Trends and Issues in the International Drug Control System—Vienna 2003 Conference Paper uri icon


  • The April, 2003 meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the meetings and other efforts to influence it sponsored by interested parties before and around the Commission meeting, are described and analyzed. The 2003 meeting was seen as significant because it was the occasion for assessments of progress on the process goals set out in the United National General Assembly Special Session on drugs in 1998. Debate and discussion of the text of resolutions in the Commission meetings are analyzed in terms of the major points of conflict in 2003 between national delegations--cannabis policies, harm reduction, substitution therapy, and preferences for dramatizing or matter-of-fact language. Also discussed are the drift toward a crime rubric for the drug control system, and the increasing distance between the focus of the system on policing and the focus of most Western European governments on drugs as welfare or health issues. It is concluded that the system seems to be at a stalemate.

publication date

  • December 2005