The Western Hemisphere’s experience shows that organized criminal networks, with their resilience and their ability to integrate domestic gangs and international syndicates, pose a grave and multidimensional threat to social development and regional stability.  Governments can no longer treat this complex problem as a routine matter of domestic law enforcement, private security, and border control.  To regain effective sovereignty, governments will need to approach public security by combining domestic and international elements in comprehensive responses that match the strength of the threat.

This conference explores ways to transform the character and capacity of public security by integrating non-coercive and coercive responses to adversaries and creating positive momentum.  The session seeks to rethink how societies confront deteriorating security conditions and identify more effective practical domestic and subregional practices without creating fresh imbalances among military, police and civilian institutions.