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UNIS/NAR/699
5 October 2000
In Asia It's Local Values vs. Amphetamines, Says UN

VIENNA, 5 October (UN Information Service) – There is a war going on in the streets of Asian towns, where some politicians, Buddhist monks, desperate mothers and poor villagers are rising up to stop production and use of amphetamine-type stimulants.

At stake is the social and economic future of a generation of Asian youth among whom such substances as methamphetamine ("speed") and MDMA ("ecstasy") have become epidemic.

On the other side, according to the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), is the "dirty greed of transnational crime incorporated." Widespread corruption among politicians, judges, law enforcement officials and the indifference of many people have posed formidable obstacles to international efforts to stem the flood of illegal stimulants.

"The global exploiters’ weapons are friendly-looking people wielding deadly pills", says Sandro Calvani, United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) Regional Representative for East Asia and the Pacific. "The defense is awareness building, mobilization of civil society, international cooperation and, hopefully, some help from responsible corporations."

In order to strengthen cooperation against illicit stimulants, the governments of the region, in cooperation with UNDCP and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), have forged a new plan called "ACCORD+" (ASEAN + China Cooperative Operations in Response to new Dangerous Drugs). For the first time, the plan will establish clear and measurable targets in the fight against drugs in Asia.

The plan will be considered for approval at an international congress to be held in Bangkok from 11 to 13 October, convened by UNDCP, ASEAN and the Thai government.

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