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Past Conferences, Meetings and Events   >  20th Special Session of the UN General Assembly: World Drug Problem

20th Special Session of the UN General Assembly:
World Drug Problem (8-10 June 1998, New York)

A staff member of the Liberia National Police Anti-Drug Squad reviews the municipal dump outside Monrovia, Liberia, where nearly 400 kg of marijuana and other drugs that were confiscated between 2011 and 2012 were being burned.   UN Photo/Staton Winter

The UN General Assembly decided on 12 December 1996 to convene a special session devoted to combating the world drug problem, which would consider the fight against the illicit production, sale, demand, traffic and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and related activities, and propose new strategies, methods, practical activities and special measures to strengthen international cooperation in addressing the problem of illicit drugs. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs acting as the preparatory body.

The goal of the special session was to strengthen international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, and other relevant international instruments. The General Assembly reaffirmed its intent to address the problem of illicit drugs on the basis of the principle of shared responsibility and with full respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and international law, particularly respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.

Key Documents:

Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the twentieth special session of the General Assembly

Political Declaration and Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reducation

Review of international drug control instruments


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)