Index

                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                  December 15, 2000


 
               FACT SHEET

               Progress in Efforts to Combat International Crime

               Introduction

               The spread of international crime since the end of the Cold War is a
               significant, complex and growing phenomenon that threatens U.S.
               citizens and vital interests both at home and abroad. The same
               attributes of globalization -- more open borders, increased volume of
               international trade, advances in technology and communications -- that
               have promoted important U.S. interests have also facilitated the
               dramatic growth of international crime. International crime threatens
               the safety, security and prosperity of Americans everywhere, and can
               undermine our nation's ability to promote stable democracies and free
               markets as well as our ability to preserve global security and
               stability.

               The Clinton Administration has placed a high priority on efforts to
               combat international crime. To meet this challenge, the Administration
               implemented a broad U.S. Government attack on international crime
               through the issuance in October 1995 of PDD-42, the Presidential
               Decision Directive on International Organized Crime. As a result,
               leading federal agencies have worked more closely than ever before in
               identifying, targeting, investigating, prosecuting and disrupting the
               major transnational crime groups.

               U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, diplomatic and other key officials
               have coordinated their efforts in addressing all facets of this global
               problem, including but not limited to drug and arms trafficking, money
               laundering, migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, intellectual
               property theft, and foreign official corruption. These efforts, many
               of which have been undertaken pursuant to the President's
               International Crime Control Strategy released in May 1998, have
               resulted in substantial progress against international crime.

               Drug Trafficking and Abuse

               The United States has implemented a balanced and multifaceted approach
               to addressing this urgent problem, including a full range of demand
               reduction, treatment and supply reduction programs carried out both
               domestically and in cooperation with countries around the globe. By
               2007, the Administration hopes to cut illegal drug use and
               availability in the United States by 50 percent.

               Effective eradication and interdiction programs, typically in
               cooperation with international partners, have prevented tons of
               illicit drugs from reaching U.S. and other world markets.

               Sustained efforts by the United States, working closely with
               international partners, have led to the dismantling of several major
               international trafficking organizations, including the Cali and
               Juvenal organizations in Colombia.

               New programs have been implemented to identify and target drug
               kingpins and their organizations using economic sanctions pursuant to
               the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Foreign
               Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. These sanctions block drug
               trafficking assets in the United States and shut off U.S. markets and
               financial institutions from designated drug traffickers and their
               associates.

               A $1.3 billion emergency supplemental provided a substantial increase
               in U.S. support for Plan Colombia, President Pastrana's comprehensive
               effort to combat drug trafficking and to strengthen democracy and the
               economy. This package of enhanced U.S. assistance, approved by
               Congress in June 2000, will help Colombia to improve illicit drug
               interdiction and eradication capabilities, promote alternate crops and
               jobs, expand the rule of law, protect human rights and promote the
               peace process. In addition, the United States has increased assistance
               for other countries in the region, primarily to consolidate
               counter-drug gains in the major Andean drug-producing countries and to
               ensure that successful law enforcement efforts in Colombia do not
               simply drive illicit drug cultivation and production into neighboring
               countries.

               At the second Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile, in 1998,
               34 Presidents, including President Clinton, agreed to create a new
               Hemispheric Alliance Against Drugs. The centerpiece of this Alliance
               is a pledge to create a Mutual Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) for
               hemispheric information sharing and cooperation. The MEM is an
               unprecedented initiative designed to catalog the counter-drug
               initiatives undertaken by the countries in the hemisphere, share best
               practices, and provide a basis for comparing and improving national
               actions.

               Arms Trafficking

               The United States has taken a wide range of steps to address growing
               international concern about trafficking in small arms and light
               weapons. U.S. efforts have promoted regional security, peace and
               reconciliation in regions of conflict and helped to shut down illicit
               arms markets that fuel the violence associated with terrorism and
               international organized crime.

               The United States was a leader in concluding the OAS Inter-American
               Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in
               Firearms, the first international agreement designed to prevent,
               combat, and eradicate illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition, and
               explosives. The United States continues to work toward completion of
               the Protocol to Combat the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in
               Firearms, Their Parts and Components. This protocol to the recently
               adopted United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized
               Crime would build on and globalize the standards incorporated in the
               precedent-setting OAS Convention.

               Money Laundering

               The Departments of Treasury and Justice have implemented the
               first-ever National Money Laundering Strategy, a comprehensive action
               plan to target illicit crime proceeds. Among other measures pursuant
               to this strategy, the United States, in cooperation with the
               intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, is identifying,
               exposing and sanctioning countries with inadequate money laundering
               regimes. Financial institutions from persistently uncooperative states
               face penalties including loss of access to the U.S. banking system.

               Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons

               Today, the Departments of State and Justice announced the
               establishment of a Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons
               Coordination Center pursuant to the goals established in the
               President's International Crime Control Strategy.

               Each year, hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants are moved by
               international smuggling organizations, often in harsh or even inhumane
               transit conditions, from their countries of origin to the United
               States. The United Nations estimates indicate that migrant smuggling
               has grown to a $7 billion per year global criminal industry.

               Trafficking in persons, with women and children as the predominant
               targets of criminal enterprises, involves at least 700,000 new victims
               annually and occurs both within countries and across national borders.
               At least 45,000 - 50,000 victims are trafficked to the United States
               each year. These victims are typically coerced or lured through fraud
               into slavery-like conditions.

               This interagency initiative will achieve greater integration and
               overall effectiveness in U.S. Government enforcement and other
               response actions. The Center will bring together representatives from
               the policy, law enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic communities
               in one central location. These personnel will facilitate information
               sharing and support the work of U.S. government entities with policy
               coordination responsibilities and law enforcement-related task forces
               that separately address migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.
               The Center will also promote and assist intensified efforts by foreign
               governments and international organizations to combat migrant
               smuggling and trafficking in persons.

               The Center will help to advance the three primary objectives of the
               U.S. Government strategy to counter migrant smuggling and trafficking
               in persons: (1) prevent and deter smuggling and trafficking activity;
               (2) investigate and prosecute the criminals involved in this activity;
               and (3) protect and assist victims as provided in applicable law and
               policy.

               Earlier initiatives in furtherance of this strategy included the
               establishment of the President's Interagency Council on Women to
               coordinate the U.S. Government response to trafficking in persons;
               passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of
               2000 and formation of the Alien Smuggling Task Force by the Department
               of Justice.

               Intellectual Property Theft

               The Department of Justice has launched a major initiative to promote
               increased domestic enforcement against violations of intellectual
               property rights. This initiative also encourages other nations to
               enact appropriate laws protecting intellectual property rights and to
               take effective enforcement action. In addition, the Customs Service
               and the Federal Bureau of Investigation established an Intellectual
               Property Rights Center to coordinate an improved flow of intelligence
               information in support of enforcement action by the United States and
               other countries.

               Foreign Official Corruption

               In 1999, Vice President Gore hosted the first global forum to fight
               corruption among government officials responsible to uphold the rule
               of law. Ninety countries participated in the Global Forum on Fighting
               Corruption: Safeguarding Integrity Among Justice and Security
               Officials. They agreed on a declaration that calls on governments to
               adopt effective anti-corruption measures and to assist each other in
               these efforts through mutual evaluation and other means. The
               Netherlands will host a follow-up forum in May 2001 and expects over
               130 countries to participate.

               International Engagement

               The United States has significantly increased its engagement abroad to
               promote closer international cooperation and greater overall
               effectiveness in combating transnational crime. Leading examples
               include: creation of the Lyon Group of Experts on International Crime
               within the G-8 framework; negotiation of additional mutual legal
               assistance and extradition treaties; posting of an increasing number
               of new law enforcement officials overseas; establishment of the
               International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) to conduct training on
               a regional basis; and formation of bilateral mechanisms to promote
               closer law enforcement cooperation with key countries, including
               China, Mexico, Russia and South Africa.

               International Crime Threat Assessment

               The Clinton Administration today released a comprehensive
               International Crime Threat Assessment addressing all aspects of this
               threat to the United States. President Clinton directed preparation of
               the assessment as part of the International Crime Control Strategy
               approved in May 1998. The new assessment is a major step forward in
               achieving a better understanding of the global dimensions of
               international crime and the various ways in which it threatens U.S.
               interests.

               International Crime Control Act

               Another initiative undertaken pursuant to the President's
               International Crime Control Strategy was the development of the
               proposed International Crime Control Act. This comprehensive proposed
               legislation, which was introduced in Congress in 1998, would close key
               gaps in current federal law, criminalize additional types of harmful
               activities, and promote a strengthening of both domestic and foreign
               criminal justice systems to respond to the new challenges posed by
               crime that crosses international boundaries. The bill would
               substantially improve the ability of U.S. law enforcement agencies to
               investigate and prosecute international criminals, to seize their
               money and assets, to stop them from crossing our borders, and to
               prevent them from threatening Americans and our institutions.

               UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

               Earlier this week in Palermo, Italy, the United States, together with
               many other nations, signed the first multilateral treaty specifically
               targeting international organized crime. The United Nations Convention
               against Transnational Organized Crime, together with two supplementary
               Protocols addressing trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, was
               previously approved by the United Nations General Assembly on November
               15, 2000.

               Over the past several years, the United States played a leading role
               in negotiating the Convention and Protocols with over 120 countries in
               Vienna, Austria. The purpose of the Convention is to prevent and
               combat international organized crime more effectively by requiring
               parties to criminalize certain conduct and providing for enhanced
               cooperative mechanisms.

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