The OAS General Assembly Resolution on ‘Advancing Hemispheric Security: A Multidimensional Approach’

On 21 October 2020, the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly approved the resolution ‘Advancing Hemispheric Security: A Multidimensional Approach’. Within the framework of the Committee on Hemispheric Security (CSH), the General Assembly encouraged Member States to improve the protection of critical infrastructure against risk and to provide their strategies, policies, best practices, and lessons learned, in order to obtain a common understanding of basic critical infrastructure protection terminology and respective identification of critical infrastructure sectors. As part of this resolution, States should share their approaches to identify, assess, and manage risks to critical infrastructure; and the information about their respective response and recovery mechanisms. Moreover, the General Assembly ordered the General Secretariat ‘to complete the development of a Model National Strategy on Protection of Critical Infrastructure in the Event of Natural Disasters’. Importantly, this resolution asked the Inter-American Development Bank to create ‘a set of standard operating procedures to assist member states and regional organizations that participate in humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in mitigating the possible spread of COVID-19 and which could serve as a basis for future disaster response in the region’. Finally, the OAS General Assembly reaffirmed its support for the White Helmets ‘as an invaluable hemispheric prevention, reduction, and response mechanism against disasters for the fight against hunger and poverty’. Likewise, the resolution encouraged the White Helmets ‘to continue fostering growing regional humanitarian collaboration and, in that context, to continue sharing its experience and best practices in disaster prevention, preparedness, and response, particularly in the international context of the COVID-19 pandemic’.