Magazine article UN Chronicle

Commission Recommends Priority for Drug Control Activities, Continues Work on New Drug Convention

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Commission Recommends Priority for Drug Control Activities, Continues Work on New Drug Convention

Article excerpt

Commission recommends priority for drug control activities, continues work on new drug convention

ACTION to improve methods ofinternational drug control and reduce the demand for and abuse of illicit narcotics and psychotropic substances, including the preparation of a new international convention, was the crucial concern of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its 1987 session.

The 40-member body, the UnitedNations main policy-making organ on international drug control matters, adopted nine resolutions and decisions at its thirty-second session (Vienna, 2-11 February).

The Commission reviewed progressmade on drafting a new convention against traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, which was called for by the General Assembly in December 1984 (resolution 39/141). The proposed treaty is to deal with various aspects of illicit narcotic drug traffic, particularly those not envisaged in existing international instruments.

During its eight-day session, theCommission also recommended that its parent body, the Economic and Social Council, ask the Secretary-General, in allocating United Nations resources, to give international drug control activities priority, with a view to implementing follow-up activities of the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, scheduled to be held from 17 to 26 June in Vienna (see special section).

Final arrangements for that globalmeeting were approved by the Commission, which met from 12 to 18 February in Vienna as the Preparatory Body for the Drug Conference (see p.45).

In considering the activities ofUnited Nations agencies active in drug abuse control, the Commission also recommended that the Economic and Social Council endorse the recently adopted policy approach of the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control, based on the formulation and implementation of national and regional plans, referred to as "master plans', involving both donor and assistance-receiving countries.

It also urged that the Fund be encouragedto continue to build up-- with the assistance of competent United Nations bodies, other international bodies and the collaboration of interested Governments, in terms of political and financial support--"the capacity to respond to national, regional, interregional and global needs in the drug abuse control field'.

The Commission, which normallymeets biennially, decided to hold a special 10-day session next year, in 1988.

Enrique Parejo Gonzalez of Colombia,who was elected as Chairman of the Commission on 2 February, said that drug trafficking was the most serious threat to civil institutions, particularly in developing countries which had limited resources to combat it. While the International Conference would establish the basis for the struggle against illicit drugs, each country must establish its own legislation and mechanisms, he said.

Also on 2 February, Mowaffak Allaf,Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, noted that political commitment to more effective international drug control had increased in tandem with the growing level of concern among parents, educators, community and religious leaders, and government officials.

The Commission's 40 membersrepresent: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Finland, France, German Democratic Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, USSR, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zambia.

Draft convention: Work on the newinternational convention was initiated in February 1985, at the request of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. A preliminary draft instrument was prepared by the United Nations Division of Narcotic Drugs and circulated to all Member States in August 1986 for their comments and proposals. …

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