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      Press Release No: UNIS/NAR/692 
    Release Date: 27 July 2000
      International Narcotics Control Board and Commission on Narcotic Drugs
    Call on World Leaders to Focus on Drug Abuse at UN Millennium Summit

    VIENNA, 27 July 2000 (UN Information Service) - Hamid Ghodse, President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Pavel Vacek, Chairman of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) sent an open letter to all Heads of State and Government on 24 July on the occasion of the Millennium Summit to be held in New York between 6-8 September 2000.  The Millennium Summit will focus on the role of the United Nations in facing global challenges of the 21st century. The following is the full text of the letter:

    At the beginning of this new century, the Millennium Summit of the General Assembly of the United Nations will be a historic gathering at the highest political level at which we will be able to recommit ourselves to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as laid down in its Charter.

    Drug abuse and trafficking are among those global challenges to society, security, the economy, health and culture for which the United Nations was given the role of facilitating international cooperation in order to solve problems through collective action.

    The twentieth century was marked by increasingly successful, sustained and close international cooperation in drug control, as evidenced by the international drug control conventions, and resulted in noteworthy progress. Unfortunately, during the last decades drug abuse and trafficking re-emerged and we must therefore continue to cooperate with each other to prevent drug abuse worldwide from again reaching the catastrophic dimensions of the nineteenth century. The United Nations has been in a position to develop a collective response, a recent example being the action plans and sets of measures adopted at the twentieth special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem.

    We have to continue to be guided by the international drug control treaties, which built on the work initiated in Shanghai in 1909: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.  We are pleased to note that more than 150 Governments in the world have become party to all those treaties and are endeavouring to implement their provisions.  We ask Heads of State or Government who have not yet acceded to one or more of the Conventions to use the unique opportunity afforded by the Millennium Summit to express their support and to rededicate themselves to the international legal framework for drug control by adhering to the Conventions on this occasion.

    We should also stand by the forceful political declaration and action plans adopted at the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem in 1998 and jointly promote the achievement of their objectives.  We are confident that Governments will meet their commitments made in 1998 and strive hard to meet the ambitious yet attainable goals set at the special session.

    The Millennium Summit is a compelling moment to renew this commitment and to set directions for the future.

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