THE 41ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the OAS held in San Salvador June 5-7 was an opportunity for the Foreign Ministers of OAS member countries to reflect on citizen security and propose new initiatives. The annual General Assembly meeting ended with the adoption of the Declaration of San Salvador, a seventeen-point document reflecting on the governments' primary security concerns and proposing strategies for improving citizen security.
In the Declaration, states expressed their commitment to ensuring security in the region and to strengthening peaceful coexistence in communities. They also agreed on the need to promote measures aimed at the treatment and prevention of the causes of crime, violence, and insecurity, and the need to implement comprehensive measures for crime prevention, law enforcement, and social rehabilitation.
The governments also published their intention to "promote long-term, comprehensive public security policies with a gender perspective, keeping in mind the needs of particularly vulnerable groups, and including the promotion and protection of human rights--adjusting, when necessary, the respective legal frameworks, structures, programs, operating procedures, and management mechanisms." These topics were of great interest to civil society groups, many of which had presented their recommendations to be incorporated into the Declaration.
The Foreign Ministers also agreed to: formulate educational programs aimed at transforming cultural patterns and eradicating intra-family violence; strengthen bilateral and...