169. Telegram 15727 From the Embassy in Italy to Several Posts1 2


  • Narcotics


  • State 241812 of 11/11/74

Following State 241812 Nov 11 rptd for your action info Dept
State 241812


  • International Narcotics Control Program: Washington Organization for Coordination and Backstopping


  • State 233134

It is apparent from consultations with Ambassadors visiting Washington that the full authority and responsibility of the Chief of Mission with respect to our narcotics programs and operations in his host country is better understood than are Washington arrangements for supporting him. This message is designed to inform posts of arrangements here for program coordination and back-stopping.
In Washington the central management authority and leadership responsibility for international narcotics program rests with the Department of State. The President’s Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control is chaired by the Secretary of State. Its Executive Director is Ambassador Sheldon Vance, senior adviser to the Secretary and Coordinator for International Narcotics matters. The Cabinet Committee also includes the Secretaries of Treasury, Defense, and Agriculture, the Attorney General, the US Representative to the United Nations and the Director of Central Intelligence. The Committee is assisted by an interagency working group, chaired by Ambassador Vance and consisting of Assistant Secretary level officials in each agency dealing directly with narcotics matters. Additionally, as of November 16, 1973, the Senior Adviser and Coordinator has been delegated the responsibility for the allocation and management of international narcotics control funds which are authorized in the Foreign Assistance Act. The FY 1975 appropriation request is for dols. 42.5 million. These funds are used for grants of equipment assistance to cooperating foreign governments, income substitution programs, training of foreign enforcement officials, and contributions to international organizations.
Washington coordination under the structure of the Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control is achieved through both a geographic and a functional approach. Thus, in addition to the regional interagency narcotics control committees, functional interagency subcommittees deal with intelligence, law enforcement, public information, treatment, training, research and development, program review and planning, and legal matters and treaties. The functional subcommittees report to the coordinating subcommittee of the CCINC Working Group mentioned above.
In the implementation of programs involving use of the international narcotics funds, the Senior Adviser relies on the special expertise of AID, with whom a Participating Agency Services Agreement (PASA) has been negotiated, and of other agencies, notably the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Customs Service. The PASA stipulates that, under the direction of the Senior Adviser, AID will assist the Department in implementing international narcotics control activities for which AID is allocated narcotics control funds by him. In view of his own ultimate responsibility and authority, the Senior Adviser has augmented his staff with his own planning and evaluation capability. While AID regulations and procedures will continue to be utilized for such functions as procurement, contracting and documentation, the Senior Adviser may authorize exceptions to these regulations on a case by case basis as justified by the mission. We anticipate this arrangement will permit the maximum flexibility required to respond to priority situations while at the same time ensuring prudent management of public funds.
To meet its increased program management responsibilities, the Senior Adviser’s staff (S/NM) has been appropriately strengthened. In addition to a principal deputy and four liaison officers, each working with a geographic bureau and its regional interagency narcotics committee, S/NM now has two program officers on detail from AID and a deputy for enforcement affairs on loan from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Regional conferences of Embassy narcotics coordinators will continue to be held annually in each major geographic area concerned. The ARA regional conference was held in Mexico City in October and that for NEA will be in New Delhi in November. Those for EA and EUR will take place in the first half of 1975. These conferences are attended by Ambassador Vance and leading officials from Washington agencies participating in the international narcotics control program. They are an occasion to provide policy guidance and expanded information on both program directions and the current priority concerns of the Washington coordinating and backstopping organization. The key purpose, however, is to discuss ways to assure the best application of available program facilities and resources to our 60 country narcotics action plans. In addition to such exchanges at the regional conferences, S/NM, through circular messages, periodically informs field posts of major trends in the American drug scene and significant policy and program developments.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Unclassified. Repeated to the consuls of Florence, Milan, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Trieste, and Turin. Repeated for information to the Department of State.
  2. The telegram informed posts about the federal organization and coordination mechanisms in Washington designed to support the drug abuse-control activities of other governments.