United States Report on Implementation of the Declaration on Security of the Americas

October 28, 2013

   

Dear Ambassadors:

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the Declaration on Security in the Americas, I am pleased to present you with the United States Report on the Implementation of the Declaration on Security in the Americas.

The architecture called for at the 2003 Special Conference on Security in Mexico City was unprecedented for its aspiration to address all relevant threats to security. The Declaration recognizes that citizen security is paramount and that the concept of security is multidimensional.

In line with the Declaration’s multidimensional approach, the United States maintains as priorities the promotion of development and economic growth, the protection of human rights, and the strengthening of democratic institutions. All are vital to the preservation of the security of our people and our states. We work together through coordinated and cooperative efforts to address these multidimensional threats and maintain the security of our citizens. Through a continued commitment to partnerships, the United States pledges to help the Americas become a platform for shared prosperity and success.

The United States remains fully committed to the implementation of the Declaration. While this report is not a comprehensive list of U.S. activities in support of the Declaration, it highlights our key efforts and demonstrates how the Declaration reinforces our continued partnership with the OAS to strengthen hemispheric security.

The hemisphere has made noteworthy progress implementing many of the recommendations and commitments of the Declaration. Success, however, will come only as a result of full implementation by each and every member state. With the celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the Declaration, now is the time for our commitment to address the pressing, evolving, and multidimensional security issues of the Americas in the 21st century. We look forward to receiving your views on this submission.

Sincerely,

Roberta S. Jacobson

Introduction:

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. The Declaration 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 disputes, furthering confidence and security building measures among states, curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking in firearms, preventing and mitigating the effects 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 key efforts to take action on the primary themes within the Declaration. The United States is pleased to offer its contribution to the growing body of information and demonstrate the measures it has taken towards implementation. The Declaration laid an important foundation for addressing the security concerns of the hemisphere. The United States remains convinced it is only through coordinated and cooperative efforts that the hemisphere will be able to address the multidimensional threats of the 21st century.

Key Themes of the Declaration on Security in the Americas and U.S. Implementation
 

Promotion and Defense of Democracy

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.

The United States strongly supports the principles of the OAS Charter and Inter-American Democratic Charter. The United States has supported free and fair elections with solid voter participation by contributing to Electoral Observation Missions from 2007 to 2013 in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Suriname; and sponsored Civil Registry initiatives in Peru, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and the Eastern Caribbean. The United States has contributed to several international and Inter-American meetings on Election Observation Principles, encouraged civil society participation in OAS events, supported special OAS missions to Honduras and Paraguay, and backed on-going efforts in Haiti.

The United States is a consistent and strong supporter of the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS). Support for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reflects the value that the United States places upon its continued independence and autonomy, including its authority to freely investigate, report, and make pronouncements on alleged human rights abuses throughout the Americas. The United States engages regularly with the IACHR’s Executive Secretariat, the IACHR Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and regional human rights organizations, regarding its own human rights record. Over the past two years, the United States took an active role in the OAS reflection process regarding the regional human rights system and offered various proposals intended to strengthen the capacity and responsiveness of the IAHRS. Throughout the process, the United States underscored its support for strengthening the System and Commission, and its commitment to assure that any reforms maintain the System’s autonomy, independence, and integrity. The United States continues to provide strong support to the defense and promotion of human rights, including more than $2 million annually to the IACHR.

Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

Support for peaceful settlement of disputes as embodied in the Charters of the UN and the OAS via hemispheric, regional, sub-regional, and bilateral mechanisms, and support for the work of the OAS General Secretariat through, inter-alia, the Fund for Peace: Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes.

In 2010, the United States contributed $50,000 in support of OAS mediation and confidence building measures to resolve the longstanding territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala through the work of the OAS Adjacency Zone office. In 2011, the United States contributed an additional $100,000 to these measures.

Special Security Concerns of Small Island States

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

In 2009, at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, President Obama announced the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a shared security partnership among the United States and the Caribbean. The United States and the Caribbean states have since then developed a regional strategy and operational framework based upon a joint assessment of priorities for the region.

At the May 2010 Inaugural Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation Dialogue, the governments of the United States and Caribbean states, including the Dominican Republic, Belize, Guyana, and Suriname, pledged to:

  • Substantially Reduce Illicit Trafficking – by countering and reducing narcotics trafficking, the trafficking of small arms and light weapons, and trafficking in persons; focusing joint efforts on the criminal organizations that carry out these acts; and taking steps to counter and reduce money laundering.
  • Advance Public Safety and Security – by seeking to prevent and reduce crime and violence; dismantling and disrupting organized gangs; and focusing on border security.
  • Promote Social Justice – by providing opportunities and alternatives to gangs for at-risk youth; increasing justice sector capacity to successfully prosecute criminals; fostering community and law enforcement cooperation; and targeting corruption.

From 2009 to 2013, the United States allocated more than $263 million for CBSI. This includes assistance in maritime and aerial security cooperation, law enforcement capacity building, border/port security and firearms interdiction, justice sector reform, and crime prevention and at-risk youth, all developed through the CBSI cooperative dialogue process.

CBSI is comprised of bilateral and regional programming, with programming in all 13 CBSI partner states. The scope of programming for CBSI is extensive, but notable efforts include the following:

  • The United States provided interceptor boats, training, and other equipment to support interdiction operations. Within six weeks of delivery, U.S.-funded “Secure Seas” SAFE interdiction boats were used to seize cocaine shipments, and in at least one case, rescue citizens in distress at sea.
  • CBSI is funding the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Container Control Program in Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. This program seeks to establish joint task forces involving relevant law enforcement agencies, and in some cases the private sector, to increase security at sea ports. Countries can replicate this model at additional sea ports and can utilize the interagency coordination that is integral to this program to strengthen capacities in other areas of law enforcement.
  • The United States has provided funding for partner states to share information through the Cooperative Situational Information Integration Initiative, or CSII, an internet-based, unclassified, information sharing network that allows the participants to fuse data on airborne, maritime, and ground tracks in a common operating picture.
  • Through CBSI, the United States has created an enhanced Caribbean Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) to provide assistance in developing maritime asset maintenance and logistics systems in partner states. More specifically, support will be tailored to individual partner states' requirements and could include, but is not limited to, addressing shortfalls in technical troubleshooting and repair expertise, maintenance execution and scheduling, parts procurement/supply, logistics, and budgeting.
  • The United States and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security’s (IMPACS) Joint Regional Communications Center are working hand-in-hand through the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to screen passengers into Caribbean ports of entry.
  • In the area of crime prevention, CBSI is addressing the underlying causes of crime by supporting vocational education and youth workforce development, including youth entrepreneurship. To date, more than 23,000 young people across the Caribbean have participated in CBSI programs in education and workforce development.
  • CBSI has supported anti-corruption training for more than 1,300 government officials. In Jamaica, the United States partnered with the Customs Department and the Tax Administration to reduce corruption and improve operations. In 2012, the Tax Administration of Jamaica recovered more than $100 million through a U.S. program costing under $2 million.
  • The U.S. Department of State, working with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has begun implementation of a $2.4 million Firearms Interdiction and Training Program in the Caribbean region. This multifaceted ATF program involves several components: (1) conducting assessments of the scope of the regional trafficking problem in seven key states facing the most significant problems; (2) establishing a forensic training program and exploring the feasibility of a Caribbean Forensic Academy; (3) providing expert legal, regulatory, and parliamentary assistance to ensure the states have an established and effective anti-trafficking regime; (4) deploying two regional firearms advisors who will supervise training and provide technical, legal, and firearms investigation and tracing support to the states of the Caribbean Basin; and (5) establishing an exchange program that would permit Caribbean law enforcement officials to work in short intervals alongside their ATF counterparts in the United States.
  • In an effort to expand digital biometric capability in the region, the United States has signed procurement agreements for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) machines, LiveScan machines, and conversion of existing fingerprint cards for eight Caribbean countries. This equipment and training will allow these eight countries to collect, transmit, and search digital biometric information, and to convert their existing paper fingerprint cards into useable digital biometric information.

Arms Control and Nonproliferation

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:

The United States destroyed all of its biological weapons in the 1970s.

The United States routinely offers information and assistance to states on joining and implementing the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), including strengthening biosafety and biosecurity legislation and policies.

The Biosecurity Engagement (BEP) Program was launched in 2006 to address emerging global biological threats. Working with multiple offices in the Department of State and other U.S. government agencies, BEP engages more than 47 countries to promote sustainable biosafety and biosecurity, disease surveillance and control, and promotion of responsible scientistic ethics in collaboration with host country governments.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) Federal Select Agent Program oversees the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins that pose a serious threat to public, animal, or plant health, or to animal or plant products in accordance with the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) register all entities on U.S. territory, such as private, State, and Federal research laboratories; universities; and vaccine companies that possess, use, or transfer select agents or toxins. The Federal Select Agent Program maintains a website at www.selectagents.gov

U.S. actions in the area of chemical weapons:

The United States is in the process of destroying all of its chemical weapons and remains committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The United States makes every effort to accelerate its destruction program in a manner consistent with the national safety and environmental standards set out in the Convention.

The United States also continues to update the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and States Parties to the Convention on United States destruction efforts. The United States has destroyed approximately 90 percent of its chemical weapons stockpile. Additionally, the United States has strongly supported UN Security Council Resolution 2118 requiring scheduled destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.

The United States has also provided financial and technical aid to other Convention States Parties for the elimination of their declared chemical weapons stockpiles.

The United States has strong outreach programs on universality and national implementation of the CWC and provides information and technical assistance to Member States on joining the Convention and on meeting national implementation obligations.

The United States conducts technical assistance visits, upon request, with Ministry officials in capitals that are directly responsible for implementation of the CWC. These visits provide advice and support tailored to the specific needs of each member state to ensure full implementation of the CWC (e.g., domestic efforts to draft and enact implementing legislation, establish a national focal point for liaising with the OPCW in The Hague and other States Parties, declaration preparation, and adopting chemical industry-related implementation measures).

U.S. actions in the area of nuclear weapons:

In an April 5, 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama declared that to overcome the growing nuclear dangers of the 21st century, the United States “will seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” While recognizing that such a goal would not be achieved quickly, he expressed the determination to take concrete steps toward that goal, including by reducing the number of nuclear weapons and their role in U.S. strategy, while pledging that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter potential adversaries and to assure U.S. allies and partners. The United States is taking near-term practical steps to make concrete progress in meeting its obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The United States and the Russian Federation signed the New START Treaty in Prague on April 8, 2010, and the Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011. When fully implemented in 2018, each country will be down to no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads – the lowest levels since the 1950’s. This limit is 74 percent lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30 percent lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

Also in April 2010, the United States released the Nuclear Posture Review Report, which focused on five key objectives: 1) preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism; 2) reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy; 3) maintaining strategic deterrence and stability at reduced nuclear force levels; 4) strengthening regional deterrence and reassuring U.S. allies and partners; and 5) sustaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal. Among the key conclusions of the Nuclear Posture Review was the declaration that the United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, of its allies and partners, and the re-formulation of the negative security assurance of the United States to the effect that the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations.

On June 19, 2013, President Obama announced a new nuclear weapons employment strategy, based on the conclusions of the 2010 Nuclear Policy Review, that takes further steps toward reducing the role of nuclear weapons in the security strategy of the United States. The President stated that, after a comprehensive review of our nuclear forces, we can ensure the security of the United States and that of our allies and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while safely pursuing a reduction of up to one-third of our deployed strategic nuclear weapons from the level established in the New START Treaty. He further announced the intent to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to enable both countries to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures. At the same time, the President noted the intention to work with NATO allies to seek bold reductions in U.S. and Russian tactical weapons in Europe.

The United States is engaged with its P5 partners in the P5 Conference process to expand the discussion of nuclear issues, beyond the historic U.S.–Russia bilateral dialogue. In April, Russia hosted the fourth successful P5 Conference, where the P5 discussed issues relating to nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, transparency, confidence building, and associated verification challenges. U.S. engagement with the other P5 states on sensitive issues such as arms control and nonproliferation builds trust, encourages transparency, demonstrates leadership, and is a long-term investment that creates a stronger foundation for future discussions on nuclear weapons issues.

On the multilateral front, the United States continues to work for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT), the next logical step in multilateral nuclear disarmament. The United States has met with the P5 and other relevant states (the “P5 Plus process”) to seek to break the impasse in the Conference on Disarmament, which has stymied efforts to negotiate the FMCT.

The Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, (DOE/NNSA) through its International Nuclear Safeguards and Engagement Program, assists states in developing and maintaining measures to account for and secure nuclear materials, consistent with states’ obligations under the NPT and provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The program strengthens the nonproliferation regime by helping states put in place effective measures to control nuclear materials and to detect and deter their illegal acquisition. Additionally, the program assists states to establish effective infrastructure for responsible nuclear material stewardship.

NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative program reduces the risk of terrorists acquiring the nuclear and radiological materials for a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) by working at civilian sites worldwide to convert reactors from the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU), remove or dispose of excess WMD-usable nuclear and radiological materials, and protect at-risk WMD-usable nuclear and radiological materials from theft and sabotage until a more permanent threat reduction solution can be implemented.

NNSA’s International Material Protection and Cooperation Program improves the security of weapons-usable nuclear material and enhances detection and interdiction infrastructure at international borders.

As part of the United States’ efforts to eliminate surplus weapons-grade fissile materials, the NNSA will dispose of 34 metric tons of U.S. weapons-grade plutonium as well as oversee the disposition of approximately 180 metric tons of U.S. HEU. To date 141 metric tons of surplus HEU has been downblended for use in U.S. commercial nuclear power plants.

The United States reaffirmed its strong support for the Treaty of Tlatelolco at last year's international seminar, “The Experience of the NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean and the perspective towards 2015 and beyond,” hosted by Mexico February 14-15, 2012 marking the 45th Anniversary of the signing of this treaty.

Under the U.S.-IAEA safeguards agreement, the United States has approximately 300 nuclear facilities eligible for the application of IAEA safeguards under its “voluntary offer” safeguards agreement. In January 2009, the United States brought into force the Additional Protocol (AP) to its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which contains all the provisions of the Model AP. Under the AP, the United States declared more than 330 activities to the IAEA, and in 2010 hosted the first complementary access conducted in a nuclear weapon state.

The United States has consistently been the single largest contributor to the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Fund; and has also committed more than $27 million to the Peaceful Uses Initiative since 2010, including over $4 million towards national and regional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean in the areas of food safety, water resource management, sustainable uranium mining, and the development of safe and secure nuclear power infrastructure.

Limiting Military Spending and Transparency in Arms Acquisition

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.

The United States has consistently supported efforts at the Summit of the Americas, the OAS, and in the sub-regions of Latin America and the Caribbean to limit military spending and to increase transparency in the acquisition of arms. The United States supports the OAS Charter’s call for “measures to achieve effective limitation of conventional weapons that will make it possible to devote the largest amount of resources to the economic and social development of the Member States. Annually, the United States has participated in the UN Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures, in accordance with the pertinent UN General Assembly resolutions and OAS General Assembly resolutions. U.S. annual submissions to the UN are provided to the OAS.

Confidence-and-Security-Building Measures

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.

The United States places great importance on increasing transparency and openness in military matters and in using such openness to build confidence among states. Every two years, the United States has presented to the OAS a report on steps taken to implement the Declarations of Santiago, San Salvador, and Miami. The United States will continue to present these documents in years to come.

Support for the Meeting of Ministers of Justice (REMJA)

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 United States has actively participated in REMJA since its inception in 1997, and has demonstrated its commitment through regular attendance by the U.S. Attorney General, and by hosting REMJA in 2008 in Washington, D.C. The United States also strongly supports Meetings of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the America (MISPA) and actively participates in that forum dedicated to advancing public security.

Removal of Landmines in the Americas

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.

Since 1993, the United States has contributed more than $2 billion to more than 90 countries around the world to reduce the harmful worldwide effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used conventional weapons of war. In Latin America, the United States has been a major contributor to humanitarian demining programs in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Peacekeeping

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.

Through the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), the United States actively engages with twelve regional states to enhance and build deployable peacekeeping capability. This includes development of regional and national Peace Operations Training Centers, training of deployable units, and equipping training facilities and deployable units. Seven GPOI states contribute contingent units to the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

The United States coordinates, manages, and funds both multinational and bilateral peacekeeping exercises, including staff, command post, and field training events with emphasis on multinational and regional cooperation. These establish regional Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) capability and improve nations’ readiness for United Nations or other international peacekeeping missions. The exercises enhance military-to-military contacts, promote regional cooperation and engagement, and have significant tangential benefits to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Counter-Terrorism Efforts

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.

Since its creation in 1983, the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program has served as the primary provider of U.S. government antiterrorism training and equipment to law-enforcement agencies of partner states throughout the world and has delivered counterterrorism training to more than 100,000 law enforcement personnel from 154 countries.

The ATA program supports regional states’ efforts to deal with security challenges within their borders, to defend against threats to national and regional stability, and to deter terrorist operations across borders and regions. It provides states with cutting-edge training and consultations on topics such as cyber- security and computer forensics, crisis management and response, travel document fraud, dignitary protection, bomb detection and disposal, airport security, border security, response to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, interdiction of terrorist organizations, and hostage negotiation and rescue. Through training and the delivery of equipment grants, ATA helps its law-enforcement partners build capacity to detect, deter, disrupt, and investigate terrorist activities and suspects and prevent these suspects from crossing international borders en route to other countries.

Transportation Security Efforts

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 the Western Hemisphere Transport Initiative, the Inter-American Ports Commission, CICTE, CICAD, and CIFTA.

The United States provides training and support in the field of aviation security through workshops and classroom instruction within the hemisphere. The Department of State’s Counterterrorism Engagement (CTE) fund issued a grant to CICTE for over $500,000 in 2011 for strengthening aviation security standards and preventative security measures. Projects funded help build the capacity of OAS Member States to comply with the standards and recommended practices set out in the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, its annexes (particularly Annex 17), and other International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations with respect to safeguarding international civil aviation and its facilities against acts of unlawful interference. The grant enables CICTE to conduct several aviation security activities in sub-regional workshops and courses. This allows countries in the region to network and share their experiences and information while advancing their knowledge in the security matters at hand.

The CTE fund also issued a grant in 2012 to CICTE for over $191,000 for capacity building, travel document security, border controls, and identity management. Specifically, it provided funding to CICTE’s Document Security and Fraud Prevention (DSFP) Program. This program seeks to enhance security in the issuance and handling of travel and identity documents, promote compliance with ICAO and other international standards, and strengthen border controls through the prevention and detection of the alternation or fraudulent use of those documents on the part of the OAS member states. The DSFP promotes increased security in the issuance of such documents by encouraging the development of integrated and secure national identity management systems, as well as more effective control over the use of identity documents. It focuses primarily on increasing the capacity of immigration, law enforcement, customs and other personnel responsible for controlling the movement of people across national borders to detect fraudulent documents and prevent their counterfeiting, forgery, or fraudulent use.

Finally, the CTE fund issued a grant in 2012 to CICTE for over $201,000 to bolster supply chain security through the authorized economic operators project. The objective of this project was to assist OAS member states in confronting the various challenges posed to their economies and infrastructure in the area of global supply chain security. The CICTE Secretariat is working in cooperation with and according to priorities set by OAS Member States, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the U.S. Global Supply Chain Security Strategy. The program will help facilitate greater compliance with relevant international customs and supply chain security standards, including those established in the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework) and other such instruments, and more effective coordination between all key stakeholders in securing the supply chain, both public and private. The program will also encourage increased information sharing and cooperation among national authorities and other stakeholders, and help bring about a more integrated, seamless, and secure regional supply chain.

Transnational Organized Crime (TOC)

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.

In January 2010, the United States completed a comprehensive assessment of TOC, the first such assessment since 1995. The assessment concluded that TOC networks are proliferating, striking new and powerful alliances, and engaging in a range of illicit activities as never before. The result is a convergence of threats that have evolved to become more complex, volatile, and destabilizing.

To address these threats, the United States released in July 2011 a Strategy to Combat TOC that invites all states to join in building a stronger framework for international cooperation against TOC. The United States is partnering with countries around the world to coordinate investigations, support prosecutions, and develop enhanced capacities to identify, disrupt, and dismantle TOC groups. The Strategy can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/nsc/transnational-crime.

The Strategy contains 56 priority actions that seek to build, balance, and integrate the tools of American power to combat TOC. As a result of the new strategy the United States undertook:

  • A new sanctions program to block the property of significant transnational criminal organizations that threaten national security, foreign policy, or the economy.
  • A series of legislative proposals that enhances the capacity to investigate, interdict, and prosecute the activities of top transnational criminal networks.
  • A new Presidential Proclamation under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act to bar admission to the United States of persons designated under the Executive Order and other comparable sanctions programs. The Proclamation also provides additional legal authority for barring admission to the United States of persons subject to United Nations Security Council travel bans.
  • A new rewards program supplements existing narcotics rewards efforts to obtain information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the leaders of transnational criminal organizations.

The United States continues to strongly support the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols to combat migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. The United States has now used the UNTOC and its Protocols on more than 100 occasions for the purpose of international cooperation and with 37 countries worldwide. The United States has used the treaties for extradition and mutual legal assistance requests targeting a broad array of crimes, including arms trafficking, major fraud cases, and migrant smuggling.

The United States, through the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works closely with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to provide funding aimed broadly at assisting countries in ratifying and acceding to and implementing these treaties.

The United States has funded programs that address migrant smuggling issues in support of the Protocol. For example, the United States has funded activities with CICTE to improve border control, travel document security, and fraudulent document detection that help prevent and detect migrant smuggling. Also, the United States has funded activities through UNODC’s Global Program Against the Smuggling of Migrants that help support capacity building programs.

Cyber Security

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 United States continues to support the capacity of Member States to comply effectively with the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) requirements of the OAS Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cyber Security, supporting the establishment of national CSIRTs, national cyber security strategies or plans, 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 CICTE Secretariat has been engaged in cyber security at the technical and policy levels since 2006, and has carried out an extensive agenda of activities aimed at both raising awareness of cyber security and related threats, and developing Member States’ capacity for addressing them. In the last three years, the Department of State’s Counterterrorism Engagement (CTE) fund has issued several grants to CICTE to strengthen the cyber security capacities of OAS Member States, including particular support for the establishment of national CSIRTs and national cyber strategies, as well as the creation of a hemispheric network and bolstering cooperation in the Americas on cyber security and combatting cybercrime. In 2010, the CTE fund issued a grant of over $460,000 for National Cyber Security Assistance Missions and Crisis Management Exercises (CME) Projects. The Cyber Security Technical Assistance Missions and Crisis Management Exercises funded with this grant were developed in consultation with each target country government in concert with CICTE’s extensive network of partners and technical experts. The over-arching objective was to develop and carry out national workshops convening key stakeholders responsible for cyber security. In 2011, the CTE fund issued a grant for $500,000 for OAS CICTE cyber security programs. This grant funded projects that offered technical training and capacity-building courses and regional cyber security symposiums. The grant also funded the development of a mobile virtual or cyber laboratory for cyber security exercises, which is now being used by OAS Member States throughout the hemisphere and proving to be an invaluable tool.

In 2012, the CTE fund issued a grant for almost $350,000 to continue and to build upon the 2011 U.S.-funded cyber security projects at a more technical level. The projects’ main purposes were to: assist Member States in establishing and/or enhancing existing cyber security and critical information infrastructure protection mechanisms and procedures. Projects included: training workshops on CSIRT management, network and information security, incident handling, cyber/network investigations, digital forensics, risk assessment, and resiliency, as well as training geared specifically towards securing Industrial Control Systems (ICS), which aimed to educate relevant Member State officials at both the decision-making and technical levels on the security vulnerabilities, exploitations, and potential consequences associated with attacks on ICS; development and promotion of national cyber security strategies and policy frameworks; and cyber security crisis management exercises.

The United States has participated in a number of OAS CICTE cyber security workshops and exercises from 2008 through 2013. For example, the Departments of State (Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT)), Justice, Homeland Security and Commerce participated in the 2009 “Joint OAS Hemispheric Workshop on Developing a National Framework for Cyber Security” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Department of Homeland Security has provided speakers and trainers for a number of workshops on CSIRT and national cyber strategy development. Recently, the Department of State Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) participated in launch and demonstration events for the CTE-funded mobile cyber laboratory for cyber crisis management exercises (CMEs) in 2012 and 2013, as well as the Sub-Regional Cyber Security Crisis Management Exercise in Washington, DC in June 2013. The U.S. Mission to the OAS (USOAS) and CT have supported several other CMEs and cyber workshops as well.

The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Cyber Training Program provides technical, managerial, and policy training to international law enforcement agencies and government institutions so that they develop the capacity to detect, prevent, and investigate incidents related to the use of technology by terrorists and cyber criminals. The ATA Program provides a wide range of cyber investigations, cyber forensics and network security training, hardware, software and support. The training includes courses designed to support the development of cyber training infrastructures within the respective countries.

In addition to training, ATA provides enabling equipment grants to facilitate the practical application of the ATA training as well as provide long-term mentoring and advisory assistance to enhance the managerial aspects of the units created. The program strives for effective sustainable long-term outcomes versus short-term training gains.

Drug Trafficking, Strengthening CICAD and the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism

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.

For more than 25 years, the United States has been the largest financial supporter of CICAD and its hemispheric drug-control initiatives. The United States actively participates in CICAD policy and program objectives in the areas of hemispheric demand reduction, anti-money laundering, controls for chemicals and pharmaceuticals, maritime institutional building, and drug control data collection. U.S. government support is directly tied to the Hemispheric Drug Strategy and Plan of Action 2011-2015.

U.S. funding has strengthened the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM), as well as training and technical assistance to promote development of sound national anti-drug policies and programs, promulgation of modern laws and regulations, elimination of drug production and drug abuse, control of chemical diversion, border control, and combating money laundering. Some specific examples of these programs include:

  • Training programs for relevant hemispheric officials through the Andean Regional Counterdrug Intelligence School in Lima, Peru.
  • Demand reduction and rehabilitation initiatives including drug treatment counselor certification programs.
  • Promotion of the CICAD special drug courts as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders.
  • Ensuring CICAD policies and programs are coordinated with the U.S. Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), and the Merida Initiative.
  • Support for the development of new model regulations on special investigative techniques for combating organized crime.
  • Cooperation to increase the number of OAS member states with updated legislation and regulations on money laundering, terrorist financing, and chemical diversion.
  • Money laundering control technical assistance programs throughout the hemisphere.
  • Implementation of the OAS Plan of Action on Transnational Organized Crime.

U.S. bilateral programs in the hemisphere complement CICAD’s programs and other multinational support efforts including illegal crop control and alternative development projects in the Andes region. The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and its offices in U.S. embassies in the hemisphere are engaged in on-going dialogue to ensure close collaboration on CICAD policy and program implementation throughout the hemisphere.

As part of the United States’ joint efforts to combat the world drug problem, the United States continues to focus on drugs at home, especially through reducing demand for drugs. In April 2013, the United States released its 2013 National Drug Control Strategy, a science-based plan for reform that contains more than 100 specific actions to reduce drug use and its consequences. The strategy focuses on several key points: emphasizing prevention over incarceration, training health care professionals to intervene before addiction develops, expanding access to treatment, taking a “smart on crime” approach to drug enforcement, and providing additional assistance to those in recovery. In the 2011 U.S. fiscal year, the United States spent $10.4 billion on demand reduction, including close to $9 billion for treatment programs and almost $1.5 billion on prevention. President Obama’s 2014 budget request would increase treatment programs by nearly $1.4 billion compared to the 2012 level. For more information about U.S. drug policy, please see http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drugpolicyreform.

Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms

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 United States has implemented programs to strengthen partnerships with the states of the Western Hemisphere to combat trafficking in arms and reaffirm the value of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and other Related Materials (CIFTA).

On April 16 and 17, 2009, in Mexico and at the Summit of the Americas, President Obama announced his commitment to seek the ratification of CIFTA and urged the U.S. Senate to act. The Administration included CIFTA on its Treaty Priority List sent to the U.S. Senate on May 7, 2013, and emphasized the importance of ratification in the July 2011 U.S. Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.

In 2011, the United States provided the OAS a $1 million grant to provide marking equipment and related training to 26 countries in the hemisphere in order to increase hemispheric capability to trace firearms and identify illicit trafficking routes and suppliers by marking over 250,000 firearms with unique identifying information.

Since 2008, the United States has signed eTrace agreements with Mexico, the Central American and Caribbean states. The United States has also offered the program to the South American states. The eTrace system is a web-based firearm trace request submission tool that provides for the electronic exchange of crime gun data in a secure environment. In 2009, the United States launched a Spanish language version of the software for wider implementation by Member States.

The United States has posted a Regional Firearms Advisor (RFA) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Central America and in the Caribbean to assist law enforcement officials in firearms-related investigations and in combating firearms trafficking. The RFA has conducted assessments of each country’s capacity to combat firearms trafficking and has provided hands-on training in firearms identification and firearms tracing.

The United States has assessed and offered stockpile management and destruction assistance to a number of states in the hemisphere. Examples include:

  • Through bilateral efforts and nearly $2 million in grants to the OAS, the United States provided stockpile destruction assistance in Central America and the Caribbean, eliminating aging, dangerous, and excess arms and ammunition.
  • The United States has contributed $2.73 million to the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament, and Development in Latin America (UNLiREC) and the Caribbean to help build the capacity of several Caribbean states in firearms stockpile management and destruction. The United States’ partnered with UNLiREC and nine Caribbean governments to enhance security in 99 stockpile facilities, destroy 6,526 firearms and over 6.75 tonnes of ammunition, and train a number of Caribbean officials in international standards for weapons and ammunition destruction.
  • The Defense Threat Reduction Agency conducted Physical Security and Stockpile Management Assessments and Seminars in six countries in the hemisphere.
  • In Central America, the United States has spent $70,220 on Stockpile Management Assessments, $648,000 on Munitions Destruction and Site Clearance/Remediation, $250,000 on Stockpile Management and Destruction in Guatemala, $1,000,000 on Control and Destruction of Firearms and Ammunition in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and a Regional Mobile Destruction Unit. Through these initiatives, the United States has trained approximately 500 people in destruction and other important stockpile management procedures, destroyed over 800 tons of ammunition, destroyed more than 15,000 firearms, and eliminated volatile and dangerous situations with munitions in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

In 2010, the United States hosted a workshop for South American states on combating arms trafficking. The workshop sought to increase states’ capacity to more effectively address the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms.

In 2013, the United States announced a $3.43 million assistance program to combat illicit trafficking in firearms as part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). This program will combat illicit firearms trafficking in the region through capacity building measures in collaboration with all members of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

Money Laundering and Corruption

Combating money laundering within the framework of CICAD and other relevant bodies, and reaffirming the fight against corruption. Strengthening the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESISIC); supporting the review mechanism for the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

In 2006, the United States helped establish the OAS Anti-Corruption Fund to assist Member States 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 United States is a State Party to the IACAC and the MESISIC, and participated in three previous rounds of reviews, which concluded in March 2006, December 2008, and September 2011, respectively. The United States is participating in the ongoing Fourth Round, and is preparing to submit responses to the self-assessment questionnaire due on June 2014. The United States is also a State Party to the UN Convention against Corruption and supports its review mechanism.

In September 2011, the United States helped launch the Open Government Partnership (OGP) along with seven other governments and eight non-governmental organizations. The United States served as a co-chair on the OGP Steering Committee in 2011 and 2012, and committed to undertake twenty-six initiatives as part of its OGP National Action Plan.

The United States 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 United States also participates in joint projects to develop financial intelligence units in countries throughout the hemisphere.

Education and Democracy

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 Charter.

In support of ongoing efforts to support a culture of democracy in the hemisphere, the United States contributed $500,000 to the Inter-American Program on Education in Democratic Values and Practices. This program represents an important initiative of the OAS and specifically contributes to implementing the Inter-American Democratic Charter, as well as multiple General Assembly Resolutions and mandates from the region’s education ministers. The program is unique in its overall focus on developing concrete products and services to support efforts to provide education in democratic citizenship, and has been recognized not only by Member States, but also by outside entities such as the Council of Europe, the Council for a Community of Democracies, and UNESCO for the scope and usefulness of its outputs.

The United States has also supported programs that build the capacity of civil society to promote issues of democratic culture and practice, including freedom of expression, access to justice for marginalized populations, public security reform, and labor conditions. In addition, programs have targeted dialogue and mutual respect as well as basic human rights for marginalized populations, including women, indigenous populations, and the LGBT community.

Since 2009, USAID has provided opportunities for study at U.S. community colleges and universities to nearly 1,300 young people from disadvantaged or marginalized communities.

In June 2012, President Obama launched the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” to focus attention on the critical importance of quality education to shared regional prosperity. As a result of this program, the United States is seeking to more than double the number of exchange students in the region in less than ten years. To implement this vision, the Department of State has established a partnership with NAFSA: Association of International Educators and Partners of the Americas. The United States helps educational institutions develop partnerships that make international study more broadly available to all students. Through a matching grant program that leverages private and corporate giving so that universities and colleges can expand study abroad programs, the United States is helping to build the educational infrastructure to make this possible.

Refugees

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 refugees. Provide protection and assistance for internally displaced persons.

The United States places high priority on humanitarian assistance and meeting the protection and assistance needs of refugees, asylum seekers, conflict victims, and other vulnerable migrants, such as victims of trafficking. The United States promotes legal, safe, and orderly migration, while providing protection to those in need. In the Western Hemisphere, the United States focuses efforts on assistance and protection for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in the Andean region, vulnerable migrants in Mexico and Central America, and protection and contingency planning in the Caribbean. The United States’ 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), and others, as described below.

In 2012, the United States provided approximately $57 million in funding for programs dealing with refugees, IDPs, trafficking in persons, and migration issues in the Western Hemisphere, including funding to ICRC and UNHCR.

A major focus in U.S. migration initiatives in the Western Hemisphere is to foster regional dialogues, including the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM). 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. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security officials regularly participate in the biannual RCM meetings, and representatives from both agencies attended the Vice-Ministerial level meeting held June 27-28, 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The U.S. government also supports IOM’s work in coordinating regional dialogues on migration, building government capacity to humanely manage migration, and providing assistance to the most vulnerable migrants in the region. Over the past three years, IOM has carried out the majority of migration-related assistance through three regional programs covering Mexico and Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the Caribbean.

In 2013, the United States provided over $252,000 to fund a joint UNHCR-IOM conference on mixed migration held in the Bahamas for 18 countries in the Caribbean. Conference participants seized the opportunity to discuss problems of collective importance including government capacity, appropriate treatment of migrants, and international obligations.

From 2012-2013, the United States continued to support UNHCR’s network 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. The United States funded the UNHCR honorary liaison seminar held in Nassau, Bahamas in 2013 following the joint UNHCR-IOM conference. Other UNHCR Caribbean activities in 2013 supported by the United States include protection and assistance projects for refugees and asylum seekers in the Dominican Republic. The UNHCR protection staff also trained officials from the Bahamas in international refugee law and provided them with advice on refugee status determinations. By supporting UNHCR efforts, the United States 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 United States provided $300,000 to IOM to address instances of gender-based violence in the remaining Haitian IDP camps. IOM provided shelters to survivors until they could be resettled to safer areas using an innovative program combining rental assistance and market forces.

Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals

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.

The United States remains firmly committed to the premise and principles of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2010, the United States Strategy for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals laid out a determined, results-focused plan that promised to both reenergize efforts to achieve the MDGs and strengthen the U.S. voice in the global development dialogue. The U.S. government has fully integrated these global aspirational goals into its development programs.

In September 2010, during his speech at the MDG Summit, President Obama announced the new U.S. Global Development Policy, the first of its kind by a U.S. Administration. In so doing, he recognized that development is vital to U.S. national security and is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative for the United States. The Policy articulated core development objectives: broad-based economic growth, democratic governance, significant innovations, and sustainable systems for meeting basic human needs, each of which connects directly to achievement of the MDGs.

The United States is focused on increasing U.S. efforts related to key MDG areas, each with considerable promise to advance achievement and success. For more information on key accomplishments in the area of the MDG’s by the United States, see USAID’s website: http://www.usaid.gov/results-and-data/highlights.

The United States continues to support the efforts made by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. For more information regarding the MCC’S initiatives in the hemisphere and the strides they have taken toward combating poverty visit their website at www.mcc.gov and see this fact sheet summarizing their efforts in the region: http://www.mcc.gov/documents/press/2012002104801-factsheet-latinamerica.pdf.

Medicine/Disease

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.

The United States provided over $1 billion to the Latin America and Caribbean Region between 2008-2012 in the fight against AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), 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 more than $219 million in 2012, supporting efforts in 22 countries.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds the Pan American Health Organization Regional Tuberculosis Program to increase the region's technical capacity, address issues brought by rapid urbanization, and implement activities that increase access to health for vulnerable populations.

Technical capacity in the region is enhanced by a 10-month fellowship at PAHO headquarters for Tuberculosis country experts to work on regional issues, thus improving knowledge, capacity, and technical assistance throughout the region, and short-term fellowships are provided for specialized knowledge, such as laboratory issues.

In 2012, USAID convened Latin American and Caribbean city mayors who increased commitment to Tuberculosis control in the Americas on World Tuberculosis Day.

Frameworks have been developed to implement Tuberculosis control activities in high-disease burden areas of Lima, Bogota, and Guarulhos, and two meetings were held to address Tuberculosis issues among vulnerable groups. These meetings focused on Tuberculosis control for afrodescendant communities and prisoners.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is involved in a variety of efforts to improve availability and access to medications through work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and is supporting research that disproportionately affects developing states.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has an ongoing cooperative agreement with PAHO that supports work to understand other countries’ regulatory systems, to improve capacity to use harmonized standards and guidelines across countries, and if necessary, to respond more quickly to problems in the medical supply chain.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports a wide range of biomedical and behavioral health research and training across the Americas. Focus areas include infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Chagas disease, and dengue, with increasing attention to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which constitute the largest contributors of morbidity and mortality in the region.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports a number of related activities:

  • Under the guidance of the Carter Center, CDC is working with Lions Club International, the Mectizan Donation Program, and the Pan American Health Organization on the elimination of onchocerciasis in the Americas.
  • CDC also supports treatment for lymphatic filiariasis among residents of Port-au-Prince using earthquake relief funds.
  • CDC’s Global Disease Detection (GDD) Program, through CDC’s Regional Office for Central America, provides leadership, training, and technical assistance to strengthen regional ability to confront new emerging disease challenges, including influenza and other respiratory, diarrheal, and neurological diseases, such as meningitis and encephalitis, and febrile illnesses, including rickettsia and dengue.
  • CDC has cooperative agreements with several countries in the region of the Americas and with PAHO to build capacity to routinely identify and respond to seasonal and novel influenza strains across the Americas. CDC assisted countries in the region in the H1N1 influenza pandemic response through provision of technical support, diagnostic reagents, antiviral medicines, and influenza vaccine.
  • HHS has been actively engaged in an initiative led by WHO that seeks to increase financing and fund innovative mechanisms for research and development for diseases primarily affecting developing countries. At the 2013 World Health Assembly, Member States agreed to develop demonstration projects to model this approach, and to establish an observatory to track investments. HHS experts are contributing to review and implementation of the demonstration projects.

Natural Disasters

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.

The U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) responded to five disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 2012. In total, OFDA provided nearly $22 million in LAC, including an estimated $3.6 million for disaster responses, nearly $8.2 million for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities, and approximately $8.7 million for disaster response programs with DRR components. OFDA activated or deployed emergency humanitarian staff for disasters in Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay.

Annual reports of OFDA’s actions may be found on their website: http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/working-crises-and-conflict/crisis-response/resources/annual-reports

Climate Change

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 is working with its international partners to continue to make progress on reducing emissions, adapting to a changing climate, and looking ahead to a post-2020 world. U.S. initiatives include a wide array of action-orientated partnerships, which rely on practical measures to reduce greenhouse gases, encourage private sector participation, and introduce cleaner technologies. The United States has contributed significantly to international efforts to help developing countries around the world address climate change, including providing approximately $7.5 billion of “fast start finance” funds between 2009 and 2012.

The United States contributes to the following efforts that combat the adverse effects of climate change:

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): Through the Durban Platform process, the United States is playing a leading role in negotiating a new global climate agreement by 2015 that is applicable to all countries. In the context of the U.S. Copenhagen Accord pledge, the United States is making excellent progress toward reducing its emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020. In addition, the United States is the leading contributor to the budgets of both the UNFCCC and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2009, the United States contributed $8 million to climate change internationally, including $5.75 million to the UNFCCC and $1.7 million to IPCC.

The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Through the GCCI, the United States is working with partner countries to promote low-carbon growth, build sustainable and resilient societies, and reduce emissions from deforestation. Between 2009 and 2012, the United States provided approximately $1.5 billion in funding to partner countries, including those in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA): ECPA is a partnership for OAS Member States that was launched in 2009 at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in order to share expertise and resources. This enables all citizens of the hemisphere to benefit from the region’s economic progress through access to clean and affordable sources of energy, increase their resilience to climate change, and to minimize the adverse impact of accelerated progress on the Earth’s climate.

Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development Strategies (EC-LEDS): A U.S. Government initiative to support developing countries’ efforts to pursue long-term, transformative development and accelerate sustainable, climate-resilient economic growth while slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Latin American countries participating in the EC-LEDS program and the LEDS Global Partnership include Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru.

Global Methane Initiative: This program will support the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), formerly the Methane to Markets Partnership (M2M), a multilateral international initiative to advance cost-effective, near-term methane recovery for use as a clean energy source. The goal of the Partnership is to reduce global methane emissions in order to strengthen energy security, improve air quality, improve industrial safety, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition: In February 2012, the United States launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollution, a global initiative to make rapid progress on climate change and air quality. Reducing pollutants that are “short-lived” in the atmosphere, such as methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which together account for one-third of current global warming, can prevent more than 2 million premature deaths a year, avoid the annual loss of more than 30 million tons of crops, increase energy security, and address climate change. Since its launch, the Partnership has expanded beyond the original founding partners (Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the UN Environment Program) to include more than 70 countries, several UN and regional organizations, like the WHO and the World Bank, and has raised more than $35 million in pledges.

Climate REDI: Launched in 2009, REDI is a global partnership to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies while alleviating energy poverty. The program supports the achievement of the U.S. Government global climate and energy policy goals by accelerating the deployment of low-emissions technologies in developing countries, focused on many of the world’s largest developing country emitters.

In addition to its international engagement, the United States has made significant progress domestically to build a foundation for a cleaner energy future, protect the environment, and tackle climate change. Since 2008, the United States has doubled the amount of renewable energy used for power generation. In 2012 the United States had the lowest emissions in two decades. Over the past five years U.S. Federal Agencies have decreased their greenhouse gas pollution by 15 percent. In 2011, the Administration established national efficiency standards for both heavy-duty and passenger vehicles. The standards, under which fuel efficiency for vehicles is expected to double by 2025, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles covered by these standards.

To build on the momentum and progress of his first term, in 2013 President Obama released the Climate Action Plan, which sets additional goals and targets for increased energy efficiency, reduction in greenhouse gases, and investment in clean technology. Goals to be achieved by 2020 include: doubling electricity generation from wind and solar resources, installing 100MW of renewable capacity across federally-subsidized housing, and having the federal government consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

The Climate Action Plan, released in June 2013, may be found here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf.