Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV) Recommendations of Medellin for Strengthening International Cooperation in the Area of Public Security

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
November 22, 2013


We, the Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas and the representatives of the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS), gathered in Medellín, Colombia, on November 21 and 22, 2013, at the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV), convened by the OAS Permanent Council through resolution CP/RES. 1014 (1915/13) and in accordance with the “Document of Port of Spain: Institutionalization of the MISPA Process”;

REAFFIRMING the importance of continued implementation of the “Commitment to Public Security in the Americas,” adopted at the First Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA I), held in Mexico City in October 2008, and the “Consensus of Santo Domingo on Public Security,” adopted at the Second Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA II), held in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, in November 2009;

UNDERSCORING the “Recommendations of Port-of-Spain on Police Management,” resulting from the Third Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA III), held in November 2011, in Trinidad and Tobago;

UNDERSCORING ALSO the meeting of the Subsidiary Technical Working Group on Police Management, which met in Mexico City on October 8 and 9, 2013, pursuant to the mandates of MISPA III].

UNDERSCORING ALSO the Declarations and mandates in the area of public security arising from the Summits of the Americas;

BEARING IN MIND the “Declaration of San Salvador on Citizen Security in the Americas,” adopted by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States at its forty-first regular session, held in El Salvador, in June 2011, as well as the Hemispheric Plan of Action to provide follow-up, approved on May 2, 2012;

BEARING IN MIND ALSO the OAS Meeting of National Authorities on Transnational Organized Crime, to be held in 2014, pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 2809 (XLIII-O/13);

RECOGNIZING also that the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto represent an important advance in international efforts to confront criminal activities that affect public security;

REITERATING that public security is the duty and exclusive obligation of the State and is intended to protect the rights of persons;

RECOGNIZING that the threats, concerns, and other challenges to security in the Hemisphere are diverse and multidimensional in nature, and that therefore international cooperation is an essential factor for addressing them;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that such international cooperation should encourage extensive technical assistance among the member states and be based on effective coordination among international, regional, and subregional organizations;

RECOGNIZING the technical cooperation capabilities of international and regional agencies with programs and/or projects in the area of citizen security, which may be used to strengthen the States’ institutions for preventing crime, violence, and insecurity;

REAFFIRMING that the exchange of information between public security institutions of the States is key to strengthening international cooperation aimed at preventing, confronting, and investigating criminal activities that pose a threat to public security and that the process by which data and information are obtained must be in accordance with domestic law, international agreements, and full respect for human rights;

STRESSING that crime and violence observatories contribute to our understanding of criminal activities and enhance our efforts to formulate policies aimed at preventing and combating crime, violence, and insecurity;

RECOGNIZING that the sharing of experiences and best practices by the member states helps strengthen their national capacity to prevent violence and combat the transnational organized crime that undermines public security in the Hemisphere;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that international judicial cooperation is an essential mechanism for effectively investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes that impair the public security of states;

Adopt the following recommendations for strengthening international cooperation in the area of public security:

  1. Strengthen cooperation, coordination, and reciprocal technical assistance activities among the institutions responsible for public security in the member states in order to continue developing the capacities of our States to respond effectively in the struggle against crime, violence, and insecurity.
  2. Continue strengthening the development of regional and bilateral mechanisms for sharing operational and/or intelligence information, in order to prevent and investigate, in accordance with domestic laws, the transnational organized crime and insecurity affecting the Hemisphere.
  3. Continue strengthening the judicial cooperation that allows the member states, pursuant to domestic legislation and established international agreements, to mount an effective legal response to the commission, execution, planning, preparation, or financing of criminal acts against public security.
  4. Urge the states party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its corresponding Optional Protocol to continue implementing its provisions; and encourage states that are not yet party to those inter-American instruments to accede thereto.
  5. Urge member states to make their experience and best practices and offers of training and technical assistance in preventing crime, violence, and insecurity available to the other countries in the region, so as to enhance their capacity to combat the various criminal activities that pose a threat to public security.
  6. Foster the establishment and strengthening, as the case may be, of crime and violence observatories that, among other functions, gather information and generate knowledge needed to design and carry out national, subregional, and regional policies and operational plans to prevent and confront crime, violence, and insecurity.
  7. Promote and consolidate regional and subregional cooperation initiatives and mechanisms for combating transnational organized crime that strengthen states’ actions against it.
  8. Encourage member states to foster bilateral cooperation and cooperation with multilateral cooperation and development agencies, to promote integral program initiatives covering security, justice, and development capable of strengthening national efforts to combat crime, violence, and insecurity.

Follow-up:

  1. Ask the OAS General Secretariat to provide ongoing technical support to member states and subregional organizations that request it, in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of these Recommendations for strengthening international cooperation in the area of public security.
  2. Ask the OAS General Secretariat to create an online best practices database based on inputs voluntarily provided by the member states, including, inter alia, their replies to the first questionnaire on “National practices and experiences in public security in the Americas,” and develop a catalogue of training courses and technical assistance offered by member states; regional and international organizations; and nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and civil society, so as to foster mutual technical assistance and capacity-building among the countries of the region.
  3. Instruct the OAS General Secretariat to report to relevant international, hemispheric, regional, and subregional organizations on the outcomes of the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA-IV) and to urge them to consider those findings and, where appropriate, to act on them.
  4. Request that the Joint Summit Working Group consider the pillars contained in the “Commitment to Public Security in the Americas,” adopted at the First Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA I) and report to the OAS General Secretariat on potential training and technical assistance that can be offered to member states.
  5. Establish a Subsidiary Technical Working Group to follow up on these Recommendations of Medellín for Strengthening International Cooperation in the Area of Public Security, elect the Republic of Colombia as its Chair, and welcome with satisfaction its offer to host the meeting thereof, pursuant to the “Document of Port of Spain: Institutionalization of the MISPA Process.” Another function of this new Working Group, within its sphere of competence, will be to share national experiences regarding the world drug problem in the Americas, pursuant to the process of consultation of declarative paragraph 20 of the Declaration of Antigua Guatemala, “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas.” The Chair of the Working Group shall present to the Committee on Hemispheric Security reports on progress made with implementation of the assigned mandates.
  6. Thank the Government of Mexico for having chaired the Subsidiary Technical Working Group on Police Management and take note of the “Conclusions and Proposals” of its First Meeting. Elect the Republic of Peru as its Chair and welcome with satisfaction its offer to host the Second Meeting of the Working Group, pursuant to the “Document of Port of Spain: Institutionalization of the MISPA Process,” and instruct it to ensure continuity in its work at the highest level, including issues relating to the sharing of best practices and possibilities for more effective cooperation on police management matters. The Chair of the Working Group will submit to the Committee on Hemispheric Security reports on progress made in implementing the mandates assigned.
  7. Invite the agencies and entities of the inter-American system, as well as other United Nations and international organizations, within their respective spheres of competence, to consider making voluntary, financial, technical, and/or human resource contributions in order to achieve the implementation of these Recommendations.
  8. Request the OAS Permanent Council to follow up on these Recommendations through the Committee on Hemispheric Security.
  9. To welcome the offer by the Government of Peru to host the Fifth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA-V) in 2015.
  10. We, the Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas and representatives of the OAS member states express our gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Colombia for hosting the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA-IV) in Medellín, Colombia.