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Spat overshadows UN pledge to fight drugs

Spat overshadows UN pledge to fight drugs

The United Nations pledged Thursday to pursue the war on drugs over the coming decade, saying narcotics trafficking and abuse posed a major threat to millions around the world.
But differences over treatments for drug addicts overshadowed the declaration and suggested some countries consider it flawed.
"We are determined to tackle the world drug problem and to actively promote a society free of drug abuse in order to ensure that all people can live in health, dignity and peace," the U.N.'s Commission on Narcotic Drugs said in the declaration it adopted by consensus.
The commission is the U.N.'s main drug policy making body and is meeting in the Austrian capital to review setbacks and successes in fighting narcotics over the past 10 years.
Among other things, the declaration sets 2019 as a target date for nations to eliminate or significantly reduce both the illegal cultivation of opium poppy, coca and cannabis and the demand for the drugs made from them. It also stresses the "urgent need" to respond to increasing links between drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of organized crime.
But it makes no explicit mention of so-called harm reduction measures such as needle exchange programs for drug addicts, prompting a protest by Germany and 25 other countries, mostly European.
Specifically, Germany told the meeting it and the others would interpret "related support services" mentioned in the declaration as including harm reductions measures.
"There will always be people who fall through the cracks ... this is a matter of human rights," Ruediger Luedeking, Germany's permanent representative to the U.N. in Vienna, told The Associated Press after making the politically sensitive announcement.
He said Germany and the other countries in question _ including Britain, Spain and the Netherlands _ did not oppose adoption of the declaration because "challenges can only be addressed jointly."
The United States and Russia did not join the German-led protest.
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On the Net:
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CND/index.html


Updated : 2021-04-19 04:40 GMT+08:00