Magazine article UN Chronicle

Fighting Back: Drugs, Terrorism, Debt, Environmental Threat

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Fighting Back: Drugs, Terrorism, Debt, Environmental Threat

Article excerpt

Faced with continuing threats of drug trafficking, terrorism, external debt and environmental destruction, the world community is increasingly becoming aware of the need to unite and fight back.

These issues will be highlighted at the forty-fourth Assembly, which has been asked to convene special international meetings to deal with international drug trafficking, terrorism, environment and development, and international co-operation.

The "murderous association" of mercenaries with terrorists and drug traffickers was denounced at the Assembly on 29 September by Colombia's President, Virgilio Barco Vargas.

Security was tight for him as he entered UN premises, with New York City Police sharp-shooters scanning the area with binoculars from the dome-shaped roof of the Assembly building.

Mr. Barco asked the Assembly to convene a special session on the global drug problem and take special measures to reduce and control arms sales to drug traffickers and terrorists. "Those who sell arms to the narco-terrorists are even more guilty than the addicts whose demand for drugs fuels violence", he said.

He also suggested creating an international working group at the ministerial level to meet periodically to co-ordinate specific anti-drug actions.

The establishment of an international court with jurisdiction over drug trafficking across national frontiers and other transnational criminal activities, a new item, will be considered by the Assembly.

The Assembly will also consider convening a world conference to define terrorism and differentiate it from national liberation struggles. But "defining terrorism and investigating its underlying causes" did not diminish "the urgency of taking preventive measures", Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar warned in his annual report to the Assembly.

"The firm and consistent position of the United Nations with regard to the prevention of international terrorism leaves no room for doubt or equivocation", he added, recalling that both the Assembly and the Security Council had taken "pronounced stands on the question". …

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