Towards a solution of regional narcotics problems: recent projects of U.N. technical assistance


Agenda item: Detection, treatment and rehabilitation of narcotic drug addicts
LATIN AMERICA STUDY TOUR Observations and Recommendations
ADDIS ABABA ENFORCEMENT SEMINAR Agenda item: The drug problem in the world and in the region
Agenda item: Narcotic and other dangerous drugs, their nature and action
Agenda item: Drug dependence and its detection
Agenda item: National and international control of narcotic drugs
Agenda item: The illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, its incidence, sources of supply and preventive measures


Pages: 41 to 49
Creation Date: 1968/01/01

Towards a solution of regional narcotics problems: recent projects of U.N. technical assistance

Conclusions and recommendations

In the last year the United Nations published the reports of three regional exercises of technical assistance to train officials concerned with narcotics problems and give them a better understanding of the narcotic situation of their country within the region to which it belongs. These regional projects were:

  1. The Seminar on Narcotics Control for Enforcement Officers (Teheran, April 1966),

    Participating: Iran, Israel and Turkey;

  2. The Study Tour of Points of Convergence of the Illicit Traffic in Coca Leaf and Cocaine in Latin America (October-November 1966),

    Participating: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and USA;

  3. The Seminar on Narcotics Control for Enforcement Officers in East Africa (Addis Ababa, April 1967),

Participating: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

These regional projects were apart from direct assistance in the form of fellowships for training in narcotics matters and, in certain cases, advice by experts attached to the government. The United Nations Programme of Technical Assistance in Narcotics Control was established by the General Assembly in Resolution 1395 ( XIV). The detailed reports of technical assistance projects are confidential to the governments concerned and only the conclusions and recommendations contained in them can be generally made known. In the cases of the three projects, these were as follows:


Agenda item: Narcotic drugs and other dangerous non-narcotic substances and their identification


  1. The Seminar stressed the need for a portable kit with which officers in the field who did not possess an extensive knowledge of chemistry could make a quick preliminary identification of a suspicious substance. It was hoped that the question of the early availability of such a kit would be duly studied.

  2. The Seminar recognized the importance of determining the origin of seized drugs, not only as a means of improving international control measures, but also of facilitating police investigations.

  3. The Seminar welcomed the forthcoming publication by ICPO/INTERPOL of a booklet which would provide information on packaging and labelling, and a description of narcotic drugs. It was hoped that such a booklet would be widely distributed to law enforcement officers.

  4. The Seminar concluded that the control of the increasingly wide range of dangerous synthetic drugs would be assisted if enforcement officers were made familiar with them in their periodic training courses.


  1. Governments of countries in which the opium poppy is cultivated should continue to submit authenticated samples to the United Nations Laboratory at Geneva.

  2. Quantitative chemical analyses of samples of all seized drugs should be undertaken. This would establish variations in the quality of the drugs as well as provide a safeguard against the adulteration of stocks in lawful custody.

Agenda item: The main sources of the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, its routes and the principal areas of its destination, with special reference to the countries of the region


  1. There was large-scale, highly organized illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs in the region. Although the traffic was mainly in opium and cannabis, there was also some trafficking in cocaine. Moreover, considerable quantities of the opium produced in the region were used for the illicit production of morphine and heroin.

  1. Seizures of heroin and discoveries of heroin laboratories in countries of the region were on a scale to justify very considerable concern. The situation was deteriorating, and would probably continue to do so unless definite concerted action was taken by the national authorities.

  2. While police measures against the illicit traffic were only one part of the campaign against drug abuse, co-operation in that field could substantially improve the present situation. The main requirements were a greater mobility of the enforcement services, which should have better means of communication at their disposal, and a more satisfactory exchange of information and co-ordination of action at both the national and the international levels.

  3. Much of the opium now entering the illicit traffic could be prevented from so doing by stricter control measures in the growing areas.

  4. The Seminar considered that the prompt and well publicized infliction of severe penalties on professional traffickers would have a deterrent effect.


  1. More resources should be placed at the disposal of the enforcement services.

  2. Close and constant liaison and, if possible, personal contacts should be maintained by enforcement officials stationed on both sides of land frontiers.

  3. With a view to establishing such close co-operation, governments should take steps to conclude border agreements with neighbouring countries, where no such agreements exist.

  4. Governments should broaden and intensify the exchange of information on the illicit traffic - including day-to-day information of immediate operational importance - through the National Central Bureaux of ICPO/INTERPOL or, where these do not exist, through the headquarters of the appropriate national enforcement agencies.

  5. In areas where opium is produced illicitly, special efforts should be made to intercept or destroy the crop at as early a stage as possible, particularly during the harvesting season.

  6. Strict control should be imposed upon the importation of acetic anhydride and acetyl chloride, which are essential for the manufacture of heroin. The enforcement services should have at their disposal enough data to trace the distribution of these chemicals down to the end-users.

Agenda item: Investigation techniques in respect of trafficking in narcotic drugs and techniques of counter-measures


  1. The Seminar concluded that criminal offences in connexion with the illicit traffic in narcotics had a distinct character of their own, and it was therefore necessary for officers engaged in prevention and detection of the traffic to undergo specialized training. The following aspects of enforcement were particularly important: recruitment and use of informers; under-cover investigation; surveillance; security at ports and frontiers; interrogation; raids and searches.

  2. The Seminar emphasized the importance of processing reports on illicit traffic cases at a central office, which would thus be in a position to furnish intelligence and statistics regarding all aspects of the fight against the illicit traffic. The systematic collection of intelligence was essential to all enforcement agencies if measures were to be taken against narcotics traffickers.

  3. The Seminar concluded that while there might be various systems of remuneration for narcotics enforcement officers, it was essential to provide for adequate, regularly-paid salaries which took account of the long hours and arduous conditions of the work.

  4. The Seminar recognized the need of special funds for paying informers. It stressed the importance of paying promptly for information whenever justified, regardless of, and without waiting for, the outcome of any subsequent judicial proceedings.

  5. The Seminar emphasized the importance of delaying overt action against traffickers until the most advantageous stage of the investigation, and of then acting in a carefully planned and co-ordinated manner in order to obtain the maximum possible amount of information.

  6. The Seminar recognized the great advantages derived from using ICPO/INTERPOL facilities in any action taken against international traffickers.

  7. The Seminar noted the value of using specially trained dogs in the search for opium or hashish.

  8. The Seminar emphasized that the purpose of an investigation was not the mere seizure of narcotic drugs. It was even more important to learn the history of the drug moving in the illicit traffic, to discover who had handled it and through what channels it had moved, and to endeavour to strike at all those who had at any stage been concerned in the transaction.


  1. Governments should take steps to organize regular training courses for officers of all enforcement agencies engaged in the fight against the illicit traffic.

  1. Governments should consider the establishment of central intelligence bureaux within their narcotics administration to centralize all information regarding the illicit traffic.

Agenda item: Detection, treatment and rehabilitation of narcotic drug addicts


  1. The Seminar endorsed the view that drug abuse was a problem affecting the whole community and not merely the addict.

  2. The Seminar recognized that effective measures for the elimination of drug abuse depended upon close co-operation between many authorities and that prolonged attention to the individual addict was also required.

  3. The Seminar took note of the apparent increase in the problem of drug addiction in the region, and viewed with grave concern the increasing use of heroin, especially among youth.

  4. The Seminar emphasized the need to study the causes of addiction within the social, cultural and economic framework of the region, and of each country.

  5. The Seminar accepted the principle of long-term treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. It recognized, however, that factors such as availability of resources and personnel in a country, and the extent of physical and psychological deterioration in an addict, would be important considerations in determining the length of treatment programmes.

  6. The Seminar supported the view that some form of civil commitment might be instituted, where it was considered necessary and practicable, to compel the addict to submit to medical treatment and rehabilitation.

  7. The Seminar noted the valuable contribution that public opinion could provide in the preventive as well as curative programmes related to addiction.

  8. The Seminar noted that preventive measures were of great importance with regard to drug addiction, and that law enforcement and public education had a contribution to make in that respect. Measures of prevention, control and treatment could be more effective if they were integrated within existing services in related fields of public health and social welfare.

  9. The Seminar concluded that the use of drugs in the treatment of addiction required further study by qualified medical authorities under carefully controlled conditions.


  1. Governments should intensify and expand their programmes for the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts.

  2. Educational campaigns against drug abuse should be undertaken in co-operation with professional groups, so as to ensure the latter's understanding and elicit their co-operation in the campaign.

  3. Governments should apply to WHO for up-to-date information on programmes of medical treatment and after-care of addicts.

Agenda item: The international narcotics control system with special reference to inter-governmental and non-governmental agencies and national central bureaux


The Seminar recognized the need, in countries where responsibility for law enforcement was shared by several authorities, for the setting-up of a national central narcotics administration to co-ordinate narcotics law enforcement activities, maintain national records and statistics, and co-operate directly with foreign narcotics control authorities and international agencies.

Agenda item: National and international programmes for the training of narcotics enforcement officers: the use of technical assistance in narcotics control


The Seminar emphasized the importance of regional seminars on narcotics control, which improved expertise in law enforcement and control problems generally and promoted closer co-operation and understanding not only between participating countries but also, on a personal plane, between enforcement officials of national services. The Seminar was of the opinion, however, that owing to the complexities of, and constant developments in, narcotics control, regional seminars, because of their relative infrequency in any one area, should be supplemented by training facilities provided by or through the good offices of international organs, in particular the United Nations or jointly with the specialized agencies. Those facilities might consist of short-term courses on narcotics control for enforcement officials to be held in the region.


  1. Governments which have not already done so should report at an early date to the Secretary-General on the measures taken pursuant to the recommendations contained in the reports of the various United Nations technical assistance projects in the region, in particular the missions which visited North Africa and the Middle East in 1962 and 1963 (TAO/ME/1 and TAO/ME/2).

  2. The possibility should be considered of organizing, under the United Nations technical assistance programme, a further seminar in the region in 1968. The holding of other types of meetings in the region, as required, should also be studied.

  3. Training facilities should be provided by inter national bodies, in particular the United Nations or the specialized agencies. These facilities might take the form of short-term courses on narcotics control for enforcement officials to be held in the region.

LATIN AMERICA STUDY TOUR Observations and Recommendations

Though many constructive recommendations have been made by numerous United Nations bodies during the past seventeen years, firstly during the period 1948-1950 and, secondly, since 1960 almost continuously, there would appear to remain much need for the implementation by certain governments of the recommendations contained in the relevant reports.1

The WHO has pronounced that the uses of cocaine in therapeutics have rapidly diminished and that this drug can be advantageously replaced by synthetic products. If one holds the view that coca leaf chewing is, to say the least, an undesirable habit, it would seem that the only remaining world legitimate use of the coca leaf, i.e. the manufacture of flavouring extracts, following the removal of alkaloids, could be met by the production of approximately 400 hectares of coca bush - an insignificant area when compared with the present acreage under plantation.

The objective of the study tour was to examine the main points of convergence of the illicit traffic in cocaine in South America, as designated in the annual reports of the governments concerned. The Group felt that any conclusions which did not take into account the availability of the raw material, coca leaf, in this traffic and the existing resources to combat it, would be unrealistic.

In view of the above remarks, it therefore makes the following recommendations:

  1. The governments which still have the reports referred to above should consider early and effective implementation of the recommendations applicable to them.

  2. All governments of countries participating in the Study Tour should accede to the Single Convention, 1961, as a first step to ensuring uniformity in conception and treatment of the problems arising from the use of and illicit traffic in the coca leaf and its alkaloids.

1 Beaglehole Mission 1948; Commission of Enquiry 1949; Inter-American Conference on the Illicit Traffic in Coca Leaf and Cocaine, Rio de Janeiro, 1960. Inter-American Consultative Group on Narcotics Control, Rio de Janeiro 1961; Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, Lima 1962 and Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, Lima 1964.

Two Permanent Central Narcotics Board Missions to Bogota and to Lima and La Paz, 1964 and 1966.

  1. Constant and unreserved co-operation between individual government services is an essential factor in the control of the cocaine problem. In this connexion the Study Group recognized that the existence of such co-ordinating bodies as the National Commissions on Narcotics Control in the two main producing countries was a decisive step forward.

    In the international field, regular meetings of INTERPOL correspondents and the exchange of information on traffickers are indispensable to successful control.

  2. It is highly desirable that the personal contacts established during the study tour among participants become a medium for close international co-operation in the region, without prejudice to the normal activities of the national bureaux of INTERPOL and subject to the formal media of communication between governments being respected.

  3. It is of paramount importance that the governments of the region should establish or, as the case may be, strengthen their narcotics intelligence and law enforcement agencies so that effective and speedy action may be taken in any country as appropriate. In particular, the producing countries should make every effort to prevent the movement of the coca leaf and its alkaloids across their frontiers into the illicit international traffic.

  4. The Group finds that greater specialization in narcotics law enforcement techniques is essential for narcotics personnel, and governments of the region are urged to take full advantage of the different facilities offered to them in this respect by international and bilateral assistance programmes. Details of these programmes are obtainable from United Nations Resident Representatives.

  5. The manufacture of cocaine sulfate and cocaine hydrochloride involves the utilization of a number of chemicals such as acetone, sulphuric acid, absolute alcohol and ether, and the Study Group learned that the illicit production of cocaine frequently occurred in areas where there was no legitimate use for such chemicals, and where furthermore the nature of the terrain restricted modes of transport to a minimum. This should therefore render control all the easier and the Group urges the governments concerned to make use of this observation in their fight against illicit manufacture.

  6. The Group considers that with some exceptions the penalties applied to illicit manufacture and trafficking an in no way be considered to be deterrent and it urges therefore the governments concerned to revise their legislative provisions, particularly for recidivism. -

  7. The Group was impressed by the educational campaign in Peru using posters, the radio, television, and personal contact between representatives of the Coca Monopoly and school teachers. It commends this approach to the attention of other governments and urges that no section of the population be omitted from such programmes by reason of its economic or geographic circumstances.

( The Report of the Group goes on to make specific observations and recommendations with respect to particular countries which it visited, these being confidential to the governments concerned.)

ADDIS ABABA ENFORCEMENT SEMINAR Agenda item: The drug problem in the world and in the region


  1. The Seminar noted that the main drug addiction problem is outside Africa, if the United Arab Republic and North Africa (the Maghreb) are not taken into account.

  2. However, in modern conditions of travel, tourism and trade, influences from outside the Continent might change this picture and African countries might become victims to drugs of which they are at present practically free.

  3. The preceding conclusions fully apply to the region of East Africa and governments concerned should bear conclusion (2) particularly in mind in organizing and developing their narcotics control administrations.

Agenda item: Narcotic and other dangerous drugs, their nature and action


  1. The public and even the enforcement officers of the region are not in all cases familiar with all narcotic drugs and substances with the exception of cannabis, which is cultivated and is also found in wild growth.

  2. It was recognized that whereas there are chemical tests to identify cannabis, there is as yet no reliable test to prove the presence of this drug in the human body. Laboratory work on this question is however in progress.

  3. As regards barbiturates, amphetamines, tranquillizers and hallucinogenic drugs, the problem of recognizing or identifying them is difficult and requires laboratory work of a high standard. However, there are possibilities for using reagents for identification of amphetamines in portable kits.


  1. The narcotics administrations of the region should be kept informed of progress in research presently being conducted to develop tests to prove the presence of cannabis in the human body.

  2. On the subject of portable kits for the identification of all narcotic drugs, the Seminar hoped that they would be further improved and that at least one such kit would be available to the enforcement authorities at all major international airports and seaports in the region.

  3. The Seminar recognized, however, that portable kits could not substitute conclusive laboratory tests for identification. It accordingly hoped that those countries in the region which do not have an adequately equipped and staffed police or customs laboratory will take steps to establish one, with such international assistance in the training of staff as could be obtained.

Agenda item: Drug dependence and its detection


  1. It was recognized that the drug abused in the region is cannabis, to the probable exclusion of any other narcotic.

  2. This conclusion was, however, based on a general impression of the situation in the participating countries, and it was not one that could be documented at present.

  3. Evidence showed that barbiturates, amphetamines and tranquillizers are being misused in the region, though the hallucinogenic drugs are so far unknown.

  4. While no treatment facilities specially intended for drug addiction have been established in the participating countries, it was recognized that such facilities would have little relevance to the treatment of cannabis abusers.

  5. The type of abuse occurring in the region - among peasant populations and urban labour - made it likely that it might be reduced as significant economic and social development is achieved. There might also be some ritualistic use.

  6. It would have to be borne in mind, however, that such reduction in cannabis abuse would precisely create the danger of substitution by other drugs, both narcotic and non-narcotic, and also by alcohol.

  7. The Seminar recognized that present alcohol abuse was a problem to contend with in most of the participating countries.

  8. It is possible that drugs other than cannabis are being used, and research should serve to clarify if this is so.

  9. There is evidence that cannabis is abused by transport personnel, specially drivers of lorries and trucks.

  10. The Seminar was informed of some abuse of cannabis in relation to acts of violence and crime. It is not to be concluded that the use of cannabis results in such acts, but it appears rather that the drug is taken preparatory to committing them, for example in case of thefts.

  11. It might be that some countries have a genuinely minor problem as regards barbiturates, tranquillizers and amphetamines, and they consider that availability on medical prescription is an adequate measure of control. While they are entitled to act in the light of their situation, they would be well advised to take warning from experience in other parts of the world.

  12. There is a reported - but insignificant - abuse of some white drugs due to medical addiction or addiction among medical and paramedical personnel.


  1. More precise research should be undertaken to determine the extent of cannabis abuse in the participating countries.

  2. Techniques of population sampling might be applied for this purpose.

  3. The United Nations Secretariat was requested to place at the disposal of the participating countries the results of such research being carried out in the United Arab Republic, which is expected to be completed in the near future. The methods employed in the UAR might be used as a model of enquiry by the participating countries into the extent, nature and etiology of cannabis abuse among their peoples.

  4. The research required should cover the economic and social aspects of cannabis abuse and some anthropological aspects in order to determine how the use of this drug had started in east Africa. The latter question might be of some interest since it is said that the introduction of cannabis in west Africa was a recent phenomenon.

  5. It was realized that such research might be beyond the resources of government departments but the Seminar considered that it might fruitfully be entrusted to institutions of higher learning in the region. It is not necessary that research be undertaken in each country, since the findings in one area would generally be applicable to the rest of the region.

  6. Through their narcotics control administrations, participating governments should keep a sharp look-out for the appearance of other drugs in their countries.

  7. Immediate steps should be taken to put an end to the abusive use and self-administration of barbiturates, amphetamines and tranquillizers.

  8. Transport personnel and their employers should be warned that the use of cannabis is dangerous in their profession, and could lead to accidents. The same warning should be given to workers using heavy machinery, e.g. cranes in the construction industry.

  9. Governments should study and report on this aspect of cannabis abuse, and also on its preparatory role in the commission of acts of violence and crime.

  10. There should be permanent narcotics research centres and laboratories in the region, in some cases these being part of existing institutions and programmes.

  11. Information should be systematically collected regarding drug users and it should be analyzed and recorded in the form proposed by the United Nations.

Agenda item: National and international control of narcotic drugs


  1. There is not a universal acceptance of the narcotics treaties by the countries of the region, especially as regards the 1936 Convention on Illicit Traffic and the Single Convention of 1961.

  2. The national narcotics administrations required by the treaties are not equally well organized in each participating country, and, indeed, they are non-existent in some.

  3. Co-ordination among the various authorities which would be competent in narcotics matters, e.g. Health, Police, Customs and Excise, and possibly Agriculture, Law and Justice, does not give the impression of being habitual, smooth and effective in every country.

  4. The submission of annual reports to the United Nations varies in regularity and detail, and legislative texts seem to be transmitted with considerable delay, where they exist.

  5. There is lack of clarity as regards the sending of reports of seizures of narcotics in the illicit traffic.

  6. Legislation in the narcotics field is incomplete in some cases, but is being comprehensively revised in others.

  7. With one exception, estimates and statistics relating to the consumption of narcotic drugs appear to be sent to the United Nations Secretariat in Geneva (INCB), as required.


  1. As many countries as possible in the region should become Parties to the narcotics treaties, and they should implement them fully.

  2. The participating countries should consider becoming Parties to the Convention of 1936 for the Suppression of the Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs, which is the only treaty not superseded by the Single Convention, if they are not already Parties.

  3. Countries which have not adhered to - or ratified - the Single Convention were recommended to do so as a matter of high priority.

  4. In countries where responsibility for narcotics law enforcement is shared by several authorities, a national narcotics control administration should be set up to co-ordinate law enforcement activities, maintain national records and statistics, co-operate directly with foreign narcotics control authorities and international agencies, and act as the special administration required by article 17 of the Single Convention.

  5. As a preventive measure, every country should set up a cell of enforcement experts, well trained in all narcotics problems, who would be able to meet any changes in the narcotics situation that might occur, for example by way of introduction of drugs hitherto unknown in the region.

  6. As regards barbiturates, amphetamines, tranquillizers and also hallucinogenic drugs, the Seminar fully endorsed the recommendations of WHO and of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as to their national and international control. To the countries of the region, it particularly recommended the following measures which appeared to be applicable to them:

    1. Availability on medical prescription only;

    2. Full accounting of all transactions, from wholesale import to retail distribution, and from the production stage to the stage of wholesale trade when production takes place in the region;

    3. Licensing of all producers;

    4. Limitation of trade to authorized persons;

    5. Prohibition of non-authorized possession; and

    6. Establishment of an export-import authorization system.

  1. The Seminar wished particularly to endorse the view taken in the recommendations of WHO and of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, that export-import control was the key to the control of these substances in the interest of public health and welfare.

  2. As a matter of urgency, each participating country should look into the situation as regards these substances and make sure that barbiturates, amphetamines and tranquillizers are not available openly. Having assured themselves on that point, or having taken steps to ensure that it would be so, they should proceed therefrom to apply all those measures recommended above as are immediately practicable.

  3. The supply of narcotic drugs for carriage in first-aid kits of civil aircraft and merchant ships engaged in international transport is the responsibility of the country of registry. Participating countries should not normally supply narcotic drugs to such carriers, unless there is clear and documented evidence that the carrier's stock of narcotics has been depleted by legitimate emergency use. In such a case the government of the country of registry should be notified; a notification should also be sent to the International Narcotics Control Board in Geneva.

  4. Governments should attach great importance to the sending of annual reports on the working of the international treaties on narcotic drugs to the United Nations, and should do it regularly and within the time-limits required by the Secretary-General.

  5. Laws and regulations concerning narcotics should be communicated to the Secretary-General in Geneva as soon as they are passed, as this is also a treaty requirement.

  6. Considering that the transmission of estimates of future consumption of narcotic drugs, and statistics of actual consumption, to the authorities in Geneva - the Drug Supervisory Body and the Permanent Central Narcotics Board 2 respectively - is crucial for the international supervision and control of the licit movement in narcotic drugs, the Seminar urged governments to send the required information to the DSB and the PCNB with the utmost regularity.

  7. In the case of the participating countries, seizure reports should be sent to the United Nations in Geneva in every case involving even minute quantities of narcotic drugs other than cannabis. In case of cannabis seizures, lots of between 1 kg and 5 kg should be considered the minimum quantity justifying a seizure report; in addition, all cases of destruction of wild or cultivated growth of cannabis should be reported.

  8. As regards the preceding paragraphs, the Seminar also felt that INTERPOL might usefully further clarify the concept of "an important seizure" for each participating country in the light of what was known of the illicit traffic in each country.

  9. Internal legislation on narcotics matters should be strict and complete.

  10. Countries should correspond directly with the Division of Narcotic Drugs, United Nations, Geneva, to seek advice, information or clarification on narcotic matters.

2 The Seminar noted that these two organs would be oined into the International Narcotics Control Board set up by the Single Convention of 1961, which Board would begin functioning as of 2 March 1968; thereafter information mentioned in para. 12 would be sent to the INCB.

  1. Governments should exercise careful supervision over the transport and warehousing of drugs used for licit purposes.

  1. Governments, as necessary, should establish national narcotics commissions made up of representatives of all appropriate ministries and services in order to ensure high level co-ordination on matters concerning narcotic drugs.

  2. Open publicity and advertising of narcotic and other psychotropic drugs should be prohibited.

Agenda item: The illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, its incidence, sources of supply and preventive measures


  1. The Seminar observed that the main stream of the illicit traffic in opium, hashish and the white drugs does not at present touch the east African region.

  2. The illicit traffic is mainly in cannabis locally produced, though in some cases there is an export of cannabis across frontiers within the region.

  3. The preceding two points imply that the countries of the region are in a position to consolidate their narcotics control systems to have greater mastery over the regional cannabis problem while being able to prepare for the contingency of other forms of trafficking in other drugs, should this contingency occur.

  4. The Seminar's character was thus preventive, and governments should take the opportunity it offered by applying the recommendations that the Seminar adopted.

  5. In general terms enforcement against narcotics abuse requires the same skills, sincerity, and resources needed for combating other crime.

  6. The techniques of combating the illicit traffic are similar to those for fighting other crime.

  7. The scale of penalties for narcotics offences, including cannabis offences, varies in the region.

  8. There is no evidence that organized gangs are conducting the cannabis traffic in the participating countries.

  9. Four countries in the region are not members of INTERPOL.

  10. There is no exchange of information among participating countries regarding illicit traffic, nor with countries outside the region.

  11. Informers should be rewarded adequately for useful and productive information.

  12. Penalties should be reviewed and stepped up if necessary. The level of penalties adopted should be sufficient to exercise a deterrent effect, and the level to adopt in each case is one for national judgement; penalties should not be obviously lenient.

  1. The United Nations should offer its good offices in cases where there is illicit traffic between countries which do not have friendly diplomatic relations.


  1. Illicit traffic in cannabis in the region must be combatted by all possible means, including the use of informers, under-cover investigation, surveillance of suspects, thorough collection of evidence and preparation of reports required for prosecuting offenders, and adequate frontier control to prevent the illicit entry or export of cannabis or other narcotic drugs.

  2. Participating countries should take all measures to destroy wild growth and plantations of cannabis wherever detected, and they should enlist the co-operation of the agriculture and forestry departments as necessary for this purpose.

  3. In view of the social harm and economic waste that may arise from cannabis use, the enforcement agencies in the region should be given adequate resources in men, vehicles, equipment and finance for taking the measures against the illicit traffic recommended above.

  4. Considering that legislation for the controls of barbiturates, amphetamines, tranquillizers and hallucinogenic drugs (like LSD) would require to be enacted in those countries where this has not already been done, watch should meanwhile be kept for any illicit traffic in these substances, which occurs, for example, when they are available without medical prescription or if their movement and trade are unchecked.

  5. As opium was known in the north (Sudan) and south (Madagascar) of the region, the participating countries should be alert against the appearance of this drug within their borders.

Agenda item: The role of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in illicit drug traffic suppression


  1. The role of ICPO/INTERPOL and its activities could greatly benefit participating countries in the training of their senior enforcement officials.

  2. The INTERPOL system of indexing and circulating information about international criminals, including drug traffickers, is an excellent service from which participating countries should benefit.

  3. Co-operation in the work of INTERPOL would keep the enforcement agencies in the region in touch with the latest methods and techniques for fighting crime, including the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs.


  1. Participating governments which are not affiliated to INTERPOL should take steps to obtain membership as early as possible.

  2. When affiliation with INTERPOL is universal in the region, the Seminar recommended that the INTERPOL central national bureaux which would be established develop contacts and enter into practical co-operation with one another.

Agenda item: National and international programmes for the training of narcotics law enforcement officers; the use of technical assistance in narcotics control


  1. The Seminar felt that participating countries could benefit from the international and bilateral programmes of assistance in this field.

  2. It considered that some facilities for training could be developed in the region.

  3. As far as fellowships are concerned the country and place of training was important.


  1. Participants in the Seminar had been fully informed of the procedures for obtaining U.N. technical assistance in narcotics control. They should move their governments to consider carefully their requirements with a view to applying for such assistance if necessary.

  2. As far as experts are concerned, certain countries should apply for such assistance ( a) for organizing national narcotics control administrations, and ( b) for drafting laws concerning the control of narcotics drugs.

  3. Enforcement officers, i.e. police, customs and drug control personnel, might usefully receive training under U.N. fellowships in countries having more experience in this field.

  4. The place and the programme of study for fellowships should be carefully chosen. In the case of the United States thought might be given to having enforcement fellows spend longer periods with narcotics administrations in smaller cities than New York or Chicago, so that the training authority could devote more time and attention to their training.

  5. In every case of training in another country, the fellowship awarding authority (usually the United Nations) was requested by the Seminar to make sure that the host country would have qualified staff with time available to instruct the fellowship-holder.

  6. Participating countries which received fellowships should undertake to employ the fellowship holder in the narcotics field when he returned in a post as closely related to his foreign training as possible.

  7. Countries receiving experts should make sure that the expert trained one of their own officers in his speciality, so that when the expert left the work could still continue.

  8. Since assistance from the United Nations or related bodies did not cover the grant of equipment, countries in need of such equipment (motor vehicles, walkie-talkies etc.) should attempt to obtain it from bilateral or other sources.

  9. If several countries among those participating in the Seminar requested expert advice in organizing narcotics control administration or drafting laws, the Seminar would recommend that a roving mission of experts be sent by the United Nations to the countries concerned to give such advice. The countries concerned should request this type of assistance from the United Nations in Geneva, which should endeavour to organize the visiting mission suggested.

  10. The United Nations and WHO should give consideration to developing training institutions in the region, both for law enforcement and for the treatment of addiction. Existing police or administrative colleges and mental or general hospitals in the region could be helped to include narcotics training in their programmes and curriculae.

  11. In this connexion the Seminar recommended that countries from the region should benefit from the training institution for enforcement officers which is being set up in Lagos.

  12. In view of the great practical utility of the present Seminar, the participants unanimously recommended that other such exercises should be conducted in Africa from time to time.