office of the Summit Follow-up - OAS

 

PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES SPECIAL COMMISSION ON INTER-AMERICAN SUMMIT MANAGEMENT
OEA/Ser.G    CE/GCI-114/97
29 October 1997
Original: Spanish

OAS/CICAD: ACTIVITIES FOR MONITORING THE TERMS OF THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND THE PLAN OF ACTION EMANATING FROM THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS HELD IN MIAMI IN DECEMBER 1996

(Document presented by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, CICAD)


SGE/CAD-1488/97
October 27, 1997

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

I have the honor of presenting to Your Excellency in accordance with your request a summary of activities for monitoring the terms of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action emanating from the Summit of the Americas held in Miami, in the United States of America, in December 1996.

I take this opportunity to reiterate to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest and most distinguished consideration.

David R. Beall
Executive Secretary
Inter-American Drug Abuse
Control Commission (CICAD)

His Excellency
Carlos Portales Cifuentes
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Chile
to the Organization of American States
Washington, D.C.


OAS/CICAD: ACTIVITIES FOR MONITORING THE TERMS OF THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND ACTION PLAN EMANATING FROM THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS, HELD IN MIAMI, IN DECEMBER 1996

With respect to the topic of "The War on Illegal Drugs and Related Crimes," the presidents and heads of government of countries in the Hemisphere declare as follows:

Declaration of Principles

Recognizing the harmful effects of organized crime and illegal drugs on our economies and ethical values, public health and the social fabric, we join together in the fight against the use, production, trafficking, and distribution of narcotic substances as well as money laundering and the illegal trade of weapons and chemical substances and precursors. We further cooperate in framing viable strategies for alternative development in those countries in which illegal crops are grown. National and international cooperation programs to reduce the production, use, and trade of illegal drugs and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Plan of Action (mandates)

Regional drug control strategy:

... the governments applaud the efforts of the 1992 San Antonio Summit, support the work of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), and agree to work together in forging a strategy to control narcotic substances for the twenty-first Century.

In fulfillment of its mandate, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), through the Working Group chaired by Uruguay, began negotiating the "Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere." This strategy was approved at the Commission's twentieth regular session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November 1996 and formally signed by the member countries in Montevideo, Uruguay, in December 1996. The strategy is regionally and internationally significant and important in that for the first time in the history of the region a document drafted by consensus consolidates the parameters used by the countries in the Hemisphere to frame and implement their national efforts to control drug abuse and related crimes.

In April 1997, at its twenty-first regular session in Washington, D.C., CICAD identified 40 tasks of priority that needed to be carried out by the Executive Secretariat between April 1997 and October 1998 which have come to be known as the "Action Plan for implementing the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere".

Legal framework

... Will ratify the 1988 United Nations Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances"

All of the OAS member countries have now signed the Convention.

On money laundering

... will make it an offence to launder the proceeds received from any serious crime...Will enact legislation making it possible to freeze and seize the proceeds of money laundering operations and will give consideration to distributing property that has been seized among the member governments.

With an eye to fulfilling this mandate, the countries of the Hemisphere held a ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 1995. The so-called Buenos Aires Plan of Action which entrusted OEA/CICAD with several important tasks, having to do mainly with self-evaluation, was issued at that meeting. In this context, the Executive Secretariat distributed a questionnaire that had been approved earlier by CICAD at its nineteenth regular session in Washington, in March 1996 to which the member States were to respond on a voluntary basis. The high level of response to the questionnaire enabled the Commission's Experts Group against the laundering of property to identify types of criminal activity against which specific measures are being taken.

Will carry out as agreed by the ministers and representatives of the governments of the Latin American and Caribbean countries in the Kingston Declaration of November 5 and 6, 1992, the recommendations of the Caribbean Financial Action Group on Money Laundering, and will work together to adopt the Model Regulations of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

In this context, the Group of Experts, chaired by Chile, meets on a permanent basis to update the model regulations and to upgrade the training programs for money and property laundering. The Group of Experts met periodically in Santiago de Chile and in Washington, D.C., the most recent meeting being in Santiago from October 28 to 30, 1997. Since December 1994, most of the countries in the region have incorporated fully or partially in their national legislation the main principles and recommendations set out in the CICAD Model Regulations and the recommendations of GAFIC. The Chilean chair's strong and effective stewardship was the reason why Chile was reelected as Chairman for another 12-month term at the meeting of the Group of Experts in May 1997.

Will encourage financial institutions to notify the competent authorities of large and suspicious transactions and will prepare effective procedures for gathering relevant information from financial institutions.

During the period between the two summits, the countries of the Hemisphere have become interested in bringing the private sector into their activities to control the laundering of property. This initiative, which has received the ongoing support of the Group of Experts and the Executive Secretariat of CICAD, is making it possible to create a new awareness of responsibility on the part of financial institutions, which have been taking steps through national and international mechanisms of association to adopt control measures and to train their staff to contain the problem of the laundering of property. International financial institutions, particularly the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, have become interested in this effort, and are now studying ways in which they help the states in this area, in close cooperation with CICAD.

Comment: Although significant advances are generally considered to have been made since the Miami Summit from previous years, further efforts still need to be made in focusing on modernizing and updating national legislation, with the full participation of financial institutions, and the private sector in particular, in efforts to control the laundering of property and basically to provide training and development for officials in the public and private sectors in charge of controls of this kind.

With a view to improving this situation, the countries should renew their efforts and commitments in this area and instruct international financial institutions directly through their respective governors and directors to afford the necessary support to CICAD and its Group of Experts in this task and join forces in pressing ahead with projects and activities that can expand the national capacity to deal with the laundering of property.

Illicit trade

Will work individually and collectively to identify the networks of drug trafficking and money laundering in the region, to bring the leaders of these networks to trial, and to seize assets that are the fruit of these criminal activities.

Control of chemical precursors and substances used in the production of illegal drugs

As to actions to increase and strengthen controls to divert chemical precursors and substances used in the production of illegal drugs, CICAD, through its Group of Experts, chaired by Chile, continued its efforts to modernize and update the Model Regulations approved in 1992. Hence, the lists of controlled products have been reviewed. In fact an additional watch list has been drawn up of products not subject to controls and confirmed to be used in this illegal activity.

The chemical precursor module of the Inter-American Drug Control Communications System (SITCOD) is being implemented to encourage coordination and exchanges of information between the authorities responsible for actions to control and prohibit the diversion of chemicals. The control posts on the borders of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela are linked together by computer through this system, thereby facilitating and speeding up efforts in this area. The other countries in the Hemisphere will gradually be brought into this system.

A number of training courses were offered in this area. CICAD has also been supporting the principal producing countries in the Hemisphere to implement control mechanisms. As to producing countries outside the region, the main achievements have taken the form of bilateral agreements between the European Union and the nations of the Andean Community, Mexico, and the United States of America.

Comment: Although significant progress has been confirmed in this area, it is important to note that many countries in the region lack even the legal framework that is needed to regulate and control these products. Consequently, the countries of the Hemisphere should make every effort to overcome these shortcomings using the Model Regulations approved by the Commission in 1992 and CICAD should step up efforts to support the member states in producing legislation and establishing controls, improving national coordination, and training officials in charge of controlling these products. The regulations will need to be kept permanently updated.

Control of contraband arms and explosives used by drug traffickers

The CICAD Group of Experts for the control of contraband arms and explosives used by drug traffickers, chaired by Canada, reached agreement in a very short time on the use of common forms for controlling exports and imports of arms and explosives and drew up draft Model Regulations in this area for consideration by the Commission at its next meeting in Lima, Peru, from November 4 to 7, 1997.

Cooperation on drug controls using waterways and customs cooperation

The improvements in control and interdiction to restrict the use of air and overland travel has resulted in increased use of river, lake, and sea travel by drug traffickers to conduct their illegal activities. That is why to supplement its efforts in this area, CICAD is developing a mechanism for exchange of information in the Caribbean region for maritime cooperation that involves in a first module all of the countries of South America, which will be joined subsequently by the countries of Central America and Mexico. This mechanism will link up to the mechanism in the Caribbean that is being sponsored by the European Union.

The development of SITCOD/Precursors is helping to provide more effective control in the area of river and lake travel.

Comment: The countries need to increase their efforts in this area through bilateral agreements and improvements in coordinating control, which is now at a virtually embryonic stage, of maritime routes. CICAD, in cooperation with other specialized international agencies and with the direct support of the countries in the Hemisphere, should step up its actions in the areas of cooperation to control drugs using waterways and customs cooperation, by promoting an appropriate flow of information and intelligence as well as through the necessary training and development.

Alternative development

As part of the supply reduction initiative, efforts linked to alternative development are of particular importance. In this new area of action, CICAD is proceeding with a number of projects that are of importance not for their amount or scope but for the multiplier effect and the value added generated, with particular importance to efforts linked to the creation of market opportunities, integrated pest management, and the management and evaluation of land use. Other activities concerned with alternative development have to do with stimulating the interest of international financial institutions in this regard. Formal requests have been received from some member countries for CICAD to work together with the international financial situations (IFIs) in convening meetings of donors for alternatives development.

Comment: Alternative development is a long-term project requiring the concerted effort of the countries involved in the production of illicit drugs and the international donor community, including international financial institutions. The countries should instruct their governors and directors to the IFIs to take a more active role in this area and to cooperate with the member states and CICAD in this effort. Another important actor in this arena is the private sector. CICAD and the IFIs should encourage the private sector to participate more actively through actions that benefit the industry and the campesinos who stop growing illegal crops.

Institutional strengthening

In this area, CICAD is providing direct support for national drug control councils or commissions by promoting national and international coordination, providing direct assistance for strengthening the organizational structure of some of these commissions and in preparing and drafting drug control legislation as well as implementing the SITCOD/CNDs to permit the most senior drug control authorities in the Hemisphere to communicate with one another promptly, safely, and directly. In recent years, it has been possible to verify greater effort by the member countries to boost their internal capability to address the drug problem effectively in a coordinated manner. There is still a need, however, to effect important improvements in this area, since many countries continue to lack effective national coordination and appropriate legal frameworks and suffer from duplication of efforts.

Comment: CICAD and other multilateral agencies should heighten their efforts in this area, promoting legal and operating frameworks whereby proper national coordination can be ensured, appropriate legislation enacted, and duplication of functions avoided. Similar action should be promoted on the part of multilateral cooperation agencies.

Reduction of demand

Will adopt programs to prevent and reduce demand for illegal drugs and their use.

With respect to Reduction of Demand, through the Inter-American Symposium on Prevention of Drug Abuse, in San Josť, Costa Rica, in May 1997, and the CICAD Group of Experts on Reduction of Demand, which held its first meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the end of July 1997, the countries of the region identified new courses of action to permit more successful accomplishment of the tasks of prevention and treatment of drug abuse. Activities have been reinforced in the area of training in the prevention and treatment of addiction.

Comment: These activities notwithstanding, it has been possible to verify an increase in drug use in virtually all of the countries in the region. For this reason, it is vitally important to promote activities in this area so that the member countries and CICAD can concentrate more resources on combatting drug use, with the protection and preservation of children and young people in the Hemisphere as being the main objective. The international donor community, and international financial institutions in particular, should provide substantial support for these efforts.

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