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AG/RES. 1380 (XXVI-O/96)


(Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 6, 1996)



The mandate set forth in AG/DEC. 8 (XXV-O/95), Declaration of Montrouis: A New Vision of the OAS, in which mention is made of the problem of public safety and security, which must be construed as the safety of all persons falling under the jurisdiction of the state and which expresses in paragraph 18 the ministers' "intent to foster an exchange of experiences in the prevention of and war on crime and to study possible measures to improve public safety"; and

The firm resolve expressed by the heads of state of the countries of Central America and reflected in the Treaty on Democratic Security, as well as the Declaration of Tuxtla II, signed by the heads of state and government of Central America and Mexico, to proceed with the fight against poverty, new threats to the security of states, particularly drug trafficking and related crimes; arms trafficking; organized crime, and the need to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, with full respect for the sovereignty of each country; and


That public safety and security bear on matters that are crucial for the development of society;

That certain problems, such as crime, impunity, and the failings of the judicial and police systems, affect the normal course of life of societies, pose a threat to the consolidation or strengthening of democracies, undermine the standard of living of the population, and thwart the full and effective exercise of the rights and guarantees of individuals;

That these problems, which plague a number of countries of the Hemisphere, call for a comprehensive approach, since action taken thus far has been unable to solve them; and

That the Organization of American States can be the setting for exchanges of knowledge and experiences on the subject and for the development of cooperation and technical assistance for eradicating these problems, within a broader context of utmost respect for the sovereignty and independence of countries,


1. To instruct the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States to undertake a study of problems that bear on the safety and security of all persons falling under the jurisdiction of the state.

2. To express its intent to seek ways to solve these problems, with respect for the rights of member states, on the basis of the principles set forth in the Charter that govern the Organization, and with due regard for the principles of self-determination and non-interference in domestic affairs.

3. To instruct the General Secretariat to prepare a study on the topic, including a program of work and possibilities for technical cooperation, and submit it to the Permanent Council for approval, and also to start compiling national laws on the subject.

4. To urge the member states of the Organization to lend their assistance and support to this study and to promote the adoption of measures for solving these problems.

5. To request the General Secretariat to submit a detailed report on activities carried out in fulfillment of this mandate to the General Assembly at its next regular session.

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