Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws.  In the Declaration on the Rule of Law, Member States recognized the importance of strengthened international cooperation in countering the world drug problem

[para. 24]. The General Assembly has also recognized that “despite continuing increased efforts by States, relevant organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations, the world drug problem… undermines socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development.” (International cooperation against the world drug problem, A/Res/66/183).

The UN work in countering the world drug problem is based on three major international drug control treaties, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (as amended in 1972), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. These three conventions attribute important functions to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and to the International Narcotics Control Board.

The United Nations, through the United Nations System Task Force on Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking, advocates a rebalancing of the international policy on drugs, to increase the focus on public health, prevention, treatment and care, economic, social and cultural measures.

Relevant Documents and Links