3 June 1998


Press Release
SG/SM/6580
SOC/NAR/783



SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ELIMINATION OF DRUG CROPS BY YEAR 2008, IN VIDEO MESSAGE ON ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION ON DRUGS

19980603
Special Session Will Address Equal Responsibility Of Consumer, Producer Countries for First Time, He Stresses

Following is the text of a video message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the twentieth special session of the General Assembly, to be held from 8 to 10 June:

The special session of the United Nations General Assembly, opening on 8 June, will bring together world leaders to address a threat to the future of our youth. It is a threat that is finding its way into our homes and destroying people's lives.

Every country is affected by the scourge of drugs. There are 21 million victims around the world who abuse cocaine and heroin, 30 million who abuse amphetamine-type drugs.

Countries that used to be classified as "drug producing" countries must now also deal with drug abuse. Those seen as "consumer countries" must deal with questions of production.

I believe that the United Nations is uniquely placed to lead the fight against drugs.

With this session, governments will, for the first time, address the equal responsibility of consumer and producer countries. They will consider action plans on the essential drug control issues of the day: stemming the flow of stimulants, judicial cooperation, countering money laundering, and cooperation on eradication and alternative crop development.

Our commitment is to make real progress towards eliminating drug crops by the year 2008.

It is my hope that this session will go down in history as the time the international community found common ground to take on this task in earnest.

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