The United States welcomes this opportunity to examine our implementation of the Declaration on Security in the Americas. Adopted on October 28, 2003, at the Special Conference on Security in Mexico City, the Declaration on Security in the Americas is the hemispheric security strategy for the 21st century. It identifies a comprehensive program for addressing ever-changing security threats in the Americas through action in a number of areas. These include strengthening democracy, combating terrorism, fostering the peaceful resolution of conflict, furthering confidence and security building measures between states, curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking in firearms, preventing and mitigating the effect of natural disasters, and addressing issues of health and poverty.
This report is not a comprehensive list of U.S. activities in the above-mentioned areas, but highlights some of our key efforts to take action on the primary thematic groupings within the Declaration.
More than three years after the Declaration was adopted, OAS member states have taken significant steps towards its implementation, as evidenced by the presentations made at the March 20, 2007 Special Meeting on Implementation of the Declaration on Security in the Americas. The United States is pleased to offer its contribution to this growing body of information, and looks towards wider reporting from member states as the Declaration approaches its five-year anniversary.
Key Thematic Groupings of the Declaration on Security in the Americas, and U.S. Implementation
KEY DSA THEME: Promotion of democracy as a right and an essential shared value that contributes to the stability, peace, and development of the Hemisphere. Defense of democracy through implementation of the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter and by strengthening the inter-American system for the protection of human rights.
In FY2006 and 2007, the United States supported fair and free elections with solid voter participation in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, and Nicaragua; Contributed significantly to the OAS Special Mission to Strengthen Democracy in Haiti, providing assistance in the areas of human rights, administration of justice, elections preparations, and public affairs; Continued our strong support of the OAS Special Mission to Accompany the Constituent Assembly Process in Bolivia; Supported an OAS-led observation mission to restore public confidence in democratic institutions in Ecuador.
The United States provides continued strong support of human rights, with over $800 thousand annually to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, including the Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression and the Rights of Women, and the Commission’s Unit for Human Rights Defenders.
KEY DSA THEME: Support for peaceful settlement of disputes as embodied in the Charter of the UN and the OAS Charter via hemispheric, regional, and sub-regional, and bi-lateral mechanisms, and support for the work of the OAS General Secretariat through, inter alia, the Fund for Peace: Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes.
At the request of the Governments of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and under referral from the Office of Central American Affairs, since May 2005, the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, has provided research guidance to representatives of the Embassies of Costa Rica and Nicaragua to assist them in working peacefully toward a permanent and binding resolution of their differences over the Río San Juan, which date back to the 1858 Treaty of Cañas-Jeréz. Specifically, the Department has assisted both Governments, through their respective Embassies in Washington, in locating published materials and diplomatic correspondence related to the dispute, and information on prior U.S. arbitration efforts, in the holdings of the Library of Congress, the Department of State’s Ralph Bunche Library, and the National Archives and Records Administration.
Under the auspices of the OAS, Belize and Guatemala restarted negotiations to resolve their long-standing border dispute in September 2005. While the U.S. has not participated directly in discussions, it remains an active observer and member of the OAS coordination group on this issue. Aside from endorsing numerous confidence-building measures between the two sides and encouraging joint military cooperation, the U.S. has contributed financially to OAS-run programs handled by the Adjacency Zone office and encouraged additionally third-party contributions. Along with the Canadian Government, the U.S. funded the 2004-2005 project to move the Guatemalan community of Nueva Judá into Guatemalan territory. U.S. resources have also been allocated to move the Santa Rosa community into Guatemala when appropriate lands are identified. The U.S. has contributed $200,000 towards this approximately $1 million project which has additional pledges from Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
KEY DSA THEME: Development of appropriate instruments and strategies within the inter-American system to address the special security concerns of small island states, as reflected in the Declaration of Kingstown on the Security of Small Island States.
USSOUTHCOM’s Partner Nations Network (PNN) enhances the security-building capabilities of the small island states. It is an unclassified but protected multinational web, collaboration and e-mail portal. Its purpose is to share critical information among border control authorities to strengthen border control capacity in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism. PNN is also designed to create joint training programs to allow existing entities to meet new challenges.
USSOUTHCOM also supports this measure through the Tradewinds exercise, which is a joint and combined regional training exercise engagement with the Caribbean nations that focuses on transnational threats. USSOUTHCOM’s FA HUM promotes interoperability among the regional and inter-regional organizations to conduct unilateral and multilateral humanitarian relief and disaster response operations.
USSOUTHCOM shares information with the small island states via SMEE provided by the USSOUTHCOM Traditional Commander’s Activities. Eight such events were held with these countries during FY 2006.
Joint Interagency Task Force-South provides regional and tactical intelligence and information support to small island states that are partners in counter drug operations.
The Caribbean Support Tender GENTIAN conducted maintenance and technical assistance, logistic support, and joint training. In doing so, it fostered regional cooperation and improved the capabilities and operational readiness/effectiveness of the maritime services in Haiti and Jamaica.
On March 22, 2006, the U.S. and CARICOM held a Ministerial meeting in Nassau, Bahamas and focused attention on democracy, security cooperation, and disaster preparedness. At the conclusion of the meeting a statement was issued by the CARICOM Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff met with his CARICOM counterparts on October 26, 2006 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to discuss avenues of greater cooperation and coordination in the areas of border security, counter terrorism, and drug interdiction. As the first DHS Secretary to meet with CARICOM, Secretary Chertoff highlighted the excellent, ongoing cooperation at the working level, citing agencies which engage regularly with CARICOM on disaster preparedness issues. He also expressed U.S. willingness to explore ways to support regional preparations for Cricket World Cup 2007 (CWC), to be held in nine of the 15 CARICOM countries.
Enduring Friendship, a multi-year $75 million program led by the Department of Defense through South COM, helps partner nations in the Caribbean to anticipate and respond to threats and emergencies in their territorial waters.
Several U.S. agencies provided security support and more than $9 million in training and programs to nations hosting the Cricket World Cup. This training will continue to benefit the region’s security preparedness and response efforts.
Through close cooperation and assistance from the U.S., close to 260 metric tons of illicit drugs were seized in the region with an estimated value of more than $5.5 billion.
In 2004, the last year a hurricane devastated the Caribbean, USAID and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance provided more than $100 million in assistance.
KEY DSA THEME: Commitment to arms control, disarmament and the nonproliferation of all weapons of mass destruction and to the full implementation by all states parties of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Support for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
U.S. actions in the area of biological weapons:
U.S. actions in the area of chemical weapons:
U.S. actions in the area of nuclear weapons:
KEY DSA THEME: Commitment to continue to strive to limit military spending and foster transparency in arms acquisitions while maintaining capabilities commensurate with our legitimate defense and security needs.
On an annual basis, the U.S. participates in the UN Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures and transmits a copy of its submission to the OAS Secretary General, the Committee on Hemispheric Security, and Member States. Last year, the U.S. submitted its report to the OAS on April 11, 2005 (CP/CSH-656/04 add 1 (29 June 2005). In 2006, the U.S. submitted its reports on July 26, 2006.
The U.S. supports universal participation in the UN Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures and, as complementary measures, sub-regional and bilateral efforts to provide increased transparency regarding military expenditures.
KEY DSA THEME: Implementation and further development of confidence- and security-building measures, within the constitutional framework of each state, as stated in the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador and the Consensus of Miami.
On 29 November 2006, the United States presented its report “ Information Presented Pursuant To Operative Paragraph 3 Of General Assembly Resolution Ag/Res. 2113 (Xxxv-O/05), “Transparency And Confidence- And Security-Building In The Americas” (CP/CSH-780/06 add. 3) to the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security. This report, outlining U.S. implementation of CSBMs, is attached as Annex 1.
KEY DSA THEME: Support for the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA) and other meetings of criminal justice authorities.
The U.S. has offered to host REMJA VII in 2008. The U.S. participates in the several experts groups of the REMJA, including, inter-alia, those on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition, Penitentiary and Prison Policies, Cybercrime, Transnational Organized Crime.
KEY DSA THEME: Support for establishing the Hemisphere as an anti-personnel-landmine-free zone, and cooperative action on humanitarian de-mining, mine risk education, landmine victim assistance, research and development, mine action center development, consultation, training services and rehabilitation, and socio-economic recovery.
USSOUTHCOM supports this measure via the Defense and Military Contacts Program, which includes conferences and Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE). Examples of such exchanges include a demining SMEE with Nicaragua and a Military Police SMEE with Ecuador.
USSOUTHCOM directs the DoD Humanitarian Mine Action program, which is closely coordinated with OAS activities. USSOUTHCOM received $3.0 million in FY 2006/07 to plan and implement demining activities in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Honduras.
In 2005, the United States support for humanitarian mine action surpassed $1 billion since the inter-agency U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program, the worlds’ largest, was established in 1993. The U.S. has provided funds for humanitarian mine action in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
KEY DSA THEME: Collaboration on training and organization for peacekeeping missions, so that each state, according to its capabilities and should its domestic legal system permit, may participate in operations of this sort conducted by the United Nations and thereby contribute to global peace and security.
The United States participates in Peacekeeping (PKO) North exercises, which are multinational staff exercises with emphasis on multinational and regional cooperation. These establish regional PKO capability by addressing the Conference of Central American Armed Forces (CFAC) PKO battalion formation concept, and developing consensus on force structures for the multinational PKO battalion/brigade. PKO South exercises are regionally-oriented command post exercises involving military and civilian agencies in South America and the U.S. The exercises enhance military-to-military contacts and promote regional cooperation and engagement.
USSOUTHCOM has supported the New Horizons program, which includes joint exercises based on humanitarian assistance scenarios. These exercises have taken place in Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Suriname, and Peru.
Through the Global Peace Operations Initiative, the U.S. is refurbishing the Central American Regional PKO Training Center in Coban, Guatemala. The GPOI program has also provided training and equipment to all four member countries (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador) of the CFAC PKO Battalion. The U.S. is also working with new GPOI partner Paraguay to develop its peacekeeping capabilities, while relying on support from experienced peacekeeping countries in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay) to help provide training to the CFAC battalion.
KEY DSA THEME: Commitment to fight terrorism and its financing with full respect for the rule of law and international law, including the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001); strengthen CICTE and bilateral, sub regional, and regional counterterrorism cooperation.
The United States is fully committed to fighting the constantly evolving threat of terrorism. Terrorists operate without regard to national boundaries, so we are working to strengthen our regional and transnational partnerships and to increasingly operate in a regional context. Denying safe haven to undermine terrorists’ capacity to operate effectively is a key element of U.S. counterterrorism strategy and a cornerstone of UNSCR 1373 which targets terrorists’ ability to prepare, plan, and finance attacks, to move across international borders, to solicit and move funds, and to acquire weapons.
U.S. counterterrorism policy recognizes the need to fully respect our obligations under international law. Our strategies for winning the war on terrorism recognize the clear linkage between pursuing our security interests, our development efforts, and our support for democracy. The United States provides foreign assistance to support the development of free and fair elections, rule of law, civil society, human rights, women’s rights, free media and religious freedom. We tailor assistance and training of military forces to support respect for human rights in a democratic society. In the United States, we have created the Anti-terrorism Assistance (ATA) Program to help build international will and capacity to counter terrorism. The ATA program provides partner countries with training, equipment, and technology to improve their ability to combat terrorism. This program addresses specific needs of partner nations, such as increasing capabilities to find and arrest terrorists, and to build lasting cooperation and interactivity between law enforcement officers.
ATA sponsored 289 courses and technical consultations and trained approximately 4,816 participants from 77 countries in 2006. This training is offered in areas including crisis management and response, cyber security, dignitary protection, bomb detection, airport security, border control, kidnap intervention and hostage negotiation and rescue, response to incidents involving WMD, countering terrorist financing, and interdiction of terrorist organizations. All of these courses emphasize the rule of law and respect for human rights in everyday implementation.
Cooperative regional efforts through CICTE have produced genuine security improvements in securing borders and transportation systems, enhancing document and cybersecurity, and disrupting terrorist financing. The United States is committed to CICTE’s long-term success in fighting terrorism and supported efforts to help smaller Caribbean nations bolster security for the spring 2007 Cricket World Cup by contributing $1.2 million for preparations and training. In addition to the in-kind costs associated with the secondment of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer to serve as CICTE’s Executive Secretary, the United States provided over $750,000 for CICTE operational activities in Fiscal Year 2006 and $540,000 for Fiscal Year 2007 specifically aimed at strengthening border security.
Since September 11, the United States has acted to block funding of terrorists and their supporters and to promote international cooperation against them. U.S. Executive Order 13324 provides the United States a powerful tool to impede terrorist funding by authorizing the U.S. government to designate and block assets of inter alia foreign individuals and entities that have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. In addition, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, may designate an organization as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Among the consequences of an FTO designation is that it is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide "material support or resources" to a designated organization. The executive order and FTO designations also heighten public awareness and knowledge of terrorist organizations; stigmatize and isolate designated terrorist entities and individuals; and deter donations, contributions, and economic transactions with named entities and individuals. In 2006, the committee established pursuant to UNSCR 1267 Committee designated XX individuals pursuant to submissions of the United States and other UN members. In addition, the United States and France co-sponsored UNSCR 1730 in response to a call for improving procedures for delisting individuals and entities from the 1267 Committee’s Consolidated List.
International cooperation including intelligence sharing, law enforcement coordination, targeted financial sanctions, and regulation norms and standards remains fundamental. The U.S. has helped build capacity of Member States to comply effectively with requirements of UNSCR 1373 and the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Special Recommendations on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Terrorist Financing legislation objectives feature prominently in the CICTE legislation programs. The U.S. led three projects that included advocacy of issues within the FATF and a linkage for non-FATF members within the OAS to FATF discussions; 09/2005: Delivery of Terrorist Financing Training guide course; 08/2005: Argentine Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) conducted training for FIUs of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic; and 08/2005: National level seminar for Panamanian officials.
Through CICTE, the United States provided $1.2 million in assistance to the nine countries hosting the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Training included aviation and airport security courses.
KEY DSA THEME: Reinforcement of existing Hemispheric transportation security efforts with those of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization. Coordinate national and multilateral initiatives in the area of transportation and port security through regional fora, including as the Western Hemisphere Transport Initiative, the Inter-American Ports Commission, CICTE, CICAD, and CIFTA
The U.S. continues to provide training and support in the field of aviation security through workshops and classroom instruction within the Hemisphere. The State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) program, utilizing Transportation Security Administration (TSA) instructors, offers a 1-week seminar generally taught in-country and is designed to assist countries to meet internationally recognized aviation security standards established by ICAO.
Similarly, the USTDA organizes Annex 17 workshops, consulting with TSA Aviation Security experts, to help bring developing countries into compliance with lCAO Annex 17 Standards. These workshops also suggest ways that relatively poor countries can meet ICAO standards with a low level of technological sophistication.
The U.S. hasdesigned capacity-building programs on basic and selected topics of air transport security based on mandatory ICAO standards to improve and standardize security controls in the Caribbean Basin. The project relies on trainers from TSA and ICAO.
a. 06/2005: Hostage Negotiation Course for one CAR State
b. 04/2005: National Auditor/Inspector Course for five Officials
We have built capacity of Member States to comply effectively with security requirements of ISPS Code for protection of ships and port installations through a series of training sessions for port security officials to provide them with detailed understanding of how to implement the ISPS Code. We have undertaken a series of assessments of selected ports to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures they have taken to implement the code, spot deficiencies, and provide by port-specific recommendations and training.
c. 08/2005: Follow-up training for Dominica
d. 08/2005: ISPS Training Joint Workshop with WMU, Trinidad
e. 05/2005: 3 officials from the Dominican Republic sent to IMO course at World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden
f. 05/2005: 61 officials from five Mercosur countries in Santos, Brazil
g. 03/2005: 59 officials from five Andean countries in Guayaquil, Ecuador
We have enhanced border control practices through improved coordination and implementing higher professional practices among customs, immigration, and police officials, through a series of initiatives directed primarily at the Southern Cone and Caribbean Basin. The program has combined on-site visits, capacity-building workshops, and technical assistance in partnership with international partners such as Interpol, IOM, and the Government of Spain.
a. 09/2005: Regional Seminar on Integrity in Barbados
b. 06/2005: First Caribbean Customs Integrity course for 30 officials
c. 05/2005: IOM Trinidad & Tobago border management assessment completed
d. 04/2005: Andean Regional Integrity seminar for 32 law enforcement officials in Lima, Peru
e. 03/2005: Follow-on national integrity course for 37 Nicaraguan officials
f. 01/2005: Professional Customs Standards Training with DHS for 30 officials from Central America
In 2005, the U.S. held two workshops on fraudulent document identification with Central American and Caribbean immigration and customs officials toimprove security of travel and border crossing documents. The U.S. also established an MOU with Interpol to provide port-of-entry access to Interpol database of lost and stolen passports and additional regular information to customs and immigration officials on means to detect fraudulent documents. The database will allow border security officials at airports or seaports to scan passports and immediately enable a cross check of with Interpol of more than 6 million lost and stolen travel documents.
In FY2005, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) provided approximately 500,000.00 in grant assistance to Chile and Haiti for aviation security programs.
In 2006-2007, the U.S. has assisted states in establishing, implementing and complying with security standards and practices related to tourism and recreational facilities through three courses aimed at three levels of security officials from public and private sectors.
A key tool in stemming the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems, and related weapons and technologies is effective export and border controls. To meet this objective, the United States works to ensure that potential suppliers have proper controls on the export of munitions and dual-use goods and related technologies, and that transit/transshipment countries have the tools to interdict illicit shipments crossing their territories and implement controls to prevent diversions. The Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program provides training, technical consultation, and equipment to establish and implement effective export and border controls that meet international standards. Drawing on the expertise from the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Energy, as well as the private sector, the EXBS program has worked with countries around the world to enhance their ability to prevent and interdict shipments of dangerous items and technology. The EXBS program assists governments in strengthening their export controls by improving their legal and regulatory frameworks, licensing processes, border control and investigative capabilities, outreach to industry, and interagency coordination.
Via a customized software program called TRACKER, the United States helps other countries’ export control officials network via a standardized database with licensing officials in other countries.
The International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP) of the Department of Energy, which is coordinated with the Department of State’s EXBS program, directly engages counterpart government officials and technical experts involved in export controls. INECP works with these counterparts to cultivate a detailed understanding of the items on the control lists of the international export control regimes, and to promote an in-depth grasp of the technical aspects of export control implementation. The goal is to create a group of export control experts who support development and implementation of their respective countries’ export and strategic trade control systems though the provision of technical analysis, training, and other support.
Through its Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration works with foreign partners to strengthen the nonproliferation regime by enhancing host government capabilities to detect, deter, and interdict illicit trafficking in special nuclear and other radiological materials. Through this program, DOE/NNSA provides radiation detection equipment at international land border crossings, airports, and seaports, along with training on the use of the equipment and technical support to help ensure its long-term sustainability.
The Container Security Initiative (CSI) implemented by the Department of Homeland Security is designed to protect the global trading system and trade lanes by enhancing cooperation at seaports worldwide to identify and examine high-risk containers and ensure their in-transit integrity.
KEY DSA THEME: Commitment to fighting transnational organized crime by strengthening the domestic legal framework, the rule of law, and multilateral cooperation, respectful of the sovereignty of each state, in particular through the exchange of information, mutual legal assistance, and extradition, and by fully implementing the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.
The U.S. Government has a comprehensive anti-trafficking law referred to as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), Public Law 106-386, which was signed into law on October 28, 2000. The TVPA enhanced three aspects of federal government activity to combat trafficking: protection, prosecution, and prevention. The TVPA provided for a range of new protections and assistance to victims of trafficking; it expanded the crimes and enhanced the penalties available to federal investigators and prosecutors pursuing traffickers; and it expanded the U.S. government’s activities internationally to prevent victims from being trafficked. This law was reauthorized in 2003 and 2005 with additional responsibilities and tools for the U.S. government’s anti-trafficking efforts. For further access to the TVPA and its reauthorizations, go to www.state.gov/j/tip/
The U.S. government is actively engaged on the multilateral front to exchange information and best practices on trafficking. In particular, we are working with various organizations, such as the UN, the OAS, the Regional Conference on Migration, ASEAN, G-8, Bali Process, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Southern African Development Community, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The U.S. Congress authorized in the TVPA and in the subsequent 2003 reauthorization the creation of a cabinet-level taskforce to be chaired by the Secretary of State and a senior policy operating group. The cabinet-level taskforce provides policy direction and oversees the U.S. government’s implementation of the TVPA. The Senior Policy Operating Group is chaired by the Director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. This group reports to the cabinet-level taskforce, it coordinates the implementation of the TVPA and it addresses emerging interagency policy, programming and planning issues.
Since the passage of the TVPA in 2000, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and United States’ Attorneys’ Offices have:
The U.S. Department of Justice provides an annual report to Congress on the status of the U.S. Government’s implementation of the TVPA and its subsequent re-authorizations. Additionally, on behalf of the Senior Policy Operating Group, the Department of Justice issues an annual report to the public entitled “Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons.” Both reports can be found on Department of Justice’s website.
KEY DSA THEME: Development of a culture of cyber security in the Americas by responding to cyberattacks, fighting against cyber threats and cybercrime, criminalizing attacks against cyberspace, protecting critical infrastructure and securing networked systems. Development and implementation of an integral OAS cyber security strategy.
The U.S. has worked to build capacity of Member States to comply effectively with the CSIRT requirements of the OAS Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cyber security, supporting the establishment of national CSIRTS and the creation of a hemispheric network, through technical training and assistance to Member States to help them implement the requirements of the OAS Cyber Security strategy. The U.S. participated in the 2005 Second Meeting of Government Cyber Security Experts in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
As part of a continuing series of cybercrime workshops, the U.S. Department of Justice has proposed funding a three day workshop for approximately 40 Caribbean prosecutors and investigators on basic computer crime investigations and forensics, and international legal cooperation and establishing a 24/7 high tech crime network. It has also proposed funding two workshops for approximately 30 prosecutors and justice ministry officials from OAS member states on creating cybercrime prosecution units and improving internal and international cooperation on cybercrime matters.
KEY DSA THEME: Cooperation, shared responsibility, integrity, balance, mutual trust, and full respect for the sovereignty of states in addressing the global drug problem and related crimes, which constitute a threat to the security of the region. Strengthening of CICAD and the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism.
The U.S. is the hemisphere’s largest supporter of CICAD, and is providing $4.1 million in FY 2007. Between 2003 and 2006, the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) bureau has provided over $13 million to CICAD. The U.S. interagency community actively participates in CICAD activities and helps promote the principle of shared responsibility in the hemispheric counter-drug strategy.
U.S. funding will be used for, inter-alia:
In addition,U.S. bilateral programs in the hemisphere complement CICAD’s programs and other multinational support efforts, for example, alternative development projects in the Andes region. U.S. Embassy counter-narcotics program managers cooperate with CICAD technical staff.
KEY DSA THEME: Combat of illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials by, among other actions, destroying excess stocks of firearms, securing and managing national stockpiles, and regulating firearms brokering. Strengthening of coordination and cooperation among the Consultative Committee of the CIFTA, CICAD, CICTE and the United Nations.
The U.S. is active in the hemisphere supporting cooperative measures to combat the illicit trafficking of arms in the region. For example, the USSOUTHCOM Rewards Program, in conjunction with the Nicaraguan National Police, has secured over 3,000 small arms for destruction. The Rewards program managers in Nicaragua have purchased equipment to aid in the destruction of small arms and disposition of weapons that the U.S. and Nicaraguan National Police personnel will witness.
The Department of State and Department of Defense have also provided technical, financial and educational assistance regarding the destruction and stockpile management of small arms and light weapons to OAS member states. The Department of State provides assistance directly to states interested in the destruction of surplus and illicit stocks of small arms and light weapons. The U.S. also provides technical and financial assistance to support security infrastructure improvements.
The U.S. provides to the United Nations (UN) detailed information on measures it has taken in support of the UN Programme of Action (UNPOA) to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects and UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The U.S. also provides copies of these reports to the OAS. On November 20, 2006 the U.S. provided the OAS with a copy of its 2006 Implementation Report concerning the UNPOA.
In 2006, the U.S. provided $50,000 to the recently created OAS Fund for the Collection, and Destruction of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Related Training Programs. The U.S. also provided to the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security 75 copies of the OSCE Best Practices Handbook on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
The United States supports the OAS General Assembly’s efforts to reduce the threat posed by Man-Portable Air Defense Systems reflected in its resolutions:
As recommended in the OAS MANPADS Guidelines, the U.S. has adopted stringent export controls on MANPADS and their essential component parts (e.g. batteries, gripstocks). The U.S. only permits transfers when we are assured that the recipient country will safeguard the MANPADS. This requires an on-site inspection of a country’s MANPADS inventories to ensure against illegal transfers. The threat of unchecked MANPADS proliferation would be significantly reduced if all the governments of suppliers and brokers implemented such controls.
U.S. law proscribes tight legal frameworks regarding every aspect of MANPADS, from production to possession, and endorses such legal and enforcement regimes to prevent illicit access to MANPADS.
The U.S. has a proscribed list of governments and entities to which it will not transfer MANPADS, and bans such transfers to all non-state actors. Again, the threat of a MANPADS attack by terrorists would be significantly reduced if all governments implemented such measures.
The OAS resolution called for the destruction of surplus MANPADS as well as technical assistance to aid other member states in collecting, securing, managing, and destroying stockpiles of excess MANPADS. To this end, the U.S. carefully reviews its own defense needs and is active in providing assistance to others. For instance, the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, provides technical assistance, assessments, and training in the area of physical security and stockpile management. The State Department provides funding for upgrading the security of national stockpiles and financial assistance for the destruction of excess and/or obsolete MANPADS.
The United States government stands by its commitment to consider providing MANPADS Assist Visits (MAVs) to nations upon their request. These visits, made by civilian experts from our Department of Homeland Security, will help host nations develop mitigation plans, establish procedures, and develop policy on limiting the effects of possible MANPADS attacks at their civilian airports. Through these assessment visits, a plan for MANPADS security for the particular airport may be established. Host nations will often times utilize the methodologies and procedures exercised during this preliminary MAV in creating MANPADS mitigation plans at their additional airports.
The United States is also active in promoting the adoption and implementation of MANPADS controls in the context of other multilateral arrangements. We hope that the adherence to MANPADS control guidelines by organizations such as the OAS, OSCE, and APEC can be widened to include all regional areas.
KEY DSA THEME: Combating money laundering within the framework of CICAD and other relevant bodies, and reaffirming the fight against corruption. Strengthening the Follow-up Mechanism of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESISIC) and supporting the United Nations Convention on this same question.
In 2006, the U.S. helped established the OAS Anti-Corruption Fund to support OAS initiatives in assisting member states to fulfill their commitments under the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC) and to implement the country-specific recommendations identified by the follow-up mechanism;
The U.S. is a states party to the MESISIC, and participated in the First Round of reviews, which concluded in March 2006. The U.S. will participate in the Second Round, and an inter-agency task force is compiling our response to a questionnaire due November 2007.
The U.S. supports and participates in CICAD’s Experts Group on Money Laundering Control, helping develop Model Regulations on Money Laundering Offenses Related to Drug Trafficking. The U.S. also participates in joint projects to develop financial intelligence units in countries throughout the hemisphere.
KEY DSA THEME: Support education for peace and the strengthening of democracy in our Hemisphere as a region where tolerance, dialogue, and mutual respect prevail as peaceful forms of coexistence. Undertake actions to promote democratic culture in keeping with the Inter-American Democratic Culture.
In 2006, the U.S. offered scholarships to more than 5,000 rural students to study in the U.S., and with universities to help enroll students from the Western Hemisphere;
The U.S. has worked to improve the quality of education in the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean region by training 12,500 teachers in literacy instruction through the Centers of Excellence for Teacher Training, a Presidential initiative from the Summit of the Americas;
Based in Jamaica, the U.S.-funded Caribbean Center of Excellence for Teacher Training (C-CETT) invested $8.9 million from 2002 to 2006 and has committed an additional $5 million to train and support teachers in primary grade reading programs.
The U.S. will participate in a planned special session of the OAS on disarmament and nonproliferation education, inviting U.S. civil society representatives and other relevant entities.
Continue to ensure and promote the protection of refugees, those granted asylum, and asylum-seekers in a context of solidarity and effective cooperation, in accordance with the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and international principles governing the protection of refugee. Provide protection and assistance for internally displaced persons.
The United States places high priority on humanitarian assistance, and on meeting the protection and assistance needs of refugees, asylum seekers, conflict victims, and other vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking. The U.S. promotes legal and orderly migration, while providing protection to those in need. In the Western Hemisphere, we focus efforts on assistance and protection for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in the Andean region and protection and contingency planning in the Caribbean. Our implementing partners include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and others, as described below.
In FY 2006, the U.S. provided $33,254,313 million in funding for assistance programs dealing with refugee, IDP, trafficking in persons, and migration issues in the Western Hemisphere.Principal recipients were UNHCR, ICRC the International Organization for Migration-Pan American Development Foundation (IOM-PADF), IOM, the International Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF), and the American Red Cross (ARC), among others. ICRC and UNHCR combined received $16.5 million of that amount.
Refugee admissions to the U.S. from the Americas were primarily from Cuba and Colombia. In 2006, the U.S. admitted 3,272 refugees from the Americas, including 3,141 Cuban refugees from Havana, and 131 Colombian refugees from Quito and San Jose. The U.S. government is exploring exceptions to the “material support” law, which disqualifies individuals who have provided material support to terrorist groups such as the FARC, even under duress as protection money, from refugee status, in an ongoing effort to provide said status to those Colombians who require it.
In FY2006, the U.S. supported the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in mounting regional dialogues on migration, anti-trafficking activities, and assistance to vulnerable migrants in the region. Anti-trafficking activities focused on the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Argentina, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico, and regional activities in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
In this Hemisphere, U.S. focus for bilateral aid continues to be Colombia, primarily to populations internally displaced by the conflict, but also on the growing number of Colombian refugees in neighboring Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. We focus on the provision of temporary shelter, food, health-care assistance, employment/vocational training, and other programs to facilitate the protection and reintegration of IDPs into society.
In 2006, the U.S. provided UNHCR with more than $8 million for activities in the Western Hemisphere. These funds supported capacity-building in border areas, monitoring initiatives, assistance to Colombian IDPs and refugees, advocacy for the region in Washington and Ottawa, and coordination efforts with the UN in New York.
In 2006, UNHCR’s Bogotá office filled a critical role supporting Colombia’s response to IDPs. The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) enhanced its coordinating role by reforming an Interagency Standing Committee amongst the UN and other humanitarian agencies in Colombia by thematic sectors. UNHCR leads the group that focuses on protection. Our partner, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) coordinates efforts in the health sector and ICRC and NGOs like Mercy Corps are observers. Working through IOs and NGOs, we helped meet emergency food, shelter, water, and sanitation and health needs of these IDPs for approximately 90 days to 6 months, as well as longer-term assistance. Our implementing partners provided protection and assistance for refugees in neighboring countries, such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Panama.
ICRC coordinated its efforts with the Government of Colombia, UN agencies, the Colombian Red Cross, the American Red Cross, the Catholic Church, and local NGOs to assist IDPs through the distribution of food, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, and household kits. ICRC also provided financial support for the repair of schools and kindergartens in areas where displaced persons are staying, and built health and community centers as well as water and sanitation facilities.
In FY2006, we provided $1,021,000 to Mercy Corps International for a similar emergency humanitarian assistance program focused in the northern Caribbean coastal region of Colombia. CHF and Mercy Corps both work in alliance with Colombian NGOs, such as Minuto de Dios and the GOC’s IDP agency, the Red de Solidaridad Social (RSS, a,k.a. Accion Social).
The United States contributed $1.49 million to the American Red Cross for the following inter-related projects:
The United States provided $400,000 to strengthen the capacity of health care sectors in Colombia and neighboring countries to respond to emergencies through a project of the Pan-American Health Organization. PAHO’s project has five objectives:
We renewed our support for the Salesian Missions, by providing it with $1,329,000 to carry out its primary objective of providing short-term emergency assistance to enable IDP principal family wage earners to become gainfully employed, healthy citizens;
The United States earmarked a specific contribution of $1,000,000 to UNHCR to support the care of Colombian refugees in Ecuador, where UNHCR worked with the GOE on contingency planning and the reception of refugees created by the conflict in Colombia. As of the end of 2006, there were close to 40,000 Colombians estimated to be asylum-seekers and refugees in Ecuador, according to UNHCR, but approximately 250,000 persons in need of international protection, the vast majority of whom were Colombians. Despite these high numbers, official recognition of such persons was significantly lower. There were only 13, 040 Colombian “recognized refugees” and approximately 2,460 Colombian officially recognized as asylum seekers. Not only does there remain a high potential for substantial refugee outflows along the Ecuador/Colombian border, but increasingly refugees are migrating to urban centers like Quito and Cuenca, located well away from the border. In 2006 alone, there were 1720 new applications filed by Colombians for asylum.
In FY2006, we contributed $2,266,898 to UNHCR’s appeal for South America, which includes Panama. It remained within UNHCR’s discretion how much of this amount was actually allocated to its Panama operations, but UNHCR representatives there have worked effectively to prevent the forced return of Colombian refugees and to provide protection while they are in Panama. In FY2006, the UNHCR representative to Panama continued to work with the government to facilitate the protection of Colombian refugees and prevent their forced return. UNHCR Panama reports there are approximately 2,000 recognized refugees and asylum seekers with small, continuing flows of Colombians crossing the jungle that borders the two countries. In 2006 alone, UNHCR received 231 new applications for asylum, 95% of which were from Colombia.
The areas in Colombia that border Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela are sites that ICRC and UNHCR consider “hot areas” closest to the conflict between illegally armed groups and the GOC forces. In a series of U.S.-funded assessments, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) found that these border areas were quite porous and were not only locations with growing populations of refugees and asylum seekers, but also received continuous flows of other Colombians who crossed the border to seek short term protection from the conflict and violence.
In 2006-2007, the United States also continued to support UNHCR’snetwork of “Honorary Liaisons”to monitor protection and statelessness issues throughout the Caribbean. UNHCR honorary liaisons are professionals located throughout the Caribbean who have agreed to be the “honorary” representative for UNHCR on refugee and other protection issues. We funded the UNHCR honorary liaison seminar held in Washington DC in December 2006. The conference provided an opportunity for these professionals to exchange information on the protection issues in their respective countries.
Other UNHCR Caribbean activities in FY2006 supported by the U.S. included: protection and assistance projects for refugees and asylum seekers in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago. The UNHCR protection staff also trained officials from the Bahamas and Jamaica in international refugee law and provided them with routine legal advice. UNHCR protection staff initiated refugee status determinations for 46 cases in seven Caribbean countries and identified ten refugees in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, whose cases are currently being prepared for resettlement to third countries. By supporting UNHCR efforts, the U.S. is helping build the legal and functional capacity of Caribbean states to receive asylum-seekers, process claims, and provide necessary protection to those determined to be refugees.
The U.S.contributed $8.1 million to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in support of its programs in the region. Some examples of its work, mandated by the Geneva Conventions, are to provide emergency humanitarian aid to conflict victims, and to promote the incorporation of international humanitarian law into national legislation and the armed forces curricula.
The largest portion of our funding to ICRC was used in Colombia, where ICRC has the biggest delegation in the region. In 2005, ICRC closed some of its field offices in Colombia, reducing the number from 17 to 11, and its budget decreased accordingly. In 2006, ICRC has said that its programs are reaching most of the populations with high concentrations of IDPs. The precipitating motivation for this decision was primarily to target assistance to those conflict areas where the need was the greatest. ICRC anticipated being able to provide a higher level of support, both quantitatively and qualitatively, to IDPs by concentrating its resources in these areas.
In Haiti, ICRC strengthened the structure and operational capacities of the Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS). ICRC also provided the Interim Government of Haiti technical support in the fields of health and prison reform, among other activities.
A major focus in our migration initiatives in the Western Hemisphere is to foster regional dialogues, including the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) and the South American Conference on Migration (SACM).
The RCM is an intergovernmental forum established in 1996 to discuss common migration issues and challenges in North and Central America. The United States has actively participated in the RCM since its inception and remains a major provider of funds for its operations and programs through the IOM.
DOS and DHS officials regularly participate in the biannual RCM meetings. The Regional Conference on Migration, which convenes at the Vice ministerial level met May 4-6, 2006 in San Salvador. The Regional Consultation Group on Migration met November 27-29 in San Salvador, bringing together mid-level government officials to discuss technical and policy developments in migration. Under El Salvador’s strong chairmanship in 2006, member states exchanged best practices in migration management, and discussed ways that states could maintain links with their diaspora communities overseas. The U.S. is the chair in 2007.
The U.S. also makes modest contributions to the more nascent South American Conference on Migration (SACM), of which we are an observer. Founded in 1999, the SACM serves as a forum for South American countries to discuss migration management at the regional level. We provided $50,000 in FY2006 in support of the SACM, and we also provided $160,000 to support a regional meeting in the Caribbean to discuss migration management and health in the context of migrant populations.
The U.S. funds various programs through IOM to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) and assist vulnerable migrants in the Americas.
The U.S. provided $85,000 to IOM for activities to assist returning trafficking victims in the Dominican Republic, and $190,000 to continue activities in Haiti to provide protection and assistance to Restavek children.
The U.S. also provided $175,000 for direct assistance for TIP victims and capacity building in Argentina, as well as $10,000 to provide technical expertise in a U.S.-funded TIP shelter in El Salvador. We provided $116,114 to IOM/Mexico to build the capacity of government officials and NGOs in Mexico on TIP issues, complementing other on-going programs of the President’s anti-trafficking initiative. Additionally, we supported a regional trafficking project in the Caribbean ($144,971) aimed at providing targeted information campaigns in the context of the 2007 Soccer World Cup.
Further anti-TIP efforts on the law enforcement side are referenced above in the section of this report dealing with efforts against transnational organized crime.
KEY DSA THEME: Strengthening of mechanisms and actions to address extreme poverty, inequality, and social exclusion, and commitment to combat extreme poverty through actions in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals, the Monterrey Consensus, and the Declaration of Margarita.
Between 2005 and 2007, the U.S.:
KEY DSA THEME: Develop crosscutting strategies to improve availability and access to medications for all, principally within the framework of the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization with a gender perspective. Encourage research on diseases disproportionately affecting developing states.
In 2006, the U.S. provided nearly $530 million since 2003 in the fight against AIDS in the region through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria, and bilateral initiatives;
U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS programs in the Western Hemisphere has grown from $22 million in 2001 to over $143 million planned in 2007, with Haiti and Guyana included as focus countries in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR.)
The U.S. has trained 9,000 health professionals in Brazil to collect reliable information regarding tuberculosis treatment outcome and to feed data into the Brazilian National Health Information System, improving TB surveillance and decreasing unknown treatment outcome rates by 20 percent;
The U.S. Navy Ship Comfort is on a humanitarian mission to treat 85,000 patients and perform 1,500 surgeries throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.
KEY DSA THEME: Strengthening of existing inter-American mechanisms and development of new mechanisms to improve and broaden the region’s response capability in preventing and mitigating the effects of natural and man-made disasters, including through Inter-American Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction.
USSOUTHCOM supports this measure with a comprehensive Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) through Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) funding. The HAP projects serve to improve the capacity of the host nations to fully respond to disasters, and in turn decrease or eliminate the need for U.S. military responses. HAP Projects are classified into four categories:
The U.S. Government has conducted 71 Medical Deployment Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETE) in 17 South American countries with over 2,700 medical personnel. The exercises included rapid response to the August 15th, 2006 eruption of the volcano in Tungurahua, Ecuador, with 15 personnel treating respiratory and ocular injuries.
The response to Measure #15 also provides information pertinent to natural disaster issues.
The USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance has been actively providing humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disaster supporting OAS member states throughout the region. A full report accounting for USAID activities for 2004-2005 in the region can be found on the web at: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/publications/annual_reports/pdf/AR2005.pdf.
KEY DSA THEME: Commitment to working in coordination in order to mitigate the adverse effects that global climate change could have on our states, and development of cooperation mechanisms in accordance with the international efforts in this field.
The United States believes the most effective way to address climate change is through a broader development agenda that encourages development and deployment of clean energy technologies and global collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy security, and cut air pollution while ensuring continued economic growth. Our initiatives include a wide array of action-orientated partnerships, which rely on voluntary and practical measures to reduce greenhouse gas intensity, encourage private sector participation, and introduce cleaner technologies.
In 2002, the President set an ambitious goal to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the U.S. economy by 18% by 2012. The Administration estimates that this will reduce cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent by more than 1,833 million metric tons (MMTCO2) by 2012. We have a diverse portfolio of policy measures, including dozens of mandatory, incentive-based, and voluntary programs to meet our intensity goal -- and the results to show for them:
From 2000-2005, U.S. population grew by 15 million and GDP grew 12.5 %, but our greenhouse gas emissions increased only 1.6 %, among the best for developed nations.
The United States is leading the development of advanced technology options that have the potential to reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. The President has requested and Congress has provided substantial funding for climate-related science, technology, observations, international assistance, and incentive programs – on the order of $37 billion since 2001.
The United States is actively pursuing a range of solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy security, and cut harmful air pollution through collaborative public-private partnerships with practical, targeted results. In addition to our 15 bilateral and regional climate change partnerships launched since 2002, the United States has initiated partnerships to promote the development and deployment of key climate change related energy technologies, including:
The Methane to Markets Partnership (M2M): With 20 partners and an extensive project network, M2M could recover 50 million metric tons of carbon equivalent annually by 2015.
The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF): CSLF has 22 partners that have approved 17 carbon capture and storage projects as well as a technology roadmap to provide direction for international cooperation on carbon sequestration.
The International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE): IPHE’s members are working to advance research, development, and deployment of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies, while also developing common codes for hydrogen use.The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP): This Presidential initiative engages the governments and private sectors in 6 key nations -- Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States -- that account for about half of the world’s economy, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Partners are enhancing deployment of clean energy technologies to address their energy, clean development, and climate goals. Examples of APP successes include: