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In this paper, Adam Blackwell highlights the contributions made by the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS) at the Organization of American States to improving security in the region. The SMS contributes to and helps coordinate multiple institutional spaces within the OAS and in the region by providing critical analysis of security dynamics, promoting crime prevention approaches, and crafting policy responses to security challenges and emerging threats to national, regional, and citizen security. In this essay, Mr. Blackwell, who has served as the Secretary for Multidimensional Security since 2010, argues that, "the solution to the problem of insecurity is not necessarily more security, more police, more troops, or harsher anti-crime legislation, but rather intelligent investments in more efficient security." According to Blackwell, the Secretariat has been particularly successful in the areas of narcotics policy where, in 2013, the Secretariat lead the process that resulted in the, "Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas." It also played a critical role in the responses to gangs and gang violence in several countries, de-mining efforts and firearms reduction programs, promoting cyber security, and nurturing the growth of a region-wide network of police forces - AMERIPOL.  


About the Author

Adam Blackwell

Organization of American States
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Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more