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24 July 6 am GMT
UNIS/NAR/691
21 July 2000
Netherlands to Contribute $4.3 Million
For UN's Efforts against Drug Abuse

VIENNA, 24 July (UN Information Service) - With an agreement signed here today the government of the Netherlands has pledged 10 million Dutch Guilders ($4,318,000) to the Vienna-based United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP).

The funds, most of which will be allocated for projects aimed at demand reduction, is the highest amount ever pledged by that country to the UN Programme -- more than triple its previous annual contributions. This puts the Netherlands among the top contributors to the Programme.

The agreement was signed this morning by Jaap Ramaker, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations in Vienna, and Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP).

Commenting on his government's decision to increase its pledge, Ambassador Ramaker said this new contribution was "further proof of the strong support of the Dutch government for UNDCP's world-wide efforts in reducing the demand for illicit drugs". The Netherlands welcomed the Programme's recent shift to a more thematic approach and stronger emphasis on financial monitoring and evaluation.

Mr. Arlacchi observed that the decision of the Dutch government to apply these funds largely to activities in the prevention and treatment fields "will give much-needed impetus to UNDCP's work in these areas. The fact is, prevention works and we need to do far more of it".

United Nations members in 1998 committed themselves to achieving significant reductions in demand for and supply of illicit drugs by 2008.

For further information:
Permanent Mission of the Netherlands, Michiel Bierkens, Tel.: (43-1) 58939 228
ODCCP, Sandro Tucci, Tel.: (43-1) 26060 5629

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