Projections for the future development of international drug control policies


Substantive balance in policy objectives
Political balance in policy objectives
Projections for future policy developments
Enhanced co-operation between law enforcement and judicial agencies
Handling of bulk seizures of drugs and precursors
Detained persons and offenders convicted of drug-related offences
Adaptation of demand reduction techniques to specific target groups
Developments in trafficking network organization


Pages: 3 to 14
Creation Date: 1990/01/01

Projections for the future development of international drug control policies

T. M. OPPENHEIMER Secretary-General, International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illici tTrafficking and former Director, United Nations Division of Narcotic Drugs


With the adoption of the Declaration and the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control by the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (ICDAIT) in 1987 and the formulation in 1988 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the United Nations has made significant contributions to international drug control policy, in line with its responsibilities under article 55 of the Charter.

Governments are acting, separately and through regional and other collective organizations, to adapt these policies to their own particular needs and to make the legislative changes needed to enable ratification of the new Convention. Simultaneously, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs continues to carry out its policy-making function by identifying areas of concern on which consensus can be achieved as well as appropriate techniques for achieving effective international co-operation as foreseen in the Charter of the United Nations.

The present article draws attention to recent developments pointing to possible areas of policy formulation. These include enhanced co- operation of law enforcement agencies with overlapping jurisdictions; judicial methodology and inter-system co-operation to follow on from seizures from the illicit traffic and detention of suspects to consideration of treatment methodology; and adaptation of demand reduction tech- niques to target groups beyond the reach of formal educational insti- tutions.

The trend towards horizontal integration of trafficking networks is examined in the context of indications linking illicit traffic in psychotropic substances to the production and trade of chemical weapons, such as poison gas, and to the cultivation of new markets in response to the saturation of certain North American markets for specific illicit drugs.


In recent sessions of intergovernmental bodies considering the matter of drug abuse control at the international level, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs has received well-merited praise for its consensus-building activities as the Preparatory Body for the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (ICDAIT), held at Vienna from 17-26 June 1987 [ 1] , and for its effective leadership in the speedy and successful formulation of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, culminating in the adoption of the new Convention in December 1988 by the plenipotentiary conference convened for that purpose [ 2] .

The work accomplished by the Commission in recent years has been carried out in pursuit of the objectives set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, which in Article 55 provides that the United Nations shall promote "solutions of international economic, social, health and related problems". The problem of drug abuse control does indeed provide the Organization with a challenge encompassing the full range of economic, social and health problems mentioned in Article 55; the ramifications of "related problems" range from judicial considerations and domestic political concerns to interaction of policies of the several regional groups that now play a significant role in policy-making at the international level.

Substantive balance in policy objectives

When, in February 1986, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, in its role as Preparatory Body, approved the basic plan for the Comprehensive Multi- disciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control ([I], para. 18) subsequently adopted by the 1987 Conference, its role was at once substantive and political.

In the substantive sense, the Commission decided at that point that the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline should be both balanced and comprehensive, and that no single aspect of the drug problem should be considered in isolation.

By this decision, the Preparatory Body balanced the traditional concern of the international community with the control of the supply of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and the illicit traffic with an equal concern for prevention of the demand for those drugs and substances and the reduction of drug abuse. In addition, the Preparatory Body decided that the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers should be accorded equal importance as the fourth element of international drug control policy. Since 1987, these two policy decisions have already released considerable programming activities in the United Nations family of organizations and have called forth responsive action at the national level by official and non-governmental agencies and organizations. Recognition of the crucial role of community-level activity in demand reduction has acted as a spur to enhanced efforts in all regions, since drug demand is unfortunately an inseparable concomitant of drug trafficking and illicit production.

The distinction drawn between demand reduction and treatment and rehabilitation of abusers is likely to take on greater significance as national policies and programmes evolve. In earlier years, prevention and treatment were frequently lumped together, as the main emphasis was placed on the prevention of recidivism on the part of drug abusers and addicts who had undergone treatment. More recently, a growing awareness of the importance of preventing the first use of drugs of abuse has led to the development of programmes specifically designed for groups at risk other than recognized abusers and addicts. This enlargement of preventive programmes has, in turn, made it possible to enlist a wide range of skills at the community level; sports and media organizations, private corporations, civic groups and professional associations have developed their own efforts for prevention, joining those in the medical and therapeutic community working specifically on prevention of recidivism.

Political balance in policy objectives

The balanced approach embodied in the Declaration of the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and in the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities [ 3] , in addition to its substantive importance to programme development, has considerable political significance at the regional level. Concern over the alarming spread of drug abuse and drug- related crime has centred in past years almost exclusively on production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and substances derived from natural plants, primarily the opium poppy, the coca bush and the marijuana plant. Such statistics as have been gathered focused, in turn, on seizures and arrests made in the context of trafficking in opium and heroin, cocaine and "crack", and marijuana and hashish.

Until quite recently, drug trafficking was widely regarded as moving from South to North and attention was focused on approaches based on interdicting traffic from sources primarily in developing countries destined for lucrative markets in countries with more developed economies. This perception, and the interdiction activities that ensued, in turn elicited marked resentment in regions already struggling with the depredations of trafficking groups and the disruption of both economic and governmental structures and of development programmes consequent on illicit growth and illicit manufacture. The recognition in 1987 by the international community that demand reduction was of equal concern and had acquired equal programme priority with supply control and illicit trafficking was of particular political significance in rallying all Governments and regional groups to participate in the comprehensive and balanced programme advocated by the Conference.

A further political advance at the 1987 Conference was recognition by a significant number of States, and particularly by several European States not yet parties to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, of the need to ratify or accede to that Convention with the least possible delay ( [ 1] , paras. 98 and 99, [ 4] , para. 20). This development gains added significance in view of developments subsequent to the Conference and the concern expressed at the 1989 session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs over the "illicit movement of psychotropic substances from Europe to other parts of the world" ( [ 5] , para. 42; also [ 4] , paras. 25 and 26). Similar concerns were voiced by the International Narcotics Control Board in its report for 1988 urging European States not yet parties to the 1971 Convention to take the necessary legislative measures to adhere to it.

The recommendations of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs not only reverberate at several levels but also contribute to significant developments in legal systems and in judicial norms relating to the laws of property. These have, in turn, been reflected in the 'construction and terminology of the newly adopted United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic and Psychotropic Substances [ 2] . While the commentary on this new Convention remains to be written, several articles, including those on confiscation of proceeds derived from the series of criminal offences defined in the text, on extradition and on mutual legal assistance, already represent important developments in inter- national consensus on the mechanisms of applying international law ( [ 5] , para. 10). That the provisions of the Convention will also entail considerable effort at the national level to enact appropriate legal provisions underlines its innovative elements ( [ 5] , para. 13), and its signature by some 50 States within three months of its adoption testifies to the political will of the international community to take practical steps to achieve a coordinated response to drug trafficking.

It is, in fact, this strengthening of political will on the part of the international drug control community as a whole that gives the greatest cause to expect continued advances, as the implications of the work of the Conference and the adoption of the new Convention are reflected in the enlarged agenda of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

This firmness of purpose is also being carried over to the work of other bodies and specialized agencies in the United Nations family and of the growing number of intergovernmental and regional organs whose mandates include elements of drug control activity; a number of these activities are reported on in the present issue of the Bulletinand figure in annual reports to the Commission itself.

Projections for future policy developments

The customary technique for development of international standard- setting and of techniques for international action is a slow and deliberate process. Work on the principles for confiscation of the illegally acquired proceeds of drug trafficking, to cite one recent example, began in the United Nations in the early 1980s and gathered momentum in 1983 with a special issue of the Bulletin on Narcotics devoted to analysis of the implications of forfeiture of the proceeds of drug crimes [ 6] . The principles for building consensus were then evolved through discussions by two expert groups convened by the Division of Narcotic Drugs at the request of the Commission in 1983 [ 7] and in 1984 [ 8] . The urgent need to take specific action against the burgeoning menace of the illicit drug traffic impelled the General Assembly, in its resolution 39/141 of 14 December 1984, to support the initiative of the Venezuelan Government calling for a convention against illicit trafficking in drugs, and the work already done on the matter of forfeiture of the proceeds of drug crimes was carried forward into the drafting procedures for the new convention. Article 5 of the Convention against Illicit Traffic [ 2] is therefore the culmination of some eight years of steady work. In terms of identifying consensus on norms of international behaviour and then formulating provisions to give effect to those norms in an international treaty, this work on forfeiture of the proceeds of drug crimes was accomplished over a fairly short time span.

Looking then to the future of consensus-building and to the identification of possible areas that the international drug control community may consider useful in terms of standard-setting and collective action, several themes appear in 1989 to present themselves as interesting areas for further international action. Projecting beyond the recent decisions and discussions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its 1988 and 1989 sessions, it would, for example, seem likely that the Commission will carry forward its interest in the results of effective law enforcement to encompass the human problems involved in handling persons arrested for drug-related offences, in addition to addressing the security, disposal and legal considerations involved in handling bulk seizures of drugs. A significant increase in the number of detainees and convicted offenders is also likely to generate further initiatives in relation to the administration of justice and to spur research into improving methodology for treatment of drug addiction. It would seem probable that recent technical advances developed in several countries to assess the extent of drug abuse certain population groups will, in turn, evoke increased interest in the refinement of demand reduction methodology, going beyond the generalized approach to address the specific needs of groups at special risk in the community. A fourth area likely to engage the concern of the international community is the perceived trend towards horizontal integration of inter- national trafficking groups, which bodes ill for national law enforcement and judicial institutions unless their capacity to act is fortified by improved techniques for judicial assistance and co-operation.

These four elements are, of course, far from being the only themes likely to engage future concern. They do, however, seem likely to develop sequentially from matters now engaging the attention of the Commission and to present opportunities for the Commission in the exercise of its classic functions as the clearing-house for new developments and as the principal policy-making organ in the international drug abuse control community.

Enhanced co-operation between law enforcement and judicial agencies

The stimulus given by the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities and by the new Convention to devising more effective methods for bringing traffickers to justice has already been manifested at the national and regional levels. 1 In the related areas of crime prevention and the administration of criminal justice, the agenda of the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, to be held in 1990, includes an item on effective national and international action against organized crime. The discussion guide drawn up in preparation for the Congress features a penetrating analysis of the implications of transnational crime, and especially in relation to judicial institutions and to banking systems ( [ 9] , paras. 43-48). The Congress itself will consider the draft bilateral model treaties on mutual assistance in criminal matters and on extradition ( [ 10] , annexes I and II). The Economic and Social Council, in a recent resolution, has also recommended that the Eighth Congress finalize the texts of several model treaties, together with other draft models, for procedures that have A bearing on the handling of drug-related crimes. The principles underlying the draft model agreements on the transfer of supervision of offenders who have been conditionally sentenced or conditionally released could, for example, be expected to make a significant impact on the handling of the legal aspects of drug-related criminal offences with transnational implications.

1See, for example, in paragraph 16 of the report on the thirty-third session of the Commission (5), the reference to the revision of multilateral extradition treaties between the countries of the Andean region.

An enlarged structure for bilateral and multilateral co-operation can thus be said to be taking shape, and there are promising prospects for future development.

In actual practice, the concerted efforts of the multiplicity of national law enforcement agencies have already borne extraordinary results: some individual seizures of drugs from the illicit traffic are now measured by the tonne rather than by pounds or kilograms, and the number of suspects and offenders being brought before the courts for drug-related crimes has in many countries been found to exceed arrests and detentions for other forms of criminal activity. These results testify to the skill and the determination of law enforcement personnel, who constitute the first agencies in the chain of the criminal justice institutions that confront the drug traffickers and confiscate the evidence of their illicit activities. Both the evidence and the suspects, however, pose consequential problems for courts and penal institutions as drug-related cases move through the judicial process. These considerations are not simply those created by the volume of cases, although the pressure on institutional capacities to deal with the case-loads is a serious matter, particularly in developing countries. Handling of evidence and management of detained persons and of convicted offenders create situations peculiar to drug-related offences, and these considerations are now beginning to manifest themselves in international discussions as well as in the work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Handling of bulk seizures of drugs and precursors

First broached at the 1987 Conference, where the difficulties and possible courses of action were summarized in target 21 of the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities ([I], paras. 266-270), the question of handling bulk seizures of drugs and precursors was considered by the Commission in 1989 at the request of the meeting of Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA) for the region of Asia and the Pacific ( [ 11] , recommendation 1). Since laws and regulations in some States require holding the seizure in its entirety pending investigation and trial, the handling of the evidence requires stringent security. In the intervening period there is a serious risk that the drugs may be leaked back into the illicit traffic. The use of samples rather than of the evidence in its entirety could serve to overcome these particular obstacles, but the pre-trial use of this technique may in some jurisdictions create legal difficulties. In addition, acceptable techniques will need to be established for deriving samples admissible as evidence before the courts, and ecologically and environmentally safe methods of destruction will need to be identified for the various substances.

The Commission has asked the Division of Narcotic Drugs to look into these matters ( [ 5] , par. 107), and it may be anticipated that the Commission will in due course formulate recommendations for legislative action at the national level and for standardized methods for sampling as well as for the destruction of bulk seizures from the illicit traffic.

Detained persons and offenders convicted of drug-related offences

In addition to bulk seizures, intensified activity to interdict illicit trafficking bears results in the sad harvest of persons detained for drug-related offences. The percentage of drug-related crimes to the total number of criminal actions has assumed alarming proportions in many countries; in some more affluent societies, drug-related crimes account for well over half the total number of criminal offences. This trend is compounded by the strategies of the trafficking networks, which consider their couriers and minor distributors to be expendable tools, easily replaced by others from the underclass's of both urban and rural communities along the trafficking routes. Thus, national criminal justice systems are confronted by steady, and sometimes overwhelming, increases in the number of detained persons awaiting trial and, eventually, in the number of offenders convicted of drug-related offences.

The question of the management of the criminal justice system as a whole concerns a number of organs and entities in the United Nations system, including the Commission on Human Rights and the Committee for Crime Prevention and Control, as well as the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute 2 and the related network of institutes organized on a regional basis. This question will be considered in 1990 by the Eighth Congress, where it will figure as topic 2, "Criminal justice policies in relation to problems of imprisonment, other penal sanctions and alternative measures" [ 9] .

Overcrowding in prisons, delays in the administration of justice and the consequences of imperilling the right to a speedy trial, discretionary powers of prosecutors and consistency of sentencing policies are all matters of close concern in the treatment of persons accused or convicted of drug-related offences. There are, however, several other considerations which are also of immediate relevance to the work and responsibilities of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and which are likely to engage the Commission's concern as public attention focuses on the human and fiscal consequences of successful interdiction of the illicit traffic.

One obvious concern is the maintenance of a drug-free environment in prisons and penal institutions. It is clearly self-defeating to invest heavily in interdiction efforts and then to maintain detainees and offenders in institutions where inadequate security may allow them access to illicit substances. This defiance of the law draws contempt on criminal justice procedures and negates the useful deterrent effects of the perception that arrest and detention will surely follow contravention of the law. 3 The need to ensure the use of appropriate detection techniques and surveillance methods is therefore likely to become a priority consideration for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and in some jurisdictions will probably entail development of closer co-operation between law enforcement agencies and prison administrations. The use of drug- scenting dogs and chemical detectors, combined with enhanced surveillance techniques for deliveries and for visitors to penal institutions, would also be helpful in getting the message across to a wider public that the administrations mean business.

2Formerly the United Nations Social Defence and Research Institute.

A second consideration relates to recidivism, both in relation to repeated offences and to relapse into drug abuse by offenders who have served their sentences. Repeated offences recycle the same offenders through the criminal justice system, at great human cost and at considerable expense to the taxpayer. Relapse into the misuse of drugs leads back into the dreary syndrome of drug- related crime and erases the benefits of whatever treatment efforts may have been initiated during detention.

From the point of view of drug abuse control, the purposes of society and the well-being of the individual would be best served if appropriate penal sanctions were supplemented by effective treatment for drug addiction and if release dates could be predicated on the successful completion of such treatment. Given the medical and therapeutic techniques now available for the treatment of abuse and addiction, this optimum course is as yet far from attainable. ICDAIT, in establishing objectives for "care for drug-addicted offenders within the criminal justice and prison system" ( [ 3] , chap. 1, sect. A, paras. 333-337 and 396-407), recognized wide gaps in determining the extent of drug-related crime, of recidivism and other indicators that would enable national prison administrators to undertake appropriate planning. At the same time, the Conference recognized that the development of treatment policy is difficult and complex, in view of the social, cultural and environmental factors involved and the need for multidisciplinary co-operation of a wide range of experts from several specialities.

In addition to the conceptual and co-ordination challenges posed by treatment for drug addiction, policy makers also have to contend with an undeniably high rate of relapse following whatever course of treatment may now be in use, as well as the high costs of multidisciplinary treatment strategies. While it can be argued that high treatment costs should be offset against the even higher costs to society of drug-related crime, the competing and related impact of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) on available care and treatment resources is in any event likely to set limits to the capacity of a national health-care system to treat drug addiction in penal institutions.

Countering these gloomy prospects are the emerging possibilities for developing psychoactive drugs designed to control cravings for specific drugs of abuse and to block their euphoric effects. While methadone has been used for some time in several countries as a legal substitute for heroin, its efficacy is not universally accepted, the more so as the drug itself is addictive; misuse of prescriptions has also in some cases added to the problems of law enforcement. Research now under way on psychoactive drugs that is targeted on cocaine addiction [ 12] 4 may, however, lead to the discovery of useful supplements to current treatment methods, which could facilitate abstinence while more traditional psychotherapy is introduced.

3See, for example, F. Bruno, Combating Drug Abuse and Related Crime, United Nations Social Defence Research Institute, Publication No. 21 (Rome, Fratelli Palombi Editori, June 1984).

Current work along these lines is mainly being undertaken by university research centres and in research laboratories. In view of the relevance of this research to drug abuse control policy, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, as well as the World Health Organization, is likely to pay special attention to developments specifically related to cocaine addiction and to encourage research into psychoactive drugs designed to counteract other abused sub- stances. In effect, "designer drugs" can also be created to help society and to release abusers from the daily and deadly blackmail of addiction. The need for medical supplements to psychotherapeutic treatment is particularly acute for addicts and abusers from disadvantaged families and communities, as these people are vulnerable to relapse after treatment, whether it is provided in medical or in penal institutions.

Adaptation of demand reduction techniques to specific target groups

Comparing the surge in numbers of detained persons to the encouraging statistics on declining drug abuse in secondary school and university popu- lations in developed economies in North America, similar optimism cannot as yet be justified for out-of-school groups, particularly for underclass populations beyond the reach of the formal educational network.

In the United States of America, drug use among young people in secondary schools and college declined in 1988, according to a survey by the Institute for- Social Research at Ann Arbor, Michigan [ 13] . This survey noted declines in the use of both cocaine and crack cocaine, as well as a continuing and gradual decline in the use of marijuana, notwithstanding the ready availability of these substances. The authors of the survey observed that the successes have thus not been achieved through supply reduction and are attributable almost entirely to a reduction in demand. This reduction in demand is, in turn, attributed to an increasing perception of the great risks involved in abuse of these drugs. The perceived harmfulness of marijuana and cocaine is considered to have been significantly enhanced by greatly increased media coverage and by the deaths of two popular sports stars, both caused by cocaine( [ 13] , pp. 120-127).

Canada's Health Promotion Survey for 1985 (141, covering the entire population with the exception of the North West Territories and full-time residents of such institutions as hospitals and prisons, noted that the use of marijuana products appeared to be levelling off, as most Canadians now believe that the occasional use of marijuana is harmful. The Survey observed ( [ 14] , p. 55) that while an "information saturation" point might have been

4The drugs now under review for this purpose include carbamazepine, desipramine and the so-called "calcium blockers". reached, it was important to maintain this level of awareness. Cocaine use in Canada was apparently much lower at the time of the Survey than in the corresponding year in the United States.

These surveys are, of course, not strictly comparable: the United States survey is limited to students in secondary schools and to young adults previously surveyed, and the Canadian Survey, while having wider coverage, was restricted to the use of sleeping pills, stimulants, tranquillizers, cocaine and marijuana products. Nonetheless, it would seem reasonable to infer that information campaigns, including intensive use of the media, have had positive effects in reducing and in deterring drug abuse in accessible segments of the population.

This cautious conclusion bears out the policy recommendations made over many years by the international drug control community and also leads into logical extensions for policy development. While, for example, demand reduction techniques are seen to be taking effect for groups within range of educational institutions and generalized media campaigns in the North American context, these techniques have not as yet proven effective in preventing drug abuse in groups beyond the reach of school systems and of media campaigns directed to the public at large. The perception would therefore seem to lead to the conclusion that there is a need to target specialized efforts at other groups at risk, especially school drop-outs, older age groups and disadvantaged persons living in poverty-stricken and urban conditions. 5

In addition, in view of shifts in drug demand and the consequent search of the trafficking networks for new and susceptible markets, it may be useful to couple specialized campaigns on the dangers of drug abuse to health with unmistakable information on the methods used by drug traffickers to intimidate small-time drug pushers and to abandon them on arrest. Realistic presentations of abusive and illegal behaviour patterns and their consequences may prove helpful in shattering the common rationalization that the odds can be beaten and that the known discomforts of addiction and imprisonment can be discounted. 6

To achieve these policy objectives, much closer collaboration needs to be developed between the many disciplines and skills involved in demand reduction campaigns, law enforcement and prison administration. Interdisci- plinary sessions involving media personnel, professional associations, labour unions, corporate management and religious leaders, and medical and educational specialists could be encouraged to develop individualized cam- paigns targeted at specific groups in the national, municipal or local communities.

5It is in this context interesting to note that public awareness campaigns in the United States on the dangers of AIDS have also been relatively successful in educated and middle-to- higher income population strata, and that disadvantaged groups continue to be at greater risk from unsafe practices notwithstanding educational and media campaigns.

6See Pedro R. David, ed., The World of the Burglar (Albuquerque, New Mexico, University of New Mexico Press, 1974), pp. 6-7.

Developments in trafficking network organization

The need for carefully devised plans for reduction of first use of drugs and of drug abuse in defined groups at risk takes on added urgency as drug trafficking networks move to integrate their activities across regions and to tighten their grip on widely extended distribution systems. This trend towards horizontal integration of networks that are already far advanced in vertical integration is a distorted reflection of the mergers in the legitimate world of business. The power of the illicit traffickers to intimidate people and institutions within their reach bodes ill for the communities and the individual drug abusers caught in the meshes of the trafficking networks.

A further ominous development emerged from inquiries into assistance provided to chemical weapons facilities in developing countries. In addition to prosecution for involvement in the manufacture of poison gas an official of the firm based in the Federal Republic of Germany that was allegedly identified as the source of this assistance was arrested in connection with the illegal production of the amphetamine derivative MDMA ("Ecstasy") for export to the United States [ 15] .

This linkage of illegal arms with illicit drug trafficking is not a new phenomenon. This type of infiltration into the legitimate world of business can, however, serve to alert corporations, and particularly firms involved in international trade, to the seditious forces operating on the margins of the business community. Since trafficking networks have for some years been pursuing new European markets for cocaine and new African and Arab markets for psychotropic substances, firms and corporations providing transport, distribution and the "invisible" services will in future need to exercise greater vigilance to avoid being implicated in illicit transactions.


Successful policy development during the 1980s has led to more effective co-operation in law enforcement at the international level and to some encouraging trends in demand reduction in selected groups. As the trafficking networks diversify their strategies to invade new markets and to rationalize their structures, the international drug control community is challenged to devise policies to counteract these anti-social strategies and to anticipate the needs of vulnerable groups and communities. In this difficult endeavour, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs bears a great responsibility as the principal policy-making organ in the drug control community. Its record of achievement in rallying international and national support and action serves as a basis and as an incentive for future leadership in the 1990s.



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