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Warner on drug report: It’s just a US position
Minister of National Security Jack Warner has described the United States Department of State 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report as a US State Department perspective on T&T’s efforts. Warner said so in a media release yesterday in response to news report by a daily newspaper which said the report concluded insufficient support from the T&T political leadership had made the fight against narcotics challenging last year.
Warner said the report did not reflect only facts provided by the T&T Government but also media reports and anecdotal reports. He said: “T&T has always advocated and demonstrated a willingness to work with the US Embassy to provide the most accurate information on its drug situation. “This year was no exception. However the report as published does not reflect only the facts provided by the Government but also media reports and other anecdotal reports. The report reflects therefore the perspective of the US State Department on T&T efforts,” Warner said.
He described it as a unilateral position of the US Government that represented that country’s position on T&T’s drug control efforts. He added: “This is a fact that must be borne in mind. This is not new. The same is done with other State Department reports, like the annual trafficking in persons report and the human rights report.” Warner said it was instructive that the multi-lateral evaluation mechanism, implemented by the Organisation of American States (OAS) had noted T&T's progress in drug control.
“In the most recent evaluation report, T&T received 12 recommendations, six of which have been fully implemented, while another six are being actively pursued, with progress made toward implementation,” he said. In reviewing the report Warner outlined measures being taken by the Government to fight crime and drugs, including increased funding for the Ministry of National Security, annual contributions of US$20,000 to the Organisation of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, establishing drug treatment courts, drafting new legislation and developing the national drug plan for 2013-2017. He said the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme had received funding increases in the 2013 budget.
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