14 de noviembre de 2003 - Washington, DC

Intervention of H.E. Mrs. Sylvie ALVAREZ, Ambassador,
Permanent Observer of France to the OAS
on the occasion of the signature of the memorandum of understanding
between the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States
through the Inter American Drug abuse Control Commission (CICAD)
and the government of the French Republic
Washington, November 14th, 2003

Mr. Executive Secretary,

The memorandum of understanding between the Organization of American States, through the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission, and the government of the French Republic, that we just signed, meets the recommendations of the plan of action made during the 31st ordinary session of the CICAD, which took place in Washington, DC from the 29th of April to the 2nd of May, 2001. It stipulated that memoranda of understanding between the Commission and Observer States to the OAS should be concluded in order, among others, to strengthen the relations between non OAS members' territories of the Caribbean region and the CICAD.

Within the context of implementing these recommendations, my government is honoured to sign such a memorandum, which, I hope, will open up the way for other Observer States to sign similar agreements.

This memorandum of understanding clearly reflects the policy of my government and its priorities in the Caribbean:
1- It stresses the undertaking of my authorities to fight more efficiently against drug trafficking in the Caribbean region. This commitment towards the CICAD is important ; it was confirmed into the signing in November, 2002, of an agreement between the "Centre interministériel de formation anti-drogue" located in Fort-de-France, Martinique, and the CICAD, concerning the technical cooperation in terms of training in the areas of reduction of supply of drugs and of fight against money laundering.
2- Moreover, this memorandum of understanding carries out our mutual wishes to develop relations between the French overseas Departments that is to say Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, and all the states in the Caribbean region, in order to strengthen the drug control in the region.
3- Its main objective is also to promote the participation of representatives from our institutions situated in our overseas departments in activities sponsored or coordinated by CICAD's Executive Secretariat.

Mr. Executive Secretary,
The memorandum of understanding between France and CICAD constitutes, in our view, the appropriate framework for the working relations and the cooperation in the Caribbean region, that my country intends to expand with the Commission you are heading with such skills and efficiency.
Therefore, I would like to assure you of the full support of France to battle against drugs abuse and trafficking, which, as it was fully expressed in other forums, represent a major threat for the stability of all the insular states of this region.
Thank you.