UN REPORT: ANDEAN COCA CULTIVATION AREA SHRINKS WASHINGTON (AP)--Land under cultivation for coca, the raw material for cocaine , has declined 20% since 1998 in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, a United Nations report says. It reached a 14-year low of 163,800 hectares, the report by the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released Thursday said. The three Andean countries are the world's biggest source of coca, the raw material for cocaine . The estimate for Colombia -86,000 hectares -represented a decline of 16% in one year and 47% since 2000, the report said. Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said at a news conference at the Organization of American States that Colombia's figures were the most encouraging result of this year's coca survey. John Walters, head of the U.S. National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement that the report shows that "when democracy, stability and security flourish in drug-producing nations, progress can be made against the narco-terrorists who threaten our way of life." The coca cultivation area in Peru was 44,200 hectares, a 13% decline since 1998, the study said. In Bolivia, the figure was 23,800 hectares, a slight increase compared 2003 but only half the levels estimated in the early to mid-1990's. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Charles offered an optimistic view Thursday of the overall counternarcotics situation in Colombia. In remarks prepared for the House Government Reform Committee, Charles said: "Drug production is down in Colombia; traffickers are being arrested and extradited and their proceeds are being taken; drug seizures are up; legitimate jobs are being created; Colombian institutions are stronger; and the rule of law expanded." Joint U.S.-Colombian spraying activities last year eradicated 116,000 hectares of coca, he said. With U.S. help, Colombian forces were able to interdict 145 metric tons of cocaine and coca base in 2003, Charles said. "If sold on U.S. streets, we estimate an additional $1.75 billion would have reached drug traffickers and the narcoterrorism they support," he said.