UNICRI and the OAS gather representatives from 29 Member States in the Annual Meeting on Major Events Security in the Americas

Bogota, 4 April 2011. The Centre on Public-Private Security Policies of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS), is organizing a Regional Conference on Major Events Security from the 4th to the 6th of May in Bogota, Colombia. The Conference, which is supported by the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, envisages the participation of 29 Governments from the Americas.

The event, hosted by the Government of Colombia, is part of the IPO Americas programme, an initiative currently funded by Canada and launched in 2007 by UNICRI and the CICTE. IPO Americas has been conceived to facilitate mutual assistance and share best practices between participating countries in the field of major events security and crime prevention. To this end, each participating Member State nominates a National Focal Point (NFP) representing their Government in the programme.

The 29 Governments participating in IPO Americas are working together with UNICRI and CICTE to establish a permanent mechanism in the region to assist the major events security planning. Such a mechanism will provide resources and expertise to protect major events, while preserving the legacy of the experience acquired in the region. Since the beginning of IPO Americas, UNICRI and the OAS’ CICTE have promoted the exchange of best practices in major events security in the region, such as the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico.

UNICRI and the CICTE believe that major events are excellent opportunities to promote social and economical development in the hosting country, as well as in the entire region.

The 3-day meeting in Bogota will give the 29 NFPs the opportunity to discuss the implementation and launch of the IPO Americas Knowledge Management System (KMS) – an online web portal, with restricted access to the NFPs. The portal is a forum for online discussions and news about major events in the region. It includes detailed information on Member Countries’ descriptions in terms of profile, their agendas in terms of planning of future major events, as well as records of past national, regional and international legislation related to major events security, and training materials, such as videos, simulations and exercises.

The network of NFPs in the American continent is, at this moment, composed of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bahamas, Brazil, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Uruguay.

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