigation techniques, and confidence-building.



[1]. Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

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