Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates

Click here for Related Ministerials
SECURITY: Prevention of Violence

  1. Take steps to prevent and sanction the use of violence against the press; and protect human rights defenders, journalists, and media workers and their families who face risks as a consequence of their work; and to promote laws that prevent and prohibit impunity in cases of violent attacks against journalists, the media, and anyone who exercises freedom of expression, so as to contribute to public deliberation. (Inter-American Action Plan on Democratic Governance, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. Work with civil society, workers groups, and employer sector representatives to eliminate forced labor, child labor, and violence, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace; to decrease informality in the labor market; and to protect freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, including the protection of workers from reprisals for exercising these rights. (Inter-American Action Plan on Democratic Governance, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. Continue meeting the commitments undertaken at the Eighth Summit of the Americas, in particular the Lima Commitment on Democratic Governance Against Corruption, while reaffirming our commitment to treaties such as the UN Convention against Corruption, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the InterAmerican Convention Against Corruption, and taking the following actions:

    • b. Establish measures, systems, and public awareness campaigns that generate incentives to improve the conditions for reporting of possible irregularities and acts of corruption, including the laundering of the proceeds generated by acts of corruption, as well as measures that provide effective protection from potential retaliation or intimidation, use of physical force or threats for reporting persons, victims, whistleblowers, witnesses, and justice and law enforcement officials, consistent with international obligations; (Inter-American Action Plan on Democratic Governance, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. Promote and strengthen international cooperation among States to effectively prevent, prosecute, investigate, and try cybercrimes, illicit use of data that belong to government, private institutions, and persons and other criminal activities furthered by the misuse of information and communication technologies, such as human trafficking, migrant smuggling, child sexual exploitation and other forms of sexual violence, and illicit drug and arms trafficking, as well as money laundering, inter alia, in a framework of respect for human rights and with a gender perspective. (Regional Agenda for Digital Transformation, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. To advance the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use, national deforestation and conservation commitments, and regional efforts to halt and reverse deforestation and conserve, sustainably manage, and use ecosystems, we commit to strengthen our efforts to:

    • f. Strengthen the protection of human rights defenders, particularly indigenous peoples and local communities working on environmental matters, in collaboration with stakeholders, to draw up and approve plans by the Tenth Summit of the Americas to: 1) respond to and collect information from environmental defenders about threats or incidences of violence, in keeping with domestic legislation; 2) enact, as appropriate, and enforce laws to protect human rights defenders working on environmental matters and the resources they defend; and 3) carry out and implement environmental assessments, according to existing domestic legislation; (Our Sustainable Green Future, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).


  1. To support the initiative of the Inter-American Violence and Crime Prevention Network, agreed to at the OAS, with a view to strengthening hemispheric cooperation on security, within the framework of the domestic legislation of each state. (Security, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To work on obtaining better data and strengthening evaluations and diagnostic assessments with a view to formulating effective public policies for the prevention of violence and crime that better address this phenomenon in the region in a comprehensive manner. In this regard, to foster the observatories on crime and violence, in accordance with the respective national legislations. (Security, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To strengthen efforts and prioritize actions to effectively address violence against women and girls, particularly through the promotion of initiatives to empower women, and the implementation of effective public policies focused on achieving this goal, including measures to prevent, investigate, punish, and eradicate such violence; training for public officials at national and local levels; implementation of programs to educate, sensitize, and raise awareness about this phenomenon; and the collection of data and statistics within, as applicable, the framework of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará) and its follow-up mechanism. (Security, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To strengthen and promote bilateral, subregional, regional, and international cooperation to prevent and combat violence, corruption, and transnational organized crime in all its forms and manifestations, and to promote institutional strengthening and, where applicable, rehabilitation and social reintegration, within the framework of the international conventions and instruments in force, with full respect for the rule of law, domestic and international law, and human rights, and, to that end, call upon all citizens to participate and lend their support. (Citizen Security and Transnational Organized Crime, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. To implement policies containing measures to prevent, investigate, punish, penalize, and eradicate sexual and gender based violence. (Citizen Security and Transnational Organized Crime, Cartagena, 2012).

  1. Accordingly, we commit to fostering public policies, in coordination with pertinent institutions and with citizen and community participation, designed to prevent crime, violence and insecurity, and to strengthen with a multidimensional approach and in accordance with domestic law, the channels of communication and the exchange of information, practices and experiences among Member States in combating and preventing crimes affecting public security. Moreover, we will strengthen our national and regional capacities through, inter alia, increased cooperation and technical assistance, as appropriate, that enable us to benefit from the expertise of each Member State. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognise that violence is preventable and as such, we will formulate or strengthen policies that take an integrated approach to its prevention. To this end, we will complement law-enforcement policies with other violence-prevention strategies of measurable outcomes, in areas such as education, labour, health and other pertinent fields, as appropriate. We will continue to strengthen and implement activities that promote a culture of non-violence within a public health context, and to create safe, healthy, sustainable environments and communities. We acknowledge the Declaration of the First Meeting of Ministers of Health of the Americas on Violence and Injury Prevention, held in Merida, Mexico in March 2008, which commits to further innovate, develop, implement, and evaluate plans for violence prevention. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We are convinced that illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials are a threat to security, breed violence, exacerbate conflicts and adversely affect the rule of law. We reiterate the need for effective cooperation to prevent, combat and eradicate this threat and in this regard we reaffirm the value of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials (CIFTA) and its model legislation as a basis for such cooperation. We will continue to combat the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials by, among other actions, marking and tracing firearms, destroying excess stocks of firearms designated by each State, securing and managing stockpiles and regulating firearms brokering, including sanctions for illicit arms brokering for the purpose of avoiding their diversion through illicit channels and their proliferation. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We emphasize our concern for the criminal gang problem and its related aspects, as well as its effect on the economic and social environments that challenge the progress made by our societies in the stability, democratization, and sustainable development process: a situation that requires additional urgent action to promote the prevention of criminal acts, prosecute those who commit them, rehabilitate and reinsert them, and create opportunities to facilitate access by youth to decent work (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to maintain peace and security through the effective use of hemispheric means for the peaceful resolution of disputes and the adoption of confidence- and security-building measures. In this regard, we support and commend the efforts of the OAS. We reiterate our full adherence to the principle that commits states to refrain from the threat or use of force, in accordance with international law. In conformity with the principles of international humanitarian law, we strongly condemn attacks on civilian populations. We will take all feasible measures to ensure that the children of our countries do not participate in armed conflict and we condemn the use of children by irregular forces. We reaffirm that the constitutional subordination of armed forces and security forces to the legally constituted civilian authorities of our countries, as well as respect for the rule of law on the part of all national institutions and sectors of society, are fundamental to democracy. We will strive to limit military expenditures while maintaining capabilities commensurate with our legitimate security needs and will promote greater transparency in the acquisition of arms (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. We reiterate our commitment to combat new, multi-dimensional threats to the security of our societies. Foremost amongst these threats are the global drug problem and related crimes, the illicit traffic in and criminal use of firearms, the growing danger posed by organized crime and the general problem of violence in our societies. Acknowledging that corruption undermines core democratic values, challenges political stability and economic growth and thus threatens vital interests in our Hemisphere, we pledge to reinvigorate our fight against corruption. We also recognize the need to improve the conditions for human security in the Hemisphere (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing that violence and crime are serious obstacles to social harmony and the democratic and socio-economic development of the Hemisphere, and as well noting the urgent need for an integral approach toward the prevention of violence: (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Encourage national institutions to work together and coordinate with all appropriate multilateral organizations and MDBs in order to implement integrated programs that include initiatives for conflict resolution, where appropriate, for sustained prevention, permanent attention, public education and treatment relevant to cases of violence against persons, families and communities, strengthening national institutional capacities in these areas; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognizing that democracy is essential for peace, development and security in the Hemisphere which, in turn, are the best basis for furthering the welfare of our people, and noting that the constitutional subordination of armed forces and security forces to the legally constituted authorities of our states is fundamental to democracy: (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Continue with priority activities on conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of disputes, respond to shared traditional and non-traditional security and defense concerns and support measures to improve human security; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. In forging an alliance against drugs and applying the Hemispheric Anti-Drug Strategy, we welcome the start of formal negotiations at the May 4 meeting of Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) to be held in Washington within the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS), to establish an objective procedure for the multilateral evaluation of actions and cooperation to prevent and combat all aspects of the drug problem and related crimes, based on the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity of States, shared responsibility, and with a comprehensive and balanced approach (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. Promote the rapid ratification and entry into force of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Production and Trafficking of Firearms; promote the approval and prompt application of the Model Regulations on the Control of Arms and Explosives Connected with Drug Trafficking of CICAD; encourage States, that have not already done so, to adopt the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure effective international cooperation to prevent and combat illicit transnational traffic in firearms and ammunition, while establishing, or strengthening, systems to enhance the tracing of firearms used in criminal activity; and (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. In furtherance of efforts to transform the Western Hemisphere into an antipersonnel mine-free zone, and in recognition of the contribution in this regard of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, including its early entry into force, they will encourage actions and support international humanitarian demining efforts in this area, with the goal of ensuring that priority is given to mines that threaten civilians and of ensuring that land can be restored for productive purpose. The latter will take place through effective regional and international cooperation and coordination, as requested by the affected States, to survey, mark, map, and remove mines; effective mine awareness for the civilian population and assistance to victims; and development and deployment of new mine detection and clearance technologies, as appropriate. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Pledge their efforts to ensure that the peaceful resolution of pending conflicts and disputes is achieved through existing mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes within the Inter-American System and in keeping with international law and treaties in force, and express that said mechanisms and instruments should be strengthened. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Entrust the OAS, through the Committee on the Hemispheric Security, to: Analyze the meaning, scope, and implications of international security concepts in the Hemisphere, with a view to developing the most appropriate common approaches by which to manage their various aspects, including disarmament and arms control; and; (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • 7.1 National and international terrorism constitute a systematic and deliberate violation of the rights of individuals and an assault on democracy itself. Recent attacks that some of our countries have suffered have demonstrated the serious threat that terrorism poses to security in the Americas. Actions by governments to combat and eliminate this threat are essential elements in guaranteeing law and order and maintaining confidence in government, both nationally and internationally. Within this context, those who sponsor terrorist acts or assist in their planning or execution through the abuse of diplomatic privileges and immunities or other means will be held responsible by the international community. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).



© Summits of the Americas