President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico addressing the General Assembly during the special session.
President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico addressing the General Assembly during the special session on 8 June 1998 in New York, United States. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

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


Strengthening cooperation

The UN General Assembly decided on 12 December 1996 in its resolution 51/64 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.

The Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction agreed to by Member States at the Special Session called for action by assessing the problem, tackling the problem, forging partnerships, focusing on special needs, sending the right message, and building on experience.