STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: International Crime Threats
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 15, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     The growing reach of international crime poses threats to American
citizens and American interests, both at home and abroad.  Illegal activity
from terrorism to trafficking in arms, drugs or humans violates our values
and threatens our safety. Intellectual property theft, financial fraud and
corruption also can endanger our prosperity, and undercut public confidence
in democracy and free markets around the world.

     To confront these challenges, today I am pleased to announce several
important initiatives in our ongoing efforts to combat international crime.

     First, we are releasing a comprehensive International Crime Threat
Assessment, prepared at my direction, as part of our International Crime
Control Strategy adopted in May 1998. The new assessment highlights the
global dimensions of international crime and the ways this pervasive
problem threatens U.S. interests. This broader understanding is necessary
if we, together with our international partners, are to strengthen our
response to this global problem.

     Second, earlier this week in Palermo, Italy, the United States joined
many other countries in signing the United Nations Convention on
Transnational Organized Crime, along with two supplementary protocols on
migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. By harmonizing criminal laws
and promoting increased cooperation, the new Convention and its protocols
will enable the international community to better combat international
organized crime.

     Third, the Departments of State and Justice are establishing a Migrant
Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Coordination Center.  The Center will
integrate and improve our efforts to counter these distinct but related
global crime problems. The Center also will promote and assist increased
efforts by foreign governments and international organizations to combat
these problems.

     The United States is strongly committed to strengthening our
international crime control programs to achieve a world of greater safety,
prosperity, and justice. We urge the international community to join us in
enhancing our common efforts to advance these common aims.


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