Organization of American States Secretariat for Multidimensional Security

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Secretariat for Multidimensional Security
OAS Seal ENG Principal.gif
Abbreviation SMS
Formation 2005 (2005)
Headquarters Washington, D.C., United States of America
Region served
North America, Central America, Caribbean, South America
Official language
English, Spanish, Portuguese, French
Secretary for Multidimensional Security
Adam Blackwell
Director of the Department of Public Security
Paulina Duarte
Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission
Paul E. Simmons
Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism
Neil Klopfenstein
Parent organization
Organization of American States
Website Official Homepage

The Secretariat for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of American States is a part of the General Secretariat, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. The Secretariat for Multidimensional Security has a mandate to promote cooperation between Organization's Member States, Inter-American and international organizations, as well as with entities such as the United Nations and its subsidiaries, in order to analyze, prevent, confront and respond to security threats.

The Secretariat is composed of three main directorates and one executive office:

  • the Department of Public Security (DPS)
  • the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD
  • the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism
  • the Executive Office of the Secretary for Multidimensional Security


Secretary General José Miguel Insulza of the Organization of American States created the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security in 2005, as a direct response to the 2003 Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted in Mexico City. This measure institutionalized the concept of multidimensional security, ensuring that the public and citizens were at the center of the Secretariat's policy discussion.[1]

The SMS works in close coordination with the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA) and the Meeting of Justice Ministers and Attorneys General in the Americas (REMJA).

The scope of activity of the SMS is defined by the Declaration on Security in the Americas and its conceptualization of hemispheric security as being multidimensional and comprising traditional threats and new threats, concerns, and challenges to the security of the states of the Hemisphere.

The Secretariat’s mandates stem from the following documents and political bodies:

  • Declaration on Security in the Americas
  • General Assembly Summit
  • 17 Political and Technical Subsidiary Bodies

Mission statement[edit]

The mission of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS) is to promote and coordinate cooperation among the OAS Member States and between them and the Inter-American system and other bodies in the international system, in order to assess, prevent, confront, and respond effectively to threats to security, with a view to being the leading point of reference in the Hemisphere for developing cooperation and capacity-building in the OAS Member States.
Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, 2005[2]


The Secretariat is mandated, as from the 2003 Declaration on Security in the Americas, to coordinate technical assistance and cooperation in the following six areas:[1]

  1. Laws;
  2. Compliance with laws;
  3. The prevention of delinquent activities and drug consumption;
  4. Victims assistance;
  5. Rehabilitation of criminal offenders;
  6. The promotion of peace and security in the Hemisphere.[1]

The Secretariat of Multidimensional Security offers solutions founded upon the model of Smart Security. This model requires objective, evidence- based and systemic approaches to the development of proposals and solutions, which respond to national or regional necessities and capacities; from a multidimensional perspective.[1]

Organizational structure[edit]

Secretariat for Multidimensional Security[edit]

Secretary for Multidimensional Security[edit]

The current Secretary for Multidimensional Security at the Organization of American States is Nobel peace prize nominee and former Attorney General of Guatemala Claudia Paz Y Paz. She was the first woman ever to assume to position of Attorney General in her country and has been invaluable developing the rule of law and transforming the justice sector.[3]

Ambassador Adam Blackwell is a former career Canadian diplomat and former Secretary for Multidimensional Security at the Organization of American States. He first joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1980, serving various assignments in Central and Eastern Africa, as well as acting as the Consul General in Mexico and New York City.

Other Posts:

  • Member of the Board - Trust of the Americas.
  • Member of the Commission to Reform the Security Sector - Honduras
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety – Arizona State University
  • Member of the Global Agenda Council - World Economic Forum.
Awards and Honors:
  • The Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez, and Mella Grand Cross with Silver Breast Star - awarded by President Lionel Fernandez.
  • In 2000 he successfully completed the Executive Development program at Queens University in Kingston Canada.
  • Ministers Award for Management 1995 - awarded by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
  • Awarded honorary MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) & la Universidad APEC (UNAPEC)

The Department of Public Security (DPS)[edit]

The DPS works with Member States to develop mechanisms to evaluate and strengthen their institutional capacity to address threats to public security. These efforts focus on the following areas: the strengthening of security legislation, the improvement of law enforcement coordination and practices, the prevention of crime and violence, victim assistance and the social reintegration of convicted criminals.[4]

The Department of Public Security's Director is Paulina do Carmo Arruda Vieira Duarte.

Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)[edit]

The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) is the Western Hemisphere's policy forum for dealing with the drug problem. The CICAD Executive Secretariat supports the Commission by strengthening the human and institutional capabilities and channeling the collective efforts of its member states to reduce the production, trafficking and use of illegal drugs. The Hemispheric Drug Strategy, approved in May 2010, expresses the firm commitment of Member States to deal with the consequences of drug trade, which poses a growing threat to health, economic development, social cohesion, and the rule of law.[5]

CICAD was established by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1986. Each member government appoints a high-ranking representative to the Commission, which meets twice a year.[5]

CICAD's Executive Secretary is Paul E. Simons, an American diplomat and former US Ambassador to Chile.

The Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)[edit]

CICTE's programs include border control, cybersecurity, combating terrorism financing, immigration, customs, among others.

The main purpose of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) is to promote and develop cooperation among Member States to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism, in accordance with the principles of the OAS Charter, with the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism, and with full respect for the sovereignty of states, the rule of law, and international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international refugee law.[6]

CICTE is composed of all Member States of the OAS and holds one regular session each year as a forum for discussion and decision-making on counter terrorism issues, measures, and cooperation. Member States designate a competent national authority, a principal representative, alternate representatives, and advisors. Member States also appoint one or more National Points of Contact with competence in the field of prevention and elimination of terrorism to serve as the principal liaison among governments of the Member States and with the CICTE Secretariat for developing cooperation programs between them and the CICTE Secretariat.[6]

CICTE's Executive Secretary is Neil Klopfenstein.

Other political bodies with topics related to the Secretariat[edit]

  • Inter-American Defense Board
  • Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials
  • Hemispheric Plan Against Transnational Organized Crime
  • Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism of the Inter-American Commission on Drug Abuse Control
  • Working Group to Prepare a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter-American Cooperation in Dealing with Criminal Gangs
  • Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime
  • Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking of Persons
  • Meeting of Officials Responsible for Penitentiary and Prison Policies
  • Meeting of Forensic Specialists
  • Meetings of Expert Groups in Reducing Drug Demand
  • Meetings of Expert Groups on Money Laundering
  • Meetings of Expert Groups on Maritime Traffic
  • Meetings of Expert Groups on Precursor Chemicals
  • Meetings with Attorney Generals
  • Meetings with Ministers of Justice
  • Meetings with Ministers of Security

Finally, the Secretariat maintains relationships with other agencies and international agencies such as UNODC and the Central American Integration System to carry out its mission.


  1. ^ a b c d "OAS SMS Secretaria". 
  2. ^ SMS Webpage. The text is online [1].
  3. ^
  4. ^ "OAS DPS". 
  5. ^ a b "OAS CICAD". 
  6. ^ a b "OAS CICTE".