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    Give and Take

    • David Sogge
    30 April 2002
    Book
    Foreign aid is supposed to be benign and selfless, yet often harms more than it helps, and benefits givers more than receivers. This thoughtful book argues that aid must be made less of a problem, more of a solution.
  2. Breaking the Impasse

    • Tom Blickman, David Bewley-Taylor, Martin Jelsma, Amira Armenta, Virginia Montañés
    19 July 2002
    Policy briefing

    This issue of Drugs & Conflict attempts to outline the possibilities for a breakthrough in the current impasse of the current international drug control regime.

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    A Failed Balance

    • Martin Jelsma, Ricardo Vargas
    01 March 2002

    In the area of failed alternative development (AD) projects, the Andean region has its sorry share to contribute. The constant peasant uprisings n the Bolivian Chapare and the social tensions rife among cocalero peasants in the South of Colombia are woeful indicators of such failure. In January, TNI attended a conference in Germany, hosted by the German government and UNDCP. The purpose was to critically evaluate experiences in AD and draw conclusions for its future.

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    In 1961, the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs prohibited planting crops having no medical or scientific purpose, fixing a period of 15 years - for opium - and 25 years - for coca - as deadlines for their ultimate extinction. Those targets were clearly not met. In 1998, ignoring decades of lack of success in addressing the issue of illicit crops, the UN set the year 2008 as yet another deadline by which to eliminate coca and opium. At the UN Special Session on drugs, AD was identified as a key instrument to be used in fulfilling this objective, as part of an integral anti-drugs strategy. The strategy's other components were eradication and law enforcement. Experience has demonstrated that the simultaneous use of these means - commonly known as the 'carrot and stick approach'- is counterproductive.

    This issue of Drugs & Conflict is dedicated to this central theme in international drug control policies. Supply reduction, one of AD's objectives, has proven a failure in the Andean region. To what was this failure due? What may be expected of AD programmes in the future, given the accumulated experiences?

    In reference to eradication pacts and AD projects undertaken in the Putumayo (Colombia), Ricardo Vargas points out that there is no fair compensation between what is expected of peasants: destroying the main source of their livelihood, and what the state offers them in exchange: non-viable projects doomed to fail and the impending threat of fumigation should deadlines not be met. International anti-drugs policy forces the Colombian government to measure its results by the number of hectares eradicated, without regard for the region's specific development conditions.

    State institutions in Colombia have no capacity to operate effectively in the Putumayo. Locked into a crisis combining US pressure to intensify aerial spraying, a collapsed peace process and guerrilla action against the economic and services infrastructure, the central government is not in a position to guarantee the adequate running of AD programmes. To add fuel to fire, there is now the argument that finance for terrorism must be combated. This further erodes the social and economic rights of the peasants and down-plays the impact of aerial spraying on health and the environment.

    In spite of widespread recognition of the failure of current 'carrot and stick' policies (a mixture of AD and repression), a 'zero option' mentality persists and deceit about success still abounds. The final declaration issued at the German policy conference is not radical in this sense. It does, however, offer some leaps forward in terms of fine tuning the AD concept, based on a better understanding of livelihood decision making processes, the importance of regular evaluations and, the acceptance of the reality that the communities most affected have not been allowed to participate sufficiently in their own development process. The declaration also manages to define somewhat more precisely the troublesome balance between AD and repressive law enforcement. It is worth noting that the UNDCP participated actively in the conference, displaying real willingness to seriously exchange opinions on these issues. This yields a modicum of optimism regarding the possibility that international bodies can learn to identify best practices and see the need to separate these from the current repressive policies, increasingly recognised as more harmful than drugs themselves.

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    Alternative 'Drugs & Peace' Policy for Colombia, proposed by TNI & Acción Andina

    Drugs and Democracy
    26 June 2002
    Article

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) and Colombian partner, Acción Andina (AA), today announce a detailed alternative policy proposal on illicit drug crops and the peace process in Colombia.

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    An Assassination, A Failure to Act, A Painful Parallel

    John Dinges, Peter Kornbluh
    22 September 2002
    Article
    Recently disclosed US State Department and CIA records cast a new light on the Letelier assassination, revealing that the US had extensive awareness of a secret assassination operation and suggesting that US officials called off actions that might have stopped it.
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    Substitution therapy for amphetamine users

    • James Shearer, John Sherman, Alex Wodak, Ingrid van Beek
    31 May 2002

    publicationThe illicit use of amphetamines continues to be a growing problem in many countries around the world, yet treatment responses remain in need of further development. This is particularly true with regards to pharmacotherapy for amphetamine dependence. In this Harm Reduction Digest four authors who bring together considerable research and clinical experience in this area describe the nature of amphetamine-related problems and consider the role of amphetamine agonists in substitution therapy for amphetamine dependence.

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    Flexibility of treaty provisions

    • UNODC Legal Affairs Section
    30 September 2002

    In a confidential and authoritative memorandum to the INCB, UNODC legal experts argue that most harm reduction measures are in fact acceptable under the conventions. According to the Legal Affairs Section "it could easily be argued that the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction provide a clear mandate for the institution of harm reduction policies that, respecting cultural and gender differences, provide for a more supportive environment for drug users."

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    Alternative Development and Drug Control

    • Martin Jelsma
    08 January 2002
    Martin Jelsma
    What can Alternative Development interventions realistically hope to achieve, given the growing demand for illicit drugs and the continuing prevalence of rural poverty. Non-conditionality for the concept, harm reduction for the production side, and open mindedness for an honest debate are, in the view of Martin Jelsma, necessary steps to “prevent Alternative Development as the Sacred Heart in the global drugs policy from beeing blown apart by the roaring helicopters on the horizon”. Martin Jelsma gave his critical assessment of Alternative Development at the International Conference on The Role of Alternative Development in Drug Control and Development Cooperation.
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    What is the Global Justice Movement?

    John Cavanagh, Sarah Anderson
    01 January 2002
    Article
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    Arms are not Tomatoes

    Martin Broek
    01 September 2002
    Article
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    Unfree Trade. "GMOs are Harmless, End of Story"

    Susan George
    01 May 2002
    Article
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    The ASEM Regime and its Participants' Interests

    Sebastian Bersick
    01 September 2002
    Article
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    Porto Alegre, Brazil:

    Daniel Chavez
    01 April 2002
    Article
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    Drug users and the law in the EU

    • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs, Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
    01 March 2002

    dif0302Drug laws in the European Union (EU) seek continuously to strike a balance between punishment and treatment. The three United Nations (UN) conventions on drugs, limit drug use exclusively to medical or scientific purposes. While they do not call for illicit use of drugs to be considered a crime, the 1988 Convention — as a step towards tackling international drug trafficking — does identify possession for personal use to be regarded as such.

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    Anti-Davos Gets Up Steam

    Boris Kagarlitsky
    05 February 2002
    Article
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    De-globalization

    • Walden Bello
    15 October 2002
    Book
    Will the world economy be forever more market-oriented and dominated by transnational corporations? This short and trenchant history of the organizations promoting economic globalization - the World Bank, IMF, WTO, and Group of Seven - points to their manifest failings.
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    Recent developments regarding drug law and policy in Germany and the European Community

    • Lorenz Böllinger
    21 March 2002

    publicationRecent developments in drug policy can be regarded as taking place in stages based on certain changeable paradigms: the abstinence paradigm, the medicalization paradigm and the acceptance paradigm. For the time being there seems to be a slow transition from the first to the latter, implying that elements of all three are presently active in a diversity of policies and strategies, differing between states and regions of the German federal state and the European Union as well as between different levels of drug policy and drug care.

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    Ante upped

    Hilary Wainwright
    13 February 2002
    Article

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