U.S. Coast Guard co-hosted the 24th Multilateral Maritime Counter Drug Summit

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Law Enforcement Policy and the Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs co-hosted the 24thMultilateral Maritime Counter-Drug Summit (MMCDS) in Alexandria, Virginia on June 18th and 19th.

The 24th MMCDS was the largest summit to date, with over 170 maritime counter drug professionals in attendance from operational and legal communities representing 23 countries across the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. The annual summit serves as a continuing dialogue between maritime and justice sectors of both source and transit zone countries with the primary objective to further regional awareness of the air, surface, and submersible threats while advancing regional maritime interoperability to effectively combat illicit trafficking.

Vice Adm. Daniel Abel was the senior Coast Guard Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Glenn served as the Keynote Speaker for the event. Together, they accentuated participants’ endeavors to deter, detect, and disrupt transnational criminal organizations often at great individual and national risk and sacrifice. Abel encouraged all representatives to continue developing strong international partnerships throughout the Summit and continue to restrict those Transnational Criminal Organizations’ freedom of movement. Glenn emphasized the importance for law enforcement to apply uniform pressure to reduce illicit narcotic supply, increase prevention, and advance treatment strategies without introducing vulnerabilities for illicit traffickers to exploit. Both speakers reinforced the need for continued flexibility to combat an agile adversary, which resonated throughout discussions and presentations during the two-day Summit.


The MMCDS provides an excellent opportunity for counter drug experts to engage in capacity building dialogue and promote interoperability. Partner nations used private meeting rooms to discuss bilateral agreements and strategic counter drug operations. In addition to independent bilateral negotiations, 20 presenters described legal and operational lessons learned on a variety of counter narcotics related strategies and capabilities. All partner nations represented at the Summit shared concerns regarding legal boundaries, logistical hurdles, and prosecutorial challenges associated with effective and efficient law enforcement operations.

The 25th MMCDS is expected to convene outside of the Continental United States in late Spring 2020.


Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at http://www.uscg.mil/global/mail/

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/global/disclaim.asp

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.