Media Center

Press Release

OAS Participates in Review Conference on the Declaration of Geneva on Armed Violence and Development

  May 1, 2014

A team of specialists from the Organization of American States (OAS) on issues of security, gender and development, headed by the Advisor to the OAS Secretary General, Abraham Stein and the General Coordinator of Violence Reduction Programs of the Public Security Department of the OAS, Carl Case, took part, from April 28 to 30, in Antigua, Guatemala in the Regional Review Conference on the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

Government representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean and international organizations working on the prevention and reduction of armed violence met at the Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Español AECID in Antigua to review progress in the implementation of the principles of the Declaration of Geneva, and in particular, to promote the search for partnerships between governments, international organizations and civil society.

According to data from the Secretariat of the Geneva Declaration, the Americas region is home to a third of the acts of lethal violence that take place in the world, and 22 countries from the region have rates of lethal violence above the world average. In this sense, armed violence and its consequences for development have generated great concern in the region.

During the conference, the OAS was charged with the organization of two technical meetings, one of them on “Successful Community Approaches,” which aimed to analyze successful community security practices in the region, where panelists from the OAS, the government of Trinidad and Tobago and the World Bank presented successful cases in issues of the reduction of armed violence in communities.

The technical meeting “Firearms Control Programming” included panelists from the United Nations, the Government of Argentina, the Central American Integration System, and civil society organizations. In this meeting, initiatives on the marking, registration and tracking of firearms were analyzed, as were arsenal management, voluntary arms turnover, and programs dedicated to control of the illicit trafficking of drugs and transnational organized crime.

During the plenary panel “Looking ahead, an action agenda,” General Coordinator Carl Case presented the considerations of the OAS for the 2015 Action Plan. On the subject, he said the recognition of the complex nature of armed violence, its effects and its economic and social costs, which were analyzed during the Regional Conference, serve to define the agenda for future actions to reduce and prevent the phenomenon of armed violence.

Case highlighted that programs to promote citizen security must be based on evidence and analysis, must take into account the societal context and the impacts of policies on groups and individuals involved or affected by violence. He added that programs should involve not only national institutions, but also local authorities, communities and civil society organizations, if they are to be successful.

The OAS maintains its commitment to support its member states through an integral and multisectoral approach for concerted, considered and concrete actions aimed at reducing and preventing armed violence.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-179/14