United Nations Drug Control Programmes (UNDCP)
Report to Donors on Activities in 1994
Glogal Highlights  

            Asia and the Pacific  
            Europe, the Baltics and the CIS  
            Near and Middle East  
            Latin America and the Caribbean  
            Global Outlook          


1.         The first UNDCP demand reduction expert forum was held in Nairobi in November 1993 for East and Southern African countries.  WHO, ILO, UNESCO and UNICRI/UNAFRI provided substantive support to the event.  Participants attended from 14 countries of the subregion, including South Africa; most were from Ministries or other official services involved in demand reduction.  Also present were professionals from NGOs and international experts.  This provided the opportunity for in-depth exchanges on ongoing experiences in Africa focussing on identification of strengths, weaknesses and possible ways for improvement with respect to prevention, treatment and social reintegration of drug abusers.  Discussions also touched on the conditions under which concepts and actions suitable for African societies in the fight against drug abuse should be developed.  Participants concluded the meeting with action-oriented proposals on approaches to promote needs assessment, public awareness campaigns and regional collaboration.

2.         Preparatory Meetings for the forthcoming NGO World Forum in December 1994 were organized in Nairobi and Dakar, with the participation of some 70 such organizations active in East and Southern Africa and Central and West Africa.  NGO representatives examined ways to increase the involvement of those organizations in the field of demand reduction.

3.         Representatives of UNDCP met with officials of OAU and ECA to develop a common understanding on the drug control issue in Africa and to harmonize their actions in this respect.  OAU and ECA are sensitized to the seriousness of the illicit drug situation in Africa and appear ready to commit themselves to building a partnership with UNDCP.  Representatives of the three organizations decided to work on a formal agreement which would provide a legal framework for future cooperation between UNDCP and both OAU and ECA.


4.         Within the framework of UNDCP's subregional strategy, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) emphasizing the political will for cooperation between the Governments of Pakistan and Iran is ready for signature.  Both governments are keen to sign the MOU soonest.  The MOU identifies, at the same time, areas for joint action in drug control.  In pursuance of this initiative, a subregional UNDCP law enforcement project in the border areas of Iran and Pakistan (with a provision for the future participation of Afghanistan) is expected to be approved shortly.  A number of joint activities are also envisaged in the field of demand reduction starting with the holding of two workshops on treatment and rehabilitation strategies with senior officials from Iran and Pakistan.  UNDCP continues to explore with SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) the scope for collaboration on a number of activities, particularly in the areas of training and information sharing on drug offenses.  UNDCP will ascertain the possible operational involvement of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) drug control unit based in Teheran.

5.         Governments of Southeast Asia have reaffirmed their political commitment to jointly fight illicit drugs at various regional forums.  The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 1993 demonstrated the political support in China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand for an expanded subregional drug control programme.  Since then, Viet Nam has expressed interest in joining the MOU.  Given that it already provides for the joint supervision and monitoring of projects by participating countries, it is envisaged moreover that the MOU will facilitate the progressive institutionalization of the existing Joint Executing Committees to ensure the future sustainability of this cooperation.  The third meeting of the Joint Executing Committee (JEC) took place in November 1993, and was marked by frank discussions on issues related to poppy cultivation and information exchange on trafficking of opiates and precursor chemicals.


6.         Following the UNDCP Programming missions in September-October 1994 to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, incipient technical assistance programme components have been designed for these countries.  Two multi-sector projects, starting in early 1994, will improve control measures and assist institution building in those two countries.  Several new UNDCP-funded projects for Central Asia subregion target initially a reduction in the production of, and trafficking in, illicit drugs among the five CIS states.  Their aim is also to limit the flow of drugs from Southwest Asia through these countries en route to Europe.

7.         As regards the CIS European countries, UNDCP fielded joint programming missions with bilateral donors to Ukraine and Belarus in February 1994.  These missions, multi-sectoral in scope, provided assessments of the current national drug control situations and drew up inventories of priority needs.  UNDCP's Coordination Mechanism for Eastern European countries, Baltic States and the CIS concentrated in 1993 on information gathering and analysis resulting in considerably increased quantities of information provided by donors.  At the second Task Force meeting in December 1993, donors confirmed their full support to the Coordination Mechanism and renewed their request to UNDCP to take an even more pro-active role in establishing priorities for their planning of bilateral and joint assistance programmes thus shaping the agenda for 1994.


8.         The prospects for subregional cooperation in the Middle East are guided directly by the evolving nature of the peace process.  UNDCP's dialogue with the Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization culminating in the visit to the subregion of the UNDCP Executive Director in December 1993, has prepared the ground for developing a subregional programme.  This first step is expected to lead to increased activities in the area which will require strong support to allow for the development of a comprehensive subregional programme.  In Lebanon, implementation of the first phase of the Integrated Area Development Programme for the Baalbek-Hermel region of the Bekaa Valley began in February 1994.  This programme is part of UNDCP's assistance to Lebanon and will integrate the development efforts of all participating UN agencies in the region under one umbrella and will attract other donors to build upon the foundation laid by UNDCP and UNDP.  Timely implementation of this assistance is crucial for keeping momentum behind the Lebanese Government's eradication efforts and for supporting its pledge to sustain such a policy in the future.


9.         With a view to strengthening international drug control cooperation at the subregional level, and following initial advances in Southeast and Southwest Asia, UNDCP and Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru adopted a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Subregional Cooperation at a meeting of experts held in La Paz, Bolivia (1-3 February).  Formal signature of the MOU will take place in Vienna during the 37th session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs in April 1994.  The MOU is supported by an action agenda, also elaborated at the subregional meeting of experts, calling for joint programmes commencing in mid-1994 in drug abuse prevention, control of illicit traffic, and alternative development.  In the latter field, Chile and Argentina pledged crop improvement and marketing assistance for Bolivia and Peru for the placement of export-grade agricultural commodities in several Latin American markets, including their own.  In this context it is envisaged to not only use expertise and facilities already available in the countries parties to the MOU, but also to mobilize the technical and financial inputs of regional organizations such as the Inter-American Commission for Drug Abuse Control (CICAD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).  The subregional meeting of experts in La Paz was attended by 19 technical and government experts representing relevant ministries and the national drug control commissions, and concludes the series of exploratory consultations initiated in May 1993 by the Executive Director with Permanent Representatives of the four countries in both Vienna and New York.

10.       The Executive Director visited Brazil in November 1993 to discuss drug control issues of common interest with the Ministers of Justice, Education, Health, Foreign Affairs and Presidency, as well as with governors of key states, and officials of the diplomatic and donor community, civic society, industry and NGOs.  UNDCP is following up with working-level consultations and draft proposals for (1) elaboration of a multi-country subregional cooperation programmes to strengthen law enforcement efforts in regions bordering coca-cocaine and poppy-heroin producing countries ("Amazon Initiative"); (2) development of multi-sector state and national drug control strategies and plans; and (3) incorporation of drug abuse prevention in the teaching curriculums, including the mobilization of Brazilian teachers on the basis of the ongoing and effective model promoted by the State of Sao Paulo.




11.       Drug traffickers take advantage of the geographical location of Africa and the inexperience and deficiencies of national administrations in drug control matters to develop their operational networks throughout the continent.  In addition to serving as drug transit points, African countries are also experiencing the negative spillover effects of such trafficking.  Drug seizures reported by African countries obviously only reflect a fraction of trafficking because of the ineffectiveness of law enforcement services in many countries coupled with the inadequate reporting of that data which is available.  Nonetheless, cumulative seizure figures since 1989 amount roughly to half a ton for heroin and cocaine respectively, nearly 50 tons for cannabis and its derivatives, and over one million dosage units of psychotropic substances.  In the case of heroin, 1992 seizure figures from Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan showed almost double the quantity seized in the previous year.

12.       Nigeria and Zambia, which are among the most seriously affected countries, both in terms of trafficking and abuse, are riven by violence and corruption emanating from this phenomenon.  The general precarious conditions of life for most of the population makes drug trafficking an attractive business and drug abuse a temptation to escape from poverty and uneasy life.  In particular a steadily increasing segment of the urban population lacking basic social infrastructure and prospectives to improve their lives provides a reservoir of persons vulnerable to drug abuse.

13.       Cannabis production continues to expand in many African countries.  The best known case of widespread production remains Morocco where significant increases in the seizures of cannabis and cannabis resin were recorded in 1993 en route mainly to Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the UK.  Evidence indicates that cannabis cultivation is increasing in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan, Swaziland, Zaire and Zambia where peasant producers of traditional cash crops are lured by its relatively high profits.  Production is targeted towards both the domestic and the export market (in the latter case, mainly in Europe and North America).  Significant quantities of cannabis resin from the Middle East are brought into East Africa, and have opened new transit patterns through the continent.  Moreover, cannabis oil from Nigeria has recently been seized as far away as in Hong Kong.

14.       Nigeria probably remains the most important transhipment location for heroin between Asia and Western markets, but the transit has spread throughout many other countries of the continent.  Heroin traffickers operate with more professionalism than before and appear to link up with other criminal organizations, both within and outside Africa.  The abuse of heroin, which, hitherto, was relatively marginal in Africa is now a discernable threat.  Not only have heroin-related deaths been recorded in countries such as Zambia and Mauritius, but a new method of abuse, via intravenous injection, has been observed in certain countries and this will undoubtedly have an impact on the continent's already catastrophic HIV pandemic.

15.       Significant amounts of cocaine transit African countries, with traffickers taking advantage of the established heroin smuggling networks in the continent.  In addition to airline connections, maritime routes are being exploited and small islands groupings, like Cape Verde, along the Atlantic coast of Africa are increasingly being used as transit points.  In Morocco, networks for cannabis and cannabis resin trafficking are also being used for the same purpose.  In Ghana there are indications that crack has been produced and is being abused in this territory.

16.       Psychotropic substances such as diaz­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­epam, chlordiazepoxide, methaqualone, pemoline and phenobarbital continue to be directed to various parts of Africa, mainly counries south of the Sahara (Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone and South Africa) in millions of tablets.  Large quantities of these substances are diverted from licit manufacture and trade while others are obtained from illicit production.  The manufacture of methaqualone in clandestine laboratories in East and Southern Africa deserves special attention in this regard.  Barbiturates are sometimes taken in conjunction with khat, a substance commonly consumed by populations in the Horn of Africa.


North Africa

17.       In Morocco, following the completion of the pilot project for the reduction of cannabis cultivation in Azila through alternative development, UNDCP is now discussing with the Government the formulation of a national master plan which would eventually lead to the programming of new assistance to that country.  In Algeria and Tunisia, the ongoing law enforcement projects are nearing completion after the provision of training and equipment to the police, customs and health institutions.  In respect to Egypt, a mission has recently visited this country in order to increase the rate of implementation in two technical assistance projects in the areas, respectively, of demand reduction and law enforcement.

East and Southern Africa

18.       Ten projects are currently underway in the subregion.  The posting of a UNDCP Law Enforcement Technical Adviser to Nairobi has proven instrumental in furthering cooperation efforts in this field in the subregion.  However, an early assessment of the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) project based in Nairobi has revealed initial implementation problems.  Following an evaluation currently underway, remedial action will be discussed in April between all parties concerned.  Cooperation with South Africa is taking shape after a mission visited that country in December.  Meetings took place with, among others, officials from Customs, Police and the Ministry of Health, also with senior ANC representatives, who all expressed their readiness to contribute to drug control activities in the subregion.  Concrete undertakings between UNDCP and South Africa are scheduled to follow the country's first democratic elections in April.

West Africa

19.       Following recent political developments in Nigeria, there have been changes of leadership within the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and its future remains uncertain as the current government contemplates more drastic measures to intensify drug control.  As a consequence, the implementation of current projects has slowed while the focus shifts to demand reduction.  With respect to Ghana, UNDCP has approved a project providing for extended assistance in law enforcement to this country.  In order to further develop a subregional strategy for West African countries, two subregional projects were designed in February 1994, in the fields of law enforcement training and institution building.  After satisfactory efforts in awareness-building at high political levels, UNDCP is now charged with clear priority setting within its current budget framework.

Central Africa

20.       The implementation of UNDCP programmes in this subregion is affected by the overall troubled political situation, with five countries paralyzed by civil strife and all others facing sporadic unrest or constitutional impasse.  At the national level, implementation of a Law Enforcement and Preventive Education project in Congo is being continued.  At the subregional level, the first phase of a survey on drug abuse in Central Africa was pursued after some delay, with rapid assessment studies being carried out in Cameroon in collaboration with  the World Health Organization.  In spite of the postponement of the ECCAS Conference of Heads of State and Government, and the subsequent delay in the adoption of a harmonized drug control legislation, implementation of a Legislation and Judicial Cooperation project has commenced, training magistrates and developing cooperation instruments in the subregion.  Activities under the subregional Planning and Coordination project slowed down owing to uncertainties regarding the financial situation of ECCAS.  A mission was undertaken to Sדo Tomי & Principe in connection with the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee providing for coordination in drug matters.   Following the conclusions of a French bilateral feasibility assessment mission, a project is currently envisaged in order to establish a subregional canine training center in Gabon.

                                                            ASIA / PACIFIC


South and Southwest Asia

21.       Cultivation of opium poppy in Afghanistan is fast increasing with estimates suggesting an average annual growth of 18 per cent every year during the period 1990-93 as the spread of poppy cultivation to new areas gained momentum with the return of more than 2 million Afghan refugees and renewed escalation of civil strife throughout the country.  Most of the refining of opium poppy in Southwest Asia continues to take place in the borders along the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Drug trafficking networks have become more widespread and intensified and so has drug related violence, with a large number of armed drug convoys regularly crossing the borders of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has drafted a new comprehensive legislation on drugs (still to be passed by parliament) which will extend anti-drug legislation to all provinces and to the tribal areas, and should strengthen the provincial Governments' attempts to eradicate illicit poppy cultivation by 1998.  Licit cultivation of opium poppy in South Asia remains concentrated in the Indian provinces of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh where opium poppy is grown for medical purposes (13,657 ha in 1993); estimates of leakages into illicit distribution channels range from 7-10 per cent of total production.  The production of methaqualone continues to be widespread in India and so is the production of acetic anhydride an important precursor chemical.



Southeast Asia

22.       Continuing political and rapid socio-economic developments marked by the increased economic liberalization of countries in the subregion, are exploited by drug traffickers to their advantage and local abuse is increasing.  Drug trafficking routes have proliferated and drug abuse follows closely along these routes, with related spread of HIV infection.  It is a serious concern along the common borders of China/Myanmar and Myanmar/Thailand, as well as along the Myanmar/India border.  In Viet Nam, opium injection is found prevalent in major cities and the resulting HIV infection has become a serious problem, calling for urgent interventions.  In Myanmar, UNDCP accompanied by government officials and UNICEF colleagues, visited the opium producing Wa area in January 1994 to discuss development assistance.  The UNDCP mission found that opportunities for alternative income development including diversified food crop production and introduction of perennial cash crops do exist.


Southwest Asia

23.       A major assessment of UNDCP's Rural Rehabilitation and Reconstruction project in Afghanistan followed by a strategy paper on UNDCP's immediate programme in drug control in Afghanistan was undertaken in late November.  Five quick impact project proposals are under consideration for formulation.  The second phase of the Dir district project for North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan was approved by UNDCP at a total cost of US$14.5 million to improve the social and physical infrastructure and create new income generating activities for non-poppy growing farmers.  A study on the illicit opiate industry of Pakistan was completed in February 1994 and an Executive Summary was presented to the Pakistan Aid Consortium meeting in Paris which discussed aid pledges to Pakistan for fiscal year 1994-95.  Illicit Drug phenomenon will figure on next year's agenda of the Consultative Group.  In response to UNDCP's initiative, the Government of Pakistan has decided to commence a master plan formulation exercise.

South Asia

24.       The Programme in India was expected to be phased out by end of 1993.  However, several activities have been extended by one year to enable the attainment of essential outputs especially in the field of training.  Future activities will be determined on the basis of priorities set out in the master plan which is currently being finalized.  An evaluation of demand reduction programmes is nearing completion which will identify priority areas to be addressed in the demand reduction sector of the master plan.  As Government estimates of habitual drug abusers vary from 300,000 to 3 million, a thorough survey of nature, extent and dynamics of drug abuse ranks high on UNDCP's future cooperation agenda with India.  A new UNDCP/ILO project "Developing Community Drug Rehabilitation and Workplace Prevention Programmes" has recently been approved for strengthening national capability to mobilize community participation in developing drug rehabilitation services and workplace prevention and assistance programmes.  Following the fact-finding mission to the Maldives undertaken in March 1993, UNDCP has already begun to provide assistance to the Government in redrafting its drug control legislation.  With the appointment of a technical officer for demand reduction in Nepal and National Project Coordinator in Bangladesh, implementation of the programmes in these two countries is gaining momentum.  In Sri Lanka, the Government's master plan -- seen to be of exemplary quality -- has been completed and is awaiting approval by the national parliament.   Two experts in law enforcement and demand reduction are being fielded by UNDCP to develop projects in these two domains covered by the master plan.


Southeast Asia

25.       Under the subregional programme, the alternative development pilot projects (whose purpose is to establish sustainable models for replication by other villages) are now moving into full implementation phase.  Although still at a very early stage, the projects have rooted themselves so firmly so that the neighbouring Wa community in Myanmar has requested similar assistance.  Community-based demand reduction projects with components for HIV prevention, training of government/community teams and data collection have been initiated and will focus largely on the border areas of China/Myanmar and Myanmar/Thailand.  The capacity of governments to interdict the cross-border traffic in opiates and precursor chemicals is being bolstered with staff training and equipment.  Preparatory work is underway to strengthen institutional capacity and data collection in Laos and Viet Nam, prior to the finalization and approval of the comprehensive drug control programmes (or master plan exercises).  In Myanmar, a new project to assess the drug abuse situation in selected locations has been approved by the Government.  It will strengthen the information base on the growing abuse problem, to be used to guide proposals in demand reduction that will target drug injection practices and HIV prevention, among other areas.

East Asia

26.       In China, UNDCP in consultation with WHO, is in discussion with the Government on project ideas in demand reduction, as a follow-up to a mission in early 1993.

Pacific Island states

27.       A public awareness campaign is being implemented in Papua New Guinea.  Campaign materials have been developed for use in a series of mass rallies to draw attention, in particular, to the increasing problems of cannabis cultivation and abuse.




28.       Drug abuse problems in Eastern Europe, the Baltics and the CIS continue to escalate, even if the alarming proportions seen in the West have not been reached.  While Balkan countries continue to serve as a transit route for illicit drug traffic from Southwest Asia to Western Europe, the supply network now extends to Central and Eastern Europe.  Up to 80 per cent of the heroin available on European markets is trafficked along these routes.  Shipments via the southern route, involving the Mediterranean basin, as well as transports via the CIS countries are increasing.  While the bulk of seizures occur in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom, some countries in Eastern Europe, such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland witnessed significant increases in their seizure figures between 1992 and 1993.  Turkey remains a major centre for re-distribution to the European markets of heroin, originating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Incipient heroin production in Eastern Turkey has been confirmed.  In 1993, more than 2,100 kg of heroin were seized in Turkey, as compared to the 1,000-1,600 kg seized in recent years.  In addition, the CIS Central Asia is emerging as a new trafficking route from Southwest Asia to Europe, and a major source of supply of illicit opium and cannabis entering the CIS countries.  Drugs produced in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as drugs of Central Asian origin are smuggled across the CIS borders for markets in Eastern and Western Europe.  Two record seizures in 1993 in Uzbekistan -- 14 metric tons of Afghan hashish destined for the Netherlands, and 1 ton of Afghan heroin en route to Turkey -- emphasize the volume of the problem.  Drug traffickers from the CIS Central Asian subregion have been arrested in Italy, Germany, Greece and Eastern European countries.


29.       The implementation of ten country and regional projects in the Balkan and Eastern European region initiated in 1992-93, will be completed by mid-1994.  UNDCP's main objective is now the development of a more balanced approach complementing control measures gradually with prevention and education efforts.  Current programmes in their early stages, however, still concentrate on legislation and institutional development and control measures in order to address the most pressing problems in the region first, as well as to prevent a rapid explosion of the drug trafficking problems in vulnerable societies with economies in transition.   In order to coordinate and establish a priority list of demand reduction activities, UNDCP in November 1993 held a Coordination Meeting for demand reduction in Central and Eastern European Countries.  The results of the meeting are serving as a reference for all ongoing and planned demand reduction activities in the region.  New projects have been developed with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  A programming and assessment mission visited Turkey in March 1994.

30.       In the CIS European countries, legislation is being further developed to provide a basis for the creation of effective drug control structures.  The UNDCP Programming missions to Ukraine and Belarus in February 1994, undertaken in the framework of UNDCP's Coordination Mechanism, resulted in the formulation of technical assistance programmes for these countries with particular emphasis on measures against international illicit drug trafficking and distribution.  Assistance in demand reduction is also taking shape for these countries leading eventually to the elaboration of a comprehensive assistance approach for the region.

31.       UNDCP's programme for the Baltic States, started in late 1993.  It is designed to develop structures and appropriate legislation.  The inter-ministerial drug control commission operating in Latvia has already finalized new drug legislation for adoption by Parliament, as well as a number of priority project proposals.  A national demand reduction plan has been adopted, in the implementation of which UNDCP and other donors would assist.   Lithuania is in the process of drafting new laws.  Estonia's response to UNDCP's proposals has witnessed delays, mainly due to recent changes in Government.  In Latvia and Estonia, proposals for new demand reduction activities are in the final drafting stage.  The services of a Technical Adviser on enforcement issues will be made available to the Baltic States throughout 1994.  In early February 1994, UNDCP fielded an advisory mission to Latvia and Lithuania, which also reached agreement on the establishment of a Regional Office in the Baltic States, possibly by May-June 1994.  Cooperation modalities with the EU Phare programme were explored at two recent meetings.

32.       In the CIS Central Asian republics, the development of adequate legislation and governmental structures continues.  Following recommendations by two UNDCP legal assistance missions in 1992, the process of ratifying the UN Conventions has commenced in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and new national draft drug legislation has been prepared in both countries.  Kyrgyzstan has also adopted a National Programme on Drug Control, established an inter-ministerial coordinating body, and created a State Committee on Drug Control within its Government.  Similar initiatives have been taken in Uzbekistan.  Following the UNDCP Programming missions to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in September-October 1993, projects emphasizing institution-building and control measures have already started in those countries; included are significant provisions for subregional cooperation against illicit traffic in drugs.  A separate demand reduction project for Uzbekistan and a project formulating modern agricultural policies for illicit crop eradication in Kyrgyzstan are under preparation.  The UNDCP Subregional Office in Tashkent has established steady working relations with governments.



33.       Measures to eradicate illicit crops, started in Lebanon in 1991 and have been maintained throughout 1992-93.  They are expected to reduce illicit trafficking as well.  The 30th session of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East, held in Damascus on 21-25 February 1994, noted with concern that morphine base coming from the Golden Crescent was entering Lebanon in increasing quantities for heroin production.  In view of the reduced opium supply as a consequence of eradication efforts, traffickers are diversifying their operations within the illicit narcotics market in Lebanon by importing cocaine.  Several seizures made in Lebanon have revealed the well-established connection between trafficking groups in Lebanon and South American countries, with Beirut airport being frequently used as the main gateway.


34.       UNDCP's current programme in the Middle East concentrates on designing further cooperation projects in and around Lebanon to support the momentum achieved through the crop eradication programmes of the Lebanese and Syrian authorities.  The Programme's broader aim is to promote subregional cooperation initially between Jordan, Egypt and hopefully Israel law enforcement authorities which will permit an effective response to the illicit trafficking and drug abuse problems affecting the countries of the subregion.

35.       The two-year multi-sectoral drug control assistance programme in Lebanon which began in March 1993, focuses on the implementation of national drug control concepts in the control of use of drugs for licit purposes, illicit trafficking, demand reduction and legal measures.  One specific project has been launched to detect illicit crops in the Bekaa Valley using remote sensing technology.  New demand reduction efforts are being developed based on the findings of the Rapid Assessment Study conducted in 1993.  The first phase of the Integrated Area Development Programme in the Bekaa Valley which began in February 1994, will inter alia focus on the establishment of a revolving credit fund for the promotion of agricultural and non-agricultural income-generating activities, and will formulate the Programme's second phase.




South America

36.       Recent statistics for Brazil point to a deteriorating situation in trafficking and abuse.  Cocaine seizures in 1993 reached 8 metric tons, up 40 per cent on 1992.  Federal Police estimate the catch to represent 5-10 per cent of total traffic going through Brazil.  On the demand side, recent epidemiological studies reveal a drug abuse prevalence of 3.5 per cent for primary and secondary school children, and 55 per cent for street children.  Authorities are especially alarmed by the growing spread of HIV/AIDS infection through intravenous drug abuse, as this method of abuse now accounts for 29 per cent of all new HIV/AIDS registered cases nationwide.  The figure for 1980-86 stood at 2.7 per cent.  The 29 per cent national average obscures the fact that rates are far higher in major cities such as Santos, where it stands at 42 per cent.  Brazil had 35,704 registered AIDS cases (third highest worldwide) in March 1994, and no less than 425,000 HIV-positive people, mostly adolescents and young adults.  The total cost of HIV/AIDS to the country is estimated at US$3.5 billion at this stage.

37.       The new administration of President Sanchez de Lozada in Bolivia is currently drafting the outline of a coca control programme (the so-called 'option zero').  The aim is to eradicate over a four-year period all coca (around 29,000 hectares) which is not grown for traditional purposes under Bolivian Law 1008.  The 'option zero' was discussed at the Consultative Group Meeting for Bolivia organized by the World Bank from 9-11 December 1993.  At the meeting, UNDCP undertook to coordinate the elaboration of detailed terms of reference for the coca control programme, and to assist with the identification of potential financial and technical resources to implement the eradication programme.  The initiative was received favourably by several governments, including the United States, as well as by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Commission.  Explicit support from other major donor governments and the World Bank is still pending, but might be obtained once the components of the coca control programme have been elaborated.  If an overall consensus emerges that the programme holds promise, then UNDCP plans to organize a high-level dialogue at Washington, D.C. involving the World Bank and all major stakeholders in drug control for Bolivia, in order to discuss political, technical and financial requirements for the implementation of the coca control programme.

38.       Apart from the growing illicit coca production, illicit opium poppy cultivation in Peru has spread during the past six months to numerous locations from Sarapampa (Ayacucho Forest) in the south to the northern departments bordering with Ecuador (Piura, Cajamarca, Amazonas).  The illicit crop has been detected also in central Peru, particularly in the Mayo, Sisa and Biabo valleys.  Hectares under cultivation have not yet been quantified.  There is evidence that Colombian (Cali) and Mexican cartels are trying to develop the illicit cultivation in the border triangle region of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.  In Peru, opium base is currently purchased at US$1,000 per kilogram, or seven times the bid price for the same measure of the coca derivative.  Just as Colombia overtook Mexico in opium poppy production in a matter of years, Peru could easily surpass Colombia due to optimal soil conditions and the law enforcement vacuum.  The Peruvian Government is increasingly acknowledging the need for forceful eradication, including legal action against peasants involved in opium poppy cultivation, to vigorously halt the advance of this highly lucrative yet illicit activity at a fairly early stage.

Central America

39.       Central America remains a crucial transshipment and warehousing point of cocaine destined mainly for the North American market.  Last year, over 20 metric tons (MT) of cocaine were seized in the region, principally in Panama (10 MT), Guatemala (9.5 MT) and Honduras (1.5 MT).  On the demand side, recent epidemiological studies in Costa Rica report that abuse of marijuana and psychotropic substances has doubled in the past two years, while cocaine consumption has trebled during the same period.  Despite the lack of reliable indicators, drug abuse in Nicaragua is estimated to be equally serious.  An epidemiological surveillance system for drug abuse in Central America is currently being introduced by, in consultation with the Programme, the Inter-American Commission on Drug Abuse Control (CICAD) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).  Reliable data, supplemented by rapid assessment as needed, will enable governments and multilateral organizations, including UNDCP, to target drug abuse prevention work in priority areas.


40.       UNDCP considers the Caribbean region to be at risk of itself becoming a major market for illicit drugs.  The amount of illicit drugs transiting through and within the region, coupled with the introduction of cocaine as a form of payment to local middle-men for services rendered, has made crack cocaine readily and cheaply available almost everywhere.  Drug addiction problems have now become commonplace in the entire region.  Drug trafficking is undermining governments and officials through corruption, intimidation and economic destabilization, and is exacerbating already sharp social disparities and security problems in many of the countries of the region.


South and Central America

41.       The provision of policy guidance and assistance for the reinforcement of institutional frameworks and capacity for drug control remain central aims of the Programme in Latin America.  National Drug Control Plans (or master plans), many elaborated with UNDCP support in 1992-93, are being implemented in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Uruguay, as well as in Colombia, even though the plan there is still subject to finalization and formal adoption.  During the past six months, UNDCP provided advisory services for the elaboration of national drug control plans in Colombia, Nicaragua and Peru.  In the case of the latter two countries, this was done in conjunction with, or immediately following, the enactment of legislation establishing new institutional frameworks for the development and implementation of drug control policy.

42.       The proportion of funds devoted to demand reduction in the region over total allocations continued its gradual upward trend and stood at about 24 per cent in 1993, up from 17 per cent in 1992, 12 per cent in 1991 and 11 per cent in 1990.  Programmes for preventive education, epidemiological monitoring and rehabilitation of drug abusers are currently ongoing or under formulation in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela, usually with NGOs and in collaboration with relevant UN or regional organizations, such as the Programme on Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization (PSA/WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), PAHO, and CICAD.  Some new programmes are highlighted below.

43.       One of the priorities of the Ecuadorian National Drug Control Plan (demand reduction section) was recently addressed following the approval of an innovative programme aimed at fighting drug abuse by taking advantage of the geographic reach and expertise residing in the national association of 67 government agencies and NGOs which is devoted to educating street children in 12 cities.  With the partial funding of UNDCP, the association will train street educators in drug abuse prevention and basic counseling, and will incorporate drug abuse prevention material into existing national programmes of support for street children.

44.       UNDCP and ILO are currently working with government agencies, industry and NGOs in Brazil, Chile and Mexico on the design of drug abuse prevention programmes in the work place aimed at workers and their families.  The most promising collaboration so far is being achieved in the industrial State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where counterparts are well organized, and where UNDCP's catalytic funding is able to attract up to 80 per cent cost-sharing cash contributions from industry and state programmes.  Also in Brazil, UNDCP successfully completed the development of a drug abuse prevention programme, a component of the US$250 million "National HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme"; 75 per cent of the UNDCP drug abuse prevention component (US$9.1 million) will be funded through a government cost-sharing contribution, and aims at counselling intravenous drug users and alerting them to the high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

45.       Supply reduction activities accounted for 58 per cent of total UNDCP expenditure in Latin America in 1993, down from 67 per cent in 1992, 84 per cent in 1991, and 86 per cent in 1990.  The relative decrease of funding devoted to Alternative Development is more than offset by the improvements in relevance and cost-effectiveness currently being introduced by UNDCP in new projects or ongoing project extensions.

46.       UNDCP is currently involved in separate negotiations with the Commission of the European Union and UNIDO aimed at mobilizing external majority cost-sharing cash contributions for programmes to create employment and to promote micro-enterprise in Chapare, Bolivia both relevant to UNDCP objectives.  The single most important challenge facing Alternative Development as a viable drug control tool is the need to achieve real progress in mobilizing Government, bilateral and multilateral financial and technical institutions, as well as the private sector, in order to target and coordinate rural development efforts in illicit crop areas.  Progress over the coming months in the context of the two major UNDCP-coordinated initiatives in the region mentioned elsewhere in the report -- the Bolivian coca control programme, and the Subregional Drug Control Cooperation Programme -- will serve as a measure of the prospective success of international cooperation on Alternative Development in illicit crop producing countries.

47.       In the field of control measures and the development of legal and judicial support systems (which accounted for 18 per cent of total UNDCP expenditure in the region in 1993), further assistance was provided to Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay in the form of advisory services, training and equipment for: (1) counter-narcotics police and customs officials, (2) precursor control departments, (3) judicial systems in charge of processing drugs-related court cases, and (4) national drug control commissions.  Assistance to customs is provided in collaboration with the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC).  A joint UNDCP/CICAD proposal aimed at harmonizing the drug control legislation of the six Central American republics is nearing completion, and projects to assist the Prosecutor General's offices in both Bolivia and Colombia are being elaborated.  UNDCP continued to assist Chile with the development of the money laundering investigation unit attached to the Chilean equivalent of a Prosecutor General's office.  The initiative coincides with the adoption by the government of legislation codifying drugs-related money laundering as a crime.  Two regional money laundering workshops, one each in Costa Rica and Martinique, were recently organized jointly by UNDCP and CICAD with financial backing from the United States and France.  Beneficiaries included prosecutors, as well as police and banking officials.  Key aims were to raise the awareness of participants as regards methods currently used by organized crime to legitimize drug-trafficking proceeds on a worldwide scale.

48.       The UNDCP Regional Office for Mexico and Central America, based in Mexico City, was opened in late December 1993.  All international and local posts, save that of the Director, have been filled.  The Regional Office is consulting with the Mexican authorities on possible joint programmes both in Mexico and in Central America, and is organizing a needs assessment mission in the subregion for mid-April 1994, to include the participation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and CICAD officials and consultants.


49.       UNDCP's activities in the Caribbean focus on drug demand reduction.  Heavy emphasis is also placed on regional integration of national policies and strategies, with respect to both drug trafficking and drug abuse, and on financial and donor coordination to assist the region in the implementation of these strategies.  The UNDCP Regional Office in Barbados conducted a regional seminar in March 1994 to assist countries in the region with the elaboration or, as the case may be, the improvement and updating of drug control master plans.  The seminar also discussed plans to further promote regional cooperation among drug control authorities, and reviewed the need for more efficient drug control project management and monitoring.  In November 1993 UNDCP convened a Regional Workshop on Financial and Administrative Management Procedures in Barbados for government and other officials involved in reporting on UNDCP-funded projects in the subregion.

50.       A UNDCP mission consisting of experts from Headquarters, the Customs Cooperation Council, and the United Kingdom visited Cuba in November 1993 to assess the technical cooperation needs of different bodies involved in drug control.  Project proposals for assistance to Cuba are now being finalized by the Cuban authorities and UNDCP.  The proposals foresee manpower development equipment provisions for the Customs Department, the Ministry of Health, and the forensic laboratories.

51.       In October 1993, a project was approved for the Dominican Republic to further develop school curricula incorporating drug education, community action and public awareness.  Further, the first ever UNDCP project in the Caribbean to address the prevention and reduction of drug and alcohol problems in the workplace was recently approved for Jamaica, and is being executed by the International Labour Organization (ILO).  Moreover, approval was given to a regional project which allows for the continuation and consolidation of efforts currently underway through the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC).  The project will include training in drug interdiction and will formulate specifications for the procurement of communications / customs equipment.  A proposal to support the "Development of a Programme of Action for the Benefit of Youth at Risk in the Caribbean" also commenced operations, introducing drug awareness programmes in the context of a much larger project dealing with the improvement of the quality of life of youth in the Caribbean, for which UNICEF participation is envisaged.

52.       UNDCP also organized a regional training seminar on asset forfeiture in Jamaica in November 1993 for the benefit of 36 participants from 14 countries in the subregion.  Experienced resource personnel from Canada, Cayman Islands, United Kingdom, and United States contributed substantively with research and position papers.




53.       As stated, due to the absence of effective data-gathering systems providing accurate information on the extent of drug trafficking and abuse, the nature and scope of the drug menace is not easily measurable.  In addition, many governments lack stability and long-term perspectives for development, and it is understandable that they choose to deal, as a matter of priority, with the upsurge of vital issues such as the AIDS epidemic, essential infrastructure maintenance and the economic crises which severely disrupt social life and exacerbate widespread poverty.

54.       Within this context, therefore, UNDCP's approach continues to concentrate on awareness-raising based on solid data gathering and analysis so as to build up both government commitment to drug control and actual drug control institutions.  Data-gathering and analysis, upgrading of drug legislation and specialized manpower development rank as top priorities on the UNDCP agenda.  Master plans, wherever they can be initiated, are also deemed appropriate tools to tackle drug problems in a more systematic and logical way.  UNDCP will also continue to promote cooperation among countries through the implementation of subregionally-based programmes seeking the harmonization of government policies and action plans.


55.       In Southwest and South Asia programme development will pay greater attention to inter-country as well as subregional cooperation needs.  Broader alliances in support of integrated rural development will have to be built to reduce UNDCP investment in Alternative Development and ensure the sustainability of relevant efforts underway.  The continuing rise in drug abuse will require much support at the national and international levels for awareness creation and demand reduction programmes.  UNDCP will contribute towards these efforts by holding a Demand Reduction Forum for Asia and the Pacific in New Delhi in November 1994 and one in Bangkok in 1995.  UNDCP will also increase the capacity of NGOs to develop innovative approaches and improved methodologies for demand reduction at the grassroots level through community-based programmes as well as through special training efforts such as the regional training programme on addiction rehabilitation, to improve the chances of successful social re-integration of drug addicts into the work process.  Other planned UNDCP activities include: determination of the sources, routes and techniques used in the trafficking of precursor chemicals for illicit heroin production; training of judicial and enforcement officials to implement new laws in compliance with the 1988 UN Convention; and identification of appropriate technologies for making realistic assessments of opium production in the subregion.  In this context, UNDCP plans to start a major opium poppy survey for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 season, covering -- as far as the security situation allows -- the whole of Afghanistan.  Inter-governmental and regional bodies which have active drug control programmes and are expected to work in collaboration with UNDCP include the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and the Colombo Plan.

56.       In Southeast Asia, the buildup of subregional cooperation programmes will continue.  In the area of demand reduction, UNDCP foresees providing assistance to governments (a) as they develop ways to prevent, treat and rehabilitate members of highland ethnic minorities who have succumbed to drug abuse; (b) as they attempt to better measure patterns of drug abuse prior to the formulation of relevant programmes; (c) as they support community organizations and indigenous NGOs wherever possible (HIV prevention components will be included where appropriate).  In the area of supply reduction, UNDCP intends to assess the potential of governments of the subregion to identify and measure opium poppy cultivation prior to promoting exchanges of experience and cooperative efforts in the control of opium poppy and the promotion of integrated rural development.  In law enforcement, UNDCP will support the development of a training concept within the subregional that will include international and joint training exercises.  The implementation of the 1988 Convention will be promoted; UNDCP will assist governments in their collaborative efforts to control precursor chemicals and the licit movement of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.  Training in all sectors will be a priority, emphasizing capacity-building in planning and management of operations.

57.       UNDCP will stimulate and direct subregional cooperation through regular policy-level meetings of senior government officials as well as working-level meetings on specific subjects identified by the governments of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, to be joined eventually by Viet Nam.

58.       In addition, technical assistance needs for all areas of drug control in Cambodia will be assessed.


59.       The new UNDCP programme in Balkan and Eastern European countries will be expanded and consolidated both in terms of geographical and sectoral coverage.  UNDCP's activities will lay emphasis on (a) the reinforcement of interdiction capabilities, (b) the improvement of control measures for licit drugs, (c) the early development of demand reduction concepts in those countries already facing discernable demand problems, and (d) the harmonization of drug control approaches within the subregional context.  The programming mission to Turkey, the planned missions to Albania, Bulgaria, and Slovenia, as well as those projects already underway, will significantly increase the volume of UNDCP's assistance to the region in accordance with existing budgetary projections.

60.       In view of this, UNDCP's Co-ordination Mechanism for the region will play a vital role and will expand its sectoral coverage through 1995.  For the next two years, comprehensive programmes (to be funded either by UNDCP, bilateral donors, or jointly) will be formulated for Belarus, Ukraine, Albania, and Slovenia, while activities in Balkan and Eastern European countries will intensify.  Other Balkan and Eastern European countries will witness an expansion of ongoing programmes.

61.       As to the countries of the former Soviet Union, initial assistance will aim at: (a) restricting newly-emerging, sizeable sources of illicit drugs destined for international markets, and (b) minimizing the opportunities available to international traffickers within this region.  The success of UNDCP's activities in the region will depend to a large extent on the creation of sound governmental structures and programmes, the recognition of the severity of the drug problem and, finally, the political will to act.  In this context UNDCP's cooperation efforts in coming years will focus on the development of national and subregional law enforcement capabilities, including the elaboration of adequate legislation in those countries not yet covered by legal assistance programmes.  In the demand reduction sector, rapid assessment studies of the drug abuse situation and prevention campaigns will be given priority alongside the training of treatment and rehabilitation professionals, and the establishment of treatment and rehabilitation services involving the private sector.

62.       A multi-sectoral programming mission to Turkmenistan is under preparation for April-May 1994.  During 1994, UNDCP plans to address abuse problems in the CIS Central Asian republics and to recommend modern agricultural policies in long term support of illicit crop eradication.  The implementation of new assistance programmes and the achievement of concrete results in the Central Asian subregion will largely depend on the structures and capacities of national authorities which require strengthening at the outset of technical cooperation.


63.       In the Middle East, UNDCP's sizeable programme in Lebanon is gaining momentum.  Building on the current multi-sectoral programme, supplementary efforts will take shape in the area of demand reduction and illicit crop monitoring.  The second phase of the Baalbek-Hermel Integrated Area Development Programme will commence in 1995.  In conjunction with the programme components in Lebanon, the assistance given to Syria will reinforce that country's interdiction capabilities as a logical sequel to the country's support to eradication efforts in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

64.       In addition to ongoing projects in Yemen, UNDCP will support Jordan to improve its capacity for implementing a five-year national drug control plan focussing on interdiction.  In order to harmonize drug control measures within the Arab countries, UNDCP plans to organize a master plan methodology exercise for those countries which have already identified their drug control problems and have begun to define policies and priorities.  This exercise will lead to the preparation of master plans while at the same time identifying areas for future subregional cooperation.


65.       UNDCP activities worldwide encourage and facilitate cooperation through inter-governmental joint action agreements (MOUs) and supportive technical assistance programmes.  Furthermore, the Programme has been undertaking a major effort to design and implement a more balanced approach to drug control, grounded on the provision to governments and beneficiaries of sustainable, replicable and cost-effective assistance.  In so doing, UNDCP is continuing negotiations with governments and potential partners to enlist their support and full involvement in the elaboration, implementation, and co-financing of more relevant, selective, and strictly drug-control-related programmes and projects.  In Latin America and the Caribbean, as elsewhere, UNDCP is employing more rigorous project appraisal criteria, and is implementing training programmes for project counterparts and staff on project development, monitoring, and financial control.

66.       UNDCP's overall objectives in the region remain twofold.  First, it will continue to assist governments with the development of policy guidance and institutional frameworks, and with selective direct support, in order to enable them to discharge their national and international responsibilities in the fields of drug control, effect associated legal reform and, where appropriate, elaborate rural and urban development strategies which include the drugs dimension.  Secondly, there remains the goal of accelerating the sensitization of civil society as regards the costs of an unabated illicit drugs industry to a country's socio-economic development, security, health, environment, and cultural integrity.  In this regard, and following encouragement from the IBRD, the Programme will undertake a replication of its seminal multi-disciplinary research effort on the illicit drugs industry in Pakistan, within the context of selected countries in Latin America.

67.       UNDCP is aiming to attain a programme of assistance in the region which is characterized by: (a) majority participation of the government and other donors in larger-scale Alternative Development and drug rehabilitation projects at the technical and funding levels; (b) the leveraging of scarce financial resources with UNDCP serving as the identifier or facilitator of international, subregional and national initiatives for socio-economic and human development programmes which converge on improved drug control; and (c) more research and awareness-creation among the civil society of the true social, economic and environmental opportunity costs and negative externalities connected with drug production, trafficking and consumption.

1994 Briefing to UNDCP Donors on UNDCP activities in 1994