Magazine article UN Chronicle

Key Elements for Convention against Drug Trafficking Selected; More Psychotropic Substances Placed under International Control

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Key Elements for Convention against Drug Trafficking Selected; More Psychotropic Substances Placed under International Control

Article excerpt

Key elements for convention against drug trafficking selected; more psychotropic substances placed under international control

A broad range of elements to be included in a draft convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was recommended by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its ninth special session (Vienna, 10-14 February 1986).

The Commission also decided to place 17 additional amphetamine-like drugs under international control.

In an opening statement, Mowaffak Allaf, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna, observed that during 1985 wide political support had been expressed for strengthening international control of drugs and for preparing a new convention against illicit drug traffic and abuse. The International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to be held in Vienna in 1987 would be, he said, the culmination of international efforts to "combat this evil which threatens the stability of nations, the security of so-cieties and the well-being of present and future generations'.

Preparations for the Conference, which was proposed by the Secretary-General in May 1985 and endorsed by the General Assembly in December 1985 (resolution 40/122), were considered by the Commission acting as the Preparatory Body from 17 to 21 February (see accompanying story).

Assistant Secretary-General Tamar Oppenheimer, Director of the Narcotic Drugs Division and Secretary-General of the 1987 drug Conference, told the Commission that the range of responsibilities entrusted to it reflected "in unmistakable terms' the international community's growing concern over the escalation of drug abuse world-wide.

The 40-member Commission, the main policy-making organ of the United Nations in international drugcontrol matters, meets biennially, but from time to time holds special sessions in intervening years, as it did in 1986.

Draft convention: In 1984, the Commission was asked by the Assembly (resolution 39/141) and the Economic and Social Council to begin preparing a draft convention against traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, to deal with various aspects of illicit traffic, particularly those not envisaged in existing international instruments.

As a result of discussions at its ninth special session, the Commission approved elements for inclusion in the new instrument, including: identification, tracing, freezing and forfeiture of proceeds from illicit drug trafficking; obligations concerning extradition for drug-related offences; measures to monitor or control specific chemicals, solvents and precursors used in the illegal processing or manufacture of controlled drugs; special problems of transit States; and measures to increase international co-operation in the fight against drug trafficking and abuse. …

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