The United States and the European Union share a deep conviction that peace and human development depend upon the protection of individual liberty, human rights, the rule of law, economic opportunity, and the growth of strong, democratic societies.
Today, the Western Balkans are at a crucial juncture. At this point the most urgent issue is to find a solution to the Kosovo status issue. We support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari and believe that his comprehensive proposal submitted by the UN Secretary General to the Security Council on March 26, 2007, creates the basis for a new UNSC Resolution. We urge the Security Council to adopt such a resolution in a timely manner. Resolving the status of Kosovo will enhance the development and the stability of the entire region. We reiterate that resolving the pending status of Kosovo is a unique case and does not set any precedent. We will work closely, in coordination with NATO and the UN, to ensure security in Kosovo during the transition phase following the conclusion of a status settlement. We welcome the EU's decision to establish a European Security and Defence Policy police and rule of law mission in Kosovo, and we look forward to US participation in that mission. We also welcome NATO's commitment to continuing the KFOR mission to provide security and the readiness of the OSCE to continue its mission in Kosovo. We support convening a donors' conference to assist Kosovo's post-status development. We support the European and the Euro-Atlantic perspective for all Western Balkans nations and will continue to assist them on their way.
We will work together to strengthen democratic institutions, assist civil society, and support freedom of information in Belarus. We demand that Belarusian authorities immediately release all political prisoners. We remain open to developing bilateral relations with Belarus, once the Belarusian authorities respect human rights, the rule of law and democratic values.
We will continue support for Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Central Asian states to promote democracy, the rule of law, and economic development.
We note the importance of our relationship with Russia. A stable, prosperous and democratic Russia remains in our common interest. We seek in our relations with Russia to promote common values such as political pluralism, the rule of law, and human rights, including freedom of media, expression and assembly, and note our concerns in these areas. We will continue to work with Russia in areas of mutual interest, including non-proliferation, counterterrorism, energy security and regional issues, such as the resolution of frozen conflicts. We will also continue to work with Russia towards its accession to the World Trade Organization.
We are committed to continue our support for the Afghan people in building a state that respects the rights of its citizens and governs its territory effectively. We are involved in Afghanistan not least because we know that a stable, democratic Afghanistan will prevent extremists from finding safe haven there and from using Afghan territory to once again attack our nations. We will contribute to the promotion of confidence, dialogue and cooperation between Afghanistan and all its neighbours, in particular Pakistan.
We reaffirm the necessity of a comprehensive approach to the challenges in Afghanistan based upon the objectives agreed upon in the Afghanistan Compact. An international military presence is necessary and we must support NATO's mission, but military efforts alone will not bring about the peaceful, democratic future that the people of Afghanistan deserve. We therefore will continue - and, where possible, expedite - our assistance to rebuild infrastructure and create economic opportunity for the Afghan people. In particular, we will seek to increase the use of quick impact funds and other such programs that will allow the Government of Afghanistan to rapidly deliver services and development on the ground. In close coordination we will also continue to provide training for police and prosecutors. We welcome the planning for a European Security and Defence Policy mission in the field of policing, building upon the efforts of key partners, together with a package of support for the justice sector. We underline the importance of close cooperation with NATO in advancing these efforts. We commit ourselves to support the full range of Afghan Government efforts against the poppy trade in the framework of the National Drug Control Strategy.
We will continue to work closely together, including through the Quartet, to promote a renewed political process between Israeli and Palestinian leaders with the goal of creating an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with Israel. We agree on the continuing need for a Palestinian Authority Government committed to the Quartet principles: renunciation of violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations made by the Palestinian Authority, including the Roadmap. The commitment of the National Unity Government to the Quartet principles of peace will be measured not only on the basis of its composition and platform, but also its actions. We are working jointly for the full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access and call on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take the necessary steps. We will continue work to develop an international support mechanism for the Palestinians, with the objective of assisting the population and improving governance, and will pursue efforts to reform and professionalize the legitimate Palestinian security forces to allow them to re-establish law and order and an end to all acts of terrorism.
We reaffirm our commitment to the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon and support its legitimate and democratically-elected government. We express our appreciation for the constructive mediation efforts aiming at solving the political crisis in Lebanon, in particular those of the Secretary General of the Arab League and Saudi Arabia. We call for the rapid delivery of pledges made at the Paris III Donors Conference, including assistance with political, economic, institutional and security reforms. We call for the rapid establishment of the Special Tribunal on the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri and others, in keeping with UNSCRs 1644 and 1664. The U.S. and the EU call on all parties in the region to fully comply with UNSCR 1701. We commit to assist the Lebanese Government to strengthen security on the Syrian-Lebanese border to prevent the illegal flow of arms into Lebanon, including through technical assistance for Lebanon's border security and customs authorities. We welcome steps being taken to improve coordination and to examine all options for strengthening the UNSCR 1701 arms embargo.
We remain deeply concerned about the role Syria plays within the region and its repression of civil society. We call upon the Syrian government to fully implement UNSCRs 1559, 1595, 1636, 1680 and 1701. Syria must end all interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon and in the region, particularly in Iraq and the Palestinian territories. Our approach to Syria will be based on concrete steps by the Syrian government on all of these fronts, including full Syrian cooperation with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon once it has been established.
We remain committed to efforts of the international community to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons capability, and call on Iran to comply with its obligations and UNSCRs 1696, 1737, and 1747. The United States and the European Union have worked cooperatively for several years to reach a negotiated agreement with Iran; to this end we have offered Iran a set of far-reaching proposals that would allow Iran to pursue a civil nuclear power program while re-assuring the international community of Iran's intentions. We remain deeply concerned about negative effects of Iran's policies in the region - particularly in Lebanon and Iraq, its negative role in the Middle East Peace Process, Iran's support for terrorist organizations, and the human rights situation in Iran. We will continue to expand our contacts with Iranian civil society and enhance academic, cultural, and business exchanges. We will seek to have our views and arguments heard within the Iranian society. We will also work together in international bodies to seek consensus to condemn Iranian threats against Israel and any denial of the Holocaust.
We will continue to provide support to the democratically elected government of Iraq, including within the framework of the International Compact, and will work with the United Nations and World Bank to expand the role of multilateral development institutions in the country; and also through continued and expanded political and diplomatic engagement, including on the ground in Baghdad as the security situation permits. Further financial support should focus on building Iraq's capacity to govern itself and on extending the rule of law to all. We support the Neighbours process, which is essential to Iraq's stability, security, and economic transition. We will work to ensure the full support of all regional parties for Iraq's security and stability, pursuant their obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
Four years after the conflict began in Darfur the violence and atrocities against innocent civilians continue. We agree that the time has come to take immediate actions to stop the fighting and human suffering in Darfur and find a political solution to end the conflict. We continue to strongly support the joint efforts by the AU and UN special envoys, Salim Salim and Jan Eliasson to strengthen the ceasefire and re-launch the political process. We further support efforts to deploy hybrid peacekeeping force under the Addis Ababa Framework.
We note Sudan's acceptance of the UN Heavy Support Package (HSP) to the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and expect Sudan to cooperate fully with the UN and the AU to ensure the expeditious implementation of the HSP, as well as to fully accept the hybrid peacekeeping force with a unified command and control for the UN-AU force led by the United Nations. In the meantime, we will continue our support to AMIS. If no progress on a political solution or on the implementation of the hybrid-mission is achieved soon, we agree to support initiatives by the UNSC to work on a new UNSCR that imposes multilateral sanctions against individuals and Sudanese entities, extends the arms embargo and establishes the capacity to monitor and report on offensive flights that are inconsistent with the UNSCR 1591. We underscore the importance that those responsible for atrocities in Darfur are brought to justice. We support implementation of the North-South Agreement as the framework for a united, peaceful, prosperous and democratic Sudan. We will work with the relevant authorities and the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to build the capacity of the police force in the south and in the transition areas. We will work with the U.N., the Sudanese government and other partners to ensure humanitarian access and broaden disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, including child soldiers.
We are concerned about ongoing fighting and the loss of lives in Somalia and urge all sides to immediately implement a cease fire and to refrain from any further acts of violence. We call for unhindered humanitarian access to be granted immediately to assist those displaced by the violence. We support the Transitional Federal Government's (TFG) efforts to host as soon as possible a National Reconciliation Congress and urge the TFG to engage all Somali stakeholders in a process of broad-based, inclusive, and meaningful dialogue. International donor support is needed for building the governance capacity of the Transitional Federal Institutions in Somalia, and for sustaining an African Union peacekeeping force there.
Latin America and the Caribbean are growing economically and held 13 national elections in 2006. Democratic structures are well rooted in many Latin American countries. Nonetheless, too many Latin Americans still live in poverty and the full benefits of democracy and social justice are still a distant reality. We will work with countries in the region to deliver the benefits of good governance; improve education, healthcare, and housing; and reduce poverty by creating jobs. We will support human rights, freedom of the press, and free speech in the region. In particular, we will support the Cuban people as they seek to exercise these same rights. We will continue to work with Latin American countries to advance agreements that will foster regional integration, accelerate economic growth, promote development, and bolster democracy.
In a world of global threats and challenges our security and prosperity increasingly depend on an effective multilateral system. Strengthening the United Nations and equipping it to fulfil its responsibilities is our common priority. We will strive to improve the effectiveness of the UN in challenging regimes intent upon violating or disregarding their citizens' human rights and work together with the UN in support of international action on issues such as disarmament, peacekeeping, human rights and development.
During the past year, continuing terrorist activity around the world has served as a reminder of the urgent need to intensify our work together to combat terrorism, transnational crime and corruption. Consistent with our common values, we reaffirm our long-standing commitment to ensure that efforts taken to combat terrorism comply with our obligations under international law including human rights law, refugee law, and international humanitarian law. We will continue and deepen our ongoing dialogue on international law principles relevant to our common fight against terrorism which has contributed to a better understanding of our respective legal frameworks and should help us to work together to combat terrorism.
We will work to enhance the timely sharing of information while ensuring the protection of personal data. We are conducting negotiations to replace the current interim agreement on the transfer of passenger name record data. We will also work together to strengthen other governments' legal, law enforcement and prosecutorial capacity to combat terrorist groups. We welcome the conclusion of the agreement on the security of classified information.
We will continue to strengthen our preventive measures by implementing international standards to combat terrorist financing. To this end, we are committed to developing and implementing targeted sanctions against terrorist organizations and their support networks. We will work towards developing joint action plans to implement the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) strategic framework i.a. for combating terrorist exploitation of charities and the illicit use of cash couriers.
Progress has been made on the question of improving the freedom of movement of people between our two continents. U.S. citizens already enjoy visa-free travel to all EU member states. We aim at swift progress in achieving visa-free travel for all EU citizens to the United States consistent with the U.S. proposal to strengthen the security of its Visa Waiver Program and accelerate the expansion of visa-free travel, which is an important step forward in facilitating travel between the United States and Europe.
We will launch a pilot project to engage EU feeder ports in the joint targeting of transatlantic shipments so we can identify and promptly investigate high-risk containerized shipments. We will assess mutual recognition of controls and certifications to reduce the burden on legitimate business and so encourage legitimate trade.
We will enhance U.S.-EU efforts against drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and corruption by deepening cooperation among prosecutors and investigators through established liaison relationships with, among others, Eurojust, Europol, and the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, and use these relationships to promote investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes. We will help strengthen criminal justice systems in third countries by providing technical assistance that builds law enforcement capacity. We will coordinate in developing an effective mechanism for reviewing implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption and providing technical assistance to help countries implement the Convention. We will combat the flow of Afghan heroin and Andean cocaine by helping those governments attack drug production at their source, dismantle drug trafficking organizations, and stem the flow of illicit drugs through all relevant transit routes to Europe and the United States. To combat money laundering worldwide, we will coordinate efforts to reform legislation, investigate formal and informal money laundering networks, and ensure enforcement of international obligations.
In our critical efforts to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we continue to make individual and collective efforts to implement, strengthen and universalise key multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament obligations, treaties and initiatives. We reaffirm the value of continuing consultations on these issues and will continue to seek ways to strengthen coordination and accelerate implementation.
We reaffirm our commitment to the objectives and obligations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We call for all States Parties to support and strengthen the non-proliferation and disarmament regime and to make a constructive contribution to a balanced and structured review of the NPT. We will undertake all efforts to achieve a successful outcome of the review process. In the face of the challenges to the NPT the maintenance of its authority and integrity including by encouraging compliance is of utmost importance.
Addressing proliferation financing remains critical to our global efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We support the UNSC 1540 Committee and the development of a coordinated process for the implementation of UNSCR 1540. This process will include identifying gaps in legislative framework and their enforcement measures and, if requested, assisting States to develop road maps or plans of action for addressing remaining measures to be taken and to offer assistance to implement the resolution fully. We reaffirm the urgency of implementing the WMD proliferation financing measures required by UNSCR 1540 and other international obligations, including the freezing of assets required by UNSCRs 1718 (North Korea) 1737 and 1747 (Iran) and subsequent resolutions. We are committed to working together on new initiatives in this area, including by targeting proliferation finance making use of the expertise of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and examining possibilities to develop a global mechanism.
In our efforts to combat proliferation, we support multilateral fuel supply assurances in order to give an incentive for states not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing, to prevent the further spread of sensitive technologies that provide more nations access to weapons-usable nuclear materials.
We call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran, respectively, to take the steps required of them by the international community and to build international confidence. If they do so, we are ready to respond positively. We call upon all UN Member States to implement the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions immediately and in full, including those aimed at guaranteeing the exclusively peaceful purpose of Iran's nuclear program.
Regarding the DPRK, we commend the progress made by the Six-Party Talks and urge the DPRK to fulfill its commitments in the September 2005 Joint Statement and February 13 Initial Actions agreement to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and to return, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons obligations and to IAEA safeguards.
We will continue to support the global fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other infectious diseases using bilateral and multilateral instruments, institutions and partnerships. We will combine efforts to address health related problems and to strengthen health care systems, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria infects an estimated 300-500 million people each year, straining fragile health systems. Through programs such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to which the United States, EU Member States and the European Commission are major contributors, as well as the U.S. Malaria Initiative, we are in a better position to fight the scourge of malaria, but more must be done by the international community. An estimated $2.9 billion is needed each year to fight this battle. We are committed to fund this effort, and to better leverage public and private sector investments to assist in accomplishing our common goal. We will renew and strengthen our efforts to eradicate polio, working with the endemic nations and the WHO. We will continue to increase our global cooperation to mitigate and prepare for an influenza pandemic and welcome the contribution of the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza to these efforts.
While reaffirming our sympathy to the children infected with HIV/Aids in Libya, we will reinforce our efforts aimed at the release and exoneration of the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor sentenced to death against all scientific evidence.
Conflicts and the failures of state governance cause human and economic catastrophes, destabilize neighbouring countries and regions, and threaten the security of the international community. We recognise that modern crisis management requires a comprehensive approach. Through close collaboration between the United States and the European Union, consistent with and building upon cooperation with NATO, other nations, the UN and other multilateral organizations as appropriate, we can improve our response to these crises. We will enhance our cooperation in the field of crisis management, consistent with our respective commitments to and agreements with multilateral organizations.