UN panel to examine effect of drugs, crime and violence on communities

UN panel to examine effect of drugs, crime and violence on communities

A United Nations expert panel will examine the impact of drugs, crime and violence on individuals, families and neighbourhoods during a week-long session which opened today in Geneva.

The International Narcotics Control Board (ICNB), the body monitoring worldwide drug abuse and trafficking is also set to review a number of other related issues and developments as well as the results of its most recent missions and technical visits to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Slovakia. The experts are expected to discuss progress made and examine the problems facing the governments of those countries in implementing international drug control treaties.

The Board will also consider several studies undertaken in the past year including one that looks at how penalties for drug trafficking differ in various countries, and another which focuses on the topic of harm reduction policies, its definition and interpretation with regard to existing international drug control conventions.

Also on the agenda is a discussion on the results of an expert group meeting on how to harmonize defined daily doses (DDD) for narcotics used in medical treatment as currently, standards differ between international organizations and entities.

While the Board members are already planning the content of their 2003 report, they will also review final preparations for the 2002 report, expected to be released to the press in Vienna on 25 February. That Annual Report, apart from giving an overview of the worldwide drug situation, examines in more detail the economic dynamics of drug abuse and trafficking.

The INCB is an independent body established by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to monitor Governments' compliance with the international drug control treaties. Its 13 members are elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to serve in their individual capacities for a term of five years.