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Final Declaration: U.S.-Central America Dialogue on Security


Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
July 18, 2007

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Secretary General of the Central American Integration System
Thirty-third Meeting of the Central American Security Commission
Guatemala City

AGREEMENTS

The Central American Security Commission and the representatives of the United States of America, meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Republic of Guatemala, and

WHEREAS:

The SICA Member States and the United States of America have initiated an ongoing consultative process to enhance cooperation with a view to confronting the transnational threats posed to all the States of the region;

The SICA Member States and the United States of America recognize that improved multilateral cooperation is of vital importance because threats to security know no borders and affect all States;

The SICA Member States and the United States of America acknowledge the progress that has been made to strengthen the Security Strategy between Central America and Mexico to face the threats to democratic security;

As part of this Dialogue, shared security problems have been addressed, including gangs, drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and other organized crime offenses, in view of the negative and destabilizing effects of these transnational threats, which require a joint, coordinated effort;

Legislative and judicial reforms must be encouraged and/or promoted to provide SICA Member States with the legal tools they need to combat transnational crime;

Innovative forms of cooperation must be found, along with ways to coordinate national and regional activities, share information, and make use of our talents, assets, resources, and skills to combat these transnational threats, protect the security and well-being of our citizens, and improve their ability to enjoy the benefits of democracy;

This Dialogue takes place under conditions of legal equality, with full respect for national sovereignty, and the actions developed in the common interest are consistent with their respective legal systems;

Effective implementation of the actions agreed on hereunder requires sufficient financial resources.

THEREFORE AGREE:

To formalize the Dialogue between the SICA Member States and the United States of America by holding at least one meeting of a political and technical nature each year.

Combating Criminal Gangs

1. To work together to further regional anti-gang efforts, focusing not only on law enforcement activities but also on prevention and rehabilitation programs;

2. To work together to provide educational and vocational training opportunities, job opportunities, recreational opportunities, and community service alternatives for young people at risk or in conflict with the law;

3. To improve and strengthen systems for exchanging, using, and disseminating information between the SICA Member States and the United States, including discussions on experiences and best practices;

4. To improve and strengthen systems for exchanging information on the activities and movements of gangs between the United States and the SICA Member States;

5. To enhance law enforcement cooperation in all areas;

6. To promote the establishment and expansion of prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs, and of effective policies at the regional, national, and municipal levels, with the participation of local governments, churches, civil society, the media, and the private sector;

7. To support reforms of the justice system that improve the treatment and rehabilitation of young people;

8. To consider legislative and judicial reforms in order to address more effectively all aspects of the gang problem;

9. To provide technical assistance and share best practices between nations and communities, as appropriate, to enhance efforts to combat criminal gangs;

Combating Drug Trafficking

10. To strengthen even further cooperation between the SICA Member States and the United States in efforts to stem the production of illicit crops, drug trafficking, and other related crimes such as money laundering, the sale of drugs via the Internet, and the diversion to illicit channels of pharmaceutical products and chemical substances;

11. To expand and enhance cooperation and coordination through joint task force and advisory groups to analyze and address new trafficking trends and routes in Central America and the Caribbean;

12. To encourage legislative reforms by giving the States new legal tools to fight drug trafficking, the diversion of precursor chemicals, and money laundering;

13. To work actively with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) expert groups that address demand reduction, pharmaceuticals, chemical substances, money laundering, and drug trafficking, in order to facilitate and increase cooperation, coordination, and information exchange;

14. To promote the development and shared use of appropriate technologies to support efforts to combat drug trafficking and the diversion of chemical precursors;

15. To use specialized investigative techniques in the effort to control drug trafficking and the diversion of chemical precursors used in the production of illicit drugs;

16. To obtain the participation of non-governmental organizations, the private sector, community service agencies, religious institutions, and the media to support national programs against drugs;

17. To establish, maintain, expand, and share drug-trafficking-related information systems;

18. To stress the importance of cooperating in the establishment of legal tools that will enhance the development of specialized investigative techniques;

19. To assist States, at their request, in formulating or revising laws relating to telephone intercept, conspiracy, money laundering, and seizures, among others;

20. To consider cooperating in the establishment of the Regional Center for Coordinating Counter-Narcotics Efforts in Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico (CERCONAR), and the Regional Anti-Drug Educational Center, headquartered in Honduras;

21. To establish joint cooperative mechanisms to support efforts to fight all forms of corruption as a theme linked to threats to security, within the framework of the appropriate international legislation;

Combating Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons

22. To combat the threat of illicit trafficking in weapons by cooperating between our States to eradicate this problem and support efforts related to this subject;

23. To develop mutual support via technical or other assistance to improve the oversight, security, and destruction of such weapons, undertaking to exchange information and experiences;

24. To improve the sharing of law enforcement information on routes, organizations, and persons involved in the trafficking of such weapons;

25. To improve the tracking of firearms seized in connection with illicit activities, in support of investigative leads;

26. To deepen law enforcement and customs cooperation;

27. To strengthen national controls of stockpiles of such arms and related security, fostering technical and financial cooperation with a view to destroying illicit, obsolete, and excess stockpiles of small arms and light weapons;

28. To establish and strengthen import and export controls, to include brokering controls, consistent with international practices, standards, and agreements;

29. To support implementation of the Central American Plan for the Control of Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The Parties to the Dialogue recognize the need in Central America for financial resources to implement the actions identified as being in the common interest and shall therefore examine the possibility of implementing such actions and the methods of financing that they might be able to adopt.

They await the Nicaraguan financing proposal and request the SICA General Secretariat, along with the States Parties to this Dialogue, both individually and collectively, to identify sources of funding.

They urge other States of the Hemisphere to join this effort in the near future, and thank the Government of Guatemala for its hospitality in hosting this meeting.

[Signature]
United States of America

[Signature]
Guatemala

[Signature]
El Salvador

[Signature]
Honduras

[Signature]
Nicaragua

[Signature]
Costa Rica

[Signature]
Panama

[Signature]
Dominican Republic

[Signature]
Belize



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