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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks at International Law Enforcement Academy
Budapest, Hungary, December 13, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Blue Line

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much. Minister Pinter, Director Wegkamp, members of the Task Force, I am very pleased to be with you this morning and very pleased to be here in Budapest and delighted to have a chance to tour this facility. I think it's very impressive and has a very important role.

The International Law Enforcement Academy here, and its counterparts in other regions, reflects the new realities of this new era. While other perils have diminished, the dangers posed by transnational crime have increased and these dangers are deadly and real.

I don't have to tell you about the risks posed by transnational crime, or the damage that drugs, guns and violence can do to our families and to our communities. Crime attracts terrorists and it drives investors away. It slows development, it endangers democracy, and undermines public trust, and weakens the fabric of society.

New technologies have helped us to improve the equipment that we are able to use or you are able to use fight crime. But they have also made it easier for criminals to operate across national lines. That makes it essential for the forces of law to cooperate across national borders.

This joint U.S.-Hungarian Task Force is a model of such cooperation. And the ILEA system being created to help us spread such cooperation worldwide.

As you know, there is a very big difference between wanting to work together, and actually being able to do it effectively. The most dangerous criminals are very good at what they do. The only way we will defeat them is if we are very good at what we have to do.

That means being able to act as a team. It means being able to seize opportunities as they arise. It means creating a network of laws and treaties, courts and capabilities that will leave criminals with less and less room to operate, and fewer outlets for their dirty profits.

In its five-year history, ILEA of Budapest has already trained some 5,000 students. This number includes people from every country in the region, including all of the former Soviet Union.

In so doing, this facility has become an indispensable contributor to democracy and law and I am very grateful to the government and people of Hungary for supporting and hosting this vital institution.

And I especially want to thank you, the members of the Joint Task Force.

As allies in NATO, the United States and Hungary work together to defend the security of our citizens and territory. Through this Task Force, we do the same job, for the same purpose, only with different techniques and tools.

So I commend all of you for the work you are doing and I pledge continued American support for the ILEA concept, and for this Task Force. And I thank you very much for spending time with me today.

As I am about to leave office as Secretary of State, I have been very fortunate to be Secretary in a time when there have been so many changes in the post Cold War world and so many challenges.

As I leave it I see that there is an awful lot to do, that in many ways we have passed the time of euphoria in the post Cold War time and we are now dealing with the real problems that exist I think one of the more troublesome and irritating aspects of this period is the ability of criminals to cross national lines and to be able to undermine in a very systematic way the real products of democracy and economic development and so you are basically the bastions of the civilized society in trying to deal with these issues that are so pervasive and dangerous to the things that we need to do.

So I am very grateful to the Americans for part of this project and obviously very grateful to the Hungarian professionals who are taking part in this. This is the work of the future and it's the way to protect democracy and freedom. So thank you very, very much for all your work.

[End of Document]
Blue Line

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