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Past but still Policy

To those who missed it, the following is a pivotal document.


Julien Moe
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement 

Notice to the Press
April 3, 1998 

U.S. Pledge to UNDCP for Burma

In 1997, the US pledged $9.7 million overall to the United Nations Drug 
Control Program (UNDCP), and $3.3 million from prior year funding for an 
alternative development program in Burma. UNDCP has experience in areas 
of the world where US access is limited and we often support programs in 
those areas. 

The aim of the program in Burma is to drastically reduce opium 
cultivation in the Wa ethnic area of northern Burma. The US and other 
donors worked with UNDCP over a long period to develop a program with 
reasonable benchmarks and effective oversight. US funding is distributed 
to the UNDCP and the project in the affected area, not to the Government 
of Burma. The US believes alternative development has the potential to 
reduce drug cultivation and trafficking in the Golden Triangle region, a 
leading source of illegal opiates the United States. 

In developing a counternarcotics policy for Burma, the US takes into 
account the overall political situation. The US provides no 
counternarcotics assistance to the Government of Burma. We remain 
concerned about the lack of democracy and human rights in Burma, and 
concerned as well about the commitment of the Burmese to fight 
narcotics. Nevertheless, the US wishes to limit the damage narcotics 
produced in Burma can inflict on the US and the rest of the world and 
UNDCP is one answer to the problem. 

[end of document]