Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
November 18, 2011


Third Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA III)
November 17 and 18, 2011
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

(Adopted on November 18, 2011)

I. PURPOSE OF THE DOCUMENT

1. Purpose of the Document. This Document (hereinafter, the “Document”) shall govern the process of Meetings of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA). To that end, it refers to the subjects specified in each chapter.

The MISPA will perform their functions in the framework of the purposes, principles, and other pertinent provisions of the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The provisions contained in the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and of the Permanent Council of the OAS shall apply, as appropriate and in that order, to any aspects not provided for in this document.

This document shall be known as the “Document of Port of Spain: Institutionalization of the MISPA Process.”

II. COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONS OF THE MISPA

2. Composition. The MISPA shall be attended by the Ministers of Public Security or other ministers of the member states of the OAS with responsibilities in the area of public security.

The governments of the member states of the Organization may accredit delegations to the Ministerial Meeting. The delegations shall comprise the heads of delegation, alternate delegates, and advisers accredited by the governments.

States, through their permanent missions to the OAS, shall apprise the Secretariat in writing of the composition of their respective delegations, identifying the chief thereof.

3. Functions. The functions of the MISPA are as follows:

a. Act as a hemispheric forum for information and experience sharing, and for consolidating and strengthening cooperation in areas relating to public security.

b. Formulate recommendations to the OAS member states on cooperation in the area of public security.

c. Follow up on their recommendations and, to that end and as necessary, assign specific mandates, including their timeframes, to working groups.

d. Continue to follow up on existing mandates, which are the subject of recommendations from MISPA held prior to the approval of this document.

e. Promote, as necessary, strengthening of coordination and cooperation between the MISPA and other OAS organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms and, to that end, formulate recommendations and follow up on them to the extent they deem appropriate.

f. Promote and facilitate coordination and collaboration between the MISPA and other international cooperation processes in areas related to public security.

g. Facilitate other functions agreed upon.

III. STRUCTURE AND RESPONSIBILITIES

4. Frequency, venue, and convocation of meetings. The MISPA shall be held biannually (in odd years).

The venue of the next MISPA shall be determined based on offers made by states at each MISPA.

Should the foregoing not occur, states may offer to host a MISPA by means of a written communication addressed to the Secretary General of the OAS, who would inform all of the member states through their permanent missions to the Organization.

If no offer to host one of these meetings is forthcoming, or if for any reason the meeting is unable to be held at the appointed place, it shall be held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the OAS.

The General Assembly or, failing that, the Permanent Council of the OAS shall adopt a resolution formally convening each MISPA, and shall set the date and, in the circumstances referred to in the two immediately preceding paragraphs, also the place of each meeting.

5. Chair and Vice Chairs. Once a MISPA has been formally convened as provided in the last paragraph of the preceding provision, the state that is to host the meeting shall take up the Chair and convene the preparatory meetings referred to in provision 7 of this Document.

In the event that a MISPA is to be held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the OAS, the state that is the incumbent Chair shall remain as such and shall convene the preparatory meetings referred to in provision 7 of this Document. In such circumstances, the Chair of the MISPA shall be elected at the start of the respective meeting.

Also, the Vice Chairs of the MISPA shall be elected at the start of the respective meeting. The Vice Chairs shall replace the Chair in the event of any impediment thereto.

6. Functions of the Chair. The functions of the Chair are as follows:

a. Represent the MISPA before the organs of the OAS and at meetings, acts, or ceremonies to which they are invited in that capacity.

b. Coordinate the preparation, proceedings, and follow up of the MISPA with the Secretariat.

c. Convene preparatory meetings and present to said meetings for consideration the draft agenda and documents of the MISPA, with technical support provided by the Secretariat.

d. Call sessions to order, adjourn sessions, and chair the proceedings.

e. Submit for consideration the items on the approved agenda for each MISPA.

f. Rule on points of order that may be raised in the course of the proceedings.

g. Submit for consideration any items under discussion that require a decision, in accordance with provision 9 of this Document, and announce the results.

h. Such other functions as this Document and the MISPA may confer on it in keeping with the nature of their responsibilities.

7. Preparatory Meetings. In keeping with provision 5 herein, preparatory meetings shall be called sufficiently in advance of the date each MISPA is to be held, so that the authorities of the MISPA may consider sending their representatives.

Preparatory meetings shall consider and prepare the draft agenda, draft schedule and final document of the respective MISPA. To that end, the deadlines for states, through their permanent missions to the OAS, to submit written proposals with respect to these documents will be adopted at the preparatory meetings.

So long as it is possible and should it be necessary, the decision may be made to hold the last preparatory meeting on the day or days immediately before the start of the respective MISPA.

For the adoption of decisions at preparatory meetings, where pertinent, provisions 8 and 9 of this Document shall apply.

8. Quorum. The presence of one third of the member states of the Organization shall constitute the quorum necessary for the MISPA and its working groups to meet in session.

The presence of the majority of the representatives of the OAS member states shall constitute the quorum necessary for the agreements referred to in the following provision.

9. Agreements. Agreements arrived at by the MISPA shall be termed recommendations and their nature will be as such.

As a general rule, “recommendations” and other documents considered at meetings shall be adopted by consensus. Should discrepancy arise on a given matter, the Chair shall interpose its good offices and take all the measures in its power to attain consensus. If no consensus is reached and the Chair considers that this stage has been exhausted, the matter may be put to a vote. In the latter case, each delegation shall be entitled to one vote and the resulting decision shall be adopted by an absolute majority of votes of the delegations present.

The implementation of any recommendations that may result in expenses for the OAS shall be subject to the consideration of those expenses by the competent bodies of the OAS, in accordance with the provisions and procedures established in the framework of the Organization.

10. Participation of Permanent Observer States. Permanent observer states to the OAS may participate in that capacity in the MISPA, for which purpose they shall provide information on the composition of their respective delegation in a written communication transmitted through the Secretariat.

11. Participation of OAS organs, agencies, entities, mechanisms and working groups. Any OAS organs, agencies, entities, mechanisms and working groups may participate, as observers, in the MISPA, provided there is a consensus to that effect among the member states.

12. Participation of other international agencies. Where relevant, the provisions contained in the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly of the OAS shall apply to the participation of other international agencies in the MISPA.

13. Participation of civil society organizations. Civil society organizations that are duly accredited pursuant to the “Guidelines for the Participation of Civil Society Organizations in OAS Activities” [CP/RES. 759 (1217/99)] and the “Strategies for Increasing and Strengthening Participation by Civil Society Organizations in OAS Activities” [CP/RES. 840 (1361/03)], may participate, as observers, in the MISPA.

IV. SUBSIDIARY TECHNICAL WORKING GROUPS

14. Subsidiary Technical Working Groups. The MISPA may set up subsidiary technical working groups to follow up on its recommendations, based on the five pillars established in the Meetings of Ministers Responsible for Public Security, namely public security management; prevention of crime, violence and insecurity; police management; citizen and community participation; and international cooperation, as well as other current and emerging issues.

The MISPA will assign specific mandates and timeframes to the subsidiary technical working groups, which the latter will carry out between meetings of the MISPA and report on the results achieved in relation thereto.

The mandate of each subsidiary technical working group shall expire at the end of the time allotted by the MISPA or, where no such time allotted is specified, when, in the opinion of the MISPA, it has fulfilled its purpose or whenever the MISPA deem it appropriate.

15. Functions of subsidiary technical working groups. Subsidiary technical working groups shall have the following functions:

a. To implement the mandates that they receive from the MISPA in their areas of competence.

b. To report to the MISPA at its meetings, or whenever else they might be requested to do so, on progress in implementing the mandates or functions assigned to them.

c. Any other functions that the MISPA assign to them in accordance with their areas of competence.

16. Frequency, venue and convocation of meetings of subsidiary technical working groups

Unless otherwise directed by ministers, subsidiary technical working groups may meet on at least one occasion within the timeframe allotted to their existence by ministers.

Meetings of subsidiary technical working groups shall be held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the OAS, unless a state offers to host a particular meeting.

Meetings of subsidiary technical working groups shall be formally convened by resolution of the Permanent Council of the OAS, which shall set the date and place thereof, in consultation with the chair of the working group.

17. Chair and Vice Chair of subsidiary technical working groups.

The MISPA shall elect the chair of each subsidiary technical working group at the session in which the latter is established.

The delegations of the states that come after the Chair in alphabetical order in Spanish shall be the Vice Chairs ex officio of the respective subsidiary technical working group and shall replace the Chair in the event of any impediment thereto.

In the event that the meeting of a subsidiary technical working group is to be held away from the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the OAS, once the respective meeting has been convoked in accordance with the last paragraph of the preceding provision, the state that is to host the meeting shall chair the group and coordinate the preparations for the meeting with the support of the Secretariat.

18. Functions of the chair of subsidiary technical working groups. The chair of each working group shall have the following functions:

a. Coordinate the preparation and proceedings of subsidiary technical working group meetings with the Secretariat, in accordance with the mandates assigned to the working group by the MISPA.

b. Report to the MISPA on progress in the implementation of mandates assigned by it to the subsidiary technical working group.

c. Call sessions to order, adjourn sessions, and chair the proceedings at meetings of the subsidiary technical working group.

d. Submit for the consideration of the plenary of the subsidiary technical working group the items on the approved agenda for each meeting of the working group.

e. Rule on points of order that may be raised in the course of the proceedings.

f. Submit for the consideration of the plenary of the subsidiary technical working group any items under discussion that require a decision, in accordance with provision 9 of this Document, and announce the results.

g. Such other functions as this Document and the MISPA may confer on him or her in keeping with the nature of their responsibilities.

19. Preparations for meetings of subsidiary technical working groups. The Secretariat shall assist the chair in preparing a preliminary draft agenda and, in keeping with the instructions of the latter, distribute it to the other delegations at least one month in advance, stating the time limit for states to submit any observations or proposals that they may have in relation thereto. A revised version of the draft agenda that takes into account observations or proposals received in due time shall be prepared and presented for consideration at the beginning of the meeting.

Once the observations and proposals have been received, should it be necessary, in the opinion of the Chair, to hold a preparatory meeting, then the Chair will convene such a meeting.

20. Adherence to provisions established for the MISPA. In matters for which no provision is made in this chapter, subsidiary technical working groups shall adhere, as appropriate, to all provisions established herein for the MISPA as well as all other provisions applicable thereto.

V. RELATIONS WITH OAS ORGANS, AGENCIES, ENTITIES, AND MECHANISMS

21. Relations with OAS organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms. The MISPA shall consider and formulate such recommendations as they deem appropriate to consolidate and strengthen coordination, information exchange, and cooperation with OAS organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms in areas of common interest, striving to avoid duplication of efforts in connection with those areas.

VI. RELATIONS WITH OTHER COOPERATION PROCESSES

22. Relations with other cooperation processes. The MISPA shall formulate such recommendations as it deems appropriate to consolidate and strengthen coordination, information exchange, and cooperation on matters of its concern among member states and other cooperation processes.

VII. SECRETARIAT

23. Secretariat. The General Secretariat of the OAS shall provide administrative and technical secretariat services to the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups.

As a result, in matters regarding its technical and administrative personnel, as well as its structure and responsibilities, the Secretariat shall adhere to the provisions in the OAS Charter, the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat of the OAS approved by its General Assembly, and the decisions that the Secretary General may adopt in developing said General Standards.

24. Functions of the Secretariat. The Secretariat shall have the following functions:

a. Provide advice to the respective chairs on the preparation and proceedings of the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups.

b. Assist the chairs of the MISPA and subsidiary technical working groups in preparing draft meeting agendas and distributing them through the permanent missions to the OAS.

c. Coordinate the organizational and administrative aspects of the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups. When a state offers to host any of these meetings, the Secretariat shall enter into an agreement with it, the negotiation and signing of which shall be coordinated through the state’s permanent mission to the OAS.

d. Supply secretariat services to the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups, assist them in the preparation and consideration of the respective draft recommendations, and classify, translate, distribute to the delegations, and, as appropriate, disseminate via the Internet and by any other means, the official texts of documents submitted, considered, and adopted in the framework of such meetings.

e. Prepare summary reports on the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups, distribute them to the delegations, and maintain the record of all the documents connected with such meetings.

f. Act as the central coordination and contact point for transmission and receipt of documents and communications among the authorities that take part in the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups, with respect to all matters relating to their structure, responsibilities, and implementation of their respective recommendations.

g. In keeping with the recommendations of the MISPA, promote, organize, and coordinate programs, projects, and activities to facilitate and strengthen information exchange, training, and technical cooperation. For that purpose, in permanent communication with member states, it shall sign the relevant agreements with states, international organizations, and agencies that contribute to their financing, and with the states where they would be carried out, in accordance with the provisions in force on such matters in the framework of the OAS.

h. Manage and maintain any networks established in connection with the MISPA, in coordination with the subsidiary technical working groups, and in permanent communication with member states, in their various components, for dissemination and exchange of information on public security management, prevention of crime, violence and insecurity, police management, and citizen and community participation and supply training and technical assistance services in order to facilitate the participation of authorities in said networks, to which end, the necessary agreements would be signed with states or institutions thereof. The Secretariat shall also act as the central coordination and contact point for transmission and receipt of documents and communications among the authorities that are part of the aforesaid networks, with respect to all matters relating to their structure, maintenance and responsibilities.

i. Keep a register of authorities or contact points that participate in the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups.

j. In keeping with the recommendations of the MISPA, prepare documents or studies to support follow-up or implementation of the recommendations of the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups, to which end, states shall supply the information necessary.

k. In keeping with the recommendations of the MISPA, promote and take the steps necessary to institute or strengthen coordination and collaboration with secretariats of other international cooperation agencies, entities, or mechanisms in areas that concern the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups.

l. Submit such reports as may be required by the OAS General Assembly, the Permanent Council, or its permanent committees, in the framework of its functions as technical and administrative secretariat of the MISPA.

m. In keeping with the recommendations of the MISPA, take steps to secure internal and external financial resources to fund the activities of the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups.

n. Any other appropriate functions as technical and administrative secretariat of the MISPA, its subsidiary technical working groups, and information networks, in order to enable them to function adequately.

25. Communication and coordination between States and the Secretariat. Communications and coordination between the secretariat and state authorities in connection with all matters concerning the preparation, proceedings, and follow up of the MISPA and its subsidiary technical working groups, as well as matters that pertain to implementation of their recommendations, information networks, and training and technical cooperation programs, projects, and activities, shall be channeled through the Permanent Missions to the OAS.

VIII. FINAL PROVISIONS

26. Amendment of this Document. This Document shall govern the MISPA process once it is adopted by the respective meeting thereof and may be amended thereby. To that end, pursuant to provision 9, the endeavor shall be made to ensure that the respective agreement is adopted by consensus, to which end the number of delegations present must be equal to or greater than two thirds of the member states of the Organization. In the case of a vote, to be carried, a motion shall require the vote in favor of two thirds of the OAS member states.

27. Distribution and publication. The Secretariat shall distribute this document to all the delegations and shall publish Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese versions thereof on its web page.