Viewing cable 09STATE125208

09STATE1252082009-12-07 23:18:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Secretary of State

DE RUEHC #5208 3412320
O 072318Z DEC 09
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶1. This is an action request.  USUN may draw from the 
statement in paragraph 2 for the UN Security Council thematic 
debate on Drug Trafficking in West Africa on December 8. USUN 
is also instructed to join consensus on the UN Security 
Council Presidential Statement (PRST) on Drug Trafficking to 
be adopted December 8 (para 3).  USUN should refer any 
further substantive changes on the PRST to the Department 
prior to joining consensus for adoption. Additionally, USUN 
should draw from the draft letter in paragraph 5 in replying 
to the Burkinabe on their invitation to Secretary Clinton to 
the debate.  End action request. 
¶2. Begin statement: 
Thank you Mr. President. 
The United States would like to thank Burkina Faso for its 
leadership in drawing attention to the threat to 
international peace and security posed by drug trafficking, 
particularly in the context of West Africa.  Minister Yoda, 
welcome back to the Chamber and let me take this opportunity 
to thank you and your delegation for providing an important 
voice over the last two years in this body.  We appreciate 
the update from Executive Director Costa, as well, and look 
forward to future briefings from UNODC. 
Mr. President, let me begin by emphasizing that drug 
trafficking is truly an international problem that has 
serious consequences for the development of societies. 
Illicit activities of violent criminal networks increasingly 
cross borders and affect our mutual security and economic 
health.  Enterprising illicit actors are smuggling billions 
of dollars of illegal goods into our jurisdictions and 
weakening the rule of law, democracy and economic development 
efforts globally.  Transnational drug enterprises are just 
that ) enterprises.  They are constantly in search of higher 
profits and new business opportunities and they are closely 
linked to other transnational crime groups.  Cutting-edge 
organizations, their weapons and other 
equipment*communications, encryption and surveillance*are 
often better than the equipment available to law enforcement 
officials charged with bringing them to justice. 
Fighting transnational drug trafficking is not something that 
any one government can do alone.  We must work together 
closely at the bilateral, sub-regional, regional and global 
Narco-trafficking in West Africa is a serious and growing 
threat.  It has the potential to destabilize an already 
unstable region with a history punctuated by civil wars and 
coups.  It robs populations of legitimate sources of economic 
activity and development, as well as tears apart the social 
West Africa has become a major trafficking route for cocaine 
from South America to Europe.  Cocaine transiting West Africa 
is typically moved from Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, or 
Brazil via maritime and air routes.    Mr. President, the 
international community has seen how being a source or 
transit state for drug trafficking is detrimental to a 
country,s development and public health.  Though initially 
most transit states in Africa do not have markets for illegal 
drug consumption, eventually illegal drug abuse takes root 
and spreads.  It is estimated that the wholesale value of 
cocaine entering Europe from West Africa is $1.8 
billion*with perhaps $450 million going to traffickers. 
These illicit profits far exceed the resources regional 
governments have to combat trafficking.   The wholesale value 
of only a few months of trans-shipped cocaine can eclipse a 
country,s GDP, such as that of Guinea-Bissau.   Situations 
like these threaten good governance and local and regional 
Mr. President, taking effective measures against 
narco-trafficking requires increased donor assistance and 
clearer demonstration of concrete political will by regional 
governments.  Capable, reliable and transparent institutions 
are the key to success.  Drug traffickers thrive in 
permissive environments marked by porous borders and weak 
state authority.  And weak governance and corruption often 
creates de facto impunity for drug traffickers. 
In this regard, the United States welcomes the Political 
Declaration and Action Plan adopted by West African leaders a 
year ago and the recently launched West African Crime 
Initiative, which brings together the Economic Community of 
West African States (ECOWAS), the UN and the International 
Police Organization (INTERPOL).   We would like to thank the 
Government of Senegal for hosting a ministerial-level 
conference to advance implementation of regional and national 
counternarcotics efforts across West Africa. 
The United States also welcomes UNODC,s technical assistance 
activities that will strengthen the institutional capacity of 
countries in the region to combat the menace of international 
narco-trafficking.   UNODC,s regional program for West 
Africa will represent a strategic roadmap for the 
organization,s activities.   Furthermore, we applaud the 
results of the donors meeting UNODC co-hosted with the 
Government of Austria in Vienna on December 3 that raised 
more than 15 million Euro to help ECOWAS reduce the region's 
vulnerability to drugs and crime.  As the Special 
Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for 
West Africa, Said Djinnit, said at that meeting, criminal 
networks are "changing their modus operandi and becoming 
better equipped and more sophisticated.8  The United States 
recognizes this threat, hence our strong support of the 
ECOWAS plan and our ongoing coordination with UNODC, 
particularly in Guinea-Bissau. 
Mr. President, for our part, the United States is partnering, 
bilaterally and multilaterally, to combat the scourge of drug 
trafficking.   Specifically, we are seeking ways to support 
Member States, efforts to accede to and implement the three 
UN drug conventions, as well as the UN Convention on 
Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against 
Corruption ) all of which provide the international legal 
framework and tools to confront this threat.  Implementing 
the conventions and applying these tools will have tremendous 
impact, and act as a force multiplier.  In all, the United 
States provides assistance for  counternarcotics and law 
enforcement criminal justice capacity building in more than 
90 partner countries. 
The United States has already devoted over $13 million to 
addressing this challenge in West Africa and is working to 
secure additional future funding for bilateral and regional 
programs.  For example, the United States is working with the 
Government of Ghana to further develop an elite 
counternarcotics law enforcement capacity that will be able 
to investigate drug trafficking organizations and support 
high level prosecutions.  In Guinea-Bissau, we have supported 
UNODC and will have a judicial advisor in place in the new 
year to strengthen accountability structures in the judicial 
Our discussion today focuses on West Africa, but there are 
growing threats in other parts of the world.  In Haiti, the 
net flow of drugs has grown recently, and the government 
lacks the capacity to counter these flows or fully adjudicate 
the crimes.  The UN and its Member States have invested 
significantly in years of peacekeeping efforts in Haiti; we 
should not let narcotrafficking undermine the real successes 
that our efforts are beginning to yield.  In Afghanistan, the 
drug trade threatens political stability and economic growth 
by funding insurgent activity, feeding corruption and 
undermining the rule of law.  While the United States 
continues to provide funding to UNODC for counternarcotics 
activities in Afghanistan, we urge others to provide 
extra-budgetary contributions too.  Over the next year, we 
seek to provide $450 million in direct assistance for 
Afghanistan counternarcotics. 
Mr. President, let me be clear.  We face enormous challenges 
in countering the increasing power of transnational drug and 
crime groups that are threatening our communities.  The 
United States is committed to combatting these threats by 
dismantling criminal networks, developing law enforcement 
capabilities, and helping to strengthen institutions and 
governance.  We are committed to working with Member States 
and international partners to meet this challenge.   Thank 
you Mr. President. 
¶3. Begin text of PRST on Drug trafficking as a threat to 
international security: 
¶1.    The Security Council reaffirms its primary 
responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and 
security in accordance with the Charter of the United 
¶2.    The Security Council notes with concern the serious 
threats posed in some cases by drug trafficking and related 
transnational organized crime to international security in 
different regions of the world, including in Africa. The 
increasing link, in some cases, between drug trafficking and 
the financing of terrorism, is also a source of growing 
¶3.    The Security Council stresses the importance of 
strengthening transregional and international cooperation on 
the basis of a common and shared responsibility to counter 
the world drug problem and related criminal activities, and 
in support of relevant national, subregional and regional 
organizations and mechanisms, including with the view to 
strengthening the rule of law. 
¶4.    The Security Council recognizes the importance of the 
actions undertaken by the General Assembly, the Economic and 
Social Council (ECOSOC), the Commission On Narcotics Drugs, 
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and 
other relevant UN organs and agencies in facing numerous 
security risks caused by drug trafficking in many countries 
and regions, including in Africa. The Council encourages them 
to undertake further actions in this regard. 
¶5.    The Security Council stresses the need to reinforce the 
coordination of United Nations actions, including cooperation 
with Interpol, in order to enhance the effectiveness of 
international efforts in the fight against drug trafficking 
at the national, regional and international levels to tackle 
this global challenge in a more comprehensive manner in 
accordance with the principle of common and shared 
¶6.    The Security Council reaffirms and commends in that 
regard the important work of the UNODC in collaboration with 
the United Nations relevant entities and emphasizes the need 
for adequate capacities to support national efforts. 
¶7.    The Security Council invites the Secretary General to 
consider mainstreaming the issue of drug trafficking as a 
factor in conflict prevention strategies, conflict analysis, 
integrated missions, assessment and planning and 
peacebuilding support. 
¶8.    The Security Council encourages States to comply with 
their obligations to combat drug trafficking and other forms 
of transnational organized crime, to consider acceding to 
relevant international conventions, in particular the 3 
United Nations drug conventions and to investigate and 
prosecute, as appropriate, persons and entities responsible 
for drug trafficking and related crimes consistent with 
international human rights and due process standards. 
¶9.    The Security Council recognizes the important 
contribution of States, regional and subregional 
organizations in tackling drug trafficking in all its 
aspects, and encourages them to share best practices, as well 
as information about illicit drug trafficking networks. 
¶10.   The Security Council also recognizes the important 
contribution of civil society and other stakeholders in 
tackling drug trafficking in a comprehensive manner. 
¶11.   The Security Council calls on the international 
community and the United Nations system to strengthen their 
cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, in 
the fight against drug trafficking including in Africa. 
¶12.   The Security Council calls on the Secretary General to 
provide, as appropriate, more information on drug trafficking 
and related issues where it risks threatening or exacerbating 
an existing threat to international peace and security. 
¶4. Draft Reply Letter: 
Thank you for your invitation to Secretary Clinton for the 
December 8, 2009 UN Security Council Thematic Debate on Drug 
Trafficking and the Threat to International Security. 
The United States appreciates your initiative in raising 
awareness on the challenge posed to the international 
community by the increase in illicit cross-border and 
cross-regional drug trafficking, and on the other hand to 
strengthen solidarity and cooperation in tackling this menace 
to international security. 
The United States will be represented by Ambassador Rice who 
will raise our concern for this global threat, with a 
particular focus on West Africa.  She will also highlight our 
efforts to finalize the United States, Counternarcotics 
Strategy in West Africa.