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Ministers of Public Security in the Americas Convened by the OAS Agree to Cooperate to Improve Police Technology Management and Training in the Hemisphere

  November 18, 2011

The highest authorities of Public Security in the Americas today concluded their meeting in Port of Spain with the adoption of a series of concrete recommendations to strengthen police training and their use of new technologies in the hemisphere. The recommendations will be communicated to the Heads of State at the Sixth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) in April 2012.

At the end of the Third Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA III), convened by the Organization of American States (OAS), authorities adopted a joint statement with the aim of strengthening police management in the region. They also agreed to institutionalize the process of MISPA by adopting the Document of Port of Spain .

In the closing session, OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, said that the discussions of these two days "have demostrated our commitment to achieving concrete, measurable and sustainable results by focusing our attention in police managment." He also stressed that "Ministers and heads of delegations have underlined their willingness to undertake efforts to support capacity development and ensure the modernization and professionalization of police institutions within a democratic framework."

The high ranking official from the Hemispheric Organization recalled at the ministerial meeting that "the OAS is fully committed to support Member States' efforts in reaching the goals we set today." Ambassador Ramdin expressed his certainty that "our citizens will soon start seeing the impact of your renewed commitment to supporting and securing adecuate selection, education, and training, to ensure a professional police service."

The Minister of National Security of Trinidad and Tobago, John Sandy, who chaired MISPA III, commended the authorities for the adoption of the recommendations and noted that "with the experiences shared during this meeting, we have taken steps to promote the modernization of police management. The recommendations of Port of Spain on the subject are the footprint we needed to improve one of the institutions responsible for protecting our citizens and helping them build safer communities," he said.

The recommendations included in the adopted declaration seek to strengthen information systems by improving data collection methods and data registry; promote society's trust in police management; implement police training programs to promote respect for human rights; support the professionalization of public safety; encourage knowledge and use of technologies to promote modernization of management and police training; and encourage Member States to exchange instructors and training materials to create new areas of cooperation.

The document also instructed the OAS General Secretariat to continue to develop education and training programs for police and personel with responsibility in the area of public security, and to update and publish an inventory of training programs offered by Member States.

The Declaration of Port of Spain is the result of the commitment the OAS Member States made to monitor and implement previous agreements on the matter, such as the Commitment to Public Security in the Americas, adopted during the First MISPA, held in Mexico City in October 2008, and the Santo Domingo Consensus on Public Safety, adopted at the second MISPA, which took place in Santo Domingo in November 2009.

The meeting, attended by ministers, deputy ministers and senior officials of public security of the 34 OAS Member States, was inaugurated Thursday by the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Representatives of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and AMERIPOL were also present.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-967/11