Narcotic Drugs Commission wants special session to help fight illicit trafficking; stronger funding needed.


Amidst deep concern about lack of funds for United Nations bodies dealing with the drug threat, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs has called for a five-day special session to be held in 1990 to help widen the fight against illicit traffic in drugs.

Its thirty-third regular session (617 February, Vienna) ended just two months after the adoption of a new international Convention that would allow courts to confiscate drug profits, penetrate traditional bank secrecy that shields drug money laundering, and extradite offenders.

The Commission urged States to apply the Convention, devoting enough resources and taking the necessary legal and administrative measures for its effective implementation.

In an opening statement, Commission Chairman Dilshad Najmuddin of Pakistan said that any effective curb on drug abuse must draw strength from a strategy based on demand reduction.

The session focused on what the UN could do to help countries apply the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which so far has been signed by more than 60 States. The 34-article text was unanimously adopted at a plenipotentiary conference on 19 December 1988 in Vienna.

In approving a variety of resolutions-many for consideration by the Economic and Social Council-the Commission recommended that the UN give legal aid to developing countries to bring their legislation in line with the Convention. High priority should be given to training drug enforcement officials from those countries. Three training centres should be set up in Africa, possibly in Morocco, Egypt and Kenya.

The upsurge of illegal drug activity in Africa prompted the Commission to ask African States to develop rapid information exchange systems at the national and regional levels and to get the right equipment to detect narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. International technical aid should be given to those countries for setting up laboratories.

African States should also make epidemiological studies on the extent of drug abuse and illicit traffic, enact national drug control laws, establish national units to apply international drug treaties and co-ordinate drug control programmes at the regional level.

The Commission placed two psychotropic substances-buprenorphine and pemoline-under international control.

It also decided to consider the advisability of preparing a special report on the abuse and illicit traffic of fenetylline, a psychotropic...

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