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Final Version, 7 March 2006 (15 h 30)

 

VIENNA DECLARATION

 

Conclusions of the VIIIth High-Level meeting of the Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean,

Vienna, 6-7 March 2006

 

1. We, the delegations of the Member States of the European Union, Latin American and the Caribbean, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, assisted by the Secretary-General of the Council, and the European Commission, meeting under the co-presidency of Austria and Costa Rica in Vienna 6 and 7 March 2006 at the eighth High Level Meeting of the Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean, with the participation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), EUROPOL.

2. RECALLING that the Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean ("the Mechanism") is a unique bi-regional forum for identifying new approaches and exchanging proposals, ideas and experiences in the fight against illicit drugs.

3. REITERATING the commitment of both regions to work together in discussing policies, exploring new approaches and solutions and coordinating action in the fight against illicit drugs and related crimes, in compliance with national regulations and with the principles established at the UNGASS on Drugs of 1998.

4. REITERATING the Declarations of the Mechanism of Panama City (Panama, 1999), Lisbon (Portugal 2000), Cochabamba (Bolivia 2001), Madrid (Spain 2002), Cartagena de Indias (Colombia 2003), Dublin (Ireland 2004) and Lima (Peru 2005).

5. CONFIRMING our resolve to continue to support the development of the political dialogue and, when appropriate, the joint presentation of draft resolutions to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in line with the 2003 Cartagena commitment.

6. REITERATING our bi-regional commitment to tackling the world drug problem in accordance with the principle of shared responsibility and based on a global and balanced approach which ensures effective results in practice.

7. WELCOMING the inclusion of ‘illicit drugs and organised crime’ as a topic for the discussions at the 4th Summit of Heads and State or Government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean to be held in Vienna, Austria on 11-12 May 2006

 

WE DECLARE THAT WE AGREE ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS, ACTIONS AND COMMITMENTS:

Demand Reduction – the problem of the use of illicit drugs: prevention and treatment of drug addiction

8. We note the ongoing debate on the challenges of cocaine abuse in the European Union.  Aware of the increasing assistance needs of users of cocaine/crack and other illicit drugs in both regions, we will endeavour to exchange experience and ideas for targeted treatment intervention strategies, including defining ways to better reach treatment target groups, the development of intervention models for cocaine dependence and of better targeted preventive approaches.

9. We welcome the proposal forwarded by the Latin American and Caribbean countries to launch a twinning scheme between cities of the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean with the purpose of strengthening our joint resolve against drugs, its risks and devastating effects. We also acknowledge the European Commission’s intention to continue exploring the possibilities to financially support this initiative, particularly in the area of demand reduction.

10. We welcome the European Commission’s inter-regional projects in support of expanding the services provided by civil society and the exchange of best practices in the area of demand reduction in, inter alia, Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Supply Reduction – Alternative development, various aspects of drugs trafficking (register of chemical precursors, port control, installation of radars, laboratory dismantlement, etc), money laundering, intelligence sharing

11. In application of the principle of shared responsibility, we reiterate our commitment to promote initiatives on alternative development, including preventive alternative development, in interested countries, as key element of an integral, sustainable and bottom-up approach, which have the potential to generate cost-efficient and long lasting structural changes in illicit crop cultivation areas. We recognise that, to be successful, this will require a number of simultaneous efforts in other areas, such as counter-narcotics control and law enforcement, cooperation against precursors diversion, manufacturing laboratories, money laundering, in order to combat the retail distribution of illicit drugs and arms trafficking, and the full range of other illicit activities in the supply and distribution chain of drug trafficking.

12. To this end, we take note of the recent EU initiative to establish a policy document on alternative development, of the ‘Andean Integral and Sustainable Alternative Development Strategy’ adopted in July 2005, as well as of the activities of the Caricom Regional Task Force on Crime and Security.

13. We intend to continue to work within the framework of the Mechanism on initiatives to improve air and maritime control of drug trafficking within and between the two regions. We acknowledge the specific challenge to the Caribbean countries posed by the traffic and use of illicit drugs and related crimes. To this end, we note the need for closer maritime cooperation within the Caribbean and with Central America and we welcome the adoption of regional and bilateral cooperation agreements in that field.

14. In this context, we welcome the ongoing co-operation and support to combating drug trafficking and also the law enforcement efforts in the Wider Caribbean and other regions by EU Member States and the European Commission, such as the support to the Regional Law Enforcement Clearing System. We stress the need to pool and co-ordinate efforts and we resolve to strengthen co-operation in this regard.

15. We resolve to look into ways and means to continue this kind of bi-regional co-operation activities in areas such as the control of drug precursor chemicals and other forms of co-operation in this field. In this sense we take note of the ongoing PRECAN initiative funded by the European Commission, which aims at the prevention of the diversion of chemical precursors for the scope of drug manufacturing in the Andean countries by, inter alia, improving the knowledge of the internal chemical markets among administrative authorities and operators which deal with controlled substances.

16. We take note of the statement made by the delegation of Bolivia concerning the traditional licit uses of coca leaves and the respect of cultural and indigenous practices.

Follow-up to the 7th High Level Meeting of the Mechanism in Lima (June 2005)

17. We welcome very much the follow-up that has been given to the recommendations and conclusions of the Lima Declaration. We see this as a sign of a revitalisation of bi-regional co-operation in the framework of the Mechanism and an expression of the continued commitment of both regions to this forum.

18. In this context, we welcome the successful meeting of EU-LAC Monitoring Centres that took place in Caracas on 28 to 30 November 2005. We express our gratitude to the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the CONACUID, as well as to the co-sponsors, the United Kingdom and the European Commission.

19. We consider that this meeting has provided an opportunity of greatest practical importance for Monitoring Centres from both regions: it allowed for an exchange of experiences and best-practices on issues such as anti-drug policies, strategic models for Monitoring Centres and models of data collection, processing and dissemination. Last but not least, it allowed the experts to develop a network of contacts with colleagues throughout both regions. We strongly encourage EU-LAC Monitoring Centres to make use of the opportunity provided by this meeting and to continue to exchange information and best practices.

20. We welcome the initiative developed as a direct follow-up to the Lima Declaration in the area of Intelligence Sharing, specifically the creation of a working group of EU-LAC law enforcement officers to enhance the sharing of criminal intelligence on drug trafficking. We thank the United Kingdom for the financial support that will allow for financing the first months of operation of the working group in this area.

21. We also welcome the call for proposals for a project on EU-LAC police and judicial co-operation and the global initiatives on alternative development and demand reduction under the European Communities North-South Budget Line, as an element of the Commission response to the priorities embedded in the Panama Action Plan.

22. We reiterate our commitment to a closer bi-regional political dialogue, as well as,  where appropriate, coordinated actions in international fora, in particular, in the presentation and joint sponsoring of draft resolutions at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the formulation of joint statements on topics of common interest.

The way ahead: Review of the EU-LAC Panama Action Plan

23. Guided by the principle of shared responsibility, we reiterate our commitment to the operational framework of the Mechanism based on the Panama Action Plan, as well as to the goals agreed at the 20th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

24. We consider that seven years after the endorsement of the Panama Action Plan by the Heads of State or Government at the EU-LAC summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1999 and agreement on areas for co-operation highlighted at the Lisbon Meeting of the Mechanism in 2000 it is time to examine existing bi-regional co-operation, to draw conclusions and set new priorities for the future. In this context, special consideration should also be given to the specific challenge that international drug trafficking and related crimes poses to the Caribbean countries.

25. We invite the Heads of State and Governments meeting in Vienna for the EU-LAC summit in May 2006 to endorse our proposal to conduct a full review of the current framework for bi-regional co-operation as contained in the Panama Action Plan and the Lisbon areas for action. All this with the aim of strengthening the goals and plans of actions adopted for 2008 in UNGASS in 1998.

Preparation of the IXth  Meeting of the High-Level Mechanism in Port of Spain and formal agreement on the new LAC Co-Presidency

26. We agree to hold the IXth High Level Meeting of the Mechanism of Cooperation and Coordination in matters of drugs between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean in the city of Port of Spain under the co-presidency of Germany and Trinidad and Tobago in the first semester of 2007.

 

Date: 09.03.2006