June 6, 2006


General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 6, 2006

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION the findings of studies by different international organizations and some member states on the issue of gangs, which conclude that it is a very complex matter and should be addressed from a holistic viewpoint, including, inter alia, prevention, social support, respect for and protection of human rights, and mutual legal assistance in international matters;

ACKNOWLEDGING that gangs constitute a phenomenon that many countries of the Hemisphere share and that calls for in-depth analysis, as it represents a challenge that requires, first of all, recognition of the advisability and urgency of becoming more knowledgeable on the subject;

CONCERNED over the contemporary social problems that affect public security, which adversely affect communities and the quality of life of their inhabitants;

RECALLING its resolution AG/RES. 2144 (XXXV-O/05), "Promotion of Hemispheric Cooperation in Dealing with Gangs";

EMPHASIZING that, in the Declaration of Mar del Plata of the Fourth Summit of the Americas, the Heads of State and Government underscored their concern over the problem of criminal gangs and related issues, as well as their effects on the economic and social environment, which jeopardize the progress attained by our societies in the process of stabilization, democratization, and sustainable development, which situation calls for urgent and complementary action to prevent crime, to prosecute those who commit crimes, to rehabilitate and reintegrate them, and to create opportunities to facilitate access to decent employment for youths, as expressed in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Plan of Action of the Fourth Summit of the Americas;

HAVING SEEN the conclusions and recommendations issued at the Meeting on Transnational Criminal Gangs: Characteristics, importance, and public policies, and their relationship with the problem of drugs in the context of transnational organized crime," held in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, in June 2005, at the initiative of the General Secretariat; and at the First Regional Forum on Social Prevention of Violence, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration of At-Risk Youth and Youths in Conflict with the Law, held in San Salvador, in September 2005, at the initiative of El Salvador, to contribute to seeking solutions to the problem from its social and human perspectives; and

NOTING the creation of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and, within it, of the Department for the Prevention of Threats against Public Security, charged, among other tasks, with coordinating the efforts of the General Secretariat in areas related to public security,

RESOLVES:

1. To instruct the General Secretariat, through the competent organs of the Organization of American States:

a. To support member states that share the problem of gangs involved in criminal activities, in organizing meetings they may hold at the regional, subregional, and national levels on the different aspects of such gangs, using a crosscutting and integral approach; to consolidate and publish the findings; and to follow up on the conclusions, as applicable; and

b. To coordinate its work on gangs involved in criminal activities with that of other international organizations, human rights organizations, and civil society organizations, including private enterprise, to promote crime prevention, prosecute those who commit crimes, rehabilitate them, reintegrate them into society, and create opportunities to enable young people to find decent employment.

2. To instruct the General Secretariat to carry out, as appropriate, the activities mentioned in this resolution in coordination with the countries that share the problem of gangs involved in criminal activities, in accordance with the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.

3. 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-seventh regular session.