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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BOGOTA11995
2005-12-29 18:30:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

MULTILATERAL STRATEGY ON AERIAL ERADICATION NEAR

Tags:   SNAR  PREL  CO  EC  OAS  UN 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 011995 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/AND, INL/RM, INL/LP
WHA PLEASE PASS USOAS
ROME PLEASE PASS US MISSION TO FAO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/29/2015
TAGS: SNAR PREL CO EC OAS UN
SUBJECT: MULTILATERAL STRATEGY ON AERIAL ERADICATION NEAR
COLOMBIA-ECUADOR BORDER

REF: BOGOTA 11959

Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood
Reason: 1.4 (b,d)



1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 6.



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


Summary


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





2. (C) The Government of Ecuador (GOE) has proposed a UN
study on the alleged negative health effects associated with
the Government of Colombia's (GOC) aerial spraying of
glyphosate near Ecuador's northern border with Colombia. In
our view, a UN study is unnecessary and duplicative from a
scientific perspective; undermines the ongoing OAS study on
the same issue; and further politicizes the matter. Embassy
suggests a three-pronged strategy designed to allow Ecuador
to continue discussing its concerns within the OAS and to
turn off a UN study. End summary.



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Ecuador Proposes UN Study


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3. (C) The Government of Ecuador (GOE) has proposed a UN
study on the alleged negative health effects associated with
the Government of Colombia's (GOC) aerial spraying of
glyphosate near Ecuador's northern border with Colombia. In
order to avoid roiling sensitive Ecuadorian political waters,
Colombian FM Barco on December 15 signed in Quito an
agreement to temporarily suspend spraying near the Ecuadorian
border, beginning in January (she subsequently said that
Colombia would spray wherever there was coca). In the same
agreement, Barco "took note" of the Ecuadorian request for a
UN study of the health and environmental effects of
glyphosate and agreed to participate in the formulation of
the "terms of reference" for such a study (hoping to
sidetrack the study through the terms of reference
discussion). UNOCP rep Calvani at Mini-Dublin meeting
(reftel) said that there was reluctance in the UN to take up
the issue and that the projected cost developed by the Quito
UN office was "absurd." He was also unhappy that the
original idea would have focused the issue in FAO and WHO,
and excluded UNOCP from participating, thereby unbalancing
the study toward agriculture and health experts, and away
from drug and crime issues.



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


UN Study Unnecessary


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





4. (C) In our view, a UN study is unnecessary and
duplicative from a scientific perspective for this widely
used, 40-year-old herbicide; would call into question the
work of the OAS, a regional organization, which issued its
own study in March (funded by the U.S., but without U.S.
participation); and invite further politicization of a
technical issue, which would damage vital U.S.
counter-narcotics efforts in Colombia.



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


Multilateral Strategy


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





5. (C) Embassy suggests a three-pronged approach to prevent
the unnecessary UN study:

(a) through USUN and UNVIE, with assistance as appropriate
from US Mission Geneva with the WHO and USFAO with the FAO,
encourage Latin American delegations to keep the lead in
their own regional organization, the OAS, perhaps working
with UNOCP;

(b) through USOAS consult among friendly delegations with an
eye to recapturing the debate there, and
(c) work in Bogota and Quito to continue to assuage concerns
about glyphosate without denying Ecuador a chance for a
debate (in the OAS) or opening the door to yet another
technical study of the now four-decade old herbicide.



6. (C) Action requested: Department please advise.

WOOD

WOOD