Organization of American States (OAS)
Last Updated: May 2019
Member States
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyane, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Policy
Strategy Documents
Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cybersecurity: A Multidimensional and Multidisciplinary Approach to Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA).
  • Adopted by the OAS General Assembly resolution AG/RES.2004 (XXXIV-O/04)
  • Envisages three lines of action:
    • Creation of a Hemispheric Network of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs)
    • Identification and adoption of technical standards for a secure Internet architecture
    • Adoption and/or adaptation of the legal tools necessary to protect Internet users and information networks from criminals and organized crime groups that exploit these systems
8 June 2004
Other Documents
Research and Reports on Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Programme; Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)

 

Starting from 2014
OAS White paper series
General Secretariat; Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS)
2018
Best Practices for Establishing a National CSIRT
General Secretariat
  • Discusses the process of managing a project for the creation and deployment of a National CSIRT, including approaches and considerations necessary to define its constitution, mission, vision, scope, services, timeframe, legal, and institutional or organizational aspects
  • Outlines detailed descriptions of infrastructure, covering hardware, software, and technical procedures
  • Analyzes different policies and procedures necessary for fluid CSIRT operation, including review and highlight of elements of existing CSIRT frameworks such as those developed by ENISA and GÉANT
  • Discusses guidelines for membership and participation in certain international bodies, such as the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST)
April 2016
Communications
Declaration on Strengthening Hemispheric Cooperation and Development in Cybersecurity and Fighting Terrorism in The Americas
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
  • Adopted at the Sixteenth Regular Session of CICTE at the OAS Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • In the declaration, the OAS member countries:
    • Declare their commitment to creating confidence-building measures that strengthen international peace and security and that can increase cooperation, transparency, predictability, and stability among states in the use of cyberspace, recognizing confidence and security building measures as one of the lynchpins of collaboration among member states which enhance trust and cooperation and reduce the risk of conflict
    • Recognize that the threat of terrorism is exacerbated when connections exist between terrorism and illicit drug trafficking, cybercrime, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, and other forms of transnational organized crime, and that such illicit activities may be used to support and finance terrorist activities
    • Reiterate their commitment to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism through the broadest possible cooperation, with full respect for the sovereignty of states and in compliance with their obligations under national and international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law
26 February 2016
Declaration on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure from Emerging Threats
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
  • Adopted by the OAS member states at the CICTE´s Fifteenth Regular Session
  • In the declaration, the OAS member countries:
    • establish their commitment to identifying and combating emerging terrorist threats, regardless of their origin or motivation, such as threats to critical infrastructure, and cyber security, among others
    • declare their willingness to identify and promote, when deemed appropriate, in accordance with domestic laws, forms of public-private partnerships in the fight against terrorism, and in connection with critical infrastructure and cyber security
    • urge the OAS member states who have not yet done so, to sign, ratify, or accede to as the case may be, and to implement in an effective way, the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and the other pertinent universal legal instruments, as well as the resolutions of the UN GA and Security Council related to combating terrorism
20 March 2015
Declaration on Strengthening Cyber-Security in the Americas
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
  • Condemns terrorism
  • Reaffirms commitment to implement the OAS Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cybersecurity
  • Asserts the need for all member states to continue their efforts to establish, and/or strengthen national cyber incident alert, watch, and warning groups (CSIRTs)
7 March 2012
Structure
Specialized Agencies
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
Secretary General
  • Condemns terrorism
  • Reaffirms commitment to implement the OAS Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cybersecurity
  • Provides political and technical assistance to its member states in different areas agreed to in its annual Work Plan, including Cybersecurit
  • Main functions include:
    • Provide technical and administrative support for CICTE sessions and maintain communication and coordination between sessions
    • Provide technical assistance and training to member states in response to their needs and requests
    • Coordinate activities with other international, regional and subregional organizations
    • Assert the need for all member states to continue their efforts to establish, and/or strengthen national cyber incident alert, watch, and warning groups (CSIRTs)
7 June 1999 (established)
Key Positions
Cyber Security Program Manager
Secretariat, the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
  • Provides programmatic and management support to the CICTE Secretariat in the planning, organization and execution of cyber security initiatives in the Americas including:
    • Creation and Development of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)
    • Provision of Technical Training; Implementation of Crisis Management Exercises
    • Capacity building on Industrial Control Systems (ICS); and
    • coordinating outreach and collaboration with other international and regional organizations working on cyber issues
Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS); Ms. Farah Diva Urrutia
  • Leads the Executive Office of the Secretary for Multidimensional Security at the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS)
  • Works to implement the Secretariat's Mission: 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
  • Coordinates acitivities of the Secretariat defined by the Declaration on Security in the Americas and its new concept 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
16 July 2018 (acting Secretary appointed)
Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE); Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS); Ms. Alison August Treppel
  • Appointed by the Secretary General of the OAS to lead the CICTE Secretariat
  • Responsible for promoting the Organization’s counter terrorism agenda throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including activities in Cybersecurity 
  • Manages the day-to-day operations of the CICTE Secretariat
October 2002 (position established); August 2016 (acting Executive Secretary appointed)
Legislation
No data available online
Cooperation
Meetings
Meetings of Government Experts on Cyber Crime (Working Group on Cyber-Crime)
  • Strengthens international cooperation in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime, facilitate the exchange of information and experiences among its members, and make necessary recommendations to enhance and ensure efforts to combat these crimes
  • Last meeting (IX) took place in December 2016
1999-2016
Meetings of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers or Attorney General of the Americas and Cyber Crime
General Assembly
  • The Meetings of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (Spanish acronym REMJA), was for the first time conceived during the 27th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the OAS in Lima, Peru (1997)
  • The REMJA is:
    • attended by the Ministers of Justice, other Ministers, or Attorneys General, with responsibilities in the area of public policy regarding justice matters, as well as international legal cooperation, particularly with regard to criminal matters, from the 34 OAS Member States
    • supported by the OAS Department of Legal Cooperation of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs
    • structured around a high-level dialogue at the Ministerial level, which allows for direct and horizontal cooperation between OAS member States
December 1997 (first meeting); 28 - 30 April 2008 (last meeting)
Meeting of the Working Group on Cooperation and Confidence-Building Measures in Cyberspace
February 28-March 1, 2018 (Meeting)
Activities
OAS Cyber Security Programme
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
  • Goals:
    • Support OAS member states in the development of technical and political capacities to prevent, identify, respond to and recover from cyber-incidents
    • Improve the exchange of information, cooperation and coordination among cybersecurity stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels
    • Increase access to knowledge and information about threats and cyber risks by public, private and civil society stakeholders, as well as internet users
  • Addresses cyber security issues based on a flexible and dynamic approach, with focus on three core areas:
    • Policy development: Helps OAS member states to develop cybersecurity strategies that involve all relevant stakeholders and that adjust to the legislative, cultural, economic and structural situation of each country and support the national assessments of the capacity and maturity of cybersecurity. Under this path, the program supports the development of confidence-building measures in cyberspace.
    • Capacity building: Helps establish and develop the capacity of existing national computer security incident response (CSIRT) teams and provides personalized technical assistance and exercise opportunities to strengthen national and regional institutions and organizations. The development of a cybersecurity workforce is also carried out through various forms of professional development opportunities.
    • Research and Outreach: Develops technical documents, toolkits and research-based reports to guide policy makers, CSIRTs, infrastructure operators, private organizations and civil society, highlighting current developments and identifying key cybersecurity challenges in the region
Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA) Technical Secretariat
OAS Cybersecurity Program
  • Online platform designed to:
    • Facilitate real-time communication and information sharing
    • Provide early warning feeds and alerts
    • Identify incident trends in the region
    • Facilitate online and real-time collaboration between national CSIRTs
    • Provide virtual sandboxes to develop tools
  • Membership includes national, police, defense and government CSIRTs from Americas
2016 (launched)
External Cooperation
Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), Membership
2015 (established)
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Governmetnal Advisory Committee (GAC) - Membership
Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)
  • The Governmetnal Advisory Committee (GAC) is an advisory committee to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), created under the ICANN ByLaws
  • The GAC provides advice to ICANN on public policy aspects of ICANN’s responsibilities with regard to the Internet Domain Name System (DNS)
  • The GAC is not a decision-making body; it advises ICANN on issues that are within ICANN’s scope.
  • The OAS sits as an observer organization with GAC