The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) was held in New York on June 8-10, 1998. It was a disappointing event. No evaluation of current repressive
drug policies took place whatsoever. It was devoted to, as a New York Times editorial phrased it, "recycling unrealistic pledges".
Decades of efforts to reduce global drug supply using a combination of developmental and repressive means, managed to shift production from one country to another, but have failed in terms of global impact.
The UNGASS mid-term review in April 2003 will present Mr Costa with a high-level political opportunity to convince the world of his commitment to take UNDCP in a more rational direction, to say farewell to the years of crisis, to restore donor confidence and to open up the debate.