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9 July 2002

UN Drug Control Office, European Monitoring Centre Develop "Common Language" To Address Global Problem

Two agencies identify key areas for future cooperation

VIENNA, 9 July (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) and the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) are expanding their cooperation in monitoring international drug trends and initiating effective responses. In a ceremony in Vienna today, Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of ODCCP, and Georges Estievenart, Executive Director of EMCDDA, signed a new agreement on inter-agency cooperation.

"This agreement highlights the cooperation in drug demand reduction as a new key element in UN drug control efforts. It helps us increase information-sharing on best practice and most effective strategies. Enhanced monitoring standards will also improve our ability to react to new drug trends and develop early warning systems and appropriate responses," Mr. Costa said.

Mr. Estievenart noted that considerable progress had been made as a result of closer collaboration between EMCDDA and ODCCP. "Through the development of harmonized indicators we now have a common language for describing the drug problem that provides us with a basis for developing more effective responses," he said.

The two parties signed Memorandum of Understanding in March 1998 as a formal basis for their cooperation. Considerable benefits of such cooperation include the development of a standard global information base on the drug situation and the identification of best practice models to allow countries to respond more effectively to drug problems.

Mr. Costa and Mr. Estivenart have amended the Memorandum of Understanding to cover new areas for closer cooperation. They include improved understanding of the spread and consequences of new drug trends, such as the emergence of new synthetic drugs.


For more information, contact Chris Van der Burgh, ODCCP, +43-1-26060-4305.
INTERNATIONALES ZENTRUM WIEN POSTFACH 500, A-1400 WIEN, ?STERREICH TEL.: 26060/4666/4677 FAX: 26060-5899 Email: UNIS@unis.un.or.at