VIENNA, 7 March 2008 (UNODC) - Ten years ago, the United Nations General Assembly committed itself to "eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008". The United Nations Commission on Narcotics Drug (CND) will meet in Vienna from 10 to14 March to review what progress has been made.
"The drug control system has succeeded in containing drug use to less than 5 per cent of the adult population of the world. This is an extraordinary achievement. However, the problem has not been solved; fundamental objectives of the drug control conventions have not yet been achieved, and some of the targets set ten years ago remain elusive", said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The CND is the central policy-making body within the United Nations system dealing with illicit drugs. It is also the governing body for UNODC's work in the drugs field.
Ministers and top anti-drug officials from the 53 CND Member States, including Bolivia, Colombia and Iran, will discuss issues ranging from the effects of drug trafficking to the reduction of demand for illicit drugs. There will also be focus on alternative development as an important drug control strategy.The opening session on Monday 10 March at 10 00 a.m. at the Vienna International Centre is open to the media.
The UNODC Executive Director will hold a press briefing on Monday 10 March at 1.00 p.m. in Press Briefing Room CO3. He will be joined by Ambassador Eugenio Curia, CND Chairperson and Permanent Representative of Argentina, as well as senior officials from Guinea-Bissau, the West African country that has recently come under attack from cocaine traffickers.
An extensive programme of side events throughout the week will be open to the media, including a joint presentation by the Palestinian and Israeli authorities on a UNODC project on drug control; an exhibition on the negative effects of illicit cultivation on the environment; and an exhibition from Thailand on the "Doi Tung" alternative development project.
For information, please contact:
Mr. Walter Kemp
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060 5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629