Media Center

Press Release


  March 22, 2005

The Canadian government and the Organization of American States (OAS) have signed an agreement to help the countries of the Americas boost information-sharing for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Canada’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Paul Durand, and OAS Acting Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi signed the agreement under which the government of Canada will contribute approximately CDN$25,000 to implement a project to support a secure e-mail system linking participating countries. The project will involve the OAS’ Office of Information Technology Services.

“The working group on mutual legal assistance is a very interesting, concrete and dynamic project that was created by the Justice Ministers of the Americas. This type of practical project, which has a real impact for our governments, is an example of what ministerial meetings should aim at,” said Ambassador Durand.

Commenting on the collaborative venture, the Acting Secretary General remarked: “It is impossible to overstate the vital role of secure channels in efforts by member states to better root out transnational criminal activity through cooperative strategies at the hemispheric level. The Organization is grateful for the commitment of the Canadian government and its financial assistance to this venture.”

Member countries participating in the project will be assisted with the initial installation and troubleshooting of the secure e-mail system

The secure system was approved at the Fifth Meeting of Justice Ministers and Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA) and emanated from a mandate from the hemisphere’s leaders who called for better information exchanges among OAS member states in the area of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters in the action plan issued after the Third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada, in April 2001

Reference: E-053/05