[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)] [June 9, 1998] [Page 927] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]
[[Page 927]] Message to the Senate Transmitting the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials June 9, 1998 To the Senate of the United States: With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (the ``Convention''), adopted at the Special Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) at Washington on November 13, 1997. The Convention was signed by the United States and 28 other OAS Member States on November 14, 1997, at the OAS Headquarters in Washington. So far, 31 States have signed the Convention and one (Belize) has ratified it. In addition, for the information of the Senate, I transmit the report of the Department of State with respect to the Convention. The Convention is the first multilateral treaty of its kind in the world. The provisions of the Convention are explained in the accompanying report of the Department of State. The Convention should be an effective tool to assist in the hemispheric effort to combat the illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials, and could also enhance the law enforcement efforts of the States Parties in other areas, given the links that often exist between those offenses and organized criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and terrorism. The Convention provides for a broad range of cooperation, including extradition, mutual legal assistance, technical assistance, and exchanges of information, experiences, and training, in relation to the offenses covered under the treaty. The Convention also imposes on the Parties on obligation to criminalize the offenses set forth in the treaty if they have not already done so. The Convention will not require implementing legislation for the United States. This treaty would advance important U.S. Government interests, and would enhance hemispheric security by obstructing the illicit flow of weapons to criminals such as terrorists and drug traffickers. In addition, ratification of this Convention by the United States would be consistent with, and give impetus to, the active work being done by the United States Government and this subject in other fora, such as the United Nations, the P-8 Group, and the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention, and that it give its advice and consent to ratification. William J. Clinton The White House, June 9, 1998.