Economic and Social Council


805th Plenary Meeting
12 July 1954

1954/548(XVIII)E.The problem of the coca leaf*/


The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling the conclusions contained in the report60/ of the Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf and recalling its resolution 436 E (XIV),

Agreeing with the conclusions of the Committee of Experts of the World Health Organization that coca leaf chewing constitutes a form of drug addiction, and noting that its harmful character is recognized in all the countries concerned,

Recognizing the importance to the health and welfare of large numbers of the aboriginal populations of certain countries of measures to ameliorate the situation,

Recognizing that the governments concerned are making efforts to suppress this habit and, in consequence, have adopted or contemplate adopting appropriate measures for the eradication of the habit,

Appreciating, however, the many difficulties inherent in the problem and in the suppression of this habit,

Considering that it is necessary to carry out various experiments with regard to this problem, but that the carrying out of such experiments should not delay the execution of measures already adopted or contemplated by the governments concerned,

1. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures adopted by the governments concerned to eradicate this habit, and, in particular, of the statement61/ made by the representative of Peru in this connexion at the ninth session of the Commission; and welcomes the statements61/ made by the representative of Peru and the observers of Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia at the same session regarding the policy of progressive abolition of this practice adopted by their governments;

2. Recommends that the technical assistance services of the United Nations and the specialized agencies give due consideration to any requests which the countries concerned may make for assistance in developing appropriate administrative or social measures for the gradual suppression of the habit or other remedial measures, including requests for various experiments as contemplated above;

3. Recommends that the governments concerned:

(a) Limit gradually and as quickly as practicable the cultivation and the export of coca leaf to medical, scientific and other legitimate purposes;

(b) Continue their efforts to abolish progressively the habit of coca leaf chewing in their respective countries;

(c) Limit progressively the importation of coca leaf for the purposes of chewing;

(d) Continue their programmes of health education and, where such programmes do not yet exist, initiate them for the purpose of making known to the populations affected by the habit the dangers of the habit and the necessity for preventing its extension and for facilitating the efficacy of the measures adopted or about to be adopted.

805th plenary meeting,
12 July 1954

60/ See document E/1666.

61/ See document E/CN.7/SR.238.

*/ Adopted as recommended by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in a draft resolution (E/2606-E/CN.7/283, annex A, para. 4), with minor amendments.