|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-sixth General Assembly
AM & PM Meetings
At General Assembly Debate, Secretary-General Says ‘Global Menace’ of Drugs, Crime
Now Threaten ‘One of Our Most Important Goals’– Ensuring Sustainable Development
Head of UN Office on Drugs, Crime Presents 2012 World Drug Report;
Assembly President: Crime Fight Must Be ‘Central Pillar’ in Development Agenda
With illegal drugs, corruption and organized crime robbing families and communities of resources that could be used for health care, education and food security, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged global action to remove those obstacles – and the violence and misery they fuelled - from the path to a world of security, development and prosperity for all.
Mr. Ban’s call to action came during the General Assembly’s thematic debate on “Drugs and Crime as a Threat to Development,” which marked the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The Secretary-General was joined by Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), who introduced the 2012 World Drug Report. Today’s event also featured two panel discussions on mainstreaming drug control and crime prevention into development initiatives and bolstering global cooperation to that end.
The Secretary-General described illicit drugs and organized crime, once seen as largely social and economic challenges for police, judges and communities, as a clear global menace. “The local has become the global. Drugs and crime threaten one of our most important goals, to ensure sustainable development around the world,” he said, noting how drugs and crime exploited fragile countries and the ways in which corruption – “a natural outgrowth” – drained as much as $40 billion a year from developing countries.
He also voiced concern about the violence sparked by such activities. For example, he said that Central America was home to some of the highest murder rates in the world; development in Afghanistan and Myanmar was being undermined by poppy growing; and governance in Central Africa was being severely undercut by that region’s growing drug trade. “We cannot afford to cede ground to those who thrive on lawlessness. We must work together to promote the rule of law and help countries bring criminals to justice, while fully respecting human rights and ensuring proportionality in our law enforcement responses,” he said.
Similarly, Mr. Fedotov said criminal networks were putting the Millennium Goals at risk for millions of people. They had evolved into multinational, multiregional enterprises that generated billions of dollars, and UNODC estimated that criminal activity generated somewhere in the range of $2.1 trillion a year, or about 3.6 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). He said that UNODC, working with its partners, would continue doing its share to make the Goals a reality, helping to tackle illicit drugs and transnational crimes, as well as supporting victims.
“If we are to address such a serious challenge, we must clearly understand its size and scope,” he said, explaining that at just 100 pages, the new, shortened World Drug Report 2012 offered a comprehensive study of the movement and flow of drugs, and provided detailed statistical analysis of the extent of drug use. It also showed that overall illicit drug use appeared to be generally stable of over the past five years, though it was rising in some developing countries.
Providing some highlights, he said that some 230 million people – 5 per cent of the world’s population – used illegal drugs at least once in the past two years. Global opium production amounted to some 7,000 tons in 2011, up a bit from 2010 when plant disease wiped out almost half the crop yield in Afghanistan, which remained the biggest producer of opiates in the world. Worldwide, the total area under coca bush cultivation had fallen by 18 per cent between 2007 and 2012.
Cannabis remained the world’s illicit “drug of choice”, and, unfortunately, UNODC’s attempts to work with Member States to reduce plant-based cultivation and production was being undermined by increases in levels of synthetic drug cultivation. As for emerging trends, he said desomorphine - or “Krokodil”, as it was called – was now being used instead of heroin in parts of Eastern Europe where that drug was in short supply. Reporting on increased use of new psychoactive substances that fell outside the United Nations drug control conventions, he said that such substances mimicked the effects of cocaine or ecstasy and were often sold as “bath salts” or “plant food,” and were available in Europe and elsewhere.
“For these reasons, while much of the global illicit drug market appears stable, beneath the surface, there are trends and movements that cause concern,” he warned, thanking Member States for the information they had provided in the compiling of the 2012 Report, while calling for even more data. He stressed that UNODC’s response was based on the United Nations anti-drugs and crime regime, which appeared to be acting as a break on drug consumption. “But if we are to meet all theses challenges in a comprehensive fashion, we must reduce the demand for drugs,” he said, noting that UNODC’s approaches covered prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration and health.
“Confronting organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption calls for urgent, joint action” declared Assembly President Al-Nasser, stressing that the dealing with those serious problems was a shared responsibility that required, along with the efforts of the UNODC, practical, efficient and comprehensive responses at all levels. “We need to produce global solutions based on collaboration and coordination,” he added.
Further, he urged Member States to factor in the relevant decisions of the recent United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, “to ensure that we continue to design initiatives that will lift millions of people out of poverty.” Today’s debate would lay the foundation for ongoing discussions on how the international community could help sustainable development to flourish, while at the same time root out the criminal networks that did so much to hamper it.
He said the outcome of the thematic debate would include a President's Summary, which would be transmitted to the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, in 2015. “It is only by making the fight against crime a central pillar in the development agenda that we can promote a sustainable and effective response,” he said. At the same time, sustainable development must be integral to global anti-crime strategies. Looking ahead to the Crime Congress, he said: “Let us begin to set in motion our integrated efforts, and generate the momentum to eradicate these crimes once and for all.”
During the panel discussions, both moderated by Mr. Fedotov and featuring a diverse selection of panellists, speakers stressed the ongoing importance of the legal framework provided by the United Nations drug control conventions: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. One participant cited the impact of drugs and criminal activity on young people, thereby undermining both economic growth and “social capital”.
Drug use in rich countries was seen by some as both the main driver of the problem and the main challenge in overcoming it. While prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services must be enhanced, a speaker said that breaking the chain of supply and demand was essential to disrupting the activities of criminal networks. Another panellist said that anti-crime efforts should become a central pillar of development goals. Illicit outflows from developing countries outpaced inflows of official development assistance by a factor of seven or eight, and mainstreaming anti-crime efforts into development work was difficult because development agencies were not comfortable with the “hard” strategies required in facing the challenges of criminality.
He said that mechanisms for increased transparency included websites for reporting bribery and identifying counterfeit drugs, as well as an integrated approach to security, justice and development. As for mobilizing support for anti-crime measures in affected countries, another speaker said interventions should start with a clear understanding of risks and result in an evaluation of how any planned action might affect the actors. In Afghanistan, for example, strategies for farmers were more likely to stick where there was proximity to markets. He also called for a holistic approach, combining criminal justice reform and focusing on improving governance and rule of law at national and regional levels.
Introduction of World Drug Report 2012
YURY FEDOTOV, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the Assembly had chosen a vital topic for its latest thematic debate, especially as the international community’s assessment of the Millennium Development Goals was just three years away. The approach to curbing the impact of drugs and crime on development must also include action on a diverse range of issues such as climate change, sustainable development, conflict prevention, responding to natural and man made disasters, supporting nations in transition, giving voice to women and youth and building a safer world based on democracy and human rights.
He said that no one country or region was powerful enough to halt the criminal networks that undermined security and socio-economic well-being and put the Millennium Goals at risk for millions of people. Those networks had evolved into multinational, multiregional enterprises that generated billions of dollars, and UNODC estimated that criminal activity generated somewhere in the range of $2.1 trillion a year, or about 3.6 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
Criminal networks especially targeted vulnerable societies whose infrastructure and institutions lacked the strength to repel them, he continued, emphasizing that illicit drugs, crime and corruption were closely connected. In addition, criminal networks that trafficked in drugs often trafficked in people and firearms “And we are seeing links between organized crime and terrorism,” he said, telling the Assembly that UNODC, working with its partners would continue to do its share to make the Millennium Goals a reality by helping tackle illicit drugs and transnational crimes, as well as supporting victims.
“But if we are to address such a serious challenge, we must clearly understand its size and scope,” he said, explaining that from Europe to Africa and from the Americas to Asia, drugs killed around 200,000 people a year, destroying families and bringing misery to thousands. Drug-related criminal activity alone generated some $320 billion a year and bred violence, inflamed terrorism, and promoted instability and insecurity and the spread of HIV.
At just 100 pages, the new, shortened World Drug Report 2012 offered a comprehensive study of the movement and flow of drugs, and provided detailed statistical analysis of the extent of drug use, market saturation and the factors behind the world drug problem. He said that he report also showed that overall illicit drug use appeared to be generally stable of over the past five years, though it was rising in some developing countries. Some 230 million people – 5 per cent of the world’s population – used illegal drugs at least once in the past two years, he added.
Global opium production amounted to some 7,000 tons in 2011, up from lower levels in 2010 when plant disease wiped out almost half the crop yield in Afghanistan, which remained the biggest producer of opiates in the world, producing about 90 per cent of the global supply each year. He went on to note that worldwide, the total area under coca bush cultivation had fallen by 18 per cent between 200 and 2012, and 33 per cent between 2000 and 2010. Cannabis remained the world’s “illicit drug of choice”, and, unfortunately, UNODC’s attempts to work with Member States to reduce plant-based cultivation and production was being undermined by increases in levels of synthetic drug cultivation.
As for emerging trends, Mr. Fedotov said a far more deadly drug, desomorphine - or “Krokodil”, as it was called – was now being used to replace heroin in parts of Eastern Europe where that drug was in short supply. UNODC was closely monitoring that situation to understand how programmes to prevent and treat addiction and HIV could be tailored to address that new injection method. He also reported increases in the use of new psychoactive substances that fell outside the United Nations drug control conventions. Such substances mimicked the effects of cocaine or ecstasy and were often sold as “bath salts” or “plant food,” and were available in Europe and elsewhere.
“For these reasons, while much of the global illicit drug market appears stable, beneath the surface, there are trends and movements that cause concern,” he warned, thanking Member States for the information they had provided in the compiling of the 2012 Report, while calling for even more data. “We cannot act without first understanding.” He stressed that UNODC’s response to all those challenges was based on the United Nations anti-drugs and crime regime, which appeared to be acting as a break on drug consumption.
He said UNODC was also helping create inter-agency partnerships such as the UN Task Force on transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, established by the Secretary-General in 2011, and its regional programme for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, which was seeing some initial success. Most recently, the agency had launched a country programme for Afghanistan and a regional programme for South-Eastern Europe. Its programmes in west and central Asia were closely linked to other initiatives, such as the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC) and Operation Tarcet, which were exchanging information and conducting joint operations.
He went on to describe operations in Central America and West Africa, where, specifically, successes were being achieved through Transnational Crime Units, as well as the Container Control Programme. “But if we are to meet all theses challenges in a comprehensive fashion, we must reduce the demand for drugs,” he said, noting that he UNODC’s relevant approaches were based on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration and health. And all the agency’s work was anchored in human rights, he continued, expressing that hope that the 2012 report would provide a better understanding of how illicit drugs were impacting societies and regions across the world. UNODC’s role was to use that information to build the necessary projects and programmes that could benefit the victims of crime, while also supporting problem drug users.
Panel I: Challenges in Mainstreaming Drug Control into Development Initiatives
Moderated by Mr. Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the panel featured presentations by Carmen Bujan, Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs; Raymond Yans, President of the International Narcotics Control Board; Maged Abdelaziz, Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa; and Otaviano Canuto, Vice-President of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network at the World Bank.
Launching the discussion, LUIS-ALFONSO DE ALBA, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, who chaired the panel, said the panel would focus on several themes, including the scope of the world drug problem, the impact of illicit drugs on sustainable development and the existing challenges in mainstreaming drug control into development initiatives. Discussion would also centre on sharing best practices and how to strengthen strategies for delivering on the Millennium Development Goals.
Ms. BUJANsaid the global drug problem negatively impacted the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The resources tied to the illicit drug flows made States fragile and diverted resources from sustainable development. It was a two-sided problem - supply and demand – and both must be tackled. “These are necessary measures if we are to eradicate production and trafficking of drug crops,” she said. The responsibility fell not only to States, but also to families, schools, civil society and religious organizations.
Reviewing trends over the last decade, she said there had been a decline in drug use in developed countries, but the problem was transferring to emerging markets. In 2009, the 132 member States of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna adopted a Political Declaration and Plan of Action for enhancing cooperation to tackle the drug problem. “We are not where we wanted to be,” she said. The fight against drugs and organized crime hinged on countries’ ability to control their territory, effectively maintain the rule of law, and use sustainable development as a tool for eradicating poverty.
The Political Declaration and Plan of Action offered a 10-year strategy, she said, and were based on the legal framework provided by the three drug control conventions: [the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances]. The goal was to promote their universalization and ensure that drugs were used for medical and scientific purposes. The Commission would review progress in 2014.
Speaking next, Mr. YANS said his organization sought to ensure that States respected international drug control conventions. In regions seriously affected by drugs, societies were likely to be caught in a cycle of crime, despair and violence, which curtailed young people’s potential and harmed both economic growth and “social capital”. Drug use in rich countries was at the heart of problem. Prevention efforts must be integral to drug control policies, and there was much progress to make in that regard.
Treatment and rehabilitation services must be enhanced, he said, while laws focused on abuse prevention must be brought in line with drug control conventions. “We need to correct these situations,” he said, because they impacted young people who were the driving force behind economic growth. Cooperation was vital. If the supply and demand chain was broken, the entire drug regime would suffer, and he cited projects carried out in Uruguay in that regard. Also, programmes to enhance national capacity in healthcare, education and the rule of law, also must include measures to combat drugs. Detection and repression services should be supported.
Concluding, he called on States to ensure that development programmes integrated all aspects of drug control, not just repression. The control of drugs and the regulation of their medical use were crucial for development.
Mr. CANUTO said the costs of criminal violence associated with the drug trade were staggering. At the national level, a 2011 World Bank report suggested that the costs of crime and violence were near 8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America. The investment climate was polluted and national institutions weakened. The problem was by far the most profitable illicit trade, amounting to $220 billion annually, compared to $1 billion for illegal firearms. Such profitability and global reach made drug trafficking extremely difficult to eradicate.
Building peaceful States required strong leadership and international efforts, he said. States that had moved away from organized violence had done so by mobilizing jobs and transforming national institutions over time. Collective action, citizens’ confidence and long-term institutional change were key ingredients to fighting the cycle of violence. Drug trafficking fostered a culture of isolation and mistrust, making it difficult for communities to respond. It encouraged corruption, particularly at provincial and district levels, hindered investment and encouraged the growth of informal activities.
To mobilize support, he said any intervention should be evidence-based, starting with a clear understanding of risk and resulting in an evaluation of how any planned action might affect the actors. That approach should be used to design strategies specific to the geographic realities. In Afghanistan, for example, strategies for farmers were likely to stick where there was proximity to markets. Also, the approach should be holistic, combining actions in criminal justice reform, and focusing on the enabling environment by improving governance and rule of law at national and regional levels. At the local level, alternative livelihoods programmes should be created. Finally, strategies should have both a short- and long-term focus. Prevention strategies might only pay dividends in the long-term and, thus, must be coupled with those delivering more immediate impacts.
Rounding out the panel, Mr. ABDELAZIZ focused on Africa, saying that the huge profits to be gained from the drug trade only added to the severity of the problem. In 2009, 21 tons of cocaine had been trafficked from West Africa to Europe; the associated consumption problems impacted 2.5 million drug users in Africa. Noting that drug trafficking posed a major challenge even when a State was strong, he said weaker States often risked being coerced by drug lords seeking to evade capture. Their transnational activities negatively impacted State authority and governance – even when economic growth was strong. He cited Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Sierra Leone in that regard.
The globalization of organized crime meant that drug networks had expanded their links to terrorism, he said. The Office for West Africa had helped countries devise a strategy for combating drug use and organized crime in the region, which involved partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Recognizing the importance of African countries in combating the global drug trade, he called for international support for them, so they could build capacity.
Indeed, achieving the Millennium Development Goals and combating drugs must go hand-in-hand, he said. The “post-Rio+20” sustainable development agenda and the “post-2015” development agenda must take account of efforts to combat drug trafficking. “We do not lack initiatives,” he said. “We do lack implementation”. Development of transnational crime units, especially at the subregional level, had helped the delivery of technical assistance and could provide a model for the future. Global efforts should dovetail with regional initiatives. United Nations actions and civil society coordinated actions must consider the links between organized crime and peacebuilding activities.
When the floor was opened for questions and comments, senior Government officials from producer, transit and consumer countries alike shared their perspectives on how to holistically combat the drug threat. Many shared the concern about the adverse impacts of drug trafficking on the health, safety and security of countries around the world. Organized criminals undermined State authority, creating a vibrant black market for illicit activities and a hostile environment for legitimate economic development, they said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala said his country was a geo-strategic location of interest for drug transit between the world’s largest consumer and producer markets. Forty per cent of the people who died in Guatemala were victims of violence - a high number of them tied to the drug trade. Consumer and producer countries must assume their responsibilities. For its part, Guatemala had embarked on a process to identify alternative mechanisms in the fight against drug trafficking. They included generating structural changes aimed at creating work and education options that would isolate people from the need to traffic and consume drugs.
Sharing a perspective from a producer nation, the Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan said poppy cultivation, over the last five years, had dropped from 193,000 hectares to 131,000 hectares. Poppy cultivation and trafficking were linked to strong international demand, insecurity and “narco-terrorism”. Ninety-five per cent of the cultivation took place in nine southern provinces, where insecurity, poverty, unemployment and a lack of alternative livelihoods fuelled the problem. In recent years, Afghanistan had produced 6,000 tonnes of opium annually (except in 2010), two-thirds of which had been converted to heroin and morphine and smuggled to Europe and North America. Success depended on grasping the nature of the threat and cooperating globally. Monitoring the production and use of precursors, and dismantling the drug mafia were essential.
Offering a view from a consumer nation, the Deputy Director of Demand Reduction in the Office on National Drug Control Policy in the United States urged support for programmes designed to tackle the early stages of abuse, which had proven more successful and less expensive than incarceration. Drug use in the United States had dropped 30 per cent over the last three decades, thanks in part to such preventive measures. He also urged eliminating regulatory barriers to recovery, by “taking a new look” at laws and policies that punished people in recovery, long after they had served time for a crime.
Other speakers said the United Nations must be at the centre for coordinating efforts and developing a unified drug control strategy, while the expertise of other organizations - such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) - should also be harnessed. Implementation of the three international drug conventions – while essential - was not enough. Cooperation was needed and all States must be involved, including those thought to be immune from the drug plague. States must look towards a common future that avoided differences that had blocked or hampered collaboration in the past.
In closing remarks, Mr. FEDOTOV said today’s discussion underscored that results could be achieved only through a coordinated response based on the United Nations drug control conventions. Those treaties were not repressive; rather, they were directly linked to human rights standards. UNODC supported a modern approach - balanced between supply and demand and which supported a humanitarian focus. “Drug addiction is a complex phenomenon,” he said. “It should not be accepted as a decent way of life.” UNODC could not decide on drug legalization. That was a decision for States parties to the Conventions to determine.
Mr. CANUTO said everything he had heard today confirmed the “tripod” features needed to break cycle conflict and underdevelopment: collective action, citizens’ confidence; and long-term change on several fronts. One important template for future success was the process in Medellín, Colombia.
Ms. BUJAN, responding to a question by Luxembourg’s representative, called it “excessive” to assume that the global fight against drugs had failed. There had been enormous successes. The issue was that success in some areas had transferred problems to other areas, such as West Africa. The discussion about the legalization of drug use was a legitimate one. It was not new and many States were having it. Some States had legalized some drugs, including the Netherlands, and the results must be analysed to determine if such policies had reduced drug consumption.
Mr. YANS, also taking on that question, said it was important not to confuse expressions used in the media – like “the war on drugs” - with the reality. The first principle of the three conventions was to ensure the availability of controlled substances for the treatment of pain and illness. On the question of legalization, he said the INCB was not charged with considering that issue. Its duty was to see that States implemented the conventions. It was up to States to decide on the issue.
Rounding out the discussion, Mr. ABDELAZIZ focused on the lack of implementation of the legal framework, drawing a parallel to the difficulty of implementing 13 terrorism conventions. States eventually devised a Global Action Plan against Terrorism. The Global Action Plan against Human Trafficking was also borne of a similar process. He suggested it may be time for a Global Action Plan to combat drugs.
Also speaking today were the Director of the Drug Control Agency under the President of Tajikistan, the First Deputy Director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation and the Director General of the National Police of Italy.
The representatives of Luxembourg, Germany, France and Brazil also spoke, as did a representative of the European Union.
Panel II: Challenges in Mainstreaming Crime Prevention into Development Initiatives
The afternoon panel was entitled “Challenges in mainstreaming crime prevention into development initiatives and ways of improving the international community’s coordinated efforts to address crime’s adverse impact on development”. Panellists included Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand, Chair of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; Bruce Jones, Director of the New York University Centre on International Cooperation and Director of the Managing Global Order Program at the Brookings Institution; Stewart Patrick, Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the United States Council on Foreign Relations; and Francis Forbes, Executive Director of the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security. The panel was moderated by Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office in Drugs and Crime.
Opening the Panel, the day’s co-Chair JIM MCLAY of New Zealand said that, in all countries, criminal influence and money were having a significant impact on the livelihoods and quality of life of citizens, most particularly the poor, women and children. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, as well as the Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), constituted the key framework for a strategic response.
Princess BAJRAKITIYABHA, describing the negative impacts of crime on poor populations, said that achieving the Millennium Development Goals must be priority in mainstreaming crime prevention into development. Robust promotion of rule of law throughout all activities of the United Nations system was, therefore, essential. It was imperative that the linkage between development and rule of law be universally accepted for that purpose. Coordination and dialogue between all actors in sustainable development and justice was critical. In addition to development prospects being harmed by crime, prevention of crime could have benefits for development. She said that her country stood ready to contribute its experience in sustainable alternative development to replace criminal economies with legitimate activity. In that area, she said, UNODC should be provided with adequate resources. Enhanced sharing of technical knowledge and best practices in the area were also important, as were transitional justice and justice-sector reform in post-conflict countries.
Mr. JONES said that the dynamics of the linkages between crime and under-development were not well understood, but the fact of the linkage was clear. The real long-term impact of drug crime and corruption was the erosion of State institutions and stability, as witnessed in Guinea-Bissau. The problem needed to be tackled simultaneously at the national, regional and international levels. Nationally, building institutions for rule of law was primary. In some cases, such institutions could be built at the regional levels to boost the national capacity of participating States. At the international level, tracking flows of funds was a priority. He stressed that at present, the international development community was not equipped to incorporate the fight against illicit traffic and other crimes into its work.
Mr. FORBES, citing impressive statistics on the proliferation of drugs, human trafficking and piracy, said that in his region, crimes were suffocating development. Violent crime had reached epidemic proportions and was driving away investment and tourism. He called for capacity building in justice, the use of confiscated drug money for development purposes and the strengthening of efforts to control small arms and light weapons.
Mr. PATRICK said that anti-crime efforts should become a central pillar of development goals. Every year, illicit outflows from developing countries outpaced inflows of official development assistance by a factor of seven or eight. The relationship between crime and failing States varied depending on the kind of crime under discussion. There were unstable vulnerable States such as Guinea Bissau, “Swiss cheese States” that were stable but open to corruption and then there were States like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that operated like a Mafia family. Mainstreaming anti-crime efforts into development work was difficult, because development agencies were not comfortable with “hard” strategies required in facing the challenges of criminality.
Mechanisms for increased transparency included websites for reporting bribery, on-line ways of identifying counterfeit drugs, an integrated approach to security and justice and development, listing and sanctioning known criminals through Security Council committees and new rules for reporting financial deposits that were suspected of being derived from illicit activities.
In a discussion following those presentations, country representatives and others described the debilitating effects of crime on development, with some describing their Governments’ anti-crime efforts, urging stronger regional and international strategies and positing the importance of drug treatment programmes. The representatives of Honduras and Colombia said that the fight against drug crimes drains funds that could have gone to health and educational investment. Uzbekistan and Ukraine spoke about the effects of Afghanistan’s drug trade on the life of their countries.
Speakers agreed that integrated responses to crime and poverty were needed, along with support for alternative livelihood programmes and building of rule-of-law and security institutions. Some, such as the representatives of Australia and Finland, described support for building such institutions in their development cooperation programmes. He and other destination countries for drugs spoke of the need of prevention of drug trafficking at the consumer end, and the directing of confiscated funds back into development efforts. The representative of Sri Lankalinked the fight against drug trafficking to the fight against terrorism.
The representatives of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic said that a farmer could derive as much income from one kilo of opium as from 100 kilos of rice. He stressed that the challenges that resulted from that situation required cooperation of all stakeholders at regional and international levels. Austria’s representative said that understanding the linkages between crime and underdevelopment was essential in developing goals following the 2015 term of the Millennium Development Goals.
A representative of the UNODC Youth Initiative against Drugs and Crimes said that the behavior of youth was shaped in an environment of communities, families and schools. Today’s environment had, unfortunately, not given them strong identities, and that in turn encouraged drug use. Standards must be stressed, health care provided, international treaties upheld and youth engaged in all efforts.
Representatives of Japan, India, Serbia, Surinam, Cuba, Costa Rica, Argentina, Switzerland, Iran, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Egypt, Armenia and Pakistan also spoke in the discussion. Representatives of the Vienna group of Non-Governmental Organizations on Narcotic Drugs, the Community Anti-drug Coalition of America, Lion’s Club International, the Alliance of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the International Drug Policy Consortium.
* *** *For information media • not an official record