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Security Ministers of the Americas Adopted Recommendations of Quito to Strengthen Prevention and Fight against Organized Crime

  October 31, 2019

The Ministers of Security of the Americas gathered in Ecuador on October 30 and 31, 2019, adopted, at the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security of the Americas of the OAS (MISPA VII), the Quito Recommendations for Strengthening International Cooperation in Public Security in the Prevention and Fight against Crime.

Among the measures adopted, the authorities approved the design and implementation of the hemispheric strategy to prevent and combat transnational organized crime based on the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime of the OAS to guide the formulation and application of public policies, plans, programs, indicators, and tools to address this issue.

In addition, the Ministers of Security of the region requested the development of a list of existing hemispheric mechanisms for effective coordination, exchange of information, and intelligence among the ministries of public security and police forces of the Americas, for the use of member states.

Also during the ministerial meeting, the Subsidiary Technical Group on Emergency Services, was established in order to define and articulate cooperation arrangements, mechanisms and instruments, and establish the “Protocol-Guide for the Establishment of National Emergency Systems in the Countries of the Americas,” on emergencies and coordinating response efforts in OAS member states.

In addition, the ministers requested that the Inter-American Public Security Information and Knowledge Network set up a working group – in the framework of the OAS- to present a report on public security that analyzes crime data based on trends observed across the Hemisphere.

In addition the Ministers:

• Established February 11 of each year as the “Inter-American Day of the Single Emergency Service Number.”
• Instructed the OAS to consolidate a study plan and training modules on research and the fight against transnational organized crime within the framework of the Inter-American Network for Police Development and Professionalization (REDPPOL)
• Established that the next REDPPOL course will also be held in the host country of the next Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security
• Urged member states to implement, as appropriate, the recommendations included in the Hemispheric Plan of Action to Guide the Design of Public Policies to Prevent and Reduce Intentional Homicide
• Elected the Dominican Republic to serve as Chair of the Subsidiary Technical Group on Prevention of Crime, Violence, and Insecurity.
• Elected Ecuador to serve as Chair of the Subsidiary Technical Group on Emergency and Security Services.

During the closing ceremony, OAS Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez thanked the Government of Ecuador for its hospitality and for making MISPA VII possible. Ambassador Méndez also stressed that "we concluded this meeting of Security Ministers with the MISPA process strengthened and renewed, with clear and concrete recommendations which shows that we have moved from the discursive level to that of action."

For her part, the Minister of Government of Ecuador, María Paula Romo, emphasized the achievements of the ministerial meeting in her country and expressed gratitude for the presence of the ministers, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Assistant Secretary General Nestor Méndez, "after complicated days" and said that "their presence in Quito in these days are for us an endorsement and recognition of the work of Ecuador."

At another point on the agenda, the Security Ministers also issued a statement on consolidation, strengthening, and international cooperation in public security, while at the same time voicing their concern at the violent events occurring in the region, which undermine democratic institutions.

The next MISPA will take place in 2021 in El Salvador.

During the MISPA in Ecuador, 60 police officers of the region graduated from the second REDPPOL Police Training Course, after a month of training.

Reference: E-092/19