United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) New York, 8-10 June 1998
The "United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem" held from 8 to 10 June in New York, did not bring any surprises. The drug summit adopted a global strategy to reduce illicit drug supply and demand by 2008. In the General Assembly room, it was an uninterrupted three day sequence of political speeches. All countries could give their own emphasis to the agenda items and present in seven minutes their own more general view on the drugs issue and their policies to deal with it. But, all in all, it has been a lost opportunity, no evaluation of current drug policies took place whatsoever, it was devoted to (as a New York Times editorial phrased it) "recycling unrealistic pledges".
The United Nations Drugs Control Programme (UNDCP) is rallying support for the UN General Assembly Special Session to Counter the World Drug Problem Together (UNGASS). The UNDCP hopes the meeting will raise the profile of drugs issues and place the agency at the centre of a revitalised global approach to drugs. At the meeting, a series of declarations and action plans on a variety of issues will be tabled. Tackling drugs problems, however, involves more than words. What matters most is how such ideas will be put into action.
Drugs control is one of the most controversial issues of the late twentieth century. US-led efforts to wage a ‘war on drugs' have focused on wiping out production in developing countries, rather than tackling the demand for drugs in rich countries. Over time, eradication strategies have become increasingly militarised, and have led to human rights abuses and environmental degaradation. And the war has failed. The amount of drugs produced and drugs-linked crops cultivated have not decreased.
This briefing is published in the run-up to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, to be held in New York in June 1998. The UNGASS provides a rare opportunity to re-think current drugs efforts. Member states are being asked to endorse a plan, known as SCOPE, for the eradication of drugs-linked crops by 2008. Is SCOPE viable? And what impact would it have on poor farmers who grow drugs-linked crops to survive?
The Andean Council of Coca Leaf Growers (CAPHC), which groups together men and women coca growers from Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, met in Puno May 17-18, 1998, to analyze the situation of our people, put a distance between ourselves and the anti-drug policies currently being implemented and propose alternatives that need to be put in practice at the grassroots, demanded from the Andean governments in office today and proposed to the international community.
Despite spending some $20 billion over the past decade on international drug control and interdiction efforts, illegal drugs from Latin America still flood the United States - a fact that concerns many within the military itself.
On somme la Suisse de se jeter à pieds joints dans le néo-libéralisme et d'embrasser la pensée unique façon helvétique. Avant de s'y lancer, ne vaudrait-il pas mieux réfléchir à ce qui s'est passé chez d'autres qui ont fait ce choix? Susan George et Fabrizio Sabelli mettent à plat les rouages du tout-marché, révèlent son inefficacité économique, décrivent ses funestes conséquences humaines et tracent des voies différentes vers la réussite économique et la cohésion sociale, le tout avec esprit et clarté.
"A magnificent washing-machine is sold here, its trademark is Aruba. The machine is an Aruban-Colombian product, its model called Cartel. The brand is well-known for its good performance in the United States and Europe. It is recommended by former ministers, members of Parliament, owners of casinos, supermarkets, cosmetics manufacturers and importers of cars and batteries. The washing-machine fits everybody who has become inexplicably rich from one day to another."
The following essays present insights into the various levels of military involvement in the war on drugs and the implications of this involvement in terms of democracy and human rights in the Western hemisphere.
The market-oriented democratisation of the Third World has been developed by Western powers as a policy that fuses both democratic rhetoric and support for more pluralist policies in the Third World, with the pursuit of Western interests.
In 1995 the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) announced in a press release the publication of the results of the largest global study on cocaine use ever undertaken. A decision in the World Health Assembly banned the publication of the study. The US representative threatened that "if WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programmes should be curtailed". This led to the decision to discontinue publication.
An examination of the World Bank's policies and culture reveal a supranational, non-democratic and extremely powerful institution which functions much like the medieval Church or a monolithic political party, relying on rigid doctrine, hierarchy and a rejection of dissenting ideas to perpetuate its influence.
Coca tea has been used for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Two previous reports found that treatment that includes coca tea can be successful in controlling relapse to cocaine dependence. In the current study, coca tea plus counseling was used to treat cocaine dependence in 23 cocaine-addicted coca paste smokers seeking treatment at an outpatient clinic in Lima, Peru.
The studies in this book focus mainly on the period of the Corazon Aquino presidency. It was this period that European Overseas Development Assistance to the Philippines begun to increase significantly.
In an unsettling but lucid critique, The Debt boomerang shows that we in the North must also pay the price of World bank and IMF policies that have accelerated deforestation, encouraged mass migrations, fuelled an expanding drug trade and heightened global instability and conflict.
This article examines alternatives to the War on Drugs through a comparative analysis of attitudes toward coca and cocaine in South America. Two regions of traditional coca use and cultivation -- northwest Amazonas state in Brazil and the department of Cusco in Peru -- are compared to highlight the differences between Peruvian and Brazilian attitudes toward coca and ethnic identity.