Political Declaration and Action Plan against Money Laundering

    adopted at the Twentieth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly
    devoted to "countering the world drug problem together"

    New York, 10 June 1998


    Drugs destroy lives and communities, undermine sustainable human development and generate crime. Drugs affect all sectors of society in all countries; in particular, drug abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world's most valuable asset. Drugs are a grave threat to the health and well-being of all mankind, the independence of States, democracy, the stability of nations, the structure of all societies, and the dignity and hope of millions of people and their families; therefore:

    We, the States Members of the United Nations,

    Concerned about the serious world drug problem, having assembled at the twentieth special session of the General Assembly to consider enhanced action to tackle it in a spirit of trust and cooperation,

    1. Reaffirm our unwavering determination and commitment to overcoming the world drug problem through domestic and international strategies to reduce both the illicit supply of and demand for drugs;

    2. Recognize that action against the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility requiring an integrated and balanced approach in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and particularly with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs of States, and all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Convinced that the world drug problem must be addressed in a multilateral setting, we call upon States which have not already done so to become a party to and fully implement the three international drug control conventions. Also, we renew our commitment to adopting and reinforcing comprehensive national legislation and strategies to give effect to the provisions of those conventions, ensuring through periodic reviews that the strategies are effective;

    3. Reaffirm our support for the United Nations and its drug-control organs, especially the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, as the global forum for international cooperation against the world drug problem and resolve to strengthen the functioning and governance of these organs;

    4. Undertake to ensure that women and men benefit equally, and without any discrimination, from strategies directed against the world drug problem, through their involvement in all stages of programmes and policy-making;

    5. Recognize with satisfaction the progress achieved by States, both individually and working in concert, and express deep concern about the new social contexts in which the consumption of illicit drugs, particularly of amphetamine-type stimulants, is taking place;

    6. Welcome the efforts of the wide range of people working in various fields against drug abuse and are encouraged by the behaviour of the vast majority of youth who do not consume illegal drugs, and decide to give particular attention to demand reduction, notably by investing in and working with youth through formal and informal education, information activities and other preventive measures;

    7. Affirm our determination to provide the necessary resources for treatment and rehabilitation and to enable social reintegration to restore dignity and hope to children, youth, women and men who have become drug abusers, and to fight against all aspects of the world drug problem;

    8. Call upon the United Nations system and invite the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the regional development banks, to include action against the world drug problem in their programmes, taking into account the priorities of States;

    9. Call for the establishment or strengthening of regional or subregional mechanisms, when needed, with the assistance of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and the International Narcotics Control Board, and invite those mechanisms to share experiences and conclusions resulting from the implementation of national strategies and to report on their activities to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs;

    10. Express deep concern about links between illicit drug production, trafficking and involvement of terrorist groups, criminals and transnational organized crime, and are resolved to strengthen our cooperation in response to those threats;

    11. Are alarmed by the growing violence resulting from links between illicit production of and illicit trafficking in arms and drugs, and resolve to increase our cooperation in stemming illegal arms trafficking and to achieve concrete results in this field through appropriate measures;

    12. Call upon our communities, especially families, and their political, religious, educational, cultural, sports, business and union leadership, non-governmental organizations and the media worldwide to actively promote a society free of drug abuse, especially by emphasizing and facilitating healthy, productive and fulfilling alternatives to the consumption of illicit drugs, which must not become accepted as a way of life;

    13. Decide to devote particular attention to the emerging trends in the illicit manufacture, trafficking and consumption of synthetic drugs, and call for the establishment or strengthening by the year 2003 of national legislation and programmes giving effect to the Action Plan against Illicit Manufacture, Trafficking and Abuse of Amphetamine-type Stimulants and their Precursors, adopted at the present session;

    14. Decide to devote particular attention to the measures for the control of precursors, adopted at the present session, and further decide to establish the year 2008 as a target date for States, with a view to eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit manufacture, marketing and trafficking of psychotropic substances, including synthetic drugs, and the diversion of precursors;

    15. Undertake to make special efforts against the laundering of money linked to drug trafficking and, in that context, emphasize the importance of strengthening international, regional and subregional cooperation, and recommend that States that have not yet done so adopt by the year 2003 national money-laundering legislation and programmes in accordance with relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, as well as the measures for countering money-laundering, adopted at the present session;

    16. Undertake to promote multilateral, regional, subregional and bilateral cooperation among judicial and law enforcement authorities to deal with criminal organizations involved in drug offences and related criminal activities, in accordance with the measures to promote judicial cooperation, adopted at the present session, and encourage States to review and, where appropriate, to strengthen by the year 2003 the implementation of those measures;

    17. Recognize that demand reduction is an indispensable pillar in the global approach to countering the world drug problem, commit ourselves to introducing into our national programmes and strategies the provisions set out in the Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction,8 to working closely with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to develop action-oriented strategies to assist in the implementation of the Declaration, and to establishing the year 2003 as a target date for new or enhanced drug demand reduction strategies and programmes set up in close collaboration with public health, social welfare and law enforcement authorities, and also commit ourselves to achieving significant and measurable results in the field of demand reduction by the year 2008;

    18. Reaffirm the need for a comprehensive approach towards the elimination of illicit narcotic crops in line with the Action Plan on International Cooperation on the Eradication of Illicit Drug Crops and Alternative Development adopted at the present session; 9stress the special importance of cooperation in alternative development, including the better integration of the most vulnerable sectors involved in the illicit drug market into legal and viable economic activities; emphasize the need for eradication programmes and law enforcement measures to counter illicit cultivation, production, manufacture and trafficking, paying special attention to the protection of the environment; and, in this regard, strongly support the work of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme in the field of alternative development;

    19. Welcome the United Nations International Drug Control Programme's global approach to the elimination of illicit crops and commit ourselves to working closely with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to develop strategies with a view to eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008. We affirm our determination to mobilize international support for our efforts to achieve these goals;

    20. Call upon all States to take into account the outcome of the present session when formulating national strategies and programmes and to report biennially to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on their efforts to meet the above-mentioned goals and targets for the years 2003 and 2008, and request the Commission to analyse these reports in order to enhance the cooperative effort to combat the world drug problem.

    These are new and serious promises which will be difficult to achieve, but we are resolved that such commitments will be met by practical action and the resources needed to ensure real and measurable results;

    Together we can meet this challenge.

    Resolution S-20/4 D

    Countering Money-Laundering

    The General Assembly,

    Recognizing that the problem of laundering of money derived from illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as from other serious crimes, has expanded internationally to become such a global threat to the integrity, reliability and stability of financial and trade systems and even government structures as to require countermeasures by the international community as a whole in order to deny safe havens to criminals and their illicit proceeds,

    Recalling the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, according to which all parties to the Convention are required to establish money-laundering as a punishable offence and to adopt the measures necessary to enable the authorities to identify, trace and freeze or seize the proceeds of illicit drug trafficking,

    Recalling Commission on Narcotic Drugs resolution 5 (XXXIX) of 24 April 1996,(21) in which the Commission noted that the forty recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force established by the heads of State or Government of the seven major industrialized countries and the President of the European Commission remained the standard by which the measures against money-laundering adopted by concerned States should be judged, as well as Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/40 of 21 July 1997, in which the Council took note with satisfaction of the document entitled "Anti-drug strategy in the hemisphere", approved by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States at its twentieth regular session, held at Buenos Aires in October 1996 and signed at Montevideo in December 1996, and urged the international community to take due account of the anti-drug strategy in the hemisphere as a significant contribution to the strengthening of the Global Programme of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its seventeenth special session,(22)

    Recognizing the political will expressed by the international community, especially as reflected in such initiatives as the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, adopted in 1990 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Ministerial Communiqué of the Summit of the Americas Conference Concerning the Laundering of Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Crime, held at Buenos Aires in December 1995, and by such bodies as the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors and the Commonwealth, all of which are well-recognized multilateral initiatives aimed at combating money-laundering and constitute legal or policy frameworks within which concerned States are defining and adopting measures against money-laundering,

    Aware that the proceeds of illicit drug-trafficking and other illicit activities, which are laundered through banks and other financial institutions, constitute an obstacle to the implementation of policies designed to liberalize financial markets in order to attract legitimate investment, in that they distort those markets,

    Emphasizing that there is a need to harmonize national legislation with a view to ensuring appropriate coordination of policies for combating money-laundering, without prejudice to the action each State is undertaking within its own jurisdiction to combat this form of criminality,

    Recognizing the need to promote and develop effective mechanisms for the pursuit, freezing, seizure and confiscation of property obtained through or derived from illicit activities, so as to avoid its use by criminals,

    Recognizing that only through international cooperation and the establishment of bilateral and multilateral information networks such as the Egmont Group, which will enable States to exchange information between competent authorities, will it be possible to combat effectively the problem of money-laundering,

    Emphasizing the enormous efforts of a number of States to draw up and apply domestic legislation that identifies the activity of money-laundering as a criminal offence,

    Realizing the importance of progress being made by all States in conforming to the relevant recommendations and the need for States to participate actively in international and regional initiatives designed to promote and strengthen the implementation of effective measures against money-laundering,

    1. Strongly condemns the laundering of money derived from illicit drug trafficking and other serious crimes, as well as the use of the financial systems of States for that purpose;

    2. Urges all States to implement the provisions against money-laundering that are contained in the United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 and the other relevant international instruments on money-laundering, in accordance with fundamental constitutional principles, by applying the following principles:

    (a) Establishment of a legislative framework to criminalize the laundering of money derived from serious crimes in order to provide for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of the crime of money-laundering through, inter alia:

    (i) Identification, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime;

    (ii) International cooperation; and mutual legal assistance in cases involving money-laundering;

    (iii) Inclusion of the crime of money-laundering in mutual legal assistance agreements for the purpose of ensuring judicial assistance in investigations, court cases or judicial proceedings relating to that crime;

    (b) Establishment of an effective financial and regulatory regime to deny criminals and their illicit funds access to national and international financial systems, thus preserving the integrity of financial systems worldwide and ensuring compliance with laws and other regulations against money-laundering through:

    (i) Customer identification and verification requirements applying the principle of "know your customer", in order to have available for competent authorities the necessary information on the identity of clients and the financial movements that they carry out;

    (ii) Financial record-keeping;

    (iii) Mandatory reporting of suspicious activity;

    (iv) Removal of bank secrecy impediments to efforts directed at preventing, investigating and punishing money-laundering;

    (v) Other relevant measures;

    (c) Implementation of law enforcement measures to provide tools for, inter alia:

    (i) Effective detection, investigation, prosecution and conviction of criminals engaging in money-laundering activity;

    (ii) Extradition procedures;

    (iii) Information-sharing mechanisms;

    3. Calls upon the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention to continue to work, within the framework of its global programme against money-laundering, with relevant multilateral and regional institutions, organizations or bodies engaged in activities against money-laundering and drug trafficking and with international financial institutions to give effect to the above principles by providing training, advice and technical assistance to States upon request and where appropriate.