The 2008 UN World Drug Report tries to hide the failures of drug control policy behind a bad history lesson. Instead of a clear acknowledgement that the UN’s own 10-year targets have not been met, it offers a narrative of 100 years of success, fabricating a comparison with Chinese opium production and use at the turn of the 20th century.
In its 2006 World Drug Report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) struggles to construct success stories to convince the world that the global drug control regime has been an effective instrument.
Unfortunately, the mycoherbicide scheme was only derailed temporarily. It has arisen again in recent months. While US-funded research on these biological agents dropped out of public view for a time, it was never suspended, and the investigation was completed in 2002.
The drugs scene in Colombia is characterized by the fact that it is dominated by a confusion of insufficiently supported statistics and speculative diagnoses which produce policies that reflect this chaos.
Conflicting views within the UN system on harm reduction have become a major concern. Consistency in messages is crucial especially where it concerns joint global programmes such as the efforts to slow down the HIV/AIDS epidemic; efforts in which harm reduction practices like needle exchange and substitution treatment play a pivotal role.
This briefing paper analyses the reasons behind Bolivia’s proposal to remove from the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs the obligation to abolish the practice of coca chewing and the opposing arguments that have been brought forward.
This IDPC Briefing reviews the data in the latest report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on the state of the global market, criticises the claims made in the report that international action is successfully controlling the market, and questions the political objectivity of the UNODC as we approach the review of the global objectives set in 1998.
The INCB, rather than making harsh judgements based on a selective choice of outdated treaty articles, should use its mandate more constructively and help draw attention to the inherent contradictions in the current treaty system with regard to how plants, plant-based raw materials and traditional uses are treated.
This briefing paper summarises the proceedings and outcomes of the 2007 CND. It includes a discussion of a wide range of issues - from technical debates on the rescheduling of dronabinol, to the plans for the global review of the 1998 UNGASS objectives - and comments on the performance of the UN agencies in this field, and of the workings of the CND itself.
This briefing describes the fortunes of the draft resolution tabled by the EU to guide the process of evaluation of the implementation of political declaration and action plans of the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in 2008.
Martin Jelsma, Pien Metaal, Ricardo Soberon, Mario Argandoña, Anthony Henman, Ximena Echeverría
09 May 2006
This issue of Drugs and Conflict explains the motives, context and range of the demand to remove the coca leaf from strict international drugs controls, as well as the procedures that need to be followed to reach this objective.
In this briefing the Transnational Institute (TNI) analyses the proceedings and results of the CND meeting in Vienna, 7-11 March 2005, outlines several options for follow-up and recommends next steps to take.
The Executive Director of the UNODC, Mr Antonio Maria Costa, released a progress report, "Encouraging progress towards still distant goals", as a Contribution to the Mid-term (2003) Review of UNGASS. The report examines whether the international community is on track to reduce illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse. TNI reviewed the UN report.
It is no understatement to claim that there are few plants subject to such tensions as the coca leaf, either in legal and political circuits, or in the medical and anthropological academic world. Before, during and after its inclusion in the number 1 list of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the controversy on whether the coca leaf is or is not to be considered a narcotic drug, worthy of control by the international institutions and mechanisms, reached apparent irreconcilable positions.
No sería una exageración destacar que pocas plantas han suscitado tanta tensión como la hoja de coca, tanto en el ambiente político-jurídico, como en el mundo académico médico y antropológico. Antes, durante y después de su inclusión en la Lista 1 de la Convención Única de 1961 sobre Estupefacientes, la controversia sobre si se debía considerar la hoja de coca como estupefaciente digno de fiscalización por parte de los organismos encargados del control internacional de drogas, llegó a posiciones aparentemente irreconciliables.
In the Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2002 that was released on February 26, the president of the Board, Dr. Philip O. Emafo from Nigeria, launches a strong attack against groups that advocate legalisation or decriminalisation of drug offences.
A growing number of nations are developing policies that shift away from the prohibition-oriented failed approach to drugs control. Ultimately however nations will need to reform the overall UN based global drug control framework of which practically all nations are a part.