Canada Supports Regional Approach to Combatting Transnational Crime

June 29, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today announced further support to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Canada is providing more than $850,000 for the Global Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) Programme.

“Canada’s determination to build regional capacity to tackle transnational organized crime in the Americas is unwavering,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “Making it more difficult to carry out organized criminal activities, such as illicit drug trafficking, will yield benefits throughout the hemisphere.”

Through the Global SMART Programme project, the UNODC trains drug control agencies in the Americas to collect, analyze and report information pertaining to synthetic drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants, including methamphetamines and ecstasy-group substances as well as precursor chemicals.

“The UNODC is a capable partner in the fight against transnational organized crime, and the Global SMART Programme continues to be an effective tool for governments to better understand and address the threat of synthetic drugs,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “As a result of this funding, countries in the Americas will have access to better information relating to synthetic drugs and will be better able to identify trends in the region. This, in turn, will help them to develop strategic and targeted policies and programs.”

In 2011, Canada contributed US$20 million to the UNODC, making it the UNODC’s second-largest bilateral donor. Canada’s contributions support a wide range of capacity-building initiatives aimed at reforming the security sector, combatting illicit drug trafficking, and addressing corruption, money laundering and human smuggling.

Minister of State Ablonczy made this announcement after a meeting with Sandeep Chawla, Director, Division for Public Affairs and Policy Analysis, and Deputy Director of UNODC, and other UNODC staff in Vienna.

As a result of the project announced today in Vienna, authorities in the Americas will receive information-management training on preventing the production and trafficking of illicit synthetic drugs. Implementing a regional approach to sharing and assessing synthetic drug information and tracking trends will allow authorities to monitor regional activity and respond collectively.

The contribution is funded by Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and it builds on an initial $369,000 commitment announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Honduras in 2011. Canada’s cumulative support for this project now totals approximately $1.2 million. The ACCBP supports efforts by countries in the Americas to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational organized criminal networks.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners to enhance security and to address issues related to transnational criminal activity in the Americas. This is one of the three pillars of Canada’s renewed strategy for engagement with the Americas.

For more information, please visit Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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