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OAS and Microsoft Sign Cyber Security Agreement

  February 12, 2014

Today the Organization of American States (OAS) and Microsoft signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen efforts made by the OAS Cyber Security Program over the last ten years. The signing of the agreement took place at Microsoft’s headquarters in Washington State.

The OAS Secretary General, Jose Miguel Insulza, said the agreement is “another example of the OAS’ commitment to working with relevant actors in the Americas. This partnership will have both hemispheric and global benefits as we seek to strengthen the cyber security capabilities of our member countries. New technologies are critical for development and security and we must keep in mind that cyber threats are continuously evolving.” Insulza concluded by mentioning that new threats “push the OAS to promote public-private partnerships on cyber issues, a subject that is central to the future of our region.”

Brad Smith, Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel, said “cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers and no one organization can fight them alone. The agreement we’ve signed today will help the private and public sectors fight cybercrime more effectively, and make the internet safer for all.”

The OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell, signed the agreement on behalf of the hemispheric institution. He described the alliance as another example of the commitment the OAS has displayed in promoting public-private partnerships, particularly in cyber issues, which have taken on a steadily increasing importance in recent years. Ambassador Blackwell noted that “in our hyper connected world, cyber crime and threats to cyber security affect us all, and we need comprehensive strategies to mitigate the risks these pose. Our efforts must involve civil society and the private sector to holistically advance the economic and human development of our people.”

The agreement enables the two institutions to cooperate on the implementation of projects that benefit OAS member states and to complement OAS efforts to implement its “Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cyber Security” and the “Declaration on Strengthening Cyber Security in the Americas,” respectively adopted by OAS Member States in 2004 and 2012.

This partnership will guide joint OAS- and Microsoft-efforts to augment the abilities of governments in the Americas to respond to and investigate cyber incidents, as well as to promote better coordination among cyber security stakeholders at the regional level.

The agreement was signed during the first “Global Cybercrime Enforcement Summit,” and was held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, United States, which is also the site of Microsoft’s Cyber Crime Center, which was inaugurated in November 2013.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-046/14