• Alternative Developments, Economic Interests and Paramilitaries in Uraba

    Moritz Tenthoff
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 27
    September 2008

    The following document analyses how the Forest Warden Families Programme and the Productive Projects of the Presidential Programme Against Illegal Crops in Colombia have been used to legalise paramilitary structures and implement mega agro-industrial projects in the Uraba Region.

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  • Rewriting history

    A response to the 2008 World Drug Report
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 26
    June 2008

    The world today is not any closer to achieving the ten-year targets set by the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs. These goals were “eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008.” Instead global production of opiates and cocaine has significantly increased over the last ten years. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) global illicit opium production doubled from 4,346 tons in 1998 to 8,800 tons in 2007. This is mainly due to the massive increase in opium production in Afghanistan. The estimated global cocaine production increased from 825 tons in 1998 to 994 tons in 2007, an increase of 20%.

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  • Missing Targets

    Counterproductive drug control efforts in Afghanistan
    Martin Jelsma Tom Kramer
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 24
    September 2007

    Despite efforts by the Afghan government and the international community to reduce poppy cultivation, opium production in Afghanistan has once again reached record levels in 2007. The United Nations Office on Drugs  and Crime (UNODC) annual survey estimates that 193,000 hectares is under poppy cultivation, a 17 per cent increase on the record levels of 2006, yielding a harvest of 8,200 mt (an increase of 34 per cent). The main policy instruments to bring down these figures - eradication of opium poppy fields and implementing alternative livelihoods projects - are missing their targets.

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  • Sending the wrong message

    The INCB and the un-scheduling of the coca leaf
    Martin Jelsma
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 21
    March 2007

    The INCB, rather than making harsh judgements based on a selective choice of outdated treaty articles, should use its mandate more constructively and help draw attention to the inherent contradictions in the current treaty system with regard to how plants, plant-based raw materials and traditional uses are treated.

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  • The UN and Harm Reduction - Revisited

    An unauthorised report on the outcomes of the 48th CND session
    Martin Jelsma
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 13
    April 2005

    The US pressure on the UNODC to withdraw support from needle exchange and other harm reduction approaches backfired at the 48th session of the CND in March 2005. Delegates from around the globe stood up to defend the overwhelming evidence that harm reduction measures are effective against the spread of HIV/AIDS. In this briefing TNI analyses the proceedings and results of the CND meeting in Vienna in March 2005, and outlines several options for follow-up and recommends next steps to take.

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  • The United Nations and Harm Reduction

    Martin Jelsma
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 12
    March 2005

    In March 2005 the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) will meet in Vienna. The confrontation between zero-tolerance ideologists and harm reduction pragmatists will be fiercer than ever before. The US government – the biggest donor of UNODC – threatened to cut funding to UNODC unless the agency assured that it would abstain from any support for harm reduction, including needle exchange programmes and substitution treatment. Conflicting views within the UN system on harm reduction have become a major concern. Consistency in messages is crucial especially where it concerns joint global programmes such as the efforts to slow down the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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  • Broken promises and coca eradication in Peru

    Ricardo Soberón
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 11
    March 2005

    The forced crop eradication policy implemented by the Peruvian government over the past 25 years has failed. The official strategy has exacerbated social conflicts; contributed to various types of subversive violence; jeopardized local economies, also affecting the national economy; and destroyed forests as crops have become more scattered. Worst of all, it has not resolved any of the underlying causes of drug trafficking, such as poverty, marginalisation and government neglect.

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  • Plan Afghanistan

    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 10
    January 2005

    In November 2004 an unknown mystery plane sprayed opium poppy fields in eastern Afghanistan. Although the US denied any involvement, the US State Department is pressing for aggressive aerial eradiction campaigns to counter the booming opium economy. Due to policy controversies the State Department had to back off. At least for the time being. The spraying took place at a crucial moment in Afghanistan. While Karzai was elected as president on 5 November, some in the US administration were pressing to step up US involvement in drug control. The new approach emerged from a high-level administration review in the summer of 2004 of US operations in Afghanistan. The review acknowledged the seriousness of the drug problem and the ineffective past measures to confront it.

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  • The Erratic Crusade of the INCB

    Tom Blickman
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 4
    February 2003

    In the Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2002 that was released on February 26, the president of the Board, Dr. Philip O. Emafo from Nigeria, launches a strong attack against groups that advocate legalisation or decriminalisation of drug offences, as well as groups "that favour a crusade" focusing only on harm reduction. Mr. Emafo's attack reflects how out of touch the president of the INCB is with current developments in inter­national drug control. If anyone is involved in a "crusade' with "missionary zeal', it is Mr. Emafo himself, trying to turn back accepted best practices in countering the adverse effects of problematic drug use. Mr. Emafo gives a completely distorted picture of the political acceptance of the harm reduction concept.

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  • New Possibilities for Change in International Drug Control

    Tom Blickman
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 1
    December 2001

    The Executive Director of the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), Pino Arlacchi, will resign mid-2002. Mr. Arlacchi's position became untenable when the UN Inspector General's Office issued two very critical reports investigating allegations of mismanagement, nepotism and possible fraud. While press coverage focused on the scandals within ODCCP, little attention was given to the negative legacy of Mr. Arlacchi on the direction of international drug control policy itself.

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