Socio-economic aspects of drug control and related United Nations action

Sections

Introduction
United Nations Technical Assistance Programme
United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC)
Socio-economic programmes and projects of the United Nations
Concluding observations

Details

Author: Alfons NOLL, LL.M.
Pages: 9 to 20
Creation Date: 1978/01/01

Socio-economic aspects of drug control and related United Nations action *

Paper presented at the International Symposium on Drug Addiction, held at São Paulo, Brazil, 29 September-2 October 1977

Alfons NOLL, LL.M.
UN Division of Narcotic Drugs

Introduction

The drug problem as a whole has always had, and will continue to have, distinct and most important socio-economic aspects. Economic and social conditions, interests and priorities prevailing in any society, as well as the environment in which people of that society are living, do have either a direct or indirect impact on the existence and scope of the drug problem. Two well-known examples only are quoted here from history as illustration in this context: the opium wars in China in the middle of the nineteenth century, to keep Chinese markets open to the trade in opium from British India, and the great increase in the consumption of morphine during the American Civil War (1861-1865). 1

Due to those and similar experiences, governments, at the beginning of this century, became more and more aware of the gravity of the drug problem as a public health and social problem. The first international meeting on that subject was the Shanghai Opium Commission which met in 1909 and adopted nine important resolutions dealing with various aspects of the opium problem, and thus opened the way for the following course of action directed towards international drug control. "Desirous of advancing a step further on the road opened by the International Commission of Shanghai of 1909",a Plenipotentiary Conference adopted at The Hague in 1912 2 the International Opium Convention, the first international drug-related treaty on which subsequently the international drug control system was built, by enlarging and refining it constantly through international conventions and protocols adopted under the auspices of the League of Nations.

Since its creation in 1946 after the Second World War, the United Nations has taken over and carried on the responsibilities entrusted to the League of Nations

* Paper presented by the author, upon invitation, at the International Symposium on Drug Addiction, held at São Paulo, Brazil, 29 September - 2 October 1977, and organized by the Grupo de Estudos Sobre Farmacodependenica, São Paulo, as well as the 7th International Institute on the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependence held at Lisbon, Portugal, 17-22 October 1977, and organized by the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions, Lausanne (Switzerland), in co-operation with the Co-ordination Bureau for the Combating of Drugs, Lisbon. It has been slightly revised by the author for its publication as an article in this Bulletin.

1Cf. the publication of the UN Division of Narcotic Drugs, The United Nations and Drug Abuse Control, United Nations, New York. 1976.

2See League of Nations, Treaty Series, vol. VIII, pp. 187 et seq.

under the earlier treaties. 3 In the same year, the Economic and Social Council, entrusted by Article 62 of the United Nations Charter with all "international economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related matters", established, as one of its first functional commissions, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, by its resolution 9 (I) 4 by which the terms of reference of that Commission were defined. In the following decades, the international community, with the preparatory help of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, improved and strengthened the international drug control system as established by the earlier treaties and at that time exclusively concerned with the control of narcotic drugs, by adopting five more international instruments, out of which the most important are: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, 5 which was amended by the 1972 Protocol, 6 and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 7 which entered into force only on 16 August 1976 and, for the first time, includes also psychotropic substances within the international drug control system. The above-mentioned international treaties on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are certainly mostly concerned with control measures, although the most recent of them contain provisions falling within the area of the social aspects of the drug problem and dealing with matters such as prevention of abuse, identification, treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social re-integration of the persons involved . 8

With regard to economic aspects of drug control, it should however be mentioned that, through article 7 of the 1972 Protocol, a new article 14 bishas been inserted in the Single Convention thus amended, which deals with "technical or financial assistance, or both" which might be recommended to be provided to a "Government in support of its efforts to carry out its obligations under this Convention".

The last-mentioned provision in the 1972 Protocol is a reflection, in the international treaty system on drug control, of a development which, with regard to both social and economic aspects of drug control, had already started within the United Nations system at a much earlier stage. With the constant and alarming growth of the drug problem as a whole in the late 1950s, the international community became more and more aware of the fact that the adoption of good control measures in international treaties and the obligations, thus created for governments Parties to those treaties, to apply such control measures at the national level, would alone not be enough to achieve efficient control over the drug problem. It was realized that effective control measures could not be implemented without appropriate financial and technical resources. It was therefore felt that the international drug control system itself, as established by the treaties, needed for its proper implementation supplementary measures consisting in providing technical and financial assistance to countries, in particular developing countries, which, due to lack of or limited resources, would otherwise not be in a position to carry out efficiently the control provisions of the international treaties and to cope with the drug problem in a manner satisfactory to the situation in their own country and responding to the needs of the international community as a whole.

3 See Protocol Amending the Agreements, Conventions and Protocols on Narcotic Drugs, concluded at The Hague on 23 January 1912, at Geneva on 11 February 1925 and 19 February 1925 and 13 July 1931, at Bangkok on 27 November 1931 and at Geneva on 26 June 1936, done at Lake Success, New York on 11 December 1946; see United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 12, pp. 179 et seq. See also resolution 54 (I) of the General Assembly of 19 November 1946 entitled "Transfer to the United Nations of powers exercised by the League of Nations under the International Agreements, Conventions and Protocols on Narcotic Drugs" (A/64/Add.1).

2 See Journal of the Economic and Social Council, First year, No. 12, resolution 9 entitled "Commission on Narcotic Drugs".

3 See United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 520, pp. 151 et seq.

4 See Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, UN document E/CONF.63/9. See also, for the text of thc Single Convention as Amended by the Protocol: United Nations publication, Sales No. E.77.XI.3.

5See E/CONF.58/6.

6 See article 38 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961; article 15 of the 1972 Protocol amending that Convention; article 38 of the Single Convention as amended by article 15 of the 1972 Protocol; and article 20 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

United Nations Technical Assistance Programme

In line with those ideas prevailing in the late 1950s, 9 the United Nations closer and more active involvement in the various fields related to the socioeconomic aspects of drug control actually started with the adoption of resolution 1395 (XIV) on "Technical assistance in narcotics control" by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1959. 10 With reference to the Organization's functions with regard to "international economic and social co-operation", as contained in Chapter IX of the Charter of the United Nations, and considering that technical assistance be a means to help countries to increase the effectiveness of their measures to control the production, distribution and use of narcotic drugs, to reduce and eliminate drug addiction and to combat the illicit traffic, the General Assembly, by this resolution, decided to establish "a continuing programme of technical assistance in narcotics control within the regular budget of the United Nations".

In the implementation of the above-mentioned resolution of the General Assembly, technical assistance in various fields related to narcotics control was given to a number of countries within the limits of the resources made available for this purpose through the United Nations regular budget, in the years following 1959. ll

Taking up once again the matter of "technical assistance in the field of narcotics", the General Assembly adopted, in 1968, its resolution 2434 (XXIII) 12 on that subject and therein requested the Secretary-General, in co-operation with the other competent organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations family, to develop plans for putting an end to the illegal or uncontrolled production of narcotic raw materials, for submission to the Council and the General Assembly.

9Cf. also the discussions on technical assistance for narcotics control in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in its reports on its: eleventh session, 1956 (E/2891, paras. 344-357); twelfth session, 1957 (E/3010/Rev.1, paras. 410-431); thirteenth session, 1958 (E/3133, paras. 434-457); and fourteenth session, 1959 (E/3254, paras. 372-388), as well as resolution 11 (XIV) in chap. XIV thereof on "Technical assistance for narcotics control". See also resolution 730 I (XXVIII) of the Economic and Social Council, adopted in the same year (see E/3290).

10 See A/4354.

11For details, see the reports of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its: fifteenth session, 1960 (E/3385, paras. 256-262); sixteenth session, 1961 (E/3512, paras. 223-244); seventeenth session, 1962 (E/3648, paras. 257-285); eighteenth session, 1963 (E/3775, paras. 273-297); nineteenth session, 1964 (E/3893, paras. 164-182); twentieth session, 1965 (E/4110, paras. 392-422); twenty-first session, 1966 (E/4294, paras. 306-329); twenty-second session, 1968 (E/4455, paras. 344-365); and twenty-third session, 1969 (E/4606/Rev.1), paras. 431-449.

12 See A/7218.

Following up that resolution on the basis of an interim report submitted by the Secretary-General to the Council, in which he stressed that the relevant economic, social, technical and institutional aspects of the drug problem would have to be taken into account, 13 the Council, in 1970, adopted its resolution 1532 (XLIX) 14 by which it decided that the Commission on Narcotic Drugs should hold, in that year, a special session "to consider short and long-term policy recommendations for integrated international action against drug abuse, with particular reference to the need for more effective measures to suppress the illicit drug traffic by strengthening national and international means of enforcement, to put an end to the illegal and uncontrolled production of narcotic raw material by all means including the development of alternative economic programmes and activities such as the substitution of crops, as envisaged by General Assembly resolution 2434 (XXIII) and to reduce the illicit demand for drugs by means of educational and social programmes and by means of the treatment and the rehabilitation of addicts".

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs thereupon discussed in depth, at its second special session in 1970, the scope of the United Nations action against drug abuse and the short-term and long-term measures against drug abuse and illicit drug traffic and recommended to thc Council the establishment of a "United Nations fund for drug control". l5 In the same year, the Council endorsed that recommendation and resolution of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and requested the Secretary-General to establish "a United Nations fund for drug abuse control, to be made from voluntary contributions". l6 The General Assembly of the United Nations also strongly endorsed that course of action in the same year, 17 welcomed "the establishment, as an initial measure and as a matter of urgency, of a United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control, to be made up of voluntary contributions", requested the Secretary-General to proceed immediately towards its implementation and appealed to "governments, organizations and programmes within the United Nations systems, and to foundations as well as to the public in general to lend their full support to those efforts".

United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC)

On that basis, the Secretary-General of the United Nations established, in early 1971, the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control of which he informed all Member Governments of the United Nations by a letter dated 26 March 1971, to which an aide-mémoire was attached containing details of an expanded United Nations programme of drug abuse control and the terms of reference of that Fund. He also submitted to the twenty-fourth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, in late 1971, a Plan for concerted short-term and long-term action against drug abuse, l8 That Plan contained a review of the fields of operation of the Plan, including basic principles of execution and financing and also a list of 147 proposals, the implementation of which was estimated at an approximate cost of US $95 million.

13 See E/4789, para. 17.

14See E/4904.

15 See the Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its second special session (E/4931) and in particular the text of the resolution contained in chapter V of that report.

16 See Council resolution 1559 (XLIX) on "Concerted United Nations action against drug abuse and establishment of a United Nations fund for drug abuse control" in E/5904/Add.1.

17 See General Assembly resolution 2719 (XXV) on "Technical assistance in the field of drug abuse control" in A/8028.

18 See Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its twenty-fourth session (E/5082), paras. 397-559, and E/CN.7/538, Parts I and II and Corr. 1 and 2).

Immediately after its establishment, the Fund started financing, within the limits of the means available, programmes and projects in various fields related to socio-economic aspects of drug control (for details, see the following chapter). It is obviours that a selection had to be made from the great number of projects originally proposed in order to streamline the Fund's activities, to make operations financed by it most effective and to avoid dispression of the funds made available to UNFDAC into too many programmes and projects, as that would risk a loss of impact on the drug problem as a whole.

On the other hand, considerable restrictions, which might be considered regrettable, were also necessary because, since the establishment of UNFDAC, the means from the United Nations regular budget for technical assistance in drug control were gradually phased out and because voluntary contributions to the Fund simply did not, by a long way, keep up with the existing and constantly-increasing needs requests from governments for financial and technical assistance from the Fund, in particular in many areas related to the socio-economic aspects of ddrug control. Since its establishment in 1971 up to 31 July 1977, the status of cash contributions pledged or received by UNFDAC shows, all in all, about US$ 35 million, out of which about US$ 34 million came from contributions made by 70 governments, with only very few major donor countries, and only US$ 20,000 from private contributions. The discrepancy between the total amoutn and the need for financial and technical assistance in that field on a global basis is more than evident. This situation has necessitated the policy-making organs of the United Nations launching constantly urgent appeals to governments to continue to make generous and sustained contributions to UNFDAC. 19 In this respect, the most recent resolution of the Council (2066 (LXII)) adopted in May 1977 on "Co-ordination of technical and financial assistance in areasof illicit production of narcotic raw materials" deserves speical mention. In this resolution, the council invites not only all governments, the competent United Nations organs and organizations and the specialized agencies, but also specifically and once again "other international or multilateral and financial institutions", when considering the applications for development assistance from governments concerned in the progressive elimination of illicit cultivation of narcotic raw materials, to give special attention to programames and projects concerned with providing farmers and other dependent on that illicit cultivation of narcotic raw materials, to give speical attention to programmes and projects concerned with providing farmers and others dependent onthat illicit cultivation with alternative economic and social opportunities, as this could generate supplementary assistance for national economic and social development programmes of the governments concerned and could help them to meet their obligation under the international drug control treaties.

The line of action by the Economic and Social Council has been taken up by the General Assembly itself. On 16 December 1977 it adopted, by 125 votes to none, with 11 abstentions, resolution 32/125 entitled "United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control and its programmes related to economic and social development. In this resolution, the General Assembly expressly endorses resolution 2066 (LXII) of the Economic and Social Council and reiterates its appeal to governments for sustained contributions to UNFDAC by giving due consideration to the economic and social development provided in drug control programmes financed by UNFDAC. Furthermore, the General Assembly urges therein all international or multilateral organizations and institutions concerned with economic and social development aid to co-operate with the United Nations by supporting financially the implementation of such drug control programmes which include sectors dealing with the economic and social development of the areas covered by those programmes, and finally requests the Secretary-General to bring this resolution to the attention of all governments and of the above-mentioned organizations and institutions and to invite them to co-operate in its best possible implementation.

19 The relevant resolutions of the General Assembly: 3012 (XXVII) on "Assistance in Narcotics Control" (see A/8730); 3014 (XXVII) on "United Nations Programme for Drug Abuse Control" (ibid.); 3146 (XXVIII) on "Support for and voluntary contributions to the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control" (see A/9030); 3278 (XXIX) on "Contributions to the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control" (See A/10034). See also the resolutions of the Economic and Social Council" 1664 (LII) on "Concerted United Nations action against drug abuse and activities of the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control" (see E/5683); and 2004 (LX) with the same title (see E/5850).

The fields of activity for which financial and technical assistance would be needed from UNFDAC to finance programmes or projects of social or economic importance have, however, constantly increased. The support by UNFDAC has been called for by the General Assembly for programmes related to "youth and depen-dence-producing drugs" in its resolution 2859 (XXVI) 20for "assistance to the developing countries in the field of narcotics control", 21and for programmes concerned with the technical and economic aspects of the use of the poppy straw process and other techniques as more effective means to control the illicit drug traffic. 22 In addition, in May 1977, the Council, in its resolution 2065 (LXII), asked for "special attention to be devoted to African countries in preventing and combating abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances" and invited the Secretary-General to ensure that the various specialized bodies of the United Nations and the specialized agencies assign to those countries some measure of priority in programmes designed to combat drug abuse, particularly in such fields as epidemiological and sociological surveys, technical assistance, personnel training, regional seminars, regional co-operation, treatment, social rehabilitation and reintegration, information and education, and crop replacement.

In most recent years, the necessity to take measures to reduce the illicit demand for drugs has increasingly been recognized. 23 Upon the Commission's recommendation, the Council, convinced that measures to reduce the illicit supply of drugs cannot be effective in the long run unless measures are also taken concurrently to reduce the illicit demand for drugs and recognizing the humanitarian necessity of helping victims of drug abuse by their treatment as a first step, requested in its resolution 1934 (LVIII) on "Measures to reduce illicit demand for drugs" adopted in 1975, 24 inter alia, "that the World Health Organization, with the aid of the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control and other appropriate sources, assist governments financially and technically, within the limits of available resources, according to their request, to apply treatment and rehabilitation measures". The Commission on Narcotic Drugs, in 1976, devoted special attention to the problem of drug abuse and to measures to reduce illicit demand, requested technical assistance to governments in drug abuse assessment, and asked the Director of the Division of Narcotic Drugs to make a necessary study on measures to reduce illicit demand for drugs. 25 UNFDAC was called upon to support those activities and was also requested to devote duc attention to the development of projects related to the control of psychotropic substances. 26

20 See A/8429.

21 General Assembly resolution 3145 (XXVIII) (A/9030).

22See General Assembly resolution 3279 (XXIX) on "Abuse and Illicit Traffic in narcotic drugs" (A/9631).

23 See Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its twenty-sixth session (E/5639, paras. 309-385).

24See E/5683.

Very recently, on 16 December 1977, the General Assembly, in its resolution 32/124 entitled "Narcotic drugs: international co-operation in treatment and rehabilitation", invited UNFDAC also to initiate, in collaboration with WHO and other appropriate agencies and bodies of the United Nations, actions to design models for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, taking into account the diversity of cultures in which drug abuse exists, for the purpose of identifying and demonstrating the best techniques for assisting drug abusers in order to facilitate the work of national authorities in reducing drug abuse. The General Assembly further invited those organizations to study thc feasibility of establishing treatment and rehabilitation centres to care for individuals suffering from addiction and abuse and to train persons to apply the best methodologies in this field. By the same resolution, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), other appropriate agencies and bodies of the United Nations and international or multilateral financial institutions engaged in development assistance are also invited by the General Assembly to co-operate with and assist UNFDAC, in accordance with request from governments, in the commissioning of pilot projects aimed at providing farmers who had relied on growing narcotics raw material as their principal source of income with other ways and means of income in areas where the illicit cultivation and production of such narcotics raw material shall gradually be eradicated in accordance with the decisions of the governments concerned. Governments themselves are invited by the General Assembly in this resolution to consider the inclusion of projects designed to promote economic alternatives for farmers and others who are dependent on illicit production of narcotic substances, as additional and integrated components in their economic development programmes when applying for technical and financial assistance from multilateral institutions. Finally, the General Assembly requests, in its resolution 32/124, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to study, at the latter's fifth special session in February 1978, the possibility of launching a meaningful programme of international drug abuse control strategy and policies, including the possibility of integrating therein existing policies, or envisaged development assistance programmes.

Intensified efforts and closest co-operation between thc national and the international levels are also called for, in particular with regard to the reduction of the illicit demand for drugs, by the General Assembly in its resolution 32/126 entitled "Intensified and co-ordinated efforts to fight the illicit traffic in and illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropie substances" and also adopted on 16 December 1977.

25See Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its fourth special session (E/5771, paras. 260-305), and in particular the Commission's decisions 7, 8 and 9 (S-IV) in chap. XV of that report.

26 Ibid., chap. XV, decision 4 (S-IV). See also the Council's resolution 2064 (LXII) on "Reduction of illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances", adopted in May 1977, as well as resolution 1 (XXVII) on "Programmes for Drug Abuse Control" and decision 1 (XXVII) on "continuation of the study on measures to reduce illicit demand for drugs" adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its twenty-seventh session in February 1977; see report on that session (E/5933, chap. XVI.A and B).

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the policy-making organs of the United Nations have given constantly-increasing attention to the socio-economic aspects of drug control and have entrusted the Secretary-General, and through him the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control and the Division of Narcotic Drugs, as well as the specialized agencies of the United Nations system, with a broad mandate to finance and to carry out programmes and projects directly and indirectly related to those aspects.

UNFDAC itself does not execute any of the programmes and projects, but proposals in this respect, whether originating from one of the specialized agencies, the Division of Narcotic Drugs, governments or other sources, are submitted to the Executive Director of UNFDAC, who refers them for technical evaluation and advice to the Director of the Division of Narcotic Drugs, who, together with his staff, serves as the principal source of professional and technical advice in narcotic matters to UNFDAC. After that evaluation and advice by the Division on any project proposal, UNFDAC decides whether or not it will finance it, selects the executing agency for the implementation of the project and makes the final evaluation of the project, with the possibility of an interim evaluation in the case of a longer-term project. 27 There is therefore a close and constant co-operation, on all programmes and projects concerning socio-economic aspects of drug control to be financed by the united Nations through the extra-budgetary resources coming from UNFDAC, between that Fund and the Division of Narcotic Drugs, which in fact has become, over the years, in addition to the specialized agencies of the United Nations system, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the main executing agency for the operational implementation of most of the programmes and projects financed by UNFDAC.

Since the establishment of UNFDAC and the inception of the programmes and projects financed by it, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs has constantly reviewed the latter, as well as UNFDAC's activities in general, for which the Commission has continued to issue policy guidelines. 28

Socio-economic programmes and projects of the United Nations

Looking at the programmes and projects of the United Nations related to drug control and financed by UNFDAC, it has to be kept in mind that, as pointed out earlier, they were and are intended as supplementary measures to the international drug control system as established by the various treaties. Some of those programmes and projects are therefore also concerned with the strengthening of control measures, both at the international and mainly at the national levels, although the majority of them are directly related to the socio-economic aspects of drug control.

27 See the organizational structure and arrangements for the co-operation between the Division of Narcotic Drugs and UNFDAC, both located in Geneva, as set forth in the Statement by the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its twenty-fifth session, reproduced in annex IV to the report on that session (E/5248). With regard to "Evaluation of projects supported by UNFDAC", see the relevant resolution 2 (S-IV) of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in chapter XIV of its report on its fourth special session (E/5771).

28 See reports of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its: twenty-fourth session, 1971 (E/5082, paras. 368-396 and 397-559); twenty-fifth session, 1973 (E/5248, paras. 294-310 and 311-331); third special session, 1974 (E/5458, paras. 241-254); twenty-sixth session, 1975 (E/5639, paras. 99-141); fourth special session, 1976 (E/5771, paras. 66-108); twenty-seventh session, 1977 (E/5933, paras. 460-502). With regard to the issuing of policy guidelines by the Commission to UNFDAC, see also decision 5 (S-IV) in chapter XV of the Commission's report on its fourth special session (E/5771) and decision 8 (XXVII) in chapter XVI of the Commission's report on its twenty-seventh session (E/5933) on "Machinery for the issuing of policy guidelines by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control".

Out of the total number of 88 programmes and projects financed by UNFDAC, 21 have been completed and the remaining 67 are either at present being implemented or their implementation is envisaged during 1977-1978 or during subsequent years. As it is impossible to go into the details of all those programmes and projects, reference is made, as to their contents and relevant data, to the most recent "Report of the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control for 1976", which had been submitted to the Commission at its twenty-seventh session, 39 and to the additional document prepared by the Division of Narcotic Drugs for the same purpose, on "Individual progress reports on operations financed by the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control, 1971-1976". 30 In the following, only the main sectors covered by those programmes and projects can and will be mentioned; the percentage figures given for actual and estimated expenditure by sectors cover the whole of the period from 1971 to 1978.

The programmes and projects related to the strengthening of control measures deal with the following areas: international control and co-operation; national legislation and regulations; law enforcement and laboratory services; and national policy planning and administration. Technical advice and financial assistance are given to governments through those projects mainly carried out by the Division of Narcotic Drugs which, e.g. provides legal advice and assistance in drafting national laws and regulations, training of law enforcement officers through its Central Training Unit, and training and expertise for national laboratory services through the United Nations Narcotics Laboratory. The actual and estimated expenditure for the sector of the strengthening of control measures for the period 1971-1978, makes 36.8 per cent of the total amount of UNFDAC's resources. 31

Leaving aside the actual and estimated expenditure for necessary research in chemical, pharmacological, medical, sociological and other related areas, which amounts to 8.5 per cent of the total resources of UNFDAC, it has to be stressed, in the context with which this paper is concerned, that the bulk of the resources of UNFDAC is devoted to programmes and projects related to the socio-economic aspects of drug control, totalling 42.2 per cent of UNFDAC's resources. 32

The socio-economic programmes and projects of the United Nations in that field are concerned with two main areas: the reduction of illicit demand with 15.3 per cent of actual and estimated expenditure for the period 1971-1978, and the reduction of illicit supply with 26.9 per cent for the same period. 33

In the sector of reduction of illicit demand, programmes and projects are firstly concerned with prevention through education and information aiming at removing the widespread ignorance about dependence-producing drugs and alerting young people to the risks of drug misuse. Those programmes have been extended, at the request of governments, to South-East Asia, Latin America and Africa, and it can be expected that this component will increase even more in future. Secondly, they are more and more concerned with the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts or drug abusers. This second component of the reduction of the illicit demand sector is supporting treatment and rehabilitation measures in on-going as well as projected country programmes in Afghanistan, Burma, Laos, Pakistan and Thailand.

29 See E/CN.7/596.

30See E/CN.7/596/Add.2.

31 See E/CN.7/596, annex I.

32 Ibid., it should be noted that only 12.5 per cent of the total resources of UNFDAC are allowed for actual and estimated programme development and fund administration costs.

33 Ibid.

With regard to the sector of reduction of illicit supply, considerable progress has been made in assisting governments whose territories are sources of illicit cultivation of narcotic raw materials and thus also involved in the relevant international illicit traffic including opium, morphine, heroin, cannabis etc. In the context of country programmes in Burma, Lebanon, Pakistan and Thailand, with similar programmes intended for Afghanistan and Laos, efforts have mainly, and partly already very successfully, been made to persuade farmers living from such illicit cultivation to abandon it and to replace it by providing them with alternative crops for cultivation and other economic ways and means of income. This sector, to which the highest percentage is attributed within the scope of the socio-economic projects of the United Nations related to drug control, has so far helped very much to solve the economic problems in the relevant areas of the countries concerned and, in its results, has also contributed to the general economic development of the villages and farmers involved in those projects, which are likely to be on the increase, as the experience so far gained recommends them as models for action to be taken also in other countries which similar conditions and problems.

With regard to the concept of country programmes which UNFDAC and the Division of Narcotic Drugs have followed wherever possible and in agreement with the government concerned, it should be stressed that they are aimed at embracing all the relevant socio-economic aspects related to drug control. In the existing programmes, the agricultural and economic aspects are included, as well as prevention, treatment and rehabilitation measures needed to cope with drug abuse and to reduce illicit demand for drugs. Special mention has to be made here of the Division's longest country programme in this field, namely the UN/Thai Programme for Drug Abuse Control in Thailand, which was favourably evaluated by an outside evaluation team and was also commended by others as a promising approach. 34 It should, however, also be kept in mind that those country pro-grammes carried out by the Division of Narcotic Drugs and financed by UNFDAC were from the beginning, and still are, only intended as so-called "pilot projects" limited in time and aiming at demonstrating in selected areas of concern a valuable approach to cope with the drug problem and to control it better by including in those programmes the necessary socio-economic measures. Such programmes have finally to be taken over entirely by the governments themselves, either out of their own resources or with greater assistance from other bilateral or multilateral resources, as UNFDAC's limited funds do not permit their continued financing.

In the field of drug abuse and measures to reduce demand, which has been emphasized in the last few years much more than in the past, as pointed out in the preceding chapter, the Division of Narcotic Drugs, in co-operation with WHO and other competent agencies, and with financial assistance from UNFDAC, has also increased its activities. A manual on drug abuse assessment has been prepared which is intended to provide technical assistance in drug abuse assessment to governments concerned, in order to improve the formulation of meaningful drug control policies in their countries and also their reporting on drug abuse to the United Nations. Furthermore, the study on measures to reduce illicit demand for drugs, 35 submitted by the Director or the Division to the twenty-seventh session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, will be continued in accordance with the wishes of the Commission and the Economic and Social Council, and a resource book on measures to reduce the illicit demand for drugs, which should provide practical information in a form that could assist interested countries in financing and implementing programmes in the areas of assessment, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, is now being prepared by the Division. 36

34 See the Commission's discussion on that subject in its report on its fourth special session (E/5771, paras. 66-108). See also the article by J. Nepote, Secretary-General of ICPO/Interpol, "In the Golden Triangle with a Handful of Dollars" in Bulletin on Narcotics, XXVIII: 1, page 1, United Nations, Geneva.

Due to the entry into force on 16 August 1976 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, it can be expected that programmes and projects, so far not in existence but specifically related to the implementation of that Convention, will be developed by interested governments, the Division of Narcotic Drugs or other agencies concerned, in pursuance of the wishes already expressed in that respect by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. 37 It should, however, be noted that already existing programmes and projects in other sectors, such as strengthening of control measures, reduction of illicit demand, and research, provide governments with assistance in dealing also with the increasing illicit traffic and abuse of psychotropic substances.

Concluding observations

It can be concluded from the foregoing that the United Nations Organization has made, over the last two decades, considerable and constantly-increasing efforts, first, in providing technical assistance to governments to control narcotic drugs, and thereafter, since the establishment of UNFDAC in 1971, in developing socio-economic programmes and projects related to drug control or including socio-economic aspects in its programmes related to strengthening national and international drug control. Undoubtedly, the implementation of those programmes and projects has contributed considerably to the improvement of the drug control situation and has helped governments willing to co-operate therein to cope with their drug problems, and the results of those programmes and projects have been beneficial to the international community as a whole.

This achievement is to be appreciated even more in view of the given fact that the funds available to UNFDAC for financing programmes and projects, in particular when they have to deal with socio-economic aspects of drug control and thus inevitably become bigger in size and more costly, are rather limited compared with the constant growth of the drug problem in most parts of the world and the consequential increase in needs encountered by governments, in particular of the developing countries, to cope with that problem.

35See E/CN.7/602.

36See the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its twenty-seventh session (E/5933, paras. 48-57 and chap. XVI, resolution 1 (XXVII) and decision 1 (XXVII)). See also resolution 2064 (LXII) of the Economic and Social Council on "Reduction of illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances".

37See report of the Commission on its fourth special session (E/5771, chap. XV, decision 4 (S-IV) entitled "Developments of projects related to the control of psychotropic substances").

Any criticism to the effect that not enough has been done by the United Nations Organization and that much more action from its side was needed, would be wrongly addressed to the Organization itself, which has made the best possible use of the limited resources available. Any elimination or even cessation of such programmes and projects would be highly detrimental to governments concerned and to the international community as a whole, as this would indeed mean a severe blow to the international drug control system itself which those programmes and projects are aimed at supplementing and strengthening. In order to conceive and implement even better and larger programmes and projects, including the socio-economic aspects of drug control, greater and more continuous voluntary contributions to UNFDAC, whether from governments or from private contributors, are however required. The results thus far achieved by UNFDAC, the Division of Narcotic Drugs and the other agencies involved in continuing or completed programmes and projects have shown that such contributions would be well spent because, through greater and continuous contributions, improved concerted action by the United Nations would become possible, with justified expectation of a larger impact and better results in the world-wide struggle to cope with the drug problem through the strengthening of the international drug control system. But in order to achieve this, it is necessary that the constant appeals launched by the policy-making organs of the United Nations for generous and continuous contributions to UNFDAC should, in future, have a greater response than in the past.