VIENNA, March 10 (Reuters) – A United Nations drive to cut supply and demand for illegal drugs has shown no progress globally in the decade since it was started, a European Commis-sion report said yesterday.
The report came on the eve of a ministerial-level meeting by the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to review the decade since a U.N. General Assembly session (UNGASS) set the targets and launched the war on drugs. Papering over internal dissent, U.N. members are expected to sign a declaration re-committing themselves to fighting drug trafficking for another 10 years.
The European Commission report said enforcing drug bans had backfired by displacing drugs traffickers to relatively lawless regions. The ban had led to addicts sharing needles — spreading disease — as syringe-exchange centres have been unavailable.
Cocaine and heroin consumption had declined in the West but had risen to become “a serious epidemic” in parts of eastern Europe and central Asia, producing a net increase globally since 1998, said the report.
“(We have) found no evidence that the global drug problem was reduced during the UNGASS period from 1998 to 2007.”