PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
REPORT BY THE INTER-AMERICAN DRUG ABUSE CONTROL COMMISSION
Dear Ambassador Babbit:
Concerning the execution of the Plan of Action from the Miami Summit of the Americas and in particular your letter of the 27th of February, I am replying on behalf of the President of CICAD, Dr. Milton Alava Ormaza, who was designated by the government of Ecuador to replace Leonidas Plaza Verduga on February 28.
A Counternarcotics Strategy for the XXI Century:
By far the most significant requirement enunciated at the Summit and affecting CICAD was that of an ample and coordinated Strategy for the hemisphere to reduce the consumption and production of drugs. Further to what CICAD reported last year (letter of March 15, 1996), I am pleased to confirm that the Working Group led by Dr. Alberto Scavarelli completed the creation of a comprehensive Strategy. The "Hemispheric Anti-Drug Strategy", as it is commonly known, was approved unanimously by the nations of the hemisphere at the twentieth meeting of the CICAD Commission in Buenos Aires on October 18, 1996. This requirement has therefore been fulfilled.
Looking forward, CICAD has elected to make the implementation of the Strategy the primary focus of CICAD XXI, scheduled for April 8 - 11 in Washington. In the balance of this analysis, I will follow the order of my report of last year, itself tied to CICAD/doc.731/95.
Summit Commitment: Hold a working-level conference, to be followed by a ministerial conference, to study and agree on a coordinated hemispheric response, including consideration of an inter-American convention, to combat money-laundering.
Current Status: The coordinated hemispheric response to combat money laundering called for by the Plan of Action of Buenos Aires is being carried forward by CICAD through its Expert Group to Control Money Laundering. That group produced a common base of analysis and questionnaire in June of 1996. It is being reconvened for a meeting in Washington D.C. May 13-15, 1997 to carry out an initial analysis of the information provided by member states in the replies to the questionnaire. (Thus far, replies have been received from 14 countries.)
The Group will also consider in detail the viability of countries establishing Financial Investigation Units (FIU) and will address the development of a money laundering typologies exercise, including the collation and analysis of money laundering methods, patterns and trends in order to gain and exchange knowledge of the current situation and to suggest applicable counter-measures. The Secretariat remains in close contact with the Working Group of the Permanent Council on the question of a convention.
Summit Commitment: Pay particular attention to the control of precursor chemicals and support comprehensive interdiction efforts.
Current Status: A pilot application of the Precursor Chemical Diversion Monitoring System was undertaken through a manual compilation of information. A more comprehensive application of the system is being pursued with computer-assisted compilation and analysis of data for the entire region. We plan to share the results of this review with member states on a bilateral basis.
Summit Commitment: Support the discussion the OAS has initiated with the European Union on measures to control precursor chemicals.
Current Status: A multi-national radio and computer-based telecommunications network is being established for use by law enforcement officers controlling precursor chemicals along riverine and border areas in the Andean area of South America. This initiative resulted from discussions during a meeting organized by the DEA and the European Commission concerning the smuggling of precursor chemicals along riverain systems. It was held in Rio de Janeiro in January of 1996. Support from Canada and the Republic of Korea permitted the initiation of the computer network. Further expansion will depend upon the availability of additional resources. While we had hoped that the European Commission, which signaled for priority treatment of this problem, would support the radio links (for remote areas), this has proven impossible to assure.
CICADs Precursor Control Expert Group is now being reconvened to meet June 24-26, 1997 in Martinique, F.W.I. to review and, if determined necessary, add to the list of precursors and other essential chemicals now included in CICADs model regulations It will review the provisions of the existing model regulations with a view to improving comprehensive diversion prevention and other related matters in order to make recommendations for the consideration of member states on how they might update their national laws in this regard.
Summit Commitment: Strengthen efforts to control firearms, ammunition, and explosives to avoid their diversion to drug traffickers and criminal organizations.
Current Status: CICADs Firearms and Explosives Control Expert Group met in Caracas, Venezuela in May 1996 to determine international measures to control movements of firearms and explosives. Countries found common ground, among other things, in the development of harmonized import and export licenses/certificates as well as means for collaborating on their administration, including the verification of authenticity of such licenses, providing for non re-exportation of imported arms and explosives except by prior agreement with the original exporting country, where appropriate, limiting the number of authorized points of entry and exit of these products, and identifying central authorities to facilitates prompt and effective communications among countries concerning suspected illegal movements.
A small drafting group of the Expert Group is meeting in Washington, D.C. April 2-4, to draft more formal measures to complete this stage of the Groups work.
Summit Commitment: Adopt programs to prevent and reduce the demand for and the consumption of illicit drugs.
Current Status: All OAS member states have drug abuse prevention and treatment programs in place, some adopted many years ago, some more recently. The challenge that the countries, and CICAD, face is to broaden their application and to provide adequate funding and training so that drug prevention and treatment programs become permanent fixtures in schools, health care facilities, community groups and the workplace.
Over the last year, CICAD has paid closer attention to strengthening research on drug use, and to evaluating the effectiveness of drug abuse prevention programs. The Inter-American Drug Use Data System (SIDUC) will be launched in 19 countries this summer, to provide countries with reliable data on levels and patterns of consumption. A first technical meeting on evaluation of the impact of prevention programs was held in Chile in July of 1996, and an Inter-American Symposium on Demand Reduction will be held in San Jose, Costa Rica in May 1997. CICAD continues to run training courses in treatment and rehabilitation in the English-speaking Caribbean; it supports drug abuse prevention programs for street children in the Andean region, and is promoting research and national forums on Women and Drug Abuse, with particular reference to the role of substance abuse in situations of violence against women.
Other Related Actions
Strengthening National Drug Commissions:
The Institution Building effort is centered on the drug control commissions in the Hemisphere, including Territories in the Caribbean region, and aimed at producing better national strategic plans based on organizational development.
Several structural evaluative meetings have been held (Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, Panama and Honduras) between October 96 and February 97. To attend to specific Caribbean needs, we are coordinating actions with the UNDCP office in Barbados for implementation of this organizational development program with financing from the United Nations. The first workshop will take place during the fourth week in April in the Dominican Republic.
Further, we are immplementing the Inter-American Telecommunications System for Drug Control (SITCOD), whose main goal is to equip drug control commissions, with safe, rapid, and inexpensive telecommunication equipment and procedures. This will enable them to communicate with other drug control commissions, other agencies in their own governments; and with CICAD and other international organizations. The system, which provides access to e-mail, Internet, and national and international databases, is an important factor in enhancing the commissions ability to communicate and coordinate with colleagues from around the hemisphere. To this end, each country will receive, through its local representative or focal point, the necessary software and hardware to be able to set up an e-mail electronic address and a WWW site. The system is now 53% functional.
I trust that this report meets your needs. In the event that you have questions or need more information, we will be pleased to provide information as required.
David R. Beall