The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Colombia, on the occasion of the Third Meeting of the U.S.-Colombia Counternarcotics Working Group.
Delegations from the Government of Colombia and the Government of the United States of America met on September 25-26, 2023, for the Third Meeting of the U.S.-Colombia Counternarcotics Working Group. The delegation of the Colombian Government was chaired by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Coy, Vice Minister of Justice Camilo Umaña, and Vice Minister of Defense and Security Policy Alberto Lara, while the U.S. Government delegation was led by Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Mr. Adam W. Cohen, and Ambassador Todd D. Robinson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Both delegations met in the spirit of continuing the work stemming from the tenth High-Level Dialogue (HLD) that took place March 27-28, 2023, in Washington, D.C. After a productive dialogue, joint commitments were made to outline the path towards a more dynamic U.S.‑Colombia counternarcotics relationship to address drug-related challenges, and in the case of Colombia, implement the bilateral holistic strategy and new national drug policy for 2022-2033.
The delegations agreed the strong ties that have united the Republic of Colombia and the United States of America throughout their more than 200 years of diplomatic relations are the basis for common efforts to address the development of this group’s work, taking into account the strengthening of democracy, the fight against corruption, the protection of human rights, peace efforts, climate action, public health, and a comprehensive approach to address the global drug problem. All of these will promote significant advances in the well-being of our peoples, the prosperity of our societies, and the stability of the region.
The governments of Colombia and the United States reiterated their commitment to continue intergovernmental cooperation in the fight against drug-related problems to promote and consolidate an approach based on public health and human security, with a long-term vision focused on saving lives and building a better future.
In particular, both parties agreed to the following:
- Increase interdiction efforts in both countries, significantly increase joint training, capacity building activities, and intelligence sharing to strengthen Colombia’s ability to combat transnational organized crime and multi-crime groups and enhance human security.
- Expand efforts to combat money laundering and crimes against natural resources and the environment.
- Reaffirm the will of both governments to continue cooperation to confront the global drug problem, including issues related to criminal activities associated with cocaine and synthetic drugs.
- With regard to rural security, strengthen and increase judicial and police presence in rural areas.
- Strengthen the implementation of strategies aimed at promoting the transition to licit economies in rural areas and Areas of Special Environmental Importance, such as the 3T model (Titling, Transition, Transformation) in municipalities to be prioritized for the implementation of a holistic approach to territorial transformation.
- Provide licit economic development opportunities as alternatives to illicit crops, in conjunction with continued strategic eradication efforts.
- Implement strategies to reduce the consumption of psychoactive substances and their associated impacts.
- Strengthen metrics measuring the underlying causes of drug production and the dismantling of transnational narco-trafficking criminal networks.
- Continue to work with the Colombian Ministry of Justice and Law and Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards identifying a coordination mechanism for the bilateral holistic strategy within the Colombian government.
This Working Group is part of the U.S.-Colombia High-Level Dialogue, the main mechanism for bilateral discussions at the highest political level, to institutionalize and diversify the agenda of the two countries. The High-Level Dialogue facilitates coordination on wide-ranging issues such as economic development, security, the global drug problem, educational exchanges, environmental protection, human rights and health, among other areas of shared interest.