The information lattice linking the three affected continents of COCAIR III reaches far beyond international organizations. Though WCO, UNODC, and the EU worked together to complete the final bust, much of their success is attributed to the cooperation of collaborating auxiliary organizations. The flow of vertical communication helps the supranational powers pinpoint certain locations and utilize the power of insider knowledge. Legislative mandates and treaties facilitate the demand for cross-border communication and
Following the discovery of Venezuela’s “porous” borders, the unguarded coastlines of South America and Western Africa and an inordinate amount of drugs being smuggled into Europe from Africa – WHO, UNODC and the EU took action. Their initial legislation and reports called on the UN Security Council or increase their cooperation with the UNODC and relay all observations. Though the report did not elaborate, I assume this entails the competing international organization to put their politics and pride aside to effectively run a horizontal governmental network of catching and stopping major drug suppliers.
The supranational organizations also focused on tightening communications through customs borders. By paying critical attention to signs of drug, cash, and arms flow – they are able to pinpoint exactly what ports drug dealers are using to smuggle their contraband. These illegal nuclei are then closely monitored by the powerful organizations and finally closed in on when they have sufficient evidence.
However, the demand for vertical communication goes both ways. When Western African countries realized they were at risk, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and various experts of the state called upon the 15 Member States to create legislation combating drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse. They made a specific appeal to UNODC to ask for support in implementing their program. The UNODC complied with their request, and the extension of the web ultimately benefited the plan.
Sadly, despite these extensive communication webs – the system is flawed. Corrupt government, uncooperative officials and a slew of other misfortunes hurt the communication process. However, this extensive international communication network is still relatively new (within the last century) and there is a lot of room for improvement. For now both horizontal and vertical governmental networks must continue to exercise their partnerships and bring people together for a safer international environment.
UNDOC: Regional Program for West Africa 2010-2014 (only read executive summary – pages 9-10 on web or vii-viii to print)