June 7, 2005


(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2005)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

CONCERNED that the security of the states of the Hemisphere is affected, in various ways, by traditional threats and by new threats, concerns, and other challenges of diverse types, such as transnational organized crime;

DEEPLY CONCERNED by the expansion and the dimensions of transnational organized crime in all its manifestations, and by the growing complexity and diversity of the activities of organized criminal groups;

RECALLING that in the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted at the Special Conference on Security, held in Mexico in October 2003, the member states condemned transnational organized crime, since it constitutes an assault on institutions in our countries and negatively affects our societies, and renewed the commitment to fighting it by strengthening the domestic legal framework, the rule of law, and multilateral cooperation, respectful of the sovereignty of each state;

REITERATING:

The importance of full implementation of the obligations contracted by the states parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the three supplementary Protocols thereto: the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition; and

Resolution AG/RES. 2026 (XXXIV-O/04), "Fighting Transnational Organized Crime in the Hemisphere," which laid the foundation for addressing the topic within the Organization;

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION the conclusions and recommendations of the Meeting of Government Experts to Consider the Advisability of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime, held on April 18 and 19, 2005, in Washington, D.C., which established, among other things, that such a plan should be drawn up;

BEARING IN MIND:

The decisions of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) regarding the conclusions and recommendations on fighting transnational organized crime in the Hemisphere adopted by member states at the First Inter-American Meeting on Cooperation Mechanisms against Organized Crime, held in Mexico City, in October 2003, and at the meeting of the CICAD Ad Hoc Group on Transnational Organized Crime, held in Washington, D.C., in March 2004;
The conclusions and recommendations of the Fifth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-V), held in Washington, D.C., in April 2004; and

United Nations General Assembly resolution 59/157, "International cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime: assistance to States in capacity-building with a view to facilitating the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto," and the decisions adopted at the first session of the Conference of the Parties to the Palermo Convention; and

HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly, in particular the section on the topics assigned to the Committee on Hemispheric Security (AG/doc.4376/05 add. 5), among them the implementation of resolution AG/RES. 2026 (XXXIV-O/04), "Fighting Transnational Organized Crime in the Hemisphere";

RESOLVES:

1. To invite those member states that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to, as the case may be, and implementing as early as possible the Palermo Convention and the three supplementary Protocols thereto: the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.[1]/

2. To urge member states to adopt and/or strengthen their legislation and cooperation in order to combat the various manifestations of transnational organized crime in the Hemisphere, including illicit drug trafficking, money laundering, illicit trafficking in arms, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, cybercrime, criminal youth gangs, kidnapping, and corruption, as well as connections between terrorism and these manifestations.[2]/

3. That the topic of transnational organized crime shall continue to be considered, in its different manifestations, by the various OAS entities that have been doing so within their respective spheres of competence,[3]/ with a view to ensuring that the efforts of the various OAS entities and agencies are coordinated and integrated and that the OAS consolidates its position as a regional forum for effective cooperation against transnational organized crime, taking as a point of reference the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the Protocols thereto.

4. To instruct the Permanent Council to establish, in accordance with Article 12 of its Rules of Procedure, a special committee on transnational organized crime, with the participation of government experts, to prepare a draft hemispheric plan of action against transnational organized crime and to follow up on the related activities of the Organization and its organs, agencies, and entities.

5. To take into account the "Conclusions and Recommendations of the Meeting of Government Experts to Consider the Advisability of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime," which are a part of this resolution, and the report of that meeting.

6. To instruct the General Secretariat to develop a mechanism for coordinating the efforts of the organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms currently dealing with topics related to the prevention of and the fight against transnational organized crime, in order to prevent duplication and optimize the use of institutional resources.

7. To request the Permanent Council to submit the Draft Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime to the Sixth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VI) for consideration, with a view to its adoption by the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth regular session.

8. To urge member states that are party to or signatories of the Palermo Convention and the two Protocols thereto that are currently in force to work jointly at the Second Conference of the Parties, to be held from October 10 to 21, 2005, to facilitate the application of these important international instruments.

9. To instruct the Permanent Council to follow up on this resolution and to present a report on its implementation to the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth regular session.

10. To instruct the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to carry out, as appropriate, the activities mentioned in this resolution in accordance with the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.

APPENDIX

COMMITTEE ON HEMISPHERIC SECURITY OEA/Ser.K/XXXIV

OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE REGDOT/doc.6/05

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES 19 April 2005

Original: Spanish/English


Meeting of Government Experts to Consider the Advisability
of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against
Transnational Organized Crime
April 18 and 19, 2005
Washington, D. C.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEETING OF GOVERNMENT EXPERTS TO CONSIDER THE ADVISABILITY OF DEVELOPING A HEMISPHERIC PLAN OF ACTION
AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THE MEETING OF GOVERNMENT EXPERTS TO CONSIDER THE ADVISABILITY OF DEVELOPING A HEMISPHERIC PLAN OF ACTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME

The Government Experts meeting to consider the Advisability of Developing a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime, in the framework of the Committee on Hemispheric Security, in accordance with the General Assembly resolution AG/RES. 2026 (XXXIV-O/04) and the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Fifth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-V), on April 18 and 19, 2005, in Washington, D.C., agreed as follows:

1. It is advisable to develop a Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime (Plan of Action). The Plan of Action should promote the broadest level of coordination of the work of the organs, agencies, entities and mechanisms of the Organization of American States in the fight against transnational organized crime.

2. The Plan of Action should reflect the multidimensional nature of hemispheric security, adopted in the Declaration of Bridgetown: The Multidimensional Approach to Hemispheric Security (2002) and the Declaration on Security in the Americas (2003).

3. Components of the Plan of Action should include:

i. measures for broad and effective coordination within the Organization and for the support of member states, taking into account paragraph 4;

ii. a legal framework and promotion of legislative and regulatory development as described in paragraph 5, and

iii. improvement of national capacities and strengthening hemispheric cooperation, as reflected in paragraph 6.

4. The measures for broad and effective coordination within the Organization and for the support of member states should have a political and a technical dimension.

a. The political dimension should consist of a special joint committee of the Permanent Council comprised of the Committee on Hemispheric Security and the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, in view of the follow-up that the latter provides to the Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA), and with the participation of government experts, to draft the Plan of Action and follow-up on its implementation. The General Assembly should request that the Permanent Council establish the said special joint committee. The Plan of Action should be presented for consideration at the Sixth Meeting of REMJA, with a view to its adoption at the Thirty-Sixth Regular Session of the General Assembly. Cooperative action in this area may begin from the time of the establishment of the special joint committee. The Plan of Action should focus on giving effect to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the Protocols thereto, drawing on the work and relying on the expertise of the organs, agencies, entities and mechanisms of the Organization that currently address this issue.

b. The Secretary General should oversee the technical dimension of this endeavor by supporting the special joint committee. The Secretary General should convene monthly or bi-monthly meetings of the relevant General Secretariat units, such as the Department of Multidimensional Security, the Department of Legal Affairs and Services, and the Permanent Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission of Women, and report regularly to the special joint committee. The Secretary General should coordinate efforts of the OAS organs, agencies, entities, and mechanisms that currently address this issue with a view to eliminating the duplication of efforts and maximizing institutional resources. The Secretary General's efforts in this regard should begin once the General Assembly has decided that the special joint committee should be established.

5. The Palermo Convention and the three Protocols thereto4/ should remain the framework for strengthening international cooperation against transnational organized crime. Measures should be promoted to facilitate the development of legislation by Member States. Efforts undertaken at the United Nations to combat transnational organized crime should not be duplicated at the hemispheric level.

6. The Plan of Action should include a call to implement the Palermo Convention and use existing hemispheric mechanisms to prevent, investigate and prosecute transnational organized crime. Measures to strengthen regional and subregional cooperation among member states should include, inter alia, bilateral agreements, mutual legal assistance, asset recovery and/or sharing, institutional cooperation mechanisms, technical assistance, exchange of information, dissemination of best practices, technology transfer, training, special investigation techniques, and confidence-building.


[1]. The delegation of Colombia wishes to make the following declaration on operative paragraph 1 of the resolution "Fighting Transnational Organized Crime in the Hemisphere."

Colombia has ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Additional Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and is fully committed to their application.

However, Colombia has stated that it will not ratify the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, or the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

Colombia does not agree with the text of Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, concerning its scope of application. Colombia would have preferred that the Protocol apply to all transfers of firearms, their parts and components, and ammunition, in order to make a real contribution to preventing and combating illicit trafficking therein, and in order that transfers between states, like all other transfers, be subject to the control mechanisms set out in the Protocol.

The definition of "illicit trafficking" contained in Article 3, section (e), of the Protocol must be borne in mind: it states that, for a transfer to be licit, the authorization of all states parties involved in it is required. An escape clause, such as that appearing in Article 4, runs counter to that definition inasmuch as it implies that a state may transfer arms without the authorization or consent of one of the other states concerned. This would not only make such a transfer illicit but also open up the possibility for arms to be transferred to non-state actors.

Colombia, a country that has been seriously affected by the illicit trafficking in arms, cannot accept that certain arms transfers, such as transfers to non-state actors-which in our view constitute a grave crime-and transfers between states be excluded from the Protocol's control measures, and therefore, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, took the sovereign decision not to ratify this Protocol.

With reference to the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Colombia has stated that it will not ratify this instrument inasmuch as it considers that it contains provisions designed to legitimize the forced repatriation of migrants who have not necessarily been smuggled. That approach was promoted during the negotiation of the Protocol by the destination countries, none of which has ratified the 1990 United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Colombia believes that the clause contained in Article 6, paragraph 4, could lead to the criminalization of migrants, whereas the purpose of the Protocol is to pursue organized criminal gangs, not migrants.

Pursuant to the above, and in compliance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Colombia took the sovereign decision not to ratify the Protocol.

[2]. Interpretative statement by Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela: "We acknowledge that there may be connections between terrorism and organized crime in certain cases and/or in certain regions of the world; we do not accept, however, that such connections always exist, in a systematic fashion. Such connections must be addressed on a case-by-case basis."

[3]. Within their spheres of competence and for those aspects where it is deemed appropriate, such as the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Consultative Committee of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the Inter-American Children's Institute (IIN), the Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition, the Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA), and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE). Also, the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC).

4. Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.