Public Papers - 1991
Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on an Anti-Narcotics Summit
President Bush has accepted an invitation from the Presidents of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela to attend a second anti-narcotics summit. The President has invited the participants to the United States for this summit and proposed that it be held in early 1992, perhaps as early as February. This is also the second anniversary of the successful Cartagena summit of February 1990.
Since that day in Cartagena when the President met with the Presidents of Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru, we have made tremendous strides in the drug fight, both at home and abroad. That meeting brought the international effort against drugs into focus as has no other event. The struggle has become a national priority for many nations, including Mexico which has been invited to participate in this summit.
Since we set forth our common goals in the Declaration of Cartagena, cocaine consumption in the United States is down. The drug mafias have been attacked, and trafficker routes have been disrupted throughout the region. We have been working together to create alternative development and new trade opportunities in the hemisphere, and we have negotiated bilateral agreements to strengthen our unified front against drug abuse and trafficking. Efforts against chemical supplies and money laundering are also improving.
The five Andean Presidents jointly invited President Bush to meet with them to ``undertake a joint evaluation of the advances made in the battle against narcotics so as to be able to set even more audacious goals in our effort to defeat once and for all this scourge of mankind.'' Hence, this summit will be expanded and will build on the excellent base established at Cartagena 2 years ago.