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Summary record of the 18th meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 28 October 1997, General Assembly, 52nd session.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/52/SR.18
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 52nd
Type Document

6 p.

Subjects Drug Control, Persons with Disabilities, Organized Crime, Transnational Crime, Drug Traffic

Extracted Text

United Nations
General Assembly Distr.: General
Fifty-second session 10 February 1998
Official Records Original: Spanish
Third Committee
Summary record of the 18th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 28 October 1997, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Busacca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Italy)
Agenda item 105: Advancement of women (continued)
Agenda item 106: Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on
Women (continued)
Agenda item 102: Social development, including questions relating to the world social
situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family (continued)
Agenda item 103: Crime prevention and criminal justice (continued)
Agenda item 104: International drug control (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.
97-82352 (E)

The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m. Draft resolution A/C.3/52/L.12
Agenda item 105: Advancement of women (continued)
Agenda item 106: Implementation of the outcome of
the Fourth World Conference on Women (continued)
Draft resolution A/C.3/52/L.17
1. Ms. Msuya (United Republic of Tanzania) introduced
draft resolution A/C.3/52/L.17 entitled “International
Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of
Women” on behalf of the States Members of the Organization
that were members of the Group of 77 and China, and of
Afghanistan, Austria, the Netherlands, Mexico, Spain and
Turkey. Even though the Institute had been established more
than 20 years previously, much still remained to be done to
achieve equality, development and peace for the majority of
women. The sponsors hoped that the draft resolution would
be adopted by consensus in order to permit the Institute to
fulfil its mandate.
Draft resolution A/C.3/52/L.19
2. Mrs. Lacanlale (Philippines) introduced draft
resolution A/C.3/52/L.19 entitled “Violence against women
migrant workers” on behalf of Bangladesh, Cape Verde,
Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador,
El Salvador, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nigeria,
Portugal, Sri Lanka, the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia and Zambia. Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Ireland
and Peru had also joined the list of sponsors. The draft
resolution highlighted the continuing concern of the 8. Ms. Wronecka (Poland) said that the President of
international community over violence against women Poland had presented to the General Assembly the previous
migrant workers and the need to protect and promote their year a proposal for the elaboration of an international
well-being and rights. convention against organized transnational crime, an initiative
3. She wished to propose the following amendments: in
the seventh preambular paragraph, the word “stressing”
should be replaced by “recognizing”; in the third line of
paragraph 3, the word “including” should be inserted between
the words “migrant workers” and “through” and,
consequently, the word “including”, which appeared after
“cooperation” in the fourth line, should be deleted. Also, the
article “the” should be inserted before the word “innovative”
in the fifth line of the paragraph.
Agenda item 102: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
(continued) (A/52/3, A/52/56, A/52/57-E/1997/4,
A/52/60-E/1997/6, A/52/80-E/1997/14, A/52/183,
A/52/328, A/52/351; E/1997/103 and E/1997/104)
4. The Chairman informed the Committee that draft
resolution A/C.3/52/L.12 entitled “Implementation of the
World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons:
towards a society for all in the twenty-first century” contained
no programme budget implications.
5. Mrs. Lacanlale (Philippines) said that the words
“interested non-governmental organizations” should be
inserted after the word “Governments” in the first line of
paragraph 8. The following States had joined the list of
sponsors: Algeria, Iceland, India, Israel, Jamaica, the
Republic of Korea, Spain and Ukraine.
6. The Chairman said that the following States had joined
the list of sponsors of the draft resolution: Barbados, Belgium,
Benin, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican
Republic, Eritrea, Finland, Germany, Guinea, Ireland,
Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and San Marino.
7. Draft resolution A/C.3/52/L.12, as orally amended,
was adopted without a vote.
Agenda item 103: Crime prevention and criminal
justice (continued) (A/52/3, A/52/295, A/52/327,
A/52/357, A/52/413 and A/52/447-S/1997/775)
Agenda item 104: International drug control
(continued) (A/52/3, A/52/127, A/52/296, A/52/336,
A/52/347, A/52/413, A/52/447-S/1997/775 and
which had received massive support from Member States. It
was time for the international community to take active
measures to stop the spread of transnational crime and to
increase cooperation in that field. The best mechanism for
promoting future international collaboration was effective and
well-constructed legislation that was implemented with due
firmness and determination. That was why Poland wished to
see the process of elaboration of an international convention
on that subject given momentum now and the draft text
successfully finalized. Poland was ready to cooperate with
other States to extend the scope of the convention, if such an
extension would meet the needs and expectations of Member
States. She was convinced that the convention proposed by
Poland would by no means affect the value or interfere with
the application of existing legal instruments, since it was
based on the experience of bilateral and regional agreements
and conventions concerning crime prevention and the fight country of origin because of criminal activity or illegal
against crime. immigration created a climate of insecurity in the country,
9. The Government of Poland was grateful for the cooperation
of all Member States in the preparation, negotiation and
adoption by the General Assembly at its fifty-first session of
the draft resolution sponsored by Poland on the question of
the elaboration of an international framework convention
against organized transnational crime, as well as the work
done by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice in that field. She was of the view that a substantial part
of the legal preparations should be done at Vienna, after
which the text of the draft convention should be transmitted 13. Her delegation believed that States should collaborate
to the General Assembly for final adoption. With the active more extensively on judicial, police and customs questions,
participation of all members of the international community, particularly at the regional level. In order to win the war
the common endeavour should commence and conclude in the against the production, trafficking and illegal use of drugs it
near future. The Government of Poland intended to organize was necessary to establish a programme focusing specifically
and host an intergovernmental expert group meeting in on the drug problem. Otherwise continued drug trafficking
January 1998 to elaborate a preliminary draft convention, would put the very foundations of civilization in jeopardy.
taking into account the resolution concerning the
implementation of the Naples Political Declaration and the
annexes thereto.
10. Ms. Romulus (Haiti) said that it would be more well aware that money derived from drug trafficking was the
productive to address the issues of international drug control, main source of funding for transnational criminal
crime prevention and criminal justice as a whole. It was organizations and, in particular, many terrorist groups.
therefore important to increase collaboration between the Turkey had the will to fight the problem by reducing both
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and supply and demand, while also concentrating on rehabilitation
the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. programmes for addicts.
11. Haiti’s geographical situation in the Caribbean region 15. Turkey, a traditional poppy grower, had applied the
made it a transit point for drug trafficking. Despite its unlanced method in poppy straw cultivation since 1974, a
shortage of resources, however, it had achieved notable system that prevented diversion to illicit channels. However,
results in its fight against the growing threat of drug because of its geographical location Turkey was extremely
trafficking. There had been exchanges with the Dominican vulnerable to drug trafficking. On one side lay a large
Republic and the United States of America and Haiti and the consumer market and an advanced chemical industry
United States had concluded agreements, including one on producing the necessary chemical inputs for illegal
cooperation which was designed to put a stop to drug production; the other side was close to regions which had the
trafficking. The agreement had enabled Haitian and United potential for the illicit production of raw materials for
States coastguards to seize large quantities of drugs. A clandestine laboratories. In 1996, law enforcement agencies
restructuring programme had also been put in place for had confiscated more than 18 tons of illicit drugs destined for
Haiti’s coastguard service in order to strengthen the latter’s markets and more than 42 tons of chemical precursors going
operational capacity. Haiti received aid from the United to clandestine laboratories. That same year Turkey alone had
States and Canada to implement such projects. Haiti was also apprehended 64 per cent of the illicit heroin confiscated in
involved in an initiative by the Caribbean Community to Europe, or 40 per cent of the total amount of heroine
mount an extensive regional campaign to eliminate the confiscated worldwide in 1996. Without international
scourge of drugs in the area. cooperation and exchange of information that level of success
12. Haiti had not, however, managed to avoid the criminal
activity that very frequently went hand in hand with drug 16. His country participated actively in all United Nations
trafficking and increasingly took the form of organized crime; activities relating to international drug control. In the
until recently the latter had been unknown in Haitian society. technical field it cooperated with the United Nations
In addition, the deportation of Haitian immigrants to their International Drug Control Programme. It strongly supported
which itself was a threat to democracy. The deportation of
undesirable elements considerably aggravated an already
fragile situation and made it difficult for the Government to
achieve its objectives. The Government was concerned to see
that the number of persons deported to date amounted to some
10 per cent of the numbers in the new police force, and it had
intensified its efforts to control the return of Haitians. Various
measures had therefore been recently adopted to deal with the
14. Mr. Arda (Turkey) said that his country, as a State
Party to all three Conventions on international drug control,
considered drug smuggling a crime against humanity. It was
would not have been possible.
the efforts of the International Narcotics Control Board to drafting new instruments, especially if only the weakest
introduce control mechanisms in the export of chemical countries pledged to comply with them.
precursors to prevent such chemicals being channelled into
the illicit production of drugs. The Baku Accord on Regional
Cooperation against Illicit Cultivation, Production,
Trafficking, Distribution and Consumption of Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors was an
important instrument providing a region-specific perspective
and approach in the fight against drug trafficking and drug
abuse, while at the same time contributing to similar efforts
by the international community. Turkey also actively
participated in the work of the Council of Europe and the
Economic Cooperation Organization. In addition it had
concluded some 40 bilateral cooperation agreements with
other countries.
17. Turkey viewed the special session of the General
Assembly on the question of narcotic drugs as an opportunity
for not only taking stock of past achievements but also
contributing practical measures to concerted efforts in the
international fight against the problem.
18. With regard to agenda item 103, his delegation
welcomed the resolutions adopted by the Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which were being
referred, through the Economic and Social Council, to the
General Assembly for adoption. A new law on measures
against money-laundering had been enacted and Parliament
was preparing to criminalize violence against women.
19. With regard to the fight against organized transnational order to further political agendas. Measures should be taken
crime, his delegation believed that any convention on the to neutralize drug-trafficking groups. Consumer States should
topic should take into account the evident links between do their utmost to reduce demand, and the international
organized crime, on the one hand, and terrorism and illicit community should provide the requisite support to drug
trafficking in arms, chemicals, nuclear material and human producers for crop substitution.
beings, on the other. Lastly, his delegation was ready to
contribute to making a success of the Tenth United Nations
Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
Offenders and expressed its appreciation to the countries
which had offered to host the Congress.
20. Mr. Hamida (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said that the Government of Myanmar wished to reiterate unequivocally
United Nations congresses on the prevention of crime and the that, like other Governments of the region, it was irrevocably
treatment of offenders were effective in promoting the priority committed to the total eradication of the opium poppy in the
objective of all Member States to combat organized crime and country.
its international manifestations such as illicit drug trafficking
and money-laundering. International cooperation in the fight
against organized crime should be based on a commitment to
comply with the relevant international instruments. Yet
certain powerful States were insisting on applying their own
rules to specific matters already regulated by recognized
norms of international law. Such failure to comply with
existing instruments called into question the usefulness of
21. Therefore, his delegation believed that it should be
determined whether the new instrument under preparation
was consistent with the principles of the Charter of the United
Nations with respect to sovereignty and non-interference in
the internal affairs of States, whether all States could
participate in its preparation, and whether the view of the
majority of States could be reflected therein so that its
universal ratification would be an attainable objective.
Furthermore, extradition treaties should be concluded at the
bilateral level and should be consistent with the laws of the
States concerned. States were responsible for applying their
own laws and the norms of international law to their citizens
and in their territories.
22. His delegation found the current situation of the United
Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the
Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) deplorable. Given the
importance of the Institute’s work for African States, the
United Nations should continue to support it.
23. Illicit drug trafficking was one of the most dangerous
offences because of the serious impact it had on people and
society. For that reason, his delegation welcomed the
forthcoming special session of the General Assembly on the
question of narcotic drugs. His Government was opposed to
any attempt to use the fight against illicit drug trafficking as
an excuse for interfering in a country’s internal affairs in
24. Mr. Tin (Myanmar) said that his delegation was
perturbed at the affirmation in the introductory statement by
the Executive Director of the Office for Drug Control and
Crime Prevention that large-scale illicit opium cultivation in
South-East Asia was concentrated in Myanmar. The
25. Since independence, Myanmar had been in the forefront
of the war against illicit drugs; it considered that war to be
both a national and international responsibility. In the past 10
years alone, nearly 800 soldiers had died and over 2,000 had
sustained injuries in the relentless war that the Myanmar
Armed Forces had waged against drug traffickers. In that
connection, it was regrettable that certain countries accused
the Government of Myanmar of inaction with respect to the
eradication of drugs. In 1993, his country, together with Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Commission
China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand, on Narcotic Drugs into a single office.
had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United
Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP)
to expand and strengthen cooperation in the fight against
illicit drugs and to ensure the continuation of consultations
among the Governments of those countries and UNDCP.
Cambodia and Viet Nam had signed the Memorandum two
years later. His Government had also entered into agreements
in that field with Bangladesh, the Lao People’s Democratic
Republic, the Philippines, the Russian Federation and Viet
Nam, and a mechanism had been set up amongst those
countries and UNDCP for effective cooperation in various
drug control activities.
26. Ever since the colonialists had introduced the poppy
plant into the northern region of his country in the nineteenth
century to finance their opium wars in China, Myanmar had
been fully aware of the menace of narcotic drugs. During the
colonial era, the people, the Buddhist clergy and United States
Baptist missionaries had strongly opposed the brazen opening
of opium dens; prior, opium had only been used as a
medicament for timber elephants. The Government and
people of Myanmar would use the resources available in their
unwavering efforts to rid the country’s border areas of the
opium poppy forever.
27. Mr. Saliba (Malta) said that Malta’s geographic
location exposed it to various types of transnational criminal
activity. The financial might of transnational criminals,
coupled with Malta’s limited capacities to stop their
activities, threatened the economic and fiscal system and the
maintenance of law and order in the country. In order to
combat transnational criminality, his country had entered into
bilateral agreements with Italy, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Egypt, Cyprus and Israel and had begun negotiations to that
end with Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco. Furthermore,
Malta was negotiating a comprehensive framework of
bilateral security cooperation with the European Union
whereby a standing mechanism for consultation and
coordination on problems such as drugs, contraband and
illegal migration would be established.
28. At the cost of countless innocent victims, the
international community was losing the war against the drug
barons. Governments must present a united front against the
drug scourge, which was threatening not only the lives of
human beings, but also the economic, social and
environmental habitat throughout the world. Malta, which
believed that the United Nations system was uniquely
equipped to coordinate the fight against drug trafficking,
welcomed the recommendation to merge the Commission on
29. The international seminar organized in Malta by the
United States Drug Enforcement Administration discussed
how police forces in the Mediterranean countries, Europe and
the United States of America could collaborate in the fight
against drugs. Malta’s strategy was to develop and implement
a balanced drug policy by strengthening the agencies involved
in the fight against illicit trafficking in drugs and by
implementing effective demand reduction programmes that
would address the real needs of both the general population
and specific target groups. Of particular importance were the
drug prevention programmes for school children.
30. Legislative provisions had been enacted by Parliament
to amend the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. The amendments
provided for life sentences for the most serious cases of drug
trafficking; 10-year sentences for other cases and mandatory
prison sentences for those convicted of the trafficking in,
cultivation or importation of drugs; confiscation of the
property of convicted drug traffickers and pre-trial financial
investigations; and the characterization of money laundering
as an offence. The new national drug intelligence unit would
incorporate the relevant sections of the police force, customs
department and the armed forces to ensure more effective
coordination of their work.
31. At the international level, Malta’s contribution to the
work of foreign organizations active in the fight against drug
trafficking was significant. It was one of 19 countries which
contributed to the United Nations Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice Fund, whose ambitious goals could be
achieved only with the generous contribution of Member
States. Finally, the Government of Malta hoped that the
special session of the General Assembly devoted to the
question of drugs would be another opportunity for the
international community to reaffirm its political commitment
and translate words into positive action.
32. Mr. Pashayev (Azerbaijan) said that Azerbaijan
attached great importance to the convening of a special
session of the General Assembly devoted to the question of
drugs and fully supported the preparatory activities of the
Commission on Narcotic Drugs, particularly the organization
of two informal open-ended inter-sessional meetings devoted
to the issues of the illicit manufacture, trafficking and abuse
of stimulants, the control and monitoring of precursors
frequently used in illicit drugs, cooperation among law
enforcement agencies and money laundering.
33. Since the restoration of its independence, Azerbaijan
had been faced with the social, medical, psychological and
legal impact of illicit drug trafficking, a problem that was the
legacy of the former Soviet Union. Among the factors which 37. Azerbaijan also wished to reiterate the important role
contributed to the abuse of and illegal trafficking in drugs of the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan
were the existence of a million refugees and internally against Organized Transnational Crime and the need to
displaced persons, high levels of unemployment, a decline in elaborate an effective international convention against that
living standards and the geographic location of the country, type of crime. It therefore supported the work of the
which was situated between Asia and Europe. The occupation Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and
of a 132-kilometre-long section of Azerbaijan’s border with its decision that the Organization should hold the Tenth
the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Armenian armed forces United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the
created possibilities for the flow of drugs to European Treatment of Offenders. Azerbaijan, which in 1994 had
countries. Furthermore, the favourable climate for the expanded by decree the legislative basis for combating
cultivation of drug-containing plants was one of the factors organized crime, was in need of expert and advisory
that encouraged the production of synthetic drugs within the assistance as part of the United Nations Crime Prevention and
local chemical industry. Criminal Justice Programme. It was also interested in
34. Recognizing the seriousness of the problem, the
President of Azerbaijan had signed a decree aimed at
enhancing the effectiveness of the fight against illicit drug
trafficking. To that end also, a State commission headed by The meeting rose at 4.20 p.m.
a deputy prime minister had been established and a national
programme elaborated to combat drug abuse and drug
trafficking up to the year 2000. Eight drug abuse clinics and
60 anti-drug laboratories were currently functioning in
Azerbaijan. In addition, specialized drug-enforcement
departments and services had been set up within the
framework of police organizations. Steps were also being
taken to strengthen border controls.
35. Azerbaijan had signed bilateral and multilateral
agreements on cooperation in fighting crime, including illicit
drug trafficking, and had acceded to the United Nations
Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances. It was currently considering the
possibility of acceding to the Single Convention on Narcotic
Drugs of 1961 and to the Convention on Psychotropic
Substances of 1971.
36. The thirty-second session of the Subcommission on
Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and
Middle East had been held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan,
in spite of all the social and economic problems with which
the country was faced. The meeting had adopted the Baku
Accord on Regional Cooperation against the Illicit
Cultivation, Production, Trafficking, Distribution and
Consumption of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
and their Precursors, which had then been submitted to the
Economic and Social Council for forwarding to the General
Assembly in 1998. At the same time, for the successful
implementation of its national programme, Azerbaijan needed
the assistance of the United Nations International Drug
Control Programme and of other relevant international bodies
and donor countries so that its customs, police and other
authorities could be provided with the equipment and
professional skills needed to combat illegal drug trafficking.
receiving assistance for the elaboration of national legislation
and for further improving its criminal justice system on the
basis of existing international norms.