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DRUG ABUSE CONTROL
In 1975, UN organizations and affiliates significantly refined and expanded their drug abuse control activities, and continued to focus world attention on the international problem of drug abuse.
Commission on Narcotic Drugs
The 26th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs14) was held in Geneva, February 17-28, 1975. Continuing its discussion of poppy cultivation to meet world requirements of opium for medical and scientific purposes, the Commission recognized the need to meet legitimate demand without increasing the risk of diversion into illicit channels. It was agreed that the UN Laboratory in Geneva should accelerate its research to maximize yields from the most controllable narcotic raw materials: poppy straw, high-yielding varieties of poppy, and papaver bracteatum. The International Narcotics Control Board was asked to continue to monitor the licit supply and demand situation.
The Turkish Government's decision to resume limited poppy cultivation, even though prohibiting the lancing of capsules, caused concern among some Commission members. They commented that to prevent opium production the Turkish Government would need competent and ade quately equipped personnel manning an extensive control organization. Several representatives noted that it was in the interest of the international community that the Government of Turkey receive any assistance it might need for its control system.
The Commission approved a significant revision of the form of annual reports by which parties to the international narcotics conventions fulfill their obligation of apprising the Division of Narcotic Drugs of narcotic developments within their borders. The revised form should improve the quality and usefulness of international drug reporting.
The Commission recommended to ECOSOC the adoption of several resolutions on subjects concerning international
14/ Members in 1975 were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, U.S.S.R., United Kingdom, United States, and Yugoslavia.
drug control, all of which were supported and some of which were cosponsored, by the United States.
The Social Committee of the 58th session of ECOSOC considered the problem of drug abuse at two meetings on April 18. Ambassador Sheldon B. Vance, Senior Adviser to the Secretary of State and coordinator for International Narcotics Matters, urged that ECOSOC assume a leading role in the international cooperative effort against drug abuse. He also restated the U.S. pledge to continue combating drug abuse both domestically and internationally.
The Committee approved five resolutions recommended by the Commission, as well as two draft resolutions introduced in the Committee by the United States and other members. On May 6 the ECOSOC plenary adopted without a vote all seven resolutions. The following were the most important.
One resolution appealed to governments for "generous and sustained" contributions to the UN Fund for Drug Abuse Control.
Another resolution recommended that states cooperate closely to suppress the illicit drug traffic.
A third resolution recommended, inter alia, that governments incorporate measures for drug abuse prevention and treatment into their integrated public health programs. It also called for further research into the processes of prevention and treatment, and recommended that international organizations promote the exchange of information and expertise in this field.
ECOSOC also elected Colombia, Italy, and Malagasy Republic and reelected Argentina, Canada, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Hungary, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Sweden, Thailand, United States, and Yugoslavia to serve on the Commission for 4-year terms beginning January 1, 1976.
On July 25, during the 59th session of ECOSOC, the Council's Policy and Program Coordination Committee approved without a vote the scheduling of a special session of the Commission in February 1976 in Geneva to monitor the constant innovations of both traffickers and law enforcement agencies, and to exchange information on demand reduction techniques. The Committee also approved meetings in 1976 and 1977 of the national Narcotic Law Enforcement Agencies of the Countries of the Far East Region and of the Commission's Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic in the Near and Middle East. The United States actively supported scheduling the- additional meetings.
The Third Committee of the 30th General Assembiy devoted October 28 to a discussion of the international drug abuse situation. Fourteen countries made statements, most of which reiterated national commitments to combat drug abuse and called for international cooperation to this end. The Executive Director of the UN Fund for Drug Abuse Control outlined the Fund's activities and requested additional contributions. The Committee approved four resolutions, all of them cosponsored by the United States, which the General Assembly subsequently adopted on December 9.
The first, introduced by Sweden and sponsored by 17 states, urged countries to adhere to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which still lacks the required number of ratifications for entry into force. It was approved by a vote of 107 (U.S.) to 0, with 2 abstentions, and adopted by the plenary Assembly by a vote of 124 (Ú.s.) to 0, with 3 abstentions.
The second, introduced by France and sponsored by 11 states, invited governments to cooperate fully with the International Narcotics Control Board as it assumed its expanded responsibilities under the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which had come into force in August 1975. The Committee approved this resolution by a vote of 100 (U.S.) to 0, with 9 abstentions, and the Assembly adopted it by a vote of 115 (U.S..) to 0, with 10 abstentions.
The third, introduced by Turkey and sponsored by 15 states, requested the Secretary General to provide adequate budgetary priority to UN drug control activities. The Committee endorsed this resolution by a vote of 98 (U.S.) to 0, with 10 abstentions, and the Assembly adopted it by 118 (U.S.) to 0, with 11 abstentions.
The fourth resolution, also introduced by Turkey, was sponsored by 13 states. It endorsed the appeal by ECOSOC to governments for generous and sustained contributions to the UN Fund for Drug Abuse Control. The resolution also requested the Secretary General to use his good offices to encourage such contributions. The Committee approved the resolution by a vote of 102 (U.S.) to 0, with 9 abstentions, and the Assembly adopted it by 121 (U.S.) to 0, with 11 abstentions.
Speaking in the Third Committee, the U.S. Representative, Congressman Donald M. Fraser, lauded the collaboration between the UN Fund and the Government of Turkey in connection with that government's decision to harvest unincised poppy capsules rather than opium gum, thus reducing the risk of diversion into illicit channels. He also singled out for praise the efforts of the Governments of Burma and Mexico to cope with
illicit opium production, and he concluded by saying of the four resolutions: "Taken together, they propose a course of action designed to maintain the momentum developed in recent years by nations committed to the struggle against drug abuse."
Fund for Drug Abuse Control
The UN Fund for Drug Abuse Control, under its new Executive Director, Ambassador J. G. de Beus (Netherlands), continued to support projects, primarily in developing countries, to strengthen national control measures, reduce illicit production, and discourage drug abuse through education. The Fund maintained 74 projects throughout the world, spending approximately $4.3 million in 1975.
Most of the Fund's expenditures were in support of agreed country programs designed to improve the drug situations in important drug-producing countries. In Turkey, where the Government had accepted the Fund's recommendation that it prohibit the harvesting of opium gum in favor of the production of poppy straw--which is less subject to illicit diversion--the Fund supplemented the Government's resources with vehicles, communications equipment, and training for its poppy-field inspection program. To facilitate Turkey's conversion to the straw process, the Fund established a contingency fund of $4 million for use should the farmer's income from selling poppy straw fall below what he could reasonably have expected to earn had he produced opium gum under the former system. In 1975 there was no evidence of opium gum production in Turkey.
In Afghanistan the Fund operated a major law enforcement assistance program which was responsible for opium seizures .amounting to several tons. The Fund also continued its efforts in Thailand to identify crops that could be economically substituted for the opium normally grown by the northern hill tribes. Promising results were achieved with such crops as coffee, tobacco, beans, vegetables, herbs, and oils.
The Fund supported research by the UN Laboratory on the feasibility of substituting, as a less abusable source of codeine than the opium poppy, the non-opium producing papaver bracteatum. The Laboratory also investigated ways to maximize the yield of medicinal drugs from the opium poppy, so that medical needs might be met from a reduced acreage of poppies.
By the end of 1975, the Fund had received almost $19.5 million from over 50 governments.
Of this the United States had contributed $15 million.
The 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs entered into force on August 8, 30 days after ratification by the 40th state. By the year's end 43 states had become parties. The Protocol strengthens the authority of the International Narcotics Control Board, enabling it to monitor implementation of the international narcotics control conventions more effectively.
CRIME PREVENTION AND CONTROL
The Fifth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders was held in Geneva September 1-12, 1975. This quinquennial Congress, held under authority of a 1950 General Assembly resolution, was originally scheduled for Toronto during that period. The Canadian Government, concluding that the international situation was not conducive to the success of the Congress and that the anticipated injection of political issues into its proceedings could seriously interfere with negotiations in the Middle East, asked for a postponement to a mutually convenient date in 1976. Instead, the UN Committee on Conferences decided to transfer the venue of the Congress to Geneva.
Over 1,000 official delegates, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, and individual participants attended the Congress. The U.S. delegation, headed by Judge Harold R. Tyler, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, consisted of a well-balanced group drawn from federal, state, and local governments, including two members of Congress, the judiciary and the bar, and the academic world. Many other delegations were similarly composed of persons concerned primarily with the criminal justice system of their countries, thus contributing to an atmosphere that was for the most part apolitical and professional in tone.
The work of the Congress was divided among five sections: (1) Changes in forms and dimensions of criminality--transnational and national; (2) Criminal legislation, judicial procedures, and other forms of social control in the prevention of crime; (3) The emerging roles of the police and other law enforcement agencies, with special reference to changing expectations and minimum standards of performance; (4) The treatment of offenders in custody or in the community, with special reference to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the United Nations ; and (5) Economic and social consequences of crime: challenges for research and planning.
Many issues of importance to the United States were discussed in these sections.