Economic and Social Council


805th Plenary Meeting
12 July 1954

1954/548(XVIII)H.The problem of synthetic drugs*/



The Economic and Social Council,

Noting that the consumption of synthetic narcotics is steadily increasing,

Noting with satisfaction that, as of 1 January 1954, forty-three States have become Parties to the Protocol, signed at Paris on 19 November 1948, bringing under international control drugs outside the scope of the Convention of 13 July 1931 for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the Protocol signed at Lake Success on 11 December 1946,

Considering that participation of all States is necessary for the effective control of the dangers to public health arising from the development of synthetic narcotics,

Considering the important part which the members of the medical profession play in the fight against addiction to these drugs by the exercise of great care in their prescription and use,

Being aware that the members of this profession are becoming increasingly conscious of the danger of addicition to synthetic narcotics and of their own responsibility in combating it, but that much still remains to be done in this direction,

Noting with satisfaction the work of the World Health Organization and of the Secretariat of the United Nations in the field of synthetic narcotics, as set out particularly in documents E/CN.7/259/Rev.1, E/CN.7/260, E/CN.7/268 and E/CN.7/277,

1. Calls upon all States which are not Parties to the Protocol of 19 November 1948 to become Parties in accordance with article 5 thereof;

2. Calls the attention of all governments to the necessity for strict control over the possession, manufacture, import and export of, trade in, and use of synthetic narcotics;

3. Invites all governments to consider the possibility of carrying out a systematic campaign among members of the medical profession with a view to alerting them to the danger of addiction inherent in the use of synthetic narcotics and to the necessity on their part for exercising great care in prescribing such drugs;

4. Recommends that, pending the decision of the World Health Organization governments submit provisionally each drug notified to the Secretary-General, pursuant to article 1 of the Protocol of 19 November 1948 to the narcotics regime, and, in particular, to the system of import certificates and export authorizations provided for in Chapter V of the International Opium Convention signed at Geneva on 19 February 1925;

5. Invites governments to study the desirability of exercising the requisite measure of supervision over certain intermediary products (such as diphenyl-acetonitrile) which occur in the manufacture of synthetic narcotics, or of prohibiting their manufacture.


The Economic and Social Council,

Considering that drug ketobemidone possesses particularly dangerous addiction-producing properties, and that other less dangerous drugs offer equal therapeutic advantages,

Urges governments to prohibit the manufacture, import and export of ketobemidone, its salts, its preparations and preparations of its salts.

805th plenary meeting,
12 July 1954

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