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04BRUSSELS2683 2004-06-23 15:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

CENTRAL DUBLIN GROUP MEETING: JUNE 2004

Tags:   EAID KCRM PREL SNAR EUN USEU BRUSSELS 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 002683 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/PC MAREN BROOKS; USUNVIE FOR HOWARD
SOLOMON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID KCRM PREL SNAR EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: CENTRAL DUBLIN GROUP MEETING: JUNE 2004

REF: BRUSSELS 0139



1. This cable contains an action request. See para. 9.



2. Summary. During its June 22 meeting, the members of the
Central Dublin Group (DG) reviewed regional reports from
Eastern Europe (submitted by Germany), the Balkans and the
Near East (Greece), Central Asia (Italy), South West Asia
(U.K.), and South East Asia (Japan). The U.K. and U.S. gave
presentations on counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan.
The 10 new EU accession states participated as full members
of the Group for the first time. The Commission and the EU
Drug Monitoring Center attended as observers, but Europol and
the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) did not attend.
(UNODC was preparing for the Paris Pact meeting in Moscow.)
DG Chair Raymond Yans of the Belgian MFA launched a
self-examination of the Group's objectives, structure, work
program, and criteria for accepting new members. The chair
intends to circulate a questionnaire to solicit member views
on these issues. Survey results will be discussed at the
winter meeting in December. U.S. rep to the meeting was
USEU/NAS Frank Kerber. End Summary.



--------------------------


Thematic Discussion on Afghanistan


--------------------------





3. Lesley Pallet of the U.K.'s FCO Department on Drugs and
International Crime gave a general overview of
counter-narcotics (CN) objectives and operations in
Afghanistan. (Entire powerpoint presentation has been faxed
to INL/PC.) Pallett noted that Afghanistan generates 70
percent of the world's heroin. Opium poppy covers one
percent of the country's total arable land. Seven percent of
the population grows opium. In 2003, 80,000 hectares were
under cultivation, yielding 3,600 tons of opium. The Afghan
Narcotics Force is now operational. Over 32 tons of opium
have been seized and 32 heroin labs destroyed. The Afghan
Counter Narcotics Police, with 170 trained officers and 7
offices nationwide, is now conducting stop and search
operations in Kabul. USDEL then presented an overview of USG
assistance to the CN effort and distributed materials
provided by INL. Japan noted the June 14, 2004 report by
UNODC Director Costa which was unusually candid and negative
in its evaluation of the drug situation in Afghanistan.
Japan noted that most interdiction assistance is targeted on
Afghanistan's western borders to the neglect of its eastern
borders. As a result, Afghan opium flows are increasing
toward Asia. Several members noted the work of the Paris
Pact in coordinating efforts to staunch opium flows from
Afghanistan to Europe. USDEL suggested that UNODC present a
report at the next meeting on the Paris Pact roundtables in
Moscow and Tashkent and on the policy planning meeting to be
held in Vienna this fall. Group discussion focused on the
poor security in the countryside and the critical role of
NATO's military cooperation. In summing up the discussion,
the Chair suggested that the thematic discussion at the next
DG meeting be on NATO's efforts to secure Afghanistan. This
suggestion was agreed to by the members.



--------------------------


Regional Reports


--------------------------





4. The members reviewed regional reports from Eastern Europe
(Germany), Balkans and the Near East (Greece), Central Asia
(Italy), South West Asia (U.K.), and South East Asia (Japan).
(Reports will be sent to INL/PC.) As instructed, during the
discussion of the U.K report on the South West Asia, USDEL
noted the recommendation made by the Mini Dublin Group (MDG)
in New Delhi that capitals support the USG's co-funding of
phase 2 of UNODC's chemical precursor control project and
observed that these projects are among the best projects run
by the UNODC worldwide. This view was supported by Japan.
USDEL also flagged the semiannual report submitted by the
Mexico City MDG.



--------------------------


Self-Evaluation of the Dublin Group


--------------------------





5. Chairman Raymond Yans distributed a paper entitled "The
Future of the Dublin Group" in which he outlined the Group's
strengths and weaknesses he has observed during his three
years as chairman. The DG began almost 15 years ago - at USG
urging - as a forum for donor countries to coordinate
anti-narcotics programs around the world. The Group has not
revised its operational guidelines since 2000. The addition
of the ten EU accession states on May 1 increased membership
in the Group to 30, plus regular observers Europol, UNODC,
the EU Drug Monitoring Center and the Commission. With
membership applications from Turkey, China, Russia and
Thailand in the hopper and no clear criteria for accepting
new members, Belgian Chair Raymond Yans opined this was an
opportune time to take stock



6. In his paper, the Chair notes that the quality of the
regional reports has improved during his chairmanship, that
better work is being done by some - but not all - of the
Mini-Dublin Groups, and that the "thematic debates" held at
the Central DG meetings have been successful and informative.
On the negative side, he notes that some Mini Dublin Groups
do not meet at all or only rarely. Some delegates to the MDG
meetings do not receive instructions from their capitals for
their meetings. The level of participation at the Central DG
meetings continues to deteriorate. Some delegations are now
sending second or third secretaries who have nothing to
contribute to the meetings. Finally, the regional reports
often arrive too late for translation and distribution;
consequently, participants do not have time to read and
reflect on the reports.



7. The chair therefore called on the Group to begin a
process of reflection and self-evaluation. He suggested that
the Secretariat send out a questionnaire to all delegations
which would solicit views on the objectives of the Dublin
Group, its present organizational structure, the value of the
thematic discussions and regional reports, and possible
criteria for admitting new members. Survey results would be
due by the end of October and discussed at the next meeting
in December. Italy, Japan, the Commission and the U.S. spoke
out in favor of the proposal.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





8. It is clear some regional groups are more active than
others. Some MDG's (there are currently some 75 MDGs
worldwide) and regional chairs could be dropped entirely in
favor of focusing on the more active ones of more concern to
the members. The 2000 guidelines state that regional chairs
should be rotated every two years. The work of the regional
chairs currently falls disproportionately on eight countries:
Spain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Germany, The Netherlands, France
and the U.S. The role of regional chairs should be spread
more widely and regularly rotated among the other members.
(The U.K. privately agreed with these views.)



--------------------------


Action Request


--------------------------





9. The annual U.S. report on Central America and Mexico is
on the agenda for the next meeting. The Chair has requested
that all reports be submitted by December 1 to allow
sufficient time for translation, distribution and
consideration by capitals. The evaluation questionnaire,
along with Mission views, will be forwarded to INL/PC when
received, Washington is reminded that submissions will be
due the end of October. Finally, it is likely the
Secretariat will approach NATO for a speaker for the next

SIPDIS
thematic discussion on NATO's role in facilitating CN efforts
in Afghanistan. However, Washington should consider whether
we should also offer a U.S. presentation.

FOSTER