IPO Americas is a regional initiative launched in 2007 by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) to improve the cooperation of OAS Member States in the field of major events security, in compliance with the UN ECOSOC Resolution E/2006/28.
Within the last five years, 30 Governments out of the 34 OAS Members States officially appointed a National Focal Point (NFP) to IPO Americas. The NFPs are responsible to represent their respective Countries, facilitating access to relevant information and expertise at national level and identifying possible needs of their Countries within the framework of the project.
Since 2010, IPO Americas has been funded by the government of Canada, having initially been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its main objectives are:
- Provision of training and advisory services to security planners in preparation of major events to be hosted in the Americas;
- Supporting the sharing of information and best practices among Member States;
- Development of a Knowledge Management System (KMS) on major events security and a regional training manual;
- Definition of planning standards within the American sub-regions;
- Dissemination and adoption of best practices for Public Private Partnerships for security at major events; and,
- Enhancement of crime prevention capacity in the involved Member States.
A proliferation of major events in the region (Pan American Games 2011, 2013 Central American Games, 2014 South American Games, 2014 FIFA World Cup, and 2016 Olympic Games) which attract worldwide audiences underlines the importance of achieving such a common regional approach.
The legacy of IPO Americas is hoped to be manifold. Firstly, the development of the capacities of the partners in respect of hosting major events will enhance the reputation of the region for hosting safe, secure and incident free major events. Secondly, from a socio-economic point of view this will have benefits not just for the host state but for the region as a whole. Thirdly, the enhancement of international cooperation in the region in the build up to and during these events will, it is envisaged, produce long-term policing benefits in the aftermath of these events where the lessons learned and best practices established can be converted into a broader framework of crime prevention strategies.
Link to the public website of IPO Americas