United Nations Seminar on Narcotics Problems in Developing Countries in Africa

Abstract

The first United Nations Seminar on Narcotics Problems in Developing Countries in Africa was held at Africa Hall, Addis Ababa, 11-22 November 1963. It was organized as a regional project under General Assembly resolution 1395 (XIV), which established a continuing programme of technical assistance in narcotics control.

Details

Pages: 39 to 40
Creation Date: 1964/01/01

United Nations Seminar on Narcotics Problems in Developing Countries in Africa

The first United Nations Seminar on Narcotics Problems in Developing Countries in Africa was held at Africa Hall, Addis Ababa, 11-22 November 1963. It was organized as a regional project under General Assembly resolution 1395 (XIV), which established a continuing programme of technical assistance in narcotics control.

The Seminar was attended by participants from the following countries: Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Dahomey, Ethiopia, French Somaliland, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. Experts were provided by the United Nations, the Permanent Central Opium Board, the World Health Organization and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

The recommendations and suggestions made by the Seminar during the course of its deliberations are as follows:

  1. The Seminar recommended that the legislation of governments of developing African countries on cannabis cultivation, production, possession, etc. should be as explicit as possible in order to facilitate administrative action and enforcement.

  2. The Seminar thought it important to draw the attention of African countries to the dangers of the uncontrolled distribution and sale of pharmaceutical products and the need for keeping a close watch on promotional literature and advertising material that may be used to further such sales.

  3. The Seminar recommended that it would be very valuable if a survey or study of hallucinogenic substances and their uses in indigenous practices were made in the developing African countries. Surveys could be carried out on a country or a regional basis, preferably in co-operation with the United Nations and other interested organizations.

  4. The Seminar recommended that developing African countries should review their administrative systems for the control of drugs to ensure that no leakages from licit supplies were occurring.

  5. The Seminar recommended that developing African countries should keep a close watch on the import and distribution of amphetamines, barbiturates and tranquillizers so that their abuse might be checked at a relatively early stage.

  6. The Seminar suggested that following the receipt of the WHO report on khat, the countries directly concerned with the khat problem, acting in concert with the United Nations, should themselves consider what further measures needed to be taken.

  7. The Seminar strongly recommended that governments of developing African countries should urgently consider ways and means for setting up national centres for the study of the problem of addiction and research into its socio-medical aspects. Such centres should also undertake research into the properties and uses of different kinds of narcotics, cannabis, amphetamines, etc. and all indigenous plants which contain active principles that may have narcotic effects. This research might be conducted in co-operation with the United Nations laboratory at Geneva.

  8. The Seminar recommended that there should be a regional centre for the study of problems of drug addiction in Africa, where current socio-medical research would be conducted, the general work would be centralized and from which information on it would be widely disseminated. It could also undertake laboratory work in collaboration with African national research centres and the United Nations laboratory and centralize the findings of pharmacological investigation. The Seminar further recommended that the regional centre should be established in collaboration with the United Nations and WHO and hoped that those organizations would do their best to provide the centre with every assistance.

  9. The Seminar recommended that governments of African countries should give closer attention to obtaining better information and understanding of the illicit traffic situation at national, regional and international levels. They might wish to undertake this in co-operation with the United Nations and ICPO.

  10. The Seminar recommended to governments of African countries that they review the penalty provisions in their legislation so as to enable the imposition of severe penalties on traffickers, especially terms of imprisonment.

  11. The Seminar recommended that African countries use all means available to them for the training of their enforcement personnel in the identification of drugs, detection of narcotics offences, procedures of prosecution and conviction, etc. The enforcement services should be given adequate equipment and financial support for their work.

  12. The Seminar recommended that African countries should keep close and continuous contact with the international organizations concerned with the control of illicit trafficking and also develop close direct co-operation with neighbouring countries which may be involved in a common illicit traffic problem.

  13. The Seminar thought it important to recommend to governments of African countries that they review their narcotics control systems and to consider the most effective ways of co-ordinating the different aspects of narcotics control in the light of their constitutional and other conditions.

  1. The Seminar suggested that African countries should give prompt consideration to the ratification of the narcotics treaties where this had not already been done. It also recommended that, with respect to the implementation of the narcotics treaties, African countries should work in close co-operation with the international bodies concerned and their secretariats.

  2. The Seminar proposed that African countries examine the various kinds of technical assistance available, with a view to seeking such aid as their particular circumstances warranted and as would yield the best results.