Delegates to the first Ibero-American Meeting of Interior and Public Safety Ministers agreed here Tuesday to create a working group that will standardize the way their respective countries measure crime rates.

The measure will be the first step for the coordination by Spain, Portugal and Latin America of an international system to fight organized crime.

This will be one of the points in the final document of the conference, which will include all agreements reached by representatives of the 21 countries taking part in this meeting, measures that will later be developed at November's Ibero-American Summit in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz.

Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told a press conference that the project was first suggested by Brazil's justice minister, who had spoken of the need to be able to reach a "shared diagnosis" through a standardized system of measurements that would allow a coordinated response.

The final goal is "something like" the statistics service of the European Union - Eurostat - that compiles, groups and distributes statistical data from the 27 member-states.

Fernandez Diaz said that this point and the rest of the accords included in the Declaration of Valencia will not be simply rhetoric but rather "very concrete projects."

The conclusions of the gathering in this Mediterranean city will mean "important progress in security matters" for Latin American countries, whose citizens worry more every day about drug trafficking and terrorism, the Spanish minister, host of the meeting, said. EFE