International Efforts to Attack a Global Problem

NSIAD-93-165: Published: Jun 23, 1993. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed international efforts to counter narcotics, focusing on: (1) the types of anti-drug programs funded bilaterally by major donors and multilateral organizations; (2) U.S. efforts to increase international support for U.S. counternarcotic objectives; and (3) the mechanisms used to coordinate international efforts.

GAO found that: (1) the major industrialized countries support the global effort to control illicit drug production and trafficking; (2) European nations do not support active enforcement-related supply reduction programs outside their borders because they believe that national authorities are responsible for interdiction; (3) European and Asian nations provide the United Nations' International Drug Control Program a larger share of their international counternarcotic budgets than the United States; (4) the United States promotes its policy objectives in international and bilateral summits and through State Department discussions with host country counterparts; (5) U.S. law enforcement personnel are assigned overseas to assist countries with enforcement activities; (6) efforts to coordinate counternarcotic programs have been hampered by differing political policies and regional focuses; (7) international data exchanges critical to controlling trafficking and coordinating assistance are fragmented; (8) existing databases focus on specific aspects of drug control, and planned databases have a regional focus; and (9) bilateral assistance data are nonexistent or incomplete because no database exists for bilateral counternarcotic programs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The State Department reevaluated the need to base a full-time regional narcotics affairs advisor (NAS/USEC) in Brussels and determined in March 1994 that the advisor is needed. The reevaluation was timely and considered developments in Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union, the new "third pillar" authorities acquired by the European Union (EU) with passage of the Maastricht Treaty, the pending reorganization of the Bureau of International Narcotics Matters (INM) and the revised priorities in the administration's international counternarcotics policies. The State Department reported that INM NAS/USEC in Europe is organized and essential to pursue the administration's counternarcotics objectives in the region.

    Recommendation: The Department of State should reevaluate the need to base a full-time regional narcotics affairs advisor in Brussels.

    Agency Affected: Department of State


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