The Commission on Narcotic Drugs had barely started its thirty-fourth session in Vienna when news of the murder of Colombia's former Minister of Justice Enrique Low Murtra by drug traffickers on 30 April reached the meeting.
After a minute of silence in memory of Mr. Low Murtra, whose assassination was strongly condemned, the Commission went back to work. It was a fitting tribute to the slain Minister, who four years ago had told the Commission about his country's and his personal commitment to wipe out the drug scourge.
The 40-member Commission strongly backed the new UN International Drug Control Programme created by the General Assembly in 1990. Ways to help the Programme take off and enhance the Commission's function as the main UN policy-making body on drugs were two major issues dealt with at the session which was held from 29 April to 9 May.
The Programme will integrate, under a single leadership, the three existing UN anti-drug units-the Division of Narcotic Drugs, the Secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and the UN Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC).
"I have to rearrange the order of the wagons while the train is running", the Programme's Executive Director, Giorgio Giacomelli, told the Commission. Reorganization was scheduled to be completed by July 1991, he said. The high-profile Programme would be "more than the mere sum of the parts", with its chief reporting directly to the Secretary-General.
A five-year plan
The Commission asked the Executive Director to draw a five-year plan to implement the Global Programme of Action adopted at the 1990 General Assembly's special session on international cooperation against narcotic drugs.
Priority was to be given to prevention and reduction of drug abuse; treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug …