[Stop-traffic] News/US: THE WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY - FACT SHEET - P

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: THE WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY - FACT SHEET - P
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Nov 20 2000 - 12:03:45 EST


18/Dec/00 UK: THE WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY - FACT SHEET
- PROGRESS IN EFFORTS TO COMBAT INTERNATIONAL CRIME.
RDATE:15122000
Introduction
The spread of international crime since the end of the Cold War is a
significant, complex and growing phenomenon that threatens U.S. citizens
and vital interests both at home and abroad. The same attributes of
globalization - more open borders, increased volume of international trade,
advances in technology and communications - that have promoted important
U.S. interests have also facilitated the dramatic growth of international
crime. International crime threatens the safety, security and prosperity of
Americans everywhere, and can undermine our nation's ability to promote
stable democracies and free markets as well as our ability to preserve
global security and stability.
The Clinton Administration has placed a high priority on efforts to combat
international crime. To meet this challenge, the Administration implemented
a broad U.S. Government attack on international crime through the issuance
in October 1995 of PDD-42, the Presidential Decision Directive on
International Organized Crime. As a result, leading federal agencies have
worked more closely than ever before in identifying, targeting,
investigating, prosecuting and disrupting the major transnational crime
groups.
U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, diplomatic and other key officials have
coordinated their efforts in addressing all facets of this global problem,
including but not limited to drug and arms trafficking, money laundering,
migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, intellectual property theft, and
foreign official corruption. These efforts, many of which have been
undertaken pursuant to the President's International Crime Control Strategy
released in May 1998, have resulted in substantial progress against
international crime.
Drug Trafficking and Abuse
The United States has implemented a balanced and multifaceted approach to
addressing this urgent problem, including a full range of demand reduction,
treatment and supply reduction programs carried out both domestically and
in cooperation with countries around the globe. By 2007, the Administration
hopes to cut illegal drug use and availability in the United States by 50
percent.
Effective eradication and interdiction programs, typically in cooperation
with international partners, have prevented tons of illicit drugs from
reaching U.S. and other world markets.
Sustained efforts by the United States, working closely with international
partners, have led to the dismantling of several major international
trafficking organizations, including the Cali and Juvenal organizations in
Colombia.
New programs have been implemented to identify and target drug kingpins and
their organizations using economic sanctions pursuant to the International
Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation
Act. These sanctions block drug trafficking assets in the United States and
shut off U.S. markets and financial institutions from designated drug
traffickers and their associates.
A $1.3 billion emergency supplemental provided a substantial increase in
U.S. support for Plan Colombia, President Pastrana's comprehensive effort
to combat drug trafficking and to strengthen democracy and the economy.
This package of enhanced U.S. assistance, approved by Congress in June
2000, will help Colombia to improve illicit drug interdiction and
eradication capabilities, promote alternate crops and jobs, expand the rule
of law, protect human rights and promote the peace process. In addition,
the United States has increased assistance for other countries in the
region, primarily to consolidate counter-drug gains in the major Andean
drug-producing countries and to ensure that successful law enforcement
efforts in Colombia do not simply drive illicit drug cultivation and
production into neighboring countries.
At the second Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile, in 1998, 34
Presidents, including President Clinton, agreed to create a new Hemispheric
Alliance Against Drugs. The centerpiece of this Alliance is a pledge to
create a Mutual Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) for hemispheric information
sharing and cooperation. The MEM is an unprecedented initiative designed to
catalog the counter-drug initiatives undertaken by the countries in the
hemisphere, share best practices, and provide a basis for comparing and
improving national actions.
Arms Trafficking
The United States has taken a wide range of steps to address growing
international concern about trafficking in small arms and light weapons.
U.S. efforts have promoted regional security, peace and reconciliation in
regions of conflict and helped to shut down illicit arms markets that fuel
the violence associated with terrorism and international organized crime.
The United States was a leader in concluding the OAS Inter-American
Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in
Firearms, the first international agreement designed to prevent, combat,
and eradicate illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
The United States continues to work toward completion of the Protocol to
Combat the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their
Parts and Components. This protocol to the recently adopted United Nations
Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime would build on and
globalize the standards incorporated in the precedent-setting OAS
Convention.
Money Laundering
The Departments of Treasury and Justice have implemented the first-ever
National Money Laundering Strategy, a comprehensive action plan to target
illicit crime proceeds. Among other measures pursuant to this strategy, the
United States, in cooperation with the intergovernmental Financial Action
Task Force, is identifying, exposing and sanctioning countries with
inadequate money laundering regimes. Financial institutions from
persistently uncooperative states face penalties including loss of access
to the U.S. banking system.
Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons
Today, the Departments of State and Justice announced the establishment of
a Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Coordination Center pursuant
to the goals established in the President's International Crime Control
Strategy.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants are moved by
international smuggling organizations, often in harsh or even inhumane
transit conditions, from their countries of origin to the United States.
The United Nations estimates indicate that migrant smuggling has grown to a
$7 billion per year global criminal industry.
Trafficking in persons, with women and children as the predominant targets
of criminal enterprises, involves at least 700,000 new victims annually and
occurs both within countries and across national borders.
At least 45,000 - 50,000 victims are trafficked to the United States each
year. These victims are typically coerced or lured through fraud into
slavery-like conditions.
This interagency initiative will achieve greater integration and overall
effectiveness in U.S. Government enforcement and other response actions.
The Center will bring together representatives from the policy, law
enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic communities in one central
location. These personnel will facilitate information sharing and support
the work of U.S. government entities with policy coordination
responsibilities and law enforcement-related task forces that separately
address migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. The Center will also
promote and assist intensified efforts by foreign governments and
international organizations to combat migrant smuggling and trafficking in
persons.
The Center will help to advance the three primary objectives of the U.S.
Government strategy to counter migrant smuggling and trafficking in
persons: (1) prevent and deter smuggling and trafficking activity; (2)
investigate and prosecute the criminals involved in this activity; and (3)
protect and assist victims as provided in applicable law and policy.
Earlier initiatives in furtherance of this strategy included the
establishment of the President's Interagency Council on Women to coordinate
the U.S. Government response to trafficking in persons; passage of the
Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 and formation of
the Alien Smuggling Task Force by the Department of Justice.
Intellectual Property Theft
The Department of Justice has launched a major initiative to promote
increased domestic enforcement against violations of intellectual property
rights. This initiative also encourages other nations to enact appropriate
laws protecting intellectual property rights and to take effective
enforcement action. In addition, the Customs Service and the Federal Bureau
of Investigation established an Intellectual Property Rights Center to
coordinate an improved flow of intelligence information in support of
enforcement action by the United States and other countries.
Foreign Official Corruption
In 1999, Vice President Gore hosted the first global forum to fight
corruption among government officials responsible to uphold the rule of
law. Ninety countries participated in the Global Forum on Fighting
Corruption: Safeguarding Integrity Among Justice and Security Officials.
They agreed on a declaration that calls on governments to adopt effective
anti-corruption measures and to assist each other in these efforts through
mutual evaluation and other means. The Netherlands will host a follow-up
forum in May 2001 and expects over 130 countries to participate.
International Engagement
The United States has significantly increased its engagement abroad to
promote closer international cooperation and greater overall effectiveness
in combating transnational crime. Leading examples include: creation of the
Lyon Group of Experts on International Crime within the G-8 framework;
negotiation of additional mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties;
posting of an increasing number of new law enforcement officials overseas;
establishment of the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) to
conduct training on a regional basis; and formation of bilateral mechanisms
to promote closer law enforcement cooperation with key countries, including
China, Mexico, Russia and South Africa.
International Crime Threat Assessment
The Clinton Administration today released a comprehensive International
Crime Threat Assessment addressing all aspects of this threat to the United
States. President Clinton directed preparation of the assessment as part of
the International Crime Control Strategy approved in May 1998. The new
assessment is a major step forward in achieving a better understanding of
the global dimensions of international crime and the various ways in which
it threatens U.S. interests.
International Crime Control Act
Another initiative undertaken pursuant to the President's International
Crime Control Strategy was the development of the proposed International
Crime Control Act. This comprehensive proposed legislation, which was
introduced in Congress in 1998, would close key gaps in current federal
law, criminalize additional types of harmful activities, and promote a
strengthening of both domestic and foreign criminal justice systems to
respond to the new challenges posed by crime that crosses international
boundaries. The bill would substantially improve the ability of U.S. law
enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute international criminals,
to seize their money and assets, to stop them from crossing our borders,
and to prevent them from threatening Americans and our institutions.
UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
Earlier this week in Palermo, Italy, the United States, together with many
other nations, signed the first multilateral treaty specifically targeting
international organized crime. The United Nations Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime, together with two supplementary Protocols
addressing trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, was previously
approved by the United Nations General Assembly on November 15, 2000.
Over the past several years, the United States played a leading role in
negotiating the Convention and Protocols with over 120 countries in Vienna,
Austria. The purpose of the Convention is to prevent and combat
international organized crime more effectively by requiring parties to
criminalize certain conduct and providing for enhanced cooperative
mechanisms.
  M2 Communications Ltd.
M2 PRESSWIRE 18/12/2000
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