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Summary record of the 6th meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 8 October 1998, General Assembly, 53rd session

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United Nations
General Assembly Distr.: General
Fifty-third session 26 November 1998
Official Records Original: French
Third Committee
Summary record of the 6th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Hachani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Tunisia)
later:Mr. Ball (Vice-Chairman) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (New Zealand)
later:Mr. Hachani (Chairman) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Tunisia)
Agenda item 101: Crime prevention and criminal justice
Agenda item 102: International drug control
Agenda item 100: Social development, including questions relating to the world social
situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family (continued)
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the
delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records
Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.
98-81498 (E)
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m. were preparing to institute strategies that would ensure
Agenda item 101: Crime prevention and criminal
justice (A/53/3, A/53/371–S/1998/848, A/53/380, 381
and 416; A/C.3/53/L.2, L.3 and L.4)
Agenda item 102: International drug control
(A/53/3, A/53/72–S/1998/156, A/53/95–S/1998/311,
A/53/129–E/1998/58, A/53/204, A/53/371–S/1998/848,
A/53/382,383 and 416)
1. Mr. Arlacchi (Under-Secretary-General and Executive
Director, Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention) said
that the international community’s attitude to the drug issue
had become radically different in the last year and that the
idea of creating a drug-free world had gained new impetus.
At its twentieth special session, the General Assembly had
endorsed a global strategy to reduce illegal drug trafficking,
abuse and production drastically by 2008. A commitment had
been made to promote judicial cooperation, to counter money
laundering and to halt the spread of amphetamine-type
stimulants. Lastly, there was a belief that important successes
could be achieved by working together in the field of
international narcotics control, as had happened in Thailand,
Bolivia, Turkey, the United States and Peru. Member States
had agreed on measures to reduce the demand and supply of
illegal drugs within a specific time-frame. The Political
Declaration and the Action Plans adopted spelled out the new
strategies that should be in place in time to achieve the
objectives by 2008. Developed and developing countries alike
were committed to addressing their drug problems. To that
end, the United Nations International Drug Control
Programme (UNDCP) would help Governments turn the
Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand
Reduction into a concrete plan of action and would gather
more accurate data on the number of drug abusers, the types
and methods of use, and production and consumption of
drugs. In cooperation with some of the world’s leading
research institutions, UNDCP would also assist countries to
develop prevention and treatment measures and promote best
2. The international community had committed itself to
reducing or eliminating illicit crops over the next 10 years;
it was therefore crucial to provide alternative means of
income-generation to those dependent upon such cultivation.
A global project to monitor the illicit crops, making use of
ground, aerial and satellite surveys, was being developed. It
would be put into effect with the consent of Governments and
in partnership with regional and international organizations.
With the support of other international organizations,
UNDCP and the Governments of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia
alternative development at the national level. In Myanmar,
UNDCP was administering a crop-replacement programme
and was setting up a system to monitor the extent of illicit
cultivation. In Afghanistan, the UNDCP programme had
slowed down owing to suspension of United Nations
3. The rapid rise of abuse and production of amphetaminetype
stimulants was a difficult problem to counter because
many originated as legal medicines. A subregional
infrastructure for dealing with stimulants was being
developed in East Asia, where the problem was particularly
acute. On the issue ofmoney-laundering, measures had been
taken to close the gap between nations that had strict laws and
those that were more easily exploited because of their legal
loopholes. The global programme against money-laundering
sought to provide assistance in the fields of research,
monitoring and technical cooperation.
4. Turning to crime prevention and criminal justice, he
said that the Centre for International Crime Prevention
(CICP) had offered practical assistance to several countries
on a wide variety of issues ranging from the rule of law to
juvenile justice. Globalization had fostered the integration of
the world’s criminal enterprises. Yet organized crime was a
historical phenomenon that could be defeated with the
necessary resources and political determination. In recent
years, Colombia had dismantled two of the most powerful
criminal coalitions which had ever existed, and that had led
to a substantial reduction of the amount of drug money in the
Colombian economy. In South-East Asia and in Italy, the
Governments had also had successes. Smaller, less visible
organizations were now occupying the space left by the big
criminal cartels of the 1980s. It was therefore necessary to
attack the structural underpinnings of the major crime
syndicates worldwide, taking those changes into account; and
an international convention against transnational organized
crime would be the ideal instrument for the purpose. It would
open the doors to better cooperation among countries and
would facilitate exchange of information and transfer of
prisoners and proceedings. It should enable laws to be
harmonized on issues such as participation in criminal
organizations or conspiracies or the criminalization of moneylaundering.
A convention would also oblige States to ensure
the protection ofwitnesses, the only way of persuading them
to testify or provide information valuable in the investigation
of cases. Moreover, a convention would contain strong
measures to address trafficking in women and children,
smuggling of migrants and illicit manufacturing of and
trafficking in firearms.
5. Mr. Ball (New Zealand), Vice-Chairman, took the planned. Furthermore, the satellite surveillance system
Chair. proposed by the Office would serve as the basic infrastructure
6. Mr. Sucharipa (Austria) welcomed the optimism that
emerged fromthe Executive Director’s statement and asked 10. As to terrorism, two experts would be appointed to
for details concerning, first, the strong points and weak points study the question, monitor the application of the 12
of how the two programmes administered by the United conventions in force in the matter and make proposals for
Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention were technical assistance. Where chemical precursors were
cooperating with the United Nations system and, secondly, concerned, the control capability of States had to be
the efforts of the Office to elaborate indicators allowing the strengthened. A partnership between the Office, Governments
impact of the programmes to be measured. and the private sector was therefore being set up, aimed at
7. Mr. Arda (Turkey) said that terrorism had been almost
unanimously condemned during the general debate of the
current session of the General Assembly. Since the criminal
aspect of terrorism fell under the mandate of the Office, he
wished to know if the Office had enough funds and any plans
for combating terrorism. Regarding the drug problem,
considerable resources were devoted to reducing illicit drug
supply and demand, whereas the serious problem of the
diversion of chemical precursors did not seem to be getting
the attention it needed. He therefore asked the Executive
Director to specifywhat steps States could take to prevent the
diversion of chemical products for the production of illicit 11. Concerning Afghanistan, opium cultivation had
drugs, and what assistance the Office could give in that increased despite the ban by the Taliban authorities. The
connection. elimination of poppy cultivation had to be a priority in
8. Mr. Afshari (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that Iran,
a transit country for drugs, was sparing no efforts to combat
illicit drug trafficking in its territory. He asked the Executive
Director if specific projects were planned to counter the illicit 12. Mr. Bhatti (Pakistan) stressed that it was futile to
cultivation of poppies and opiates in neighbouring countries. tackle the problem of the eradication and substitution of the
Despite the situation prevailing in Afghanistan, assurances illicit production of narcotic drugs without corresponding
had been given that UNDCP would support measures to poverty eradication measures, as those two issues were
ensure strict control of the Afghan borders with a view to closely linked. In that connection, his delegation, aware of the
halting narcotics trafficking. In order to combat drug scarcity of resources available to UNDCP, wondered to what
trafficking in East Asia effectively, an effort must be made not extent the Programme could successfully carry out its
only to reduce the supply in Afghanistan but also to strengthen mandate, which included, inter alia, the implementation of
the control capabilities of its neighbouring countries. substitution programmes that must be undertaken on a long-
9. Mr. Arlacchi (Under-Secretary-General and Executive
Director, Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention) said
that the two programmes administered by his Office had had
some definite successes. With regard to money-laundering,
the fact of having specialists in the fields of both crime and
drug control made it easier to coordinate activities and
analyse the problems in depth. Consequently, the synergy
between the two programmes, which would remain separate
entities, would be reinforced. On the question of indicators,
it was indeed difficult to implement the strategy adopted in
June 1998 without having specific data at hand or the means
of measuring the results obtained. A project to elaborate 13. Ms.Kaba Camara (Côte d’Ivoire) wondered whether
indicators and internationally accepted norms was therefore the positive results obtained in the area of drug control were
for monitoring the supply situation.
having the societies that produced the precursors become
more closely involved in controlling them. In addition, the
International Narcotics Control Board, having sufficient funds
for the purpose, was following the situation in each country.
The question of countering illicit cultivation touched on one
of the two topics that had been central to the twentieth special
session of the General Assembly, namely, the need to adopt
a strategy in that area. In that connection, specific plans had
been developed in cooperation, in particular, with the
Peruvian, Colombian and Bolivian Governments, to eliminate
the cultivation of coca in the next 10 years.
Afghanistan, as did control of the borders. The international
community must therefore provide financial and political
assistance to that end.
term basis with the cooperation of not only the countries
concerned but also the entire international community.
Turning to another vital aspect of international drug control,
that ofmoney-laundering, he said that his delegation wished
to know whether UNDCP was cooperating with international
financial institutions in that area with a view to concluding,
where applicable, cooperation agreements whereby UNDCP
would provide technical and advisory assistance to countries,
particularly small countries with limited resources, in order
to help themdismantle the highly sophisticated mechanisms
used by money-laundering networks.
mainly benefiting those countries receiving bilateral aid for viewed as isolated phenomena; on the contrary, theywere part
that purpose, e.g., certain Latin American countries, or of the broader context of development and poverty
whether theywere also benefiting other countries, particularly eradication. Most States recognized that the main obstacles
the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Stressing the close to their development were now, inter alia, drug trafficking,
linkage between drug trafficking and arms trafficking, she crime, money-laundering and corruption. Those problems
wondered whether drug control also helped to curb arms must therefore be addressed jointly. Following the Office’s
trafficking. Her delegation noted, moreover, that drug lead, institutions such as the InternationalMonetary Fund and
traffickers had always preferred to operate in conflict areas the World Bank had also taken that approach.
and wished to know whether UNDCP was cooperating with
the peacekeeping operations in order to control that particular
aspect of drug trafficking.
14. Ms. Chigaga (Zambia) requested more detailed ambitious to be carried out successfully with the limited
information on the future of the United Nations Interregional resources available to the Office and that they must therefore
Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the resources rely on cooperation with other development partners. The
that would be allocated to it and the focus of its activities. Office could ensure the coordination of activities but was in
15. Mr.Mukhopadhaya (India) stressed that the linkages
between arms trafficking and crime varied from country to
country. There were certain extremely complex situations that
could take the form of a particularly explosive combination 19. The Centre for International Crime Prevention and
involving extremism in various forms, arms production or UNDCP were conducting a joint programme to combat
trafficking, the lack of border controls, mercenary activities money-laundering, more than half of whose resources were
and terrorism. Thus, it was virtually impossible to combat devoted to providing technical assistance to vulnerable
such broad phenomena, assuming that their potential countries.Many countries were already benefiting from such
consequences could be anticipated. Moreover, drug assistance. Interested countries were invited to participate in
trafficking was not always clandestine, since it enjoyed the the programme.
complicity of certain Governments. His delegation was aware
of the scarce resources available to UNDCP and recognized
that they were not sufficient for it to expand such activities
to areas such as combating terrorism. Therefore, in
accordance with the reform programme elaborated by the
Secretary-General, the Programme’s capacities to control
terrorism and other drug-related criminal activities must be
16. Mr. Bune (Fiji) said that small island States were police was also planned. A study had recently been conducted
particularly vulnerable to the activities of transnational on the linkages between poverty and drugs in Africa; its
criminal organizations engaged in money laundering. His findings would form the basis for reshaping the Office
delegation therefore requested information on the activities strategy for Africa.
that the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention was
planning to launch in order to strengthen the technical
capacities of small island States, particularly with regard to
the formulation and implementation of legislation to combat
the phenomenon, as stipulated in the United Nations
Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances, adopted in 1988.
17. Mr. Arlacchi (Executive Director of the Office for cooperation and extend their activities to combating
Drug Control and Crime Prevention), replying to the terrorism. A new project under preparation was expected to
representative of Pakistan, said that the thinking had evolved serve as an early-warning mechanism to alert the international
tremendously in the past four or five years. Crime prevention communitywhen large-scale criminal activities or the parallel
and the control of drug trafficking were, in fact, no longer economy threatened to bring about an international crisis. As
18. While the Office’s budget was small, given its mandate,
he noted that it had increased since 1997. Nevertheless, he
stressed that the crop substitution programmes were too
no position to implement them. It could provide only about
10 per cent of the necessary resources for crop substitution
programmes for Latin America.
20. Replying to the delegation of Côte d’Ivoire, which had
requested more detailed information on UNDCP activities in
sub-Saharan Africa, he said that, in addition to the offices
already located in Senegal and Nigeria, a new regional office
was to open in South Africa. Those offices were mainly
responsible for questions relating to narcotic drugs but also,
increasingly, problems relating to crime prevention. The
organization of a large-scale training programme for African
21. As far as the relationship between arms trafficking and
narcotics was concerned, with the globalization of both the
world economy and criminal and terrorist activities, it was
becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between them.
Today, criminal organizations had such enormous resources
that they could destabilize an entire country. That was why
the Centre and UNDCP planned to strengthen their
for the future of the Office itself, despite its small size and Drug Abuse in close cooperation with the Europol Drugs
budget, it would focus its efforts on the most serious issues, Unit. The European Union had established an early-warning
mobilize support, particularly financial support, from systemfor synthetic drugs in 1997. The entry into force of the
Member States, and gradually expand its activities. Europol Convention on 1 October 1998 was a milestone in
22. Mr. Sucharipa (Austria), speaking on behalf of the
European Union, the associated countries Bulgaria, Cyprus,
the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and the European
Free Trade Association countries members of the European
Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, which
aligned themselves with his statement, said that the European
Union welcomed the restructuring of the branches of the
United Nations Secretariat dealing with international drug
control and crime prevention pursuant to the proposals put
forward by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in his
reform programme. The establishment of the Office for Drug
Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) with its two
organizational entities, the United Nations International Drug
Control Programme and the United Nations Centre for
International Crime Prevention (CICP), should create
considerable and unprecedented synergies.
23. The European Union was gratified by the success of the
twentieth special session of the General Assembly, held in
New York from 8 to 10 June 1998, and welcomed the
important documents adopted on that occasion. The special
session had re-emphasized the crucial role of UNDCP as the
leading international agency in the global efforts to combat
the world drug problem and had established additional
mandates for UNDCP in various areas of drug control. The
new activities implemented as a result of the expanded
mandate would be financed from both the regular budget of
the Organization and voluntary contributions. In that regard,
the European Union and its member States, which currently
provided more than 50 per cent of the contributions received 27. Mr. Beers (United States of America) said that drugs
by UNDCP, urged all countries that had not yet done so, to and international crime, which had dangerous links with each
support the work of UNDCP through their contributions. other, could both be fought at the same time and with the same
24. The European Union had taken note of the report of the
Group of Experts which the Economic and Social Council had
mandated in 1997 to undertake a comprehensive review of
how the efforts against illicit drugs had evolved within the
United Nations system since the creation of UNDCP. It
looked forward to the Group’s final report, which was
scheduled to be submitted to the Commission on Narcotic
Drugs at its forty-second session and which should contain
recommendations on how to strengthen international
cooperation against illicit drugs.
25. The European Union attached special importance to the
control of synthetic drugs and to the work carried out in that
regard by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and
the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and other forms
of transnational organized crime. Europol would be the
European Union’s central coordinating body for the exchange
and analysis of criminal intelligence. The Action Plan on
Organized Crime, adopted at the meeting of the European
Council held in Amsterdam constituted the centrepiece of the
European Union’s endeavours to step up the fight against
transnational organized crime. The European Union
welcomed the progress made in the negotiations on an
international convention against transnational organized
crime, including three additional protocols. It had played an
active role in the negotiations which had taken place in the
framework of the Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice in Vienna, as well as in the Warsaw and
Buenos Aires conferences, and looked forward to the Tenth
United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the
Treatment of Offenders, which was to be held in Austria.
From 10 to 17 April 2000, the Vienna International Centre
would host a series of meetings of ministers of justice,
attorneys general, public prosecutors and representatives of
non-governmental organizations and academia on the theme:
“Crime and justice: meeting the challenges of the twenty-first
century”. Finally, while the European Union supported the
valuable work carried out by the United Nations Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, it wished to
stress that the funds made available to the Programme were
not commensurate with the mandate entrusted to it and that
the Programme’s budget should therefore be increased.
26. Mr. Hachani (Tunisia) resumed the Chair.
weapons, such as appropriate legislation backed by national
plans and international cooperation. Indeed, as the General
Assembly had underscored at its twentieth special session,
no nation was immune from that scourge and the international
community could only succeed in combating it through
cooperation. Progress had been achieved even before the
special session since coca and opium cultivation had been
reduced in the northern hemisphere and in parts of Asia. In
the United States, drug use was down 50 per cent from its
peak in the mid 1980s. His delegation, however, remained
concerned about the fact that drug abuse among young people
not only remained extremely high but was also escalating on
almost every continent.
28. Governments now faced the more insidious threat of to international criminals. It was also providing assistance to
powerful drug syndicates which controlled amounts of money train law enforcement personnel and judges throughout the
that were greater than national budgets. In some heroin- world. For instance, the United States Government had
producing countries, the authorities were using proceeds from established an International Law Enforcement Academy in
the drug trade for political purposes and even for the Hungary to train officials from Central Europe and the newly
development of infrastructure. independent States of the former Soviet Union and a similar
29. Pursuant to the commitments they had undertaken at the
twentieth special session of the General Assembly, countries 34. His delegation believed that the Centre for International
had an obligation to combat and reduce the demand for illicit Crime Prevention had a vital role to play and should be
drugs and to treat drug addicts. funded appropriately. It urged the United Nations to complete
30. The United States therefore greatly appreciated the
efforts of the Executive Director of ODCCP to assist
countries to meet their obligations under the three
Conventions relating to narcotics. At its special session, the 35. Mr. Dlamini (Swaziland), speaking on behalf of the
General Assembly had given the Executive Director the Southern African Development Community (SADC), noted
mandate to develop a plan for eliminating illicit crops by the with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General
year 2008 and to support demand reduction efforts around the contained in document A/53/380. He expressed the
world; he should therefore be given the necessary resources. Community’s concern at the growth of transnational
His Government hoped to increase its financial support to organized crime whose many facets and increasing
UNDCP significantly in 1999 and strongly urged other sophistication threatened not only national and global security
Governments to do likewise. The programmes should include but also political stability and social and cultural values the
monitoring and evaluation elements to ensure that they met world over. It was therefore necessary to continue
the common goals of eliminating drug abuse, trafficking and implementation of the Naples Political Declaration and
production. Global Action Plan, which provided guidance for Member
31. The efforts of UNDCP would not succeed without a
strong national political will to eliminate the scourge of drugs.
To that end, countries should develop national plans.
Regional cooperation should also be increased and provision
should be made for a mechanism for monitoring the
implementation of national plans. The Western countries,
which were well along the road to establishing such a
mechanism, urged other regions to do likewise. Other United
Nations organizations, such as UNDP, must also make drug
control a priority in their aid programmes.
32. For the 1999 fiscal year, his Government had requested
an anti-drug budget of $17 billion, $6 billion of which would
be devoted to demand reduction. His Government’s priority
was to educate young people and their families and it had
launched a $2 billion anti-drug youth media campaign.
Domestic law enforcement efforts would also be strengthened
in order to try to break the cycle of drugs and violence.
33. The anti-drug strategy should also target international
sources of supply. Since 1993, United States efforts to
support drug producing countries in combating the cartels and
drug-related phenomena had produced good results. The war
on international crime also required an honest, capable and
impartial justice system and professional law enforcement
services. That was why the United States had launched an
international anti-crime strategy designed to deny a safe haven
academy had been established in Thailand.
the drafting of a convention on transnational organized crime
by the end of the year 2000, and urged the Committee to adopt
the relevant resolution before it.
States on ways and means to achieve the common goal set by
the international community. The Community supported in
particular the decision taken by the Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice, and subsequently adopted
by the Economic and Social Council in resolution 1998/14,
to establish an open-ended intergovernmental ad hoc
committee for the purpose of elaborating a comprehensive
international convention against transnational organized
crime and of discussing the elaboration, as appropriate, of
international instruments addressing trafficking in women and
children and the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in
firearms, their parts, components and ammunition.
36. The Community endorsed the proposed scheduling of
a first meeting in January 1999, following the informal
preparatory meeting of the ad hoc committee held in
August/September 1998, with the possibility of a second
meeting, if necessary, before the eighth session of the
Commission. The African RegionalMinisterial Workshop on
Organized Transnational Crime and Corruption held in
Dakar, Senegal in July 1998 had resulted in the adoption of
the Dakar Declaration on the Prevention and Control of
Organized Transnational Crime and Corruption, whereby
African States had resolved to: strengthen existing institutions
and establish appropriate mechanisms for coordinating action
at the national level; review, modernize and harmonize
existing legislation; elaborate and adopt new laws and
regulations; and upgrade the skills of those responsible for of reliable statistics on drug abuse, production and trafficking
enforcing the law. in the subregion.
37. The successful accomplishment of those tasks would 41. Mrs. Moreno de Del Cueto (Mexico) said that the
require adequate financial support, strengthened cooperation success of the twentieth special session of the General
at the regional and subregional levels in order to review Assembly had shown that, with imagination and the necessary
existing regional arrangements and mechanisms, the political will, it was possible to establish the rules and
establishment or intensification of cooperation and the sharing strategies required in order to attain common objectives in
of experience and information between law enforcement the fight against a scourge which jeopardized the international
agencies. He therefore appealed to the international community and respected no boundaries.
community to provide technical cooperation and support. He
noted with gratitude that the United Nations system was
already providing technical assistance and that some countries
and United Nations agencies were assisting the Office for
Drug Control and Crime Prevention in its work or were ready
to do so.
38. With reference to the report of the Secretary-General Her delegation was convinced that a united front was
on implementation of the Global Programme of Action necessary but that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
(A/53/382), the Communitywas of the opinion that the efforts States and the principle of non-interference must not be
of the United Nations system,Member States and civil society violated. The General Assembly had spoken out against the
to eliminate the drug problem must be intensified. The adoption of unilateral measures and the imposition of
twentieth special session of the General Assembly, held in the sanctions and had declared that in the area of drugs, since
context of the United Nations Decade against Drug Abuse responsibility was shared, it was appropriate to find joint
1991–2000, had provided an opportunity to assess solutions. Denying the real scope of the problem was
implementation of the Global Programme of Action and to tantamount to giving the drug traffickers a free hand. Demand,
debate further initiatives to solve the devastating problem of consumption, trafficking and production were inextricably
drug abuse. It had set target dates and time-frames for linked. It was incumbent on the United Nations, and
implementation of those strategies. especially UNDCP, to play a vital role in the international
39. The Community appreciated the efforts which the
United Nations International Drug Control Programme 43. The commitments undertaken during the special session
(UNDCP), in collaboration with other United Nations must now be translated into action. First, a programme of
agencies, continued to make in order to implement demand actionmust be developed to deal with the problem of demand
reduction programmes and organize public awareness and to combat illicit trafficking in the precursors used to
campaigns. An agreement between UNDCP and the produce drugs. It was urgent that strict controls on the export
Organization ofAfrican Unity (OAU) aimed at strengthening of those precursors should be put into place, and both
the institutional capacity of OAU with regard to drug control producers and consumers had responsibilities in that regard.
had been signed. UNDCP would, over the next three years, As in preceding years, Mexico would introduce a draft
provide support for a project aimed at implementing the Plan resolution on the question of drugs.
of Action on Drug Control in Africa adopted by OAU in
1996, which included the establishment of a fully functional
drug control unit within the OAU secretariat.
40. The Communitywas gratified by the support provided number of other international instruments. The protocol on
by UNDCP, donors and various international organizations the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in firearms was of
at the subregional level, and by their participation in the drug special interest. On the American continent, 31 countries had
control conference held in Botswana in February 1998. That acceded to the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit
conference, which had reviewed the SADC regional drug Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition,
control programme, had identified other possible areas of Explosives and Other RelatedMaterials, adopted in 1997 and
cooperation between the Community and interested already in force. Mexico had ratified that instrument and
international partners and had noted the lack of resources and hoped that the other members of the Organization of
42. The President of Mexico was only too aware of the
seriousness of the drug problem and of the need to adopt a
new approach to obtain better results. The level at which
Member States had been represented at the session and the
quality of the documents adopted attested to the importance
given to the need to cooperate to combat the drug problem.
44. Her delegation wished to stress the importance of
elaborating, for adoption in the year 2000, an international
convention against organized transnational crime and a
American States would follow its example without delay. The
Convention, which stressed cooperation, included a number rid the twenty-first century of the scourge of drugs, States
of innovative measures which could serve as model practices, should be urged to accede to the three conventions on
such as the compulsory marking of arms manufactured in or international drug control and to ratify them. Her delegation
imported into a State party, requiring a licence to import, commended the high quality of the documents submitted by
export or ship arms and the keeping of registers. the Secretary-General and reaffirmed, as it had done at the
45. Ms. Morgan-Moss (Panama), speaking on behalf of
the Rio Group of countries, said that the international drug
problem, one of the most perturbing of the end of the century,
continued to worsen despite the measures taken. Its effects,
especially on young people, were increasingly alarming, yet
organized transnational crime and its corollary, drug 49. Mr. Kamitani (Japan) said that international
trafficking, continued to grow. cooperation in the field of crime prevention and criminal
46. Accordingly, the Rio Group of countries had decided
to coordinate efforts at the international level with a view to
finding solutions to the problem. It had been thanks to the
efforts of the Rio Group that the special session of the General
Assembly had been held, and the Political Declaration, the
Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand
Reduction and the document on measures to enhance
international cooperation to counter the world drug problem
contained some of the points which it had highlighted. The
presence of ten heads of State from the Group at the special
session was proof of their commitment to combat the scourges
of drug trafficking, drug abuse and organized crime.
47. The Rio Group noted with satisfaction that the approach
to international cooperation had been balanced, realistic,
innovative and global, and that the extraterritorial application
of domestic laws and recourse to sanctions against States had
been rejected. The appeal to the international community for
financial and technical support to developing countries had
also been welcome. While it was clear that consumer
countries could not win the war against drugs on their own,
as long as demand was great and the market lucrative
producer and transit countries would continue to serve as
suppliers and transhipment points. For example, the 2,400
kilometres of Panama’s coastline and its service economy
made it an ideal location for the transit of drugs, but Panama
had paid dearly. It had to combat a rise in drug addiction,
seize drug shipments, adopt measures against moneylaundering,
and arrest and try international drug traffickers.
That was, however, a war which it had not initiated. That did
not mean, however, that Panama should cease its struggle
against drug trafficking but, rather, that it was unfair that poor
countries should continue to subsidize the richer countries of
the world. Adequate financing should be provided for
international drug control.
48. In order to attain the objectives for the years 2003 and
2008 set in the documents issued during the special session
of the General Assembly on international drug control, and
twelfth summit meeting held in September 1998 and, the
Second Summit of the Americas, its own determination and
that of the Rio Group to combat the scourge of drugs,
inter alia, by carrying out multilateral reviews of efforts
deployed in that area.
justice had entered a new stage. It was no longer a matter of
formulating standards for the treatment of offenders but rather
of adopting firmmeasures to combat organized transnational
crime. The elaboration of a convention against such crime
was becoming more likely, and the General Assembly was
expected to establish an ad hoc committee for that purpose
during the current session. The Government of Japan wished
to stress that, in view of the rapid pace of globalization, the
fight against organized transnational crime should be
accorded the highest priority, and it supported efforts to
elaborate a convention and other international instruments.
It firmly believed that firearms regulation and international
cooperation among the competent authorities should be
encouraged. The United Nations international study on
firearm regulation and the regional workshops which had
been held after its publication had been extremely useful. His
Government also welcomed the elaboration of an international
instrument to combat the illicit manufacture and trafficking
in firearms.
50. The problem of drugs was among the most critical
issues confronting the world today and it required a unified
approach on the part of the international community. The
twentieth special session of the General Assembly had played
a crucial role in that regard. On that occasion, the need for
cooperation, the adoption of an integrated and balanced
approach, and the achievement of practical results had been
recognized. Japan also attached great importance to measures
taken to control amphetamine-type stimulants and drug abuse
among young people. The use of such stimulants was
spreading rapidly, particularly among young people, because
they could be manufactured easily and inexpensively.
Although they were expected to pose the principal threat in
the next century, their danger had not yet been fully
recognized. Young people needed to be protected from drugs.
The Japanese Government had instituted drug-abuse
prevention classes in schools and its Drug-Abuse Prevention
Centre was conducting a nationwide campaign entitled “Yes
to life. No to drugs.” That campaign not only raised awareness
of the problem, but it also encouraged contributions which youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
were, in turn, handed over to UNDCP to support drug-abuse (continued) (A/53/3, A/53/63–S/1998/100,
efforts conducted by non-governmental organizations in A/53/72–S/1998/156, A/53/95–S/1998/311, A/53/97,
developing countries. A/53/294, A/53/350, A/53/356, A/53/378, A/53/416
51. The importance of international cooperation, in
particular, through UNDCP, could not be over-emphasized. 55. Mr. Mangaya Yange (Democratic Republic of the
Japan had worked closelywith the Programme and had made Congo), said that, while he supported the statement made by
substantial contributions to its voluntary fund. It fully the representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Group of 77
supported cooperation between international law enforcement and China, he wished to make a few comments on ways of
organizations such as police and customs authorities. improving the social situation in developing countries, in
52. Mr. Xie Bohua (China) said that, with increased
international contacts and the speedy development of science
and technology, many criminal activities transcended national
borders and seriously affected the normal social order,
political stability and the economic development of countries.
It had therefore become essential to adopt measures to combat
crime at the international level and, in that regard, the Chinese
Government welcomed the Naples Political Declaration and
Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime
adopted at the World Ministerial Conference on Organized
Transnational Crime. 56. Only substantial assistance would help the less affluent
53. The supreme legislature in China had modified the
country’s criminal law in March 1997, incorporating
provisions to combat organized crime. Chinese law
enforcement organs had been actively involved in 57. The Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed the
international cooperation with other law enforcement organs proclamation of the International Year of Older Persons, and
abroad and their efforts had been remarkably successful. By hoped that the special attention accorded to older persons
the end of 1997, China had signed bilateral judicial assistance would not be temporary. Specialized bodies should create
treaties with 24 countries and had acceded to more than 20 appropriate mechanisms to benefit from the wisdom,
international conventions. The Government was ready to knowledge and experience of older persons. In so doing, the
strengthen its cooperation with other countries and concept of multigenerational citizenship would become a
international organizations. familiar one and the legacy of previous generations would
54. China believed that the international convention against
organized transnational crime which was to be prepared 58. The Democratic Republic of the Congo supported the
should take into account existing conventions against recommendations formulated at the first World Conference
transnational crime and the basic principles governing ofMinisters Responsible for Youth, held in August 1998 in
judicial assistance given by various countries. It would also Lisbon, and undertook, as soon as it had the means, to
be useful to strengthen the role of the United Nations in establish adequate mechanisms which would allow young
combating organized crime by providing it with additional people, older persons and the disabled to enjoy more fully the
resources for that purpose to enable it to offer increased quality of life they fully deserved.
technical assistance to the developing countries which needed
it the most. The Government firmly believed in the need to
strengthen cooperation and international contacts, while
respecting the principles of the equality and sovereignty of
States in accordance with international law and for the greater
good of all.
Agenda item 100: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
and A/53/425)
particular in the least developed. The gap separating the
developed and the developing countries had widened
considerably, and economic upheaval and social
marginalization would only aggravate the situation in the
developing countries which had practically no sources of
income and where social coverage, in most cases, was almost
non-existent. Under those circumstances, the universality of
social agreements which were so highly recommended could
be realized only by taking into account the specific nature and
living conditions in the two hemispheres.
to improve their socio-economic situation, which would also
benefit older persons, the disabled and young people, the
population groups which were often neglected.
enrich the capital of future generations.
59. Mr.Malki (Bahrain) said that in order to ensure social
development, the State must endeavour to utilize the abilities
of everymember of society. Bahrain, for its part, had become
one of the most advanced countries in the world from the
point of view of social development, as shown by the fact that
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had,
for the fourth consecutive year, ranked it first among the Arab
countries in its 1998 Human Development Report.
60. The family remained the cornerstone of society, Persons and hoped that the Year would help to correct the
particularly in Islamic countries, and the Koran required widespreadmisconception that older persons were a burden
children to care for their parents, particularly during their old on society (although their situation varied from country to
age. A National Commission on older persons had been country) and would make it possible for society to benefit
established by ministerial decree; it was composed of fromtheir experience, wisdom and knowledge. In Ethiopia,
representatives of the public and private sectors and was as in many other African countries, the family was
responsible for developing policies, projects and programmes traditionally responsible for the care of older persons;
on behalf of older persons and for proposing draft legislation however, there was a danger that changing values might alter
to provide them with a decent standard of living. It was also that situation. As the number of older persons continued to
responsible for cooperating with United Nations bodies increase in Ethiopia, the Government had felt the need to
working in that field and for considering the recommendations establish a social development policy. In that regard, he noted
and resolutions resulting from Arab and international that under the Ethiopian Constitution, the Government was
conferences.Many other governmental and non-governmental required to endeavour to improve the living conditions of
institutions and organizations dealt with older persons. In older persons. The official launching of the International Year
anticipation of the International Year of Older Persons, of Older Persons had been duly observed in Ethiopia on 1
Bahrain had established a special committee composed of October 1998, and various consciousness-raising events had
representatives of governmental and private bodies and been organized on that occasion at the central and regional
charitable organizations. A family protection association had levels. Ethiopia had already established a national focal point
been created in 1975 in order to disseminate information on for the Year; the regional administrative governments had
family planning, reproductive health and sexual hygiene and formed their own committees in preparation for its
to make women aware of their rights in that regard. The observance; a two-day national workshop had been held in
association’s strategic plan of action focused largely on young order to strengthen the network of charitable organizations
people, to whom it provided guidance on marriage, family caring for older persons; and focal point staff members were
relations, health and reproductive health. in the process of contacting governmental and non-
61. Bahrain had established a national foundation for the
disabled, which was responsible, inter alia, for proposing 65. His delegation welcomed the World Conference of
public policies for the protection and training of disabled Ministers Responsible for Youth, which had recently been
persons, developing draft legislation, carrying out specialized held in Lisbon.
studies and preparing financing projects in cooperation with
local, regional and national institutions working in the field.
62. Bahrain was endeavouring to offer medical services and organizations and the United Nations system in the
education free of charge to its citizens and other residents in development of programmes and structures that were better
the country. It also provided public assistance to poor adapted to the needs of older persons and it welcomed the
families. As a result of its efforts, the mortality rate of emphasis placed on the need to focus particularly on the
children under five years of age had remained at 2.3 per cent situation of older women. Since developing countries had
in 1996. limited resources with which to address social problems, he
63. Bahrain had also established a national commission
responsible for developing and implementing a national social
development strategy on the basis of the principles set forth
in the Copenhagen Declaration on social development. 67. Mr.Okoudjou (Benin) said that his country, which had
64. Mr. Tessema (Ethiopia) said that underdevelopment
was the underlying cause of social problems in many
countries, particularly in Africa, and that one of those
problems was clearly the ageing of the population since it was
expected that people over the age of 60 would account for one
third of the world’s population in the next millennium and
most of those people lived in developing countries. His
delegation therefore welcomed the proclamation by the
General Assembly of 1999 as the International Year of Older
governmental organizations.
66. In conclusion, he said that his delegation was ready to
cooperate with the efforts of Governments, non-governmental
urged on all Member States to exert maximum efforts to
revitalize the United Nations Trust Fund for Ageing during
the year 1999, as proposed by the Secretary-General.
been engaged in a difficult process of economic reform for the
past 10 years, was concerned about the social consequences
of those reforms. Like many other countries, Benin was fully
committed to the Programme of Action of the World Summit
for Social Development and to the resolutions adopted at the
World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, held
in Lisbon in August 1998, because it was convinced that the
proposed measures would make it possible to attenuate the
consequences of abject poverty to some extent.
68. His Government also welcomed the upcoming
observance, in 1999, of the International Year of Older
Persons, for which it had long been preparing. It had
established a national organization committee and a
programme based on consciousness-raising activities such
as the dissemination of international legal instruments dealing
with older persons and the organization of lectures, round
tables, seminars, advertisements, campaigns and radio and
television programmes. That initiative was part of the
Government’s own social policy of ensuring that the minimum
basic needs of all citizens, regardless of gender, age or
religion, were met. Since 1995, Benin had also established
an annual National Older Persons’ Day. Two associations for
older persons had been created, but it had not yet been
possible to fund their projects.
69. While it was true that social development was first and
foremost the responsibility of the State, it was also true that
international assistance was essential since it was only
through joint efforts that poverty could be eradicated.
70. Mr. Langmore (Director of the Division for Social
Policy and Development) summarizing the discussion of
agenda item 100, said that many of the delegations which had
spoken had made specific recommendations either to
Governments or to the United Nations system and that he, for
his part, had taken note of those of particular interest to his
Division. He thanked the Consultative Group for the
International Year of Older Persons for its role in the
preparation of the report (A/53/294) and the Portuguese
Government for having hosted the World Conference of
Ministers Responsible for Youth.
71. Mr. Young-sam Ma (Republic of Korea) asked the
Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development
whether the Department of Economic and Social Affairs had
remained in contact with UNDP as requested by the
Commission for Social Development at its thirty-sixth
session, in order to consider the possibility of incorporating
a development indicator on ageing into the Human
Development Report.
72. Mr. Langmore (Director of the Division for Social
Policy and Development) said that his Division had indeed
remained in contact with UNDP but that, as yet, no formal
proposal had been made. The Commission on Social
Development would take up the matter at its next session.
The meeting rose at 1.20 p.m.