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UNIS/NAR/767
4 November 2002

International Narcotics Control Board Examines Economic Impact of Illicit Drugs

VIENNA, 4 November 2002 (UN Information Service) -- The impact of illicit drugs on economic development will be discussed by members of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) when it meets in Vienna this week. The topic will be highlighted in the Board’s Annual Report for 2002 which will be adopted during the Board’s 75th session in Vienna (4-15 November 2002).

During the session, the Board will review the impact of illicit drug cultivation, trade and abuse on overall economic development. "The focus is on economic development," Dr. Philip Emafo, the President of the Board, explained, "because it is a crucial element of the process of sustainable and human development."

The overwhelming share of profits made from illicit drug trafficking is not spent in the countries where illicit drug crops are grown but in the countries where the finished products are sold and abused. "Only one per cent of the money that is ultimately spent by drug abusers is generated as farm income in developing countries," said the President. "The remaining 99 per cent of global illicit drug income are earned by drug trafficking groups operating at various other points along the drug trafficking chain."

Since its last session in May 2002, the Board has sent missions to Afghanistan, Albania, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo (in Yugoslavia), Namibia, Netherlands Antilles, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia. The Board will review the report of these missions and examine how governments and territories are implementing the provisions of the international drug control treaties.

Through its Standing Committee on Estimates, the Board will also review the worldwide supply and demand of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical purposes and establish or confirm quotas for narcotic drugs for every country in the world. A representative from the World Health Organization (WHO) will address the Board on health-related issues in the field of drugs during this session.

The Vienna-based Board is an independent body, established by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to monitor Governments’ compliance with the international drug control treaties. Its 13 members are elected by the Economic and Social Council to serve in their individual capacities for a term of five years. Its meetings are held in private. The current session of the Board is its 75th and runs through to 15 November.

The 13 members of the Board are: Edouard Armenakovich Babayan (Russian Federation), Madan Mohan Bhatnagar (India), Elisaldo Luiz de Araújo Carlini (Brazil), Rosa Maria del Castillo (Peru), Philip O. Emafo (Nigeria), Jacques Franquet (France), Hamid Ghodse (Iran), Nüzhet Kandemir (Turkey), Robert Lousberg (Netherlands), Maria Elena Medina-Mora (Mexico), Alfredo Pemjean (Chile), Rainer Wolfgang Schmid (Austria) and Jiwang Zheng (China).

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