Photo: Assembly's debate on Central America - UN
Senior United Nations officials drew the world’s attention to threats posed by transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in Central America and called for concerted global efforts to combat the scourge, which they said is spreading to other continents.
The overall objective behind the debate is to highlight the Central American Governments’ individual and collective fight against transitional organised crime, its focus in the framework of UN policies and actions, as well as the importance of cooperation with and support of the donor community. In June last year, the region’s Heads of State adopted a so-called Central American Regional Security Strategy.
In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out that countries in the region – especially in the northern triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – face rising levels of violence fuelled by transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.
He highlighted the fact that Central America has become the region with the highest homicide rates in the world – 39 murders per 100,000 citizens in Guatemala, 72 per 100,000 in El Salvador, and 86 per 100,000 in Honduras.
He also noted that the narcotics problem was not confined to Central America, pointing out that the region is a “bridge” to North America, and that the Americas are, in general, a “staging post” to Europe, through trafficking routes in West and Central Africa.