"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Drugs and International Crime, Birmingham Summit Conference

[Place] Birmingham
[Date] May 17, 1998
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Globalisation has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in transnational crime. This takes many forms, including trafficking in drugs and weapons; smuggling of human beings; the abuse of new technologies to steal, defraud and evade the law; and the laundering of the proceeds of crime.

2. Such crimes pose a threat not only to our own citizens and their communities, through lives blighted by drugs and societies living in fear of organised crime; but also a global threat which can undermine the democratic and economic basis of societies through the investment of illegal money by international cartels, corruption, a weakening of institutions and a loss of confidence in the rule of law.

3. To fight this threat, international cooperation is indispensable. We ourselves, particularly since the Lyon summit in 1996, have sought ways to improve that cooperation. Much has already been achieved. We acknowledge the work being done in the UN, the EU and by other regional groupings. We welcome the steps undertaken by the G8 Lyon Group to implement its 40 Recommendations on transnational organised crime and the proposals G8 Justice and Interior Ministers announced at their meeting in Washington last December. By working together, our countries are helping each other catch criminals and break up cartels. But more needs to be done. There must be no safe havens either for criminals or for their money.

4. We have therefore agreed a number of further actions to tackle this threat more effectively:

- We fully support efforts to negotiate within the next two years an effective United Nations convention against transnational organised crime that will provide our law enforcement authorities with the additional tools they need.

- We agree to implement rapidly the ten principles and ten point action plan agreed by our Ministers on high tech crime. We call for close cooperation with industry to reach agreement on a legal framework for obtaining, presenting and preserving electronic data as evidence, while maintaining appropriate privacy protection, and agreements on sharing evidence of those crimes with international partners. This will help us combat a wide range of crime, including abuse of the internet and other new technologies.

- We welcomed the FATF decision to continue and enlarge its work to combat money-laundering in partnership with regional groupings. We place special emphasis on the issues of money laundering and financial crime, including issues raised by offshore financial centres. We welcome the proposal to hold in Moscow in 1999 a Ministerial meeting on combating transnational crime. We agreed to establish Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) where we do not already have them, in line with our national constitutions and legal systems, to collect and analyse information on those engaged in money laundering and liaise with the equivalent agencies in partner countries. We agreed on principles and the need for adequate legislation to facilitate asset confiscation from convicted criminals, including ways to help each other trace, freeze and confiscate those assets, and where possible, in accordance with national legislation, share seized assets with other nations.

- We agree on the need to explore ways of combating official corruption arising from the large flows of criminal money.

- We are deeply concerned by all forms of trafficking of human beings including the smuggling of migrants. We agreed to joint action to combat trafficking in women and children, including efforts to prevent such crimes, protect victims and prosecute the traffickers. We commit ourselves to develop a multidisciplinary and comprehensive strategy, including principles and an action plan for future cooperation amongst ourselves and with third countries, including countries of origin, transit and destination, to tackle this problem. We consider the future comprehensive UN organised crime convention an important instrument for this purpose.

- We endorse joint law enforcement action against organised crime and welcome the cooperation between competent agencies in tackling criminal networks. We agree to pursue further action, particularly in dealing with major smuggling routes and targeting specific forms of financial fraud.

- We endorse the Lyon Group's principles and action plan to combat illegal manufacturing and trafficking of firearms. We welcome its agreement to work towards the elaboration of a binding international legal instrument in the context of the UN transnational organised crime convention.

5. We urge the Lyon Group to intensify its on-going work and ask our Ministers to report back to our next Summit on progress on the action plan on high tech crime, the steps taken against money laundering and the joint action on trafficking in human beings. We also welcome the steps agreed by our Environment Ministers on 5 April to combat environmental crime.

6. There is a strong link between drugs and wider international and domestic crime. We welcome the forthcoming UNGASS on drugs. This should signal the international community's determination in favour of a comprehensive strategy to tackle all aspects of the drugs problem. For its part, the G8 is committed to partnership and shared responsibility in the international community to combat illicit drugs. This should include reinforced cooperation to curb illicit trafficking in drugs and chemical precursors, action to reduce demand in our countries, including through policies to reduce drug dependency, and support for a global approach to eradicating illicit crops. We welcome the UNDCP's global approach to eliminating or significantly reducing illicit drug production, where appropriate through effective alternative development programmes.