World leaders recommit to drug control measures at UN drug commission

World leaders recommit to drug control measures at UN drug commission

Recognizing that the illicit drug problem is still a global challenge that constitutes a serious threat to health, development and security, world health ministers and top government officials at an annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND) adopted a set of recommendations to enhance the implementation of drug control measures.

As the UN's central policy-making body dealing with drug-related issues wrapped up its annual session in Vienna with a Ministerial Segment today, ministers and government representatives reaffirmed their commitment to the outcome of the twentieth special session of the General Assembly on drugs held in 1998, in which more than 150 countries promised to achieve significant and measurable results to reduce the illicit supply and demand for drugs by 2008.

Adopting the "Joint Ministerial Statement and further measures to implement the action plans emanating from the twentieth special session of the General Assembly," representatives agreed that to be successful, action to address the drug problem must be supported by strong international cooperation, and required a balance between supply reduction and demand reduction.

In the spirit of the principle of common and shared responsibility, it was recommended that financial and technical support continue to be provided for the fight against illicit drugs.

The Statement proposes further measures in national drug control strategies, demand reduction, illicit synthetic drugs and control of precursors. It also recommends bolstering judicial cooperation, countering money-laundering, and international cooperation in illicit crop eradication and alternative development.

Representatives also expressed grave concern about policies and activities in favour of the legalization of illicit narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that were not in accordance with the international drug control treaties and that might jeopardize the international drug control regime.