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[ cerca in archivio ] ARCHIVIO STORICO RADICALE
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Sengers Wijnand J. - 1 aprile 1989
by Wijnand J.Sengers

(First preliminary English edition - April 1989 - 76 pages - Special number of the EMNDP-Newsletter, ISSN 1011-1336

(This document is subdivided in 10 texts within Agora'. To retreive the texts please digit the key-word "drug policy").

3.1 Through international bodies

3.1.1 Through the UNITED NATIONS and its Agencies

"The United Nations is founded on the Charter, which is a multilateral treaty accepted by 159 sovereign States. While the United Nations was established to promote collective security, human development and international cooperation, it aims at an international order based on such legal norms as the sovereign equality of States, the prohibition of the use of force in international relations, and the pacific settlement of disputes.(...) Resolutions are the principle instrument for taking decisions." (Secretary general Péres de Cuéllar, Stcrt 1988, nr 173, 7 september).

Charter of the United Nations: Encyclopedia of the United Nations and international agreements. Taylor and Francis, Philadelphai/London, 1985:


Art 1 (Purposes and Principles), paragraph 3: To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language and religion.

Resolutions are the principle instrument for taking decisions. General Assembly

Assembly resolutions:

. 1979 urging stronger action by WHO and other U.N. agencies

. 1984 Declaration on the Control of Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse

. decided to convene the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in 1987

U.N. Conventions (see 3.2)

. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (N.Y., 1961).

. Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971)

. Amending Protocol (1972) > Amended Single Convention (1961/72)

. Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988)

U.N. conferences

. June 1987 (Vienna) International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Governments explained their drug policy and future policymaking plans. The wording taken from the many recommendations was officially drawn up to give the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of future activities in drug abuse control (known as 'CMO')

Publication of the Declaration and the CMO: Sales No E88.XI.1

(100 pp).

1981: International Drug Abuse Control Strategy 19821986 (the 'masterplan'): (1) improvement of drug control systems; (2) maintenance of a balance between legitimate drugsupply and demand; (3) eradication of illicit drug supply; (4) reduction of illicit trafficking; (5) reduction of illicit demand and prevention of inappropriate use of licit drugs; (6) treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug abusers. CND constitutes the task force (see Secretarial Activities

a. The Division of Narcotic Drugs

(director: Francisco Ramos Galino)

provides advice and assistence to Governments and the specialized agencies on the application of the international drug control treaty system

strengthen international and national drug law enforcement

publishes a quarterly Bulletin on Narcotis as well as periodic Information Letters on drug abuse control activities

is composed of four operational sections:

. Treaty Implementation and Commission Secretariat Section

. Applied Scientific Research and Technical Information Section

. Supply and Demand Reduction Section

. Coordination of External Relations and Information Section

b. U.N. Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC)

(executive director: Giuseppe Di Gennaro)

c. secretariat INCB (see

secretary: Abdelaziz Bahi

d. Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs (CSDHA)

. is concerned with the adverse effects of drug abuse on social development, including social desintegration and increasing criminality.

e. U.N. Social Defence Research Institute (UNSDRI, Rome). Director: Ugo Leone.

. a fouryear research survey on the interaction between criminal behaviour and drug abuse and on control measures adopted in individual countries

. an international survey of drugrelated penal measures

. international survey on drug abuse in the context of development.

UNSDRI Publications (oncerning illicit drugs):

1973: Psychoactive Drug Control. Isues and Recommendations. J.J.Moore, C.R.B.Joyce, J.Woodcock (Publication No. 5)

1973: A Programme for Drug Use Research. Report of the proceedings of a workshop at Fracati, Italy, 1115 December 1972 (Publication No 6 out of print)

1976: Investigating Drug Abuse. A mulytinational programme of pilot studies into the nonmedical use of drugs. J.J. Moore (Publication No 16)1979: Researh and Drug Policy. J.J.Moore, L/Bozetti (Publication No. 19)

1984: Combatting Drug Abuse. F.Bruno (Publication No. 21)

1988: Drugs and Punishment; An uptodate interregional survey on drugrelated offences. Dusan Cotic (Publication No. 30, 146 pp) ECOSOC: Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

The CND was established in 1946 as one of ECOSOC's six functional commissions. It is the central policymaking body within the U.N.'s system for dealing in depth with all questions related to drug abuse control.

The Commission, which consists of experts representing 40 Member States, holds annual sessions. CND served as preparatory body for the Conference in 1987. It is responsible for reviewing, monitoring and coordinating the implementation of the International Drug Abuse Control Strategy (see International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), established in 1961.

The Board consists of 13 individual members, elected in their personal capacity bij ECOSOC, who command general confidence through their competence, impartiality and disinterestedness.

Report of the INCB on its work in (year); issued annually since 1946. Numbering of the last 3 appearing annual bulletins. E85.XI.1, E86.XI.2, E87.XI.3

Statistics on psychotropic Substances. Issued annually since 1947.

other reports. World Health Organisation

(a) World Health Assembly

(b) WHO Executive Board

(c) WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence

(d) WHO Documents

(e) WHO Publications

(f) WHO Regional Office for Europe

Important literature:

. WHO handbook of resolutions and decisions of the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board. Geneva, WHO, Volume II, 1985.

(a) World Health Assembly


. 1973: concerning the epidemiology of drug dependence;

. 1975: stressing the need for action by WHO and Member countries to prevent drug dependence and establish treatment and rehabilitation procedures;

. 1980: outlining WHO's policy and giving directives for the development of the global programme to combat health problems related to drug abuse.

. 1984: recognizing the dramatic global increase in the abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine

(b) WHO Executive Board


1984: developing a set of guidelines for the review of dependenceproducing psychoactive substances for international control.

WHO Global Programme on Drug Dependence (see: Handbook of resolutions and decisions of the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board Vol.II, 19731984. Geneva, WHO, 1985).

Guidelines for the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (1984, ISBN 92 4 154172 5) Authors: Rexed, Edmondson, Khan, Samsom

Summary of WHO policy, strategies and programme activities on drug dependence and its responsibilities under the international drug control treaties (for: Conference of Ministers of Health on Narcotic and Psychotropic Drug Misuse; London, 1820 March 1986); WHO/NAPD86/WP6.

This report provides a summary of activities undertaken by WHO since 1980 and relates to work in the Organisation's Seventh General Programme of Work under objective 10.2 (covering the period 19841989) WHO, 1982 (Health for Allseries, No 8 pp 9192).

Quotation from the conclusion: "The strategy of WHO is to cooperate with countries in the development of their programmes and to maintain, in this effort, close collaboration with the United Nations agencies concerned with the problem of drug dependence, particularly with the United Nations itself and with such bodies as the International Narcotics Control Board, the U.N. Fund for Drug Abuse Control, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs".

(c) WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence

The WHO Executive Board, at its seventythird session (1983?), approved the new system for the review of substances to be recommended for international drugcontrol. The new procedures include a set of guidelines, a procedural sequence, and a timeschedule for the review. In addition, the procedures specify that a review process should accumulate detailed information on each substance from a wide variety of sources, including individual experts, research groups (e.g. WHO Collaborating Centers), the pharmaceutical industry, and relevant publications.

The 'Programme Planning Working Group' (PPWG) is a new organisational element in the review process.

see: Guidelines for the WHO review of dependence producing psychoactive substances for international control (unpublished WHO document MNH/PAD/84.1)

Programme Planning Working Group (PPWG)

. WHO new procedures for the review of dependence producing psychoactive substances for international control. Report of

the first meeting of the Programme Planning Working Group, Geneva, 1216 March 1984 (unpublished WHO document MNH/PAD/84.2)

Khan,I. Jayasuriya. Guidelines relating to international drug control treaties. WHO Chronicle, 38: 1720 (1984)

Reports (of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence)

. Report on the first session (1949)

. etcetera

. Twentyfirst Report (1978)

(A critical analysis of these 21 reports is formulated by Rik van de Weerdt: Analyse van de rapporten van het Expert Committee on Drug Dependence van de Wereld Gezondheids Organisatie (=Analysis of the reports of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence of the WHO) (Institute for Preventitive and Social Psychiatry of the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 1980. 150 pages only in Dutch language!)

new procedures (the PPWG started 1984)

. Twentysecond Report (1985)

Contents: (a) General considerations on the new procedures, (b) Assessements of 28 phenetylamines (psychotropic substances), (c) irrelevant for this Inventorisation, (d) Recommendations to improve the review process.

. Twentythird Report (1987)

Contents: (a) General considerations (slightly modifications of the new procedures; proposal a format from the PPWG for the ECDD to use in reporting its review of each substance, (b) Assessement of 31 substances, (c) Recommendations to improve the review process.

. Twentyfourth Report (1988)

Contents: (a) Recommendation of the PPWG, (b) Assessement of 10 substances, (c) Recommendations (gathering information from the ministeries of health; drug registration authorities at national level; safer drugs; epidemiological data concerning the public health consequences of drug abuse are very inadaequate; encouraging training courses on psychotropic substances for all health personnel; further review of methaqualone, amphetamine and metamphetamine for possible rescheduling to Schedule I of the 1971 Convention, etc)

. Twentyfifth Report (1989)

Opinion of the Expert Committee (Sixteenth Report, 1969) about the criteria for determining the need for drug control:

" There are two main conditions, at least one of which must exist for a drug te be considered in need of control:

(1) The drug is known to be abused other than sporadically or in a local area and the effects of its abuse extend byond the drug taker; in addition, its mode of spread involves communication between existing and potential drug takers, and an illicit trafficking in it is developing. (2) It is planned to use the drug in medicine and experimental data show that there is significant psychic or physical dependence liability; the drug is commercially available or may become so.

If neither of these conditions is fulfilled, there is no need for an agent to come under consideration for control. (...) It must be noted (...) that current social trends and medical research developments have given rise and will continue to give rise to situations where early consideration must be given to the need for control of certain drugs. It must be emphasized further that risk to public health is the prime determining factor in deciding for or against control of a particular drug."

The recommendations the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.

There are 3 types of recommendations to be differentiated:

1) Recommendations concerning international conventions. These can be subdivided into those concerning proposed amendments to existing conventions and those for the establishment of new conventions.

2) Recommendations for governments. These are made by means of proposals to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the preparation of resolutions.

3) Recommendations for the 'technical assistance'.

ad 1. With reference to the 1961 Convention, 'amendment' meant nothing more than the addition of a substance to the existing group of drugs already under international control. It meant too, the withdrawal of a substance from the controls given in the convention.

The Expert Committee not only advised about which substances should be included in the convention, but also if thought necessary, what changes should be brought to the content of the Schedules.

Thus involvement in the determination of the levels of control for the different lists was an additional advisory function. The levels of control are drawn up by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. These must have the approval of the WHO before these proposals are entered into the final treaty. The WHO consults the Expert Committee, which primarily determines whether or not to bring a drug under a certain level of control. The drug's public health risks and it's benefits to medical science are criteria the Expert Committee recommends be used to determine the level of control. It gives clear advice about the type of control applicable to a particular drug as well as about the drug itself. The final decision, concerning the levels of control and which drugs will be controlled, rests with the WHO.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs conducts it's business with this procedure in mind. When this body proposes a level of control, the WHO may at it's own discretion, amend this proposal on medical grounds.

The situation is entirely different under the Treaty for Psychotropic Substances. This treaty, just as the Single Convention, was drafted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs with the help of the WHO. However, here, decisions concerning the different levels of control are no longer made by the WHO, instead these decisions are taken by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. In practice the advice of the WHO, thus the Expert Committee, about levels of control for a particular drug are ordinarily adopted. In every case the WHO decides, in accordance

with the recommendations of the Expert Committtee, which substances on which list must be placed. Only decisions concerning the type of control and those concerned with the nonmedical aspects involved, are made by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. This procedure was clearly apparent in the 19th report, where the Expert Committee stated the fact that, with the exception of recommendations concerning control measures for the preparations of psychotropic substances, all the recommendations made for the Treaty of Psychotropic Substances in it's 17th report, were adopted in the final treaty.

The Expert Committee is also involved in giving advice about the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, because this is also covered by some articles of the Single Convention of Psychotropic Substances.

ad 2. Recommendations to governments by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in cooperation with the WHO, are made through resolutions of the General Assembly that are drafted and issued by the ECOSOC. Recommendations can also be made by specialised organisations of the U.N. An initiative to submit a resolution is usually made by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the WHO. Proposals sometimes originate from one or more of the member states or from within the U.N. Secretariat. The wording of the resolution always requires the approval of that member state(s).

A statement of affairs is always given in the resolution by the General Assembly. The resolution is usually ended with one or more recommendations for the concerned parties or for an organisation within the U.N. itself. Resolutions are advisory, thus they are not binding. Though a juristic force behind the resolutions is lacking, a political force is clearly present; it can be said that a resolution is backed by a moral force.

Thus the Expert Committee as an advisory body to the WHO, gives mostly advice about matters it feels should be brought to the attention of individual governments. For instance, one of the frequently occuring tasks involved in the realization of the Treaty of Psychotropic Substances; for years the Expert Committee advised governments to bring certain substances, such as psychotropic substances, that fell outside the Single Convention under national control. In the last few years the Expert Committee's prodominant advisory tasks are concerned with the (medical) treatment of addicts and in the area of prevention and drug use.

ad 3. Recommendations for the Technical Assistance, that is the effort behind putting into effect (inter)national programmes, are also initiated through the Expert Committee. The Technical Assistance involves mainly:

sending experts proficient in problems surrounding drugs (drug control, treatment etc.);

training of national officials burdened with the drug problematic; organising meetings;

sending consultants and trainers to selected groups of countries; and sending experts to study regional problems. These groups of experts have bestowed upon them, such tasks as: training in the

treatment of addicts; aiding officials in the administration of justice; training chemists and pharmacists in chemical control methods.

This technical assistance, as it were the 'ground work' of the U.N. in this area, is initiated through the UNFDAC. The UNFDAC receives voluntary contributions from various countries. The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence plays an advisory role here, in it's most recent reports many recommendations concerning treatment and prevention programmes are explicit. The Expert Committee relays advice via the WHO, which together with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, assists the UNFDAC develop and initiate such programmes. Thus far the UNFDAC has centered it's attention on countries of the Third world, it's activities existing mainly out of campaignes directed against the cultivation of various 'natural' drugs.

(d) WHO Documents

. Document containing the guidelines for legislation on the treatment of drug and alcohol dependence (1986?)

(e) WHO Publications

The rational use of drugs. Report of the Conference of Experts. Nairobi, 2529 November 1985 (WHO, 1987 ISBN 92 4 156105 X).

Drug dependence and alcoholrelated problems; A manual for Community Health Workers with Guidelines for Trainers. 1986

The law and the treatment of drug and alcoholdependent persons. L.Porter, A.E.Arif, W.J.Curran. 1986

Drug Dependence: A Methodology for Evaluating Treatment and Rehabilitation. by A.Arif a.o. WHO Offset Publication, No 98, 1987. 67 pages, ISBN 92 4 170098X

Adverse Health Consequences of Cocaine Abuse. Edited by A. Arif, 1987. VII+41 pages. Medical Books Europe, Lochem.

The World Drug Situation, 1988. 123 pages

Guidelines for developing national drug policies, 1988. 52 pages

Psychoactive Drugs: Improving prescribing practices. Edited by Hamid Ghodse Inayat Khan. 1988. 99 pages. ISBN 92 4 156112 2.


Substanceabuse education for health professionals (Report on a WHO Consultation, Regional Office for Europe, May 1987) nr EUR/ICP/ADA 13 3275f english only; unedited.

The relevance of biological factors in the development of drug abuse (Report on a WHO Workshop, Regional Office for Europe, February 1988) nr EUR/ICP/ADA 522 0951j.

J.H.Henderson. Summary of the Report of epidemiology and prevention activities relating to abuse of psychoactive drugs in the WHO European Region (published in the Warsaw symposium report , dec.1984 see 3.3.17).

From this article, the section concerned with epidemiological factors applicable to drug users is borrowed:Although the epidemiologic data are fragmented, noncomparable and incomplete, the reports show enough similarity to generalize on certain aspects of abuse and misuse.

1/ The confiscation of drugs is increasing with appearance of cocaine. Heroin is of special importance.

2/ The number of arrests related to drug offences is increasing; the greatest numbers appear due to cannabisrelated offences.

3/ The number of deaths due to drugs, licit and illicit has increased markedly.

4/ Study shows:

a/ Cannabis use may have reached a plateau, although new recruitis continue. Age of starting drugs is going down and numbers of young females are approaching that of males;

b/ Heroin use appears to have increased. It ussually begins after age 19 and heroin users tend to be older;

c/ Use of amphetamines and stimulants seems to be decreasing/banned in some countries;

d/ an increasing number of hard drug users are seeking treatment, usually on an average of 3 4 years after beginning use. Favourable outcome appears related to lenght of addiction;

e/ Followup studies show that the longer a hard drug user remains in treatment, the better the prognosis for a stable life. Therapeutic community setting seems favourable;

f/ Indepth studies of demographic and psychologic factors indicates

that drug use begins at an early age often preceded by tobacco use leading to cannabis and then to hard drugs;

family situation is negative, broken homes, orphaned, suicide in parents, drunkenness in father, poverty;

limited education, school dropout;

unstable work history, unemployment;

psychological factors as anxiety and depression may predispose.

g/ The influence of the peer group is highly significant in starting drugs one investigator likens it to an epidemic with the agent being a drug user in his first year of use. The peer group is also rejecting of traditional life values;

h/ Methadone programmes appear useful in helping the user to stabilize his life;

i/ Concern is voiced in some places about misuse of psychotropic drugs and the role of physicians in their prescribing patterns;

j/ Prisons are recieving an increasing number of drug users/dependent people and treatment programmes may be needed. A few programmes are in effect. (...)

J.H. Henderson. Abuse of psychoactive drugs in Europe 1984.

Due to the obsolescence of the facts and figures, there is no further quoting of the data.

C. Goos. The European Perspective. (London: Responding to drug problems, an AngloDutch debate, 15 and 16 september 1988; The Royal

Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Str., London W1M 8AE)


NIDA (Rockville, USA).

Addiction Research Foundation (Toronto, Canada),

Mexican Institute of Psychiatry (Mexico),

the University Sains Malaysia (Penang, Malaysia),

Institute of Health Research at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok), the Spanish Family Guidence Center (Coral Gables, Miami, USA).

Collaboration with non governmental organisations (NGO):

. ICAA (see 2.08)

. Intern. Association of Consumer's Unions (IACU). One of the participants in IACU is Health Action International (HAI). HAI has among their network participants no organisations of users or exusers of illegal drugs (letter to Sengers dated Sept 15th 1988 from Catharine Hodgkin, HAI coordinator)

Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring International Court of Justice

3.1.2 EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (Commission, Council, Parliament)

The disappearance of the internal borders of the European Community is planned for the end of 1992: free traffic of persons, materials, money and services must then be possible. This will entail certain consequences for the drug policies of the 12 Member states, in as far as drug policies are an aspect of criminality reduction policies.

The authority of the European Community (i.e. the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament) is layed down in the Treaty of Rome (1957) and revised in the European Act (1986). Incorporated in this act is the setting up of the internal market, the European Monetary Funds, the mutual cohesion of member states and the EPS.

On July 1st, 1987, the 'Cooperation Procedure' became effective as fixed in the European Act. This means that the Parliament can now ammend the Commission's 'reports' concerning the internal market if there is a majority of 260 votes (half of the votes plus one). The Council (consisting of leaders of the governments of the member states or ministerial secretaries) can depart from the amendments only by unanimous disapproval. European Commission.

The European Commission has its own authority in the fields of agriculture, Customs and Development initiatives. But not in the fields of health care, welfare and justice, upon which drug policies are mainly based.

In an announcement to the Council concerning the Committee's cooperation in the field of health care (COM(*$)502 def) the fight

against drugs is presented as one of the most important issues requiring cooperation.

In 1986 (1985?) the ministers of internal affairs asked the Commission to investigate the possibilities for supporting the PompidouGroup (see 3.1.3) in order to reduce the demand of drugs among youths and to improve treatment and rehabilitation.

Announcement of December 12th, 1986 to the Council and the Parliament (COM(86)601 def) concerning the community's actions in the field of drugs. Quote (p.3): "The Commission agrees with the opinion that such an initiative, in order to be effective, has to be based on a common approach to the drug problems; as well as all the different links within the chain, from production to demand and finally the use of drugs". In this announcement an overview is given of the proposed actions to be taken in four subareas: prevention of drug addiction, treatment and resocialisation; comparative studies and basic statistics, medical research (prevention and treatment)

Letter dating from Sept.10, 1986 from Willy de Clercq (External Relations Commissioner) to the chairman of the Council, containing a "Recommendation that the Council make a decision concerning the participation of the Community in preparatory activities for the International Conference on Abuse and illegal Trade of Drugs (Aug.11,1986)

Quote taken from the introduction of the Recommendation: "It has to be noted right away that this conference has in principle already chosen a strategy of fighting drugs, which some of the experts reject. The essential starting point of the conference is that the prohibition of certain drugs, especially hard drugs, is preferable to a liberalisation. Some of the experts raise the question of not such a liberalisation, if of a general kind, could first decrease other amount of trading, then reduce the demand and in the long run also the supply, which under the current system are stimulated by prohibition and repression (comparable with the prohibition of alcohol in the USA in the 1920's). This starting point, brought forward by a minority of the international experts, nevertheless causes a debate that can't be avoided ".

Illegal drugs are within the juristition of three Directorates General (DG I, DG V and DG XXI): I.: External relations (developmental projects), V.: directorate Health and Security, XXI.: Customs.

On December 12th, 1986, the director general of DG V sent an "Announcement of the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament concerning communal actions toward fighting drugs". Within this Directorate General there exists now a "Steeringgroup on Cocaine and Psychoactive Drugs" European Council (=Conference of the primeministers of the 12 member states; now three times in a year) and the Council of Ministers (= General council ministers of foreign affairs; etc)

Since 1986 the Ministers of the Departments of Justice in the ECcountries have devoted attention in the so called 'TREVImeetings' to the international aspects of tactics deployed in the fight against serious crime. European Parliament

EP has now (1989) 518 parlementarians: Socialist fraction (165), Christiandemoratic fraction (115), European democratic fraction (66), Communists fraction (48), Liberal and democratic fraction (44), fraction of United European Democrats (29), Rainbow fraction (20) with the 'Grünen', Italian's Radical Party, some small left parties in the Netherlands, European onservative fraction (17) and 14 other parlementarians.

Europarlementarians do not represent their country, but their politial party.

1980: various resolutions are agreed upon

Report StewartClark (2.X.86): Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee of Enquiry into the Drugs Problem in the Member States of the Community on the results of the Enquiry. 95 pages. This report contains a minority report of four pages

Resolutions agreed upon during the European Parliament session in October 1986. On Oct. 9, a last resolution was accepted in which communal European actions are demand to fight drugs, especially in the field of prevention and healtheducation.


This Council for cultural and ethical problems can not make political decisions, it is a meetingplae for ministers The Counil has many adhoc studygroups and advisorycommittees. It is also funding sientific projets. On of the main committees is the Cooperationgroup to ombat Drug Abuse and Illiit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group 1972). In March 1989 the ministers of foreign affairs of the 22 memberstates decided to a cooperation with the European Community, especiallly in subjects as human rights, pluriformic democraies, publi health, environment, drugs, terrorism and other social problems.

General Secretary: Marcelino Oreja (Palais des Nations, Strasbourg)

Report on Decriminalisation, 1981 (chairman: prof L.Hulsman)

Pompidou Group: several reports have been published.


Drugs Enforcement Agency. The federal police organisation that carries out the fight against drugs inside (and outside!) the USA; partly in ooperation with US Fores. DEA functionaries are acredited to all US Ambassies. TREVIAn international police planning group, working at European level. Set up in about 1977 to fight against terrorism. In the preparation of European conventions such as the SchengenAgreement (see 3.2.6) and E.C. agreements, there is ooperation with TREVI in matters onerning internal security. The name originates from the Trevifountain in Rome beuse the decision to set up the group was made by the ouncil of Europe during ministerial talks in this city.

see: C.Fijnaut R.Hermans. Police Cooperation in Europe (Van den Brink, NLLochem, 1987. ISBN 9061450314). INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANISATION (ICPO = INTERPOL)

The law enforcement police organisation at European level. The secretariat (Paris) has a narcotics department. Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA)

First interregional meeting in July 1986 Customs Cooperation Council (CCC)


In order that the states' constitution, judicial system and domestic laws are not fundamentally affected by the wording of the legislation, the Charter leaves the interpretation of the Conventions to the descretion of the states.

3.2.1 Historical background of the U.N. Conventions

For centuries opium smuggeling occurred in the colonies of Britain, Holland and Portugal in the Far East. For large trading companies, such as the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) in Holland, the income from the smuggeling trade in opium was conciderable. During the 18th and 19th century, once their forces had been settled in the colonies, national governments also became involved. Nothing was done by governments to help the users, who were often the poor. In England and Holland by the middle of the 19th century, resistence had grown to this this sort of politics. In the meantime an antiopium campaign had grown in the United States (many Chinese immigrants used opium). What was to be done? A difficult question to answer, because any attempt by goverments to reduce trading in opium resulted in smuggling and in inevitabily in the formation of rich opium syndicates. In 1907 the USA suggested the first international conference with an aim of gathering information about the current 'drug policy' of the di

fferent colonial countries in their colonies.

First international conference on narcotic drugs (Sjanghai, 1909)

Thirteen nations. Their forum became known as the Opium Commission. President was the American bishop Brent

Opium Commission and the Hague Convention (1912)

This treaty became the first binding instrument of international 'law' governing the shipment of narcotic drugs, aimed at controlling the transport of drugs deemned necessary for medical use and scientific



The first Assembly (1920) established an Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and other Dangerous Drugs to assist and advice the Leagues Council on the subject.

. 1925 Convention

The 'Permanent Central Narcotics Board' of independent experts was designated

. to supervise the statistical control system

. to establish a system of import certificates and export authorizations for the licit international trade in narcotic drugs

. 1931 Convention (the Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs), also established a Drug Supervisory Body to monitor the operation of the system. The scope was largely limited to products related to the opium poppy, the coca bush and the cannabis plant.

. The 1936 Convention for the Suppression of the Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs was the first to call for the severe punishment of illicit drug traffickers.

. There were also international agreements, signed in 1925 and 1931, which were designed to bring about the suppression of opium smoking.

UNITED NATIONS until 1961:

. The functions of the League's Advisory Committee were transferred to the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, established in 1946 as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council.

. 1946 Protocol: the international community restated its intention to maintain control over addictive drugs

. 1948 Protocol: a new area of synthesized drugs which had dependenceproducing effects, was brought under the mantle of international law and control

. 1953 Opium Protocol dealt with limiting opium use and trade to medical and scientific needs. It eliminated legal overprodution. Only seven countries were authorized to produce opium for export.

3.2.2 U.N. SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961. (Trb. 1962 no. 30 for the English and French wording; Trb. 1963 no. 81 (Dutch translation); Revision: Trb.1969, no 38. The suppliments to the lists I, II, III and IV are adopted by the "Tractatenblad".

In june 1987, 115 states were parties to this Convention

The U.N. had three objectives in drafting this convention:

(1) The need to codify all existing multilateral treaty laws in this field

(2) Simplifying and streamlining the control machinery

(3) The extension of the existing control systems to include the cultivation of plants that were grown as the raw material of natural narcotic drugs.

The Single Convention prohibits the practices of opiumsmoking, opium eating, hashish(cannabis) smoking and the use of the cannabis plant for any nonmedical purposes.

Commentary on the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 (Sales No. E.73.XI.1), U.N., 1975.

3.2.3 U.N. PROTOCOL AMENDING THE SINGLE CONVENTION (Genève, 1972). Ordering number of the 'Amended Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs': UN 1977, Sales No. E77.XI.3.

Wording in English, French and Dutch: Trb. 1980 nr 184. Ratified by The Netherlands in May 1987.

In June 1987, 83 States were parties to the Convention as amended by the protocol.

The Protocol

. underscores the necessity for increasing efforts tp prevent illicit production of, traffick in and use of narcotics. It also highlights the need to provide treatment and rehabilitation services to drug abusers (as alternatives or in addition to imprisonment for abusers who had committed a drug offence);

. stresses the need for cooperative and coordinated international action in dealing with the problems associated with drug abuse;

. places special emphasis on the role of INCB in drug control, giving it responsibility for ensuring a balance between supply and demand of narcotic drugs for medical and scientific perposes and in endeavouring to prevent illicit drug cultivation, production, manufacture, traffic and use.

The Amended Single Convention recognises four lists (Schedule I, II, III and IV). In B.Rexed's Guidelines for the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (WHO, 1984) clear descriptions are given on pages 35/36. Briefly summarizing:

Schedule I is the major schedule. It lists all substances in the opiate, cocaine and cannabis groups and subjects them to all the specified controls of the Convention.

Schedule II includes the drugs more commonly used for medical purposes and needing less strict control because of the smaller risk of abuse. Medical prescriptions are required for Schedule II drugs.

Schedule III includes preparations containing as ingredients Schedule IIdrugs in lower concentrations and in controlled proportions, as well as preparations that have been found by WHO not to be liable to abuse, that cannot produce ill effects, and from which the controlled drug is not readily recoverable.

Schedule IV includes a few drugs regarded as having particularly dangerous properties, but very limited therapeutic use.

The Amending Protocol differentiates itself from the Single Convention in two particular ways:

a. Every imaginable sort of trading in illicit drugs, is down to the

minutest details concidered as a forbidden act.

b.Enormous authority is bestowd upon the International Narcotic Control Board (the INCB of Vienna); this too is described in detail.

Both (Single Convention en het Amending Protocol) are as yet not fully inschribed in the "Tractatenblad" of the Kingdom of the Nederlands, however they are to be found in a brochure of the U.N. ("Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961" U.N.Publications 1977, Sales Number E.77.XI.3).

Both have been signed by most states and have been ratified by all countries of Europe. The Netherlands did this in May 1987 (Stb..?).

Commentary on the Protocol amending the Single Convention (UN Sales No E.76.XI.6). U.N. 1976

3.2.4 U.N. CONVENTION ON PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES (1971). the 'psychotropic substances treaty'. Wording in the U.N. brochure (U.N. 1978, Sales Number E.78.XI.3). Not yet to be found in the Trb.

In june 1987, 87 states were parties to this Convention.

It concerns substances other than opiates, cocaine and cannabis (Single convention), these are the hallucinogens and mescaline; stimulants such as amphetamines; sedatives such as barbiturates; tranquillizers and analgetics. Many of these substances are applied in medical science, especially psychiatry. Each substance is accommodated in four Schedules. A description of these schedules is given on pages 36/37 in the above mentioned book of Rexed (see 3.2.3). Briefly summarizing:

Schedule I includes the hallucinogen group LSD, DMT, psylocibine, etc.

Schedule II contains stimulant sympathicomimetic drugs of the amphetamine type of very limited therapeutic usefulness, but also certain narcotic analgesics such as phencyclidine which is of no human therapeutic usefulness.

Schedule III includes those fast and mediumacting barbiturates that have been seriously abused although they are therapeutically useful. The requirements are similar to those for drugs in Schedules I and II.

Schedule IV includes a variety of hypnotic, tranquillizing and analgesic drugs that have marked addictive properties, but are widely used therapeutically.

Commentary on the Convention of Psychotropic Substances (Sales No. E.76.XI.5). U.N., 1976.



The Plenipotentiary (diplomatic conference) for the preparation of the 'New Convention' is held in Vienna from 25 November to 20 December 1988. The preparation of a draft convention was initiated by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at the request of the General Assembly

(resolution 39/141 of 14 December 1984). The Convention is designed to strengthen the capability of States in their struggle against drug trafficking. Agreement about the four following subjects was reached at the conference:

(a) making it possible to sequestrate capital made by the drugs trade confiscation;

(b) increasing possibilities for the extradition of criminals to the land where the crime has been committed;

(c) a strenghtening of international cooperation in areas of justice and politics;

(d) greater measures of control in the chemical industries which produce substances that are necessary for making illicit drugs.

(e) bij groothandelaren is de bewijsvoering omgekeerd: zij moeten aantonen dat hun vermogen legaal verkregen is niet justitie hoeft meer te bewijzen dat het illegaal verkregen is;

(f) possession of small quantities is no longer punishable.


Schengen is the village in Luxembourg where this agreement was reached between the Federal Republic of Germany, France and the Benelux. Its goal is the elimination of the controls at the innerboundaries by 1990.

Secretariat: Benelux Economic Union, General Secretariat, c/o Mr. Vervaes, Regentschapstraat 39, 1000 Brussels. Tel 03.5193811.

In the Agreement the trade of narcotic drugs (the reason why the term 'illicit drugs' is not used, is unknown) is amongst other things explicitly mentioned. In enclosure no. 3 (Measures for fighting drug trade) Interpol is mentioned and the setting up of 'national central officies' (NCB's the Dutch one affiliated to CRL). For the first phase (mid 1985?) the institution of a 'centralized service'(Maybe a subsection of Interpol Paris? W.S.) is already proposed. Secret enclosures, concerning the issues of security and immigration are included.

Argomenti correlati:
Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
Consiglio d'Europa
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