Tackling the Threat of Drugs

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At the United Nations, M-Building, Room M2 at Vienna International Centre (VIC) there were three big blue posters suspended with a sign of UNODC “Making the world suffer from drugs, crime, and terrorism”. A press conference about “Tackling the threat of drugs” was held on Monday 8 March 2010. The conference was attended by a group of journalists; among them were some Arab journalists. Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, director of the UNODC and the Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Chairman of Commission on Narcotic Drugs, were the speakers during the conference and Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of UNIS in Vienna was the moderator of the session.

From right to left Mr. Maher Nasser, UNIS director, Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC director, Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

“Drugs are a threat to health, development and international security” were the issues which Mr. Costa and Ambassador Soltanieh briefed shortly during the press conference. The same issues will be discussed between 8 -12 March at the 53rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meeting in Vienna. The 53rd session will also focus on effective ways of raising awareness about the risks of abusing drugs, including cannabis; improving the understanding of drug addiction as a chronic health disorder; and the importance of research and data collection for raising awareness of the world drug problem.

Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC director.

Mr. Costa warned that failure to control drugs will unleash a health disaster in the developing world, and he warned of the growing security threat posed by drugs. He said “the stakes are high: few issues have received as much attention as drug trafficking in the Security Council over the past few months”. He added that “it seems to be forgotten by people in rich countries calling for loosening of drug controls. Why condemn the third world, already ravaged by so many tragedies, to the neo-colonialism of drug dependence?”

Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

Both of Mr. Costa and Ambassador Soltanieh answered the questions of the journalists. It was clear that most of journalists who attended the conference were interested in asking the Ambassador Soltanieh questions not related to the issue of drugs. He cleverly avoided answering these questions, saying that his participation in the press conference was as the chairman of commission on Narcotic Drugs. He demanded that the journalists ask questions related to the drugs issue.

At the end of the press conference, the UNIS team distributed the press release, which is quoted below.

8 March 2010
UNODC Warns of Drug “Health Disaster” in the Developing World

VIENNA, 8 March (UN Information Service) – In his address to the 53rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which takes place this week in Vienna, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, warned that failure to control drugs will unleash a health disaster in the developing world.

“The developing world lacks the treatment facilities and law enforcement to control drugs,” said the head of UNODC. “This seems to have been forgotten by people in rich countries calling for loosening of drug controls. Why condemn the Third World, already ravaged by so many tragedies, to the neo-colonialism of drug dependence?” said the head of UNODC. He identified a number of warning signs: increasing use of heroin in East Africa, cocaine in West Africa, and synthetic drugs in the Middle East and South East Asia.

Referring to health as “the first principle of drug control”, Mr. Costa said that drug addiction is a treatable condition, but warned that inequality within and between states marginalizes poor people who lack access to treatment. “While rich addicts go to posh clinics, poor addicts are being pushed into the gutters or to jail,” he said. UNODC is working with the World Health Organization to achieve universal access to drug treatment, and with UNAIDS to prevent the spread of HIV among injecting addicts.

The UN’s drug control chief said: “We must not only stop the harm caused by drugs: let’s unleash the capacity of drugs to do good.” He reminded the Commission that this seemingly radical idea goes back to the roots of drug control: the preamble of the Single Convention (1961) recognizes that “the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensible for the relief of pain and suffering”. He appealed to Member States to overcome cultural and socio-economic factors “that deny a Nigerian suffering from AIDS or a Mexican cancer patient the morphine offered to Italian or American counterparts”.

He also appealed for greater respect for human rights. “Around the world, millions of people (including children) caught taking drugs are sent to jail, not to treatment. In some countries, drug treatment amounts to cruel, degrading punishment – the equivalent of torture. People are sentenced to death for drug-related offences, or gunned down by extra-judicial squads,” said Mr. Costa. “As human beings, as well as members of the community of civilized nations, we have a shared responsibility to put an end to this. People who use drugs, or are behind bars, have not lost their humanity or their human rights.”

The head of UNODC warned of the growing security threat posed by drugs. “The stakes are high: few issues have received as much attention as drug trafficking in the Security Council over the past few months,” said Mr. Costa. “Unless Member States deal effectively with the menace posed by organized crime, their security – even their sovereignty – will be under threat, and there will be renewed calls to dump the UN drug conventions that critics claim are the cause of the crime problem,” he said. He stressed the need for greater attention to security, justice and development in vulnerable regions – a process which UNODC is supporting in the Balkans, Central and West Asia, Mesoamerica, and East and West Africa.

In this, his eighth and final Session of the CND, Mr. Costa spoke with pride about how UNODC “has assisted Member States to make drug policy more responsive to the needs of those most seriously affected, along the whole chain of the drug industry: from poor farmers that cultivate it, to desperate addicts who consume it, as well as those caught in the cross-fire.” He said: “In the process, we have helped make the debate less dogmatic, gathered evidence to enrich policy, and provided assistance to reduce vulnerability. We have persistently struggled to quash the sterile debate between those who dream of a world free of drugs, and those who aspire to a world of free drugs.”

However, he warned about complacency, and lack of resources, both for drug control and for UNODC. He described the Office’s current funding level as “untenable”.

For more information on the CND and the complete text of Mr. Costa’s speech, visit the UNODC website at www.unodc.org.

15 comments to Tackling the Threat of Drugs

  • The vile criminal drug trade has been a mainstay of the Jew’s Zionist Kahal since the 19th century. It must be utterly eradicated.


  • Chris

    What a pity!
    Judging by the title, I thought the Big Pharma will get the rap on the knuckles.
    After all it kills around 200k Americans a year.
    I guess, no such a luck.

  • Ali Baba

    What a joke! Iran is the world’s biggest producer of of cannabis resin,opium,heroin,with
    which it finances terrorism against it’s own people and the people of various locations around the Middle East.

  • Martin

    yeah of course drugs are bad… but what about other drugs that are supposed to make you “feel better”??? they also cause addiction and death as much as other “bad” ones. I would prefer smoke a joint a thousand times more than have a pill that i dont know what kind of chemical is in it.
    I think it’s also valuable to spread information about those drugs too.
    It’s not because a drug is legal that it’s better and risk free… right??!!!!??

  • Jeff Ray

    Sounds like only a worldwide police state can save us?

  • Capt Canuck

    Good god man! The LAST thing we need to worry about is “drugs”. Wanna wage a real drug war? Start at the Medical Schools and Doctor’s offices. In America, more people died of non-narcotic prescription drugs than deaths caused by narcotics in the ENTIRE WORLD!

    FACT – Cannabis/cannabis resins have not caused one single overdose death in 5000 YEARS of human usage. The hypothesized LD50 dosage is between 1:20000 to 1:40000! That means you’d have to smoke around 1500 pounds of cannabis in, get this, 15 minutes! Can’t be done! Ya might FEEL like you’re gonna die LOL!! But you won’t.

    All drugs should be legalized, period. Law enforcement has no business in the issues of victimless morality. Any victims of the war on drugs are victims of the law and the war itself. How many people go about their lives whilst addicted to tobacco? Hell the POTUS is a smoker!!!!

    Legalize NOW. Revert law enforcement resources to REAL issues! Rape, Murder, Domestic Abuses, and any other unnecessary violence where a victim or victims are involved. Then truly good people would never have to fear police! Being an addict does NOT make a person bad by any means. It’s what that person is subjected to by society as a result of that addiction is what’s bad.

    Good people would stay good, addicted or not. And Mandatory “Treatment” should NOT be an option either. Taking drugs are a choice. So should stopping be a choice. And when the stigma of drug use is removed, then the drug abusers can be treated for actual reasons for abuse! Not the abuse itself! Drug abuse is a symptom of a much deeper problem, believe me!

    Enough of this stupidity! For thousands of years, drugs have been freely available to all.We did fine until certain repressive gov’ts wanted reasons to persecute certain segments of society and even certain industries. Not only that but illegal drugs are far more profitable than if they were legal.

    So, let us stop the madness now. Palestine suffers. Much of Africa suffers. Greece is suffering. Even the mighty USA is hurting. So much so she is no longer #1 in the world. We need to focus on the massive fraud and corruption that is rampant in gov’t and the finance sectors. No more corporate purchasing of politicians. No more aggressive, phony wars.

    It could all start with legalizing drugs and tax them like alcohol and smokes. It needs to be done. We have no other choice. We are killing our youth with militarized police forces for what? We walk in gang-ridden streets, financed mostly by the incredible profits in illicit drug sales.

    We need that small beacon of sanity to shine the light on all the insane darkness man has been casting over the world.

    Legalize! And we very badly hurt the street gangs. Maybe even turn a lot of them into legit business people!

    Legalize! And police can go back to Serve and Protect (With RESPECT!)

    Legalize! And people who use can continue to contribute to society (with DIGNITY!)

    Legalize! Because it NEEDS TO BE DONE!

    Capt Canuck

  • Sam

    Prohibition creates the state of chaos and obscene profiteering and thorough corruption. We, the US, have been there, and done that, now let’s get real. It’s far better to live with and control the drugs, than tolerate drug laws! Stop the nonsense,corruption,and profiteering. These guys are shills for the NWO. The NWO has turned energy, and it’s production, into a drug that society can’t live without, yets costs us 80% of everyting we spend.

    • Eric

      Totally agree with both you,Sam and Matt
      I just got done watching the movie Grass(1999)narrated by Woody Harrelson at wideeyecinema.com.

      Prohibition has built 2 agencies of Government FBI and DEA.
      Which means we’re paying out our asses to keep agencies a floating.
      Which means billions tax dollars to fund those agencies.

      Prohibition is excuse for your governments to detroy YOUR RIGHTS
      Exibit A:In some places NOW at a traffic stop a cop can search your cars for drugs
      In the USA,we have a 4th Amendment that says We have a right to be secure in our persons,right to privacy.
      Thru the Drug war,Police lobbies,politicians have come a long way to destroy the Rights of the People for the fathom.boogy man called drugs.

      At one time when you had a run in with the police,they used to be nice,kind and helpful.
      The true serve and protect.


      Thru the War on Drugs i’ve a total attitude change.
      Your Cops are militerized,yelling,beating and abusing folks.
      Now they better meet that quota,instead of serving and protecting.

      I say no thanks to prohibition and all the reasons above demostrate why.

  • Incriminally Sane

    If there were a “Real” war on drugs, The US Government would STOP bringing them into America on military ships, planes and across the border from Mexico. The money generated from these drug sales in America finance the CIA and their operations that they don’t want known and cannot be traced with “Official Funding” of covert operations.

    The Two Border Patrol Agents that were imprisoned for shooting an illegal attempting to bring 800 pounds of marijuana across the border were an example of what happens if you try to cause damage to this illegal operation of the CIA. What message does this send to the true, law abiding citizen that if you do your job, you go to prison? This should indicate to any critically thinking person that this is truth and must be stopped immediately.

  • Mr. Anon

    I find it hilarious, when professional looking individuals, with otherwise impeccable credentials, get up on a stage in front of reporters, and by proxy, get up on the WORLD stage in front of BILLIONS, and show themselves to be Ignorant Troll Stooges of the HIGHEST CALIBER.

    If this idiot actually believes what he says about cannabis, he IS a complete moron, and has no business being in the position he is in.

    The only alternative is that he does NOT believe what he is saying about cannabis, but merely demonizes it because he is paid to do it.

    Either way – EPIC FAIL

  • matt

    I’ve been “abusing” cannabis for like 6 years straight since high school and I haven’t suffered a single negative effect. These people are trying to maintain their strangehold on the black market by increasing prohibition. Scumbag criminals!! F**K the NWO, I’m sick of paying 20$ a gram for FLOWER BUDS.. Its that kind of insane price inflation that is responsible for any “legitimacy” that communism gains in the minds of the sheeple masses. F**K ZIO-NAZIS, NEOCONS, “LIBERAL” TOTALITARIANS, USURY INSTITUTIONS LIKE THE FED AND IMF ETC, MASONIC-OCCULT ASSOCIATIONS!! ALL OF EM NEED TO BURN AT THE DAMN STAKE FOR WHAT THEY’VE DONE TO OUR WORLD OVER THE PAST FEW CENTURIES!!

  • Mike Otway

    SOME drugs are illegal only because this generates obscene profits. The other drugs also make obscene profits, despite horrific toxicity (Methotrexate etc). Isn’t it interesting that the Harrison Act came into existence just in time to fund World War One. The only way to end the Drug War is to root out the top-floaters and string them up from telephone poles until the rest get the message.

  • Italics Mine

    That’s nice. Another bunch of old farts that knows what’s best for everyone else.

  • Meatwad

    The problem are these parasites in ‘drug control’ agencies paid for by tax payers, the same people that create the “illegal” drug market. In the USA we can eradicate the illegal trade in drugs of all types with one simple understanding of out top laws, namely the ninth, and twenty first amendments. The later they have ‘enumerated’ “intoxicating” and “liquors”. The Ninth states clearly,

    “The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights (intoxicant, and liquor) shall NOT BE construed to deny or disparage others (intoxicants = pills, injections, smokes, as well as liquors) retained by the people.”

    Is that clear enough the organized crime syndicate are keeping these commodities off the open markets for their own personal illegal gains, either by pay check “preventing” these substances or by the direct sales of the same. DEA must GO, our RIGHTs and LIBERTY returned, or as I live just taken back. Who in their right mind would hand over the authority to say how much pain YOU MUST ENDURE, and some DEA computer formula that says you are one day too early to get your prescription refill filled.

    Fight policy = police state corruption of their own law(s), throw out those that even hesitate to ‘give you your rights’ back regardi8ng “illegal drugs”. They are the traitors to our law(s) by keeping our liberty shackled and organized crime to prosper.

  • Paul

    Captain Canuck said it best

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