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Fifth Biennial Meeting of States 2014

PoA Implementation Kit





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Organization of American States
(OAS)
Background
The Organization of American States was founded in 1948 and is made up of 34 Member States from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. It works to strengthen democracy, promote human rights and encourage sustainable development, and tackle shared problems such as poverty, terrorism, illegal drugs and corruption. The OAS also has as one of its central purposes the promotion of peace and security.

The organization turned its attention to the issue of the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms (noting its connection to drug trafficking and transnational crime) in the 1990s, mandating the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) to establish an Expert Group to examine the subject. This resulted in the production of the Model Regulations for the Control of the International Movement of Firearms, which have been partially or fully adopted into the legislation of a number of the OAS Member States, and later the Model Regulations for the Control of Brokers of Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

On 14 November 1997, the Member States adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) , a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The Convention includes provisions on marking, record keeping, confiscation or forfeiture of firearms and the strengthening of controls at export points as well as requiring Member States to establish an effective system of import, export and transfer licensing. States Parties are also required to cooperate in matters of information sharing, technical assistance, sharing of training and experience implementing the convention. A Consultative Committee established by the Convention also acts to promote cooperation, contributing to regional and international workshops and meetings and tracking implementation of the Convention and other firearms mechanisms by States Parties. With the Dominican Republic having deposited their instrument of ratification on April 24, 2009 during the Tenth Regular Meeting of the Consultative Committee, now 30 of the 34 OAS Member States have ratified the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA).

In June 2005 the OAS adopted Guidelines for Control and Security of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) , which include provisions on stockpile management and security and transfers.

In October 2005, the OAS convened the first-ever meeting of national authorities who make operational decisions on granting export, import and transit licenses for firearms, with a view toward creating an information-exchange network to prevent illegal manufacturing and trafficking.


The Tlatelolco Commitment

In February 2008, the Second Conference of States Parties took place in Mexico City to address the status of implementation of CIFTA and its provisions. The Tlatelolco Commitment encourages effective hemispheric cooperation to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms through increased legislative implementation, information sharing and technical assistance.


Model Legislation

The first Conference to examine the functioning and application of the Convention was held in Bogotá, Colombia in 2004. The resulting Declaration of Bogotá called for States Parties "to promote and adopt legislative and other measures necessary to ensure the application of the CIFTA and the achievement of its purpose." This led to the establishment of a Group of Experts to prepare model legislation in the articles set forth in the Convention. To date, model legislation has been approved in such areas as: Marking and Tracing, Strengthening Controls at Export Points and Establishment of Criminal Offenses. The Fourth Meeting of the OAS Group of Experts to Prepare Model Legislation in the Areas to Which the CIFTA Refers was held on April 23, 2009 at OAS Headquarters. The Expert Group met to consider draft model legislation on confiscation or forfeiture, pursuant to Article VII of the Convention. The model legislation is still under consideration by the Member States and will be further discussed during the Fifth Meeting of the Expert Group, to be held October 8 and 9, 2009 at OAS Headquarters, at which time draft model legislation on recordkeeping, confidentiality and exchange of information, pursuant to Articles XI, XII and XIII of the Convention will also be considered. Future model legislation will be prepared in Security Measures and Controlled Delivery


Capacity Building:

The seminar, “Practical Approaches To Combating The Illicit Trafficking In Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, And Other Related Materials Across Borders: Meeting Of Law-Enforcement Authorities And Customs Officials” was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on March 16-18, 2009 to enhance cooperation on the enforcement of international regulations on the movement of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials. The 3-day seminar was organized by the Technical Secretariat of CIFTA, together with the Governments of Canada and the United States of America, and brought together representatives of 24 OAS member states. The event also served to encourage the exchange of information among law-enforcement authorities and customs officials regarding best practices at national customs facilities and borders, with a view to better address and combat the illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials across borders.

In November 2008, Peru concluded a four-phase weapons destruction program with the support of UN Office of Disarmament Affairs/RDB Regional Centre in Lima and the General Secretariat of the OAS. The UN/OAS team supported the Government in planning and adopting weapons destruction international standards into the Peruvian police procedures for the future disposal of weapons, as well as training their own personnel on these specific techniques. The process included the identification, registration and preparation of weapons to be destroyed under UN monitoring verification procedures with the participation of both the UN/OAS team and representatives from the Peruvian Firearms Commission. Over 42,000 weapons were destroyed in all using UN/OAS/UNDP best practices procedures.

The OAS has affirmed that it shares the concerns set forth in the UN Programme of Action regarding the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms and has underscored the importance of cooperation and international assistance. The OAS continues its work on the issue through the recently created Department of Public Security of the Secretariat of Multidimensional Security, which acts as the Technical Secretariat of CIFTA's Consultative Committee and is responsible for coordinating with other organizations on SALW-related issues. It has worked closely with UN-LiREC to maintain a review of all the firearms laws in the Americas (the SALSA database), and has coordinated various firearms, munitions and explosives destruction events and sponsored seminars and capacity-building events throughout the region.

For additional information, please contact:

Alison August Treppel
Section Chief, Transnational Organized Crime
Department of Public Security
Organization of American States
1889 F Street, NW
Washington, DC  20006 USA

Tel:
(202) 458-3483
Fax: (202) 458-3882
email: atreppel@oas.org
web: http://www.oas.org/atip/espanol/cpo_armas_claves.asp
 
 
 
OAS Documents(Español)
 
Status of CIFTA (Signatures and Ratifications)
English | Español
Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) (adopted on 14 November 1997)
 
Declaration of Bogota
on the Functioning and Application of CIFTA
(9 March 2004)
English | Español | Française | Português
Tlatelolco Commitment
(21 February 2008)
English | Español | Française | Português
 
Model Legislation, Regulations and Guidelines
 
Model Regulations for the Control of the International Movement of Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition – Updated
(13 November 2003)
English | Español
Amendments to the Model Regulations for the Control of the International Movement of Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition - Broker Regulations
(13 November 2003) 
English | Español
Guidelines for Control and Security of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS)
(7 June 2005)
Model Legislation on the Marking and Tracing of Firearms (Approved by the Consultative Committee on 19 April 2007)
English | Español | Française | Português
 
Proposed Model Legislation and Commentaries for Strengthening Controls at Export Points for Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Approved ad referendum by the Consultative Committee on 8 May 2008)
English | Español | Française | Português
 
Draft Model Legislation and Commentaries on Legislative Measures to Establish Criminal Offenses in Relation to the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Approved ad referendum by the Consultative Committee on 9 May 2008)
English | Español | Française | Português
 
Methodology for the development of Model Legislation for the Purpose of Facilitating the Effective Application of the States Party to CIFTA (14 April 2005)
English | Español | Française | Português
 
Member countries:
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
The Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Granadines
Suriname
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
Uruguay
Venezuela