Twenty-second session of the Economic and Social Council



Pages: 47 to 47
Creation Date: 1956/01/01

Twenty-second session of the Economic and Social Council

At its twenty-second session, held in Geneva from 9 July to 9 August 1956, the Council considered and took note of the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its eleventh session.

The Council invited the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to adhere to the Paris Protocol of 19 November 1948; those States eligible to become parties to the Opium Protocol of 1953 which had not already ratified or acceded to that Protocol to do so immediately so that it would enter into force as soon as possible; and the governments to communicate promptly their national laws and regulations relating to the control of narcotic drugs. (The Paris Protocol provides machinery for placing synthetic narcotic drugs under international control. The Protocol of 1953 provides for limiting the production of opium to medical and scientific needs and for the abolition of opium smoking and opium eating.)

Technical Assistance for Narcotics Control

The Council considered this subject on the initiative of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and agreed that it was highly desirable that technical assistance should be provided in this field. It adopted a resolution in which it drew the attention of those concerned to the areas where such assistance might be expected to do the most good, indicated the types of technical services available, and specified the development of substitute crops as one of the forms of assistance that might be requested. It recommended that the United Nations and the specialized agencies give due consideration to requests for technical assistance in developing appropriate administrative, social or economic measures for dealing with problems raised by the illicit production of and traffic in narcotic drugs or by drug addiction. It requested the Secretary-General to investigate whether non-governmental agencies, such as foundations and universities, might give assistance in their fields of interest, and to report on offers of assistance received, and also on the extent to which it had been found possible to meet requests for technical assistance in narcotics control under existing resolutions.

Technical Assistance to Iran

Representatives on the Council stressed the importance of the step taken by Iran in banning the cultivation of the opium poppy, and sympathized with the difficulties arising from it. On the initiative of the Commission it considered the question of technical assistance requested by Iran to meet these difficulties. It adopted a resolution recommending the Government of Iran to submit special requests for such technical assistance as it considered necessary in connexion with the prohibition of poppy cultivation and with the suppression of opium addiction. It invited the technical assistance authorities to give due consideration to those requests, drawing their attention to the importance of the Iranian measures for the economic and social development of that country. The Secretary-General was asked to report in 1957 on the extent to which it had been found possible to meet those requests. The Council was informed that the technical assistance mission of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Iran was already assisting in the development of substitute crops, and that an ad hoc committee had been established for that purpose.

Draft Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

The Council decided to request the Commission to study the second draft of the Single Convention at its twelfth session, and if necessary at its thirteenth session. It decided also that the second draft should be transmitted for comment to all governments represented on the Commission and the Council, and to all governments whose representatives took part as observers in the Commission's work on the Single Convention.*

Claim of Afghanistan to be included among Countries which may produce Opium for Export

The Commission has adopted a resolution recognizing the justice of the claim made by Afghanistan that it should be included among the countries authorized to produce opium for export. It had requested the Secretary-General to amend the second draft of the Single Convention accordingly. Several representatives on the Council expressed the fear that the success of the Iranian programme of prohibiting poppy cultivation and suppressing opium addiction might be jeopardized if Afghanistan were authorized to produce opium for export. The Council, considering that there were technical points that needed more consideration, adopted a resolution inviting the Commission to consider this matter further in the light of the Council's discussions.

Meeting of Scientists on Opium Research

The Council agreed with the Commission that a meeting of experts to review and evaluate the research carried out at the national and the international level to develop methods for determining the geographical origin of opium seized in the illicit traffic would serve a useful purpose. It decided that such a meeting of nine experts should be held in 1958.

Location of the Next Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

The Council approved the calendar of conferences for 1957, which provides that the next session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs will be held at Headquarters in New York from 29 April to 31 May 1957.

The Committee on Illicit Traffic will meet three working days in advance of the Commission.

The Single Convention is prepared to replace all multilateral narcotics treaties ( see in Bulletin, Vol. VII, No. 1, the article of H. L. Moy : The Single Convention on narcotic drugs; comments and possibilities).