Progress Reported in War on Illegal Drugs!

Progress Reported in War on Illegal Drugs!
Posted by FoM on February 20, 1999 at 07:09:11 PT

UNITED NATIONS Cocaine production and cultivation have been substantially reduced in Latin America since a U.N. drug summit launched a global campaign to combat the worldwide drug epidemic last June, the U.N. drug czar said Friday. 
The cultivation of the coca plant, which is the main ingredient of cocaine, has been cut by an average of 25 percent in Latin America, said Undersecretary-General Pino Arlacchi, who heads the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. In three years, coca cultivation in Peru has dropped by 55 percent and in just one year, it has dropped by about 20 percent in Bolivia, he told a news conference. "These are really historical changes, and I like to think that the special (U.N.) session and the emphasis that we are putting on alternative development played a role in aiding for the first time good news in this area," Arlacchi said. "Not even one year has passed ... and we already got substantial, important results." Colombia singled outAt the U.N. summit, 150 countries endorsed a plan for governments to work together to curb trafficking, reduce demand, improve judicial cooperation, combat money-laundering and reduce the illegal cultivation of narcotic crops by 2008. Arlacchi said that since the summit his office has been helping governments turn their commitments into action -- with some success. A donor conference in Brussels several months ago raised $270 million to finance Peru's plan to eliminate illicit coca cultivation in 10 years. A similar conference will be held in the spring in Europe for Bolivia. And next month in Vienna there will be another donor conference to finance projects in other countries to reduce drugs, he said. Calling the drug problem in Colombia "the most problematic in Latin America," Arlacchi said he plans to visit the country in two weeks to talk again to President Andres Pastrana on implementing a long-term project to get coca farmers to plant other crops or go into legitimate businesses. "I admire his dynamism and creativity and I know he is fully committed to addressing the narco-trafficking problem in his country," Arlacchi said in a briefing to U.N. diplomats on Thursday. View from spaceIn another effort to reduce drug production, the U.N. program recently signed an agreement with the European Space Agency to have monitoring of all illicit crops of opium, coca and cannabis worldwide, Arlacchi said. It will be financed by the European Union, the Space Agency, and other donors. The agency already receives information from ground monitoring, but it is sometimes conflicting and not well coordinated, he said. "For the first time we could have an effective instrument to understand what the situation of illegal crops and what is the progress or failure in our efforts to eliminate these crops," he said. 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: