International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report 2010

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The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is an independent body of the United Nations (U.N.) and is in charge of implementing the UN’s international drug conventions.

This year’s major conclusions include that Central America’s weak institutions and lack of proper law enforcement, combined with porous border crossings, have turned the region into a major transit area for drug shipments traveling from Colombia to Mexico. In addition, South America has registered a reduction in coca cultivation mainly because of a drop in Colombia’s production (the region had 158,000 hectares in 2009, 8,800 hectares less than 2008; while Colombia reported 68,000 hectares in 2009, a 16 percent decrease from 2008). The report also notes there has been an increase in the use of semisubmersibles and submersibles for illegal drug shipments (19 semisubmersibles were seized between1993-2007, and 34 alone between2008-2009). And in North America, despite a reduction in cocaine consumption in the U.S., there has been an increase in the consumption of all other drugs, especially the so-called “designer-drugs.”

An extract from the foreword:

“The present report highlights the many challenges faced in drug control. It presents a realistic snapshot of the current drug control situation throughout the world. The news is not all bad. Governments have gained experience in preventing and treating drug abuse. There is broad recognition of the fact that the drug-related problems must be tackled by using a delicate balance of both supply and demand reduction measures. There are regional and international mechanisms for promoting cooperation in drug control. Non-governmental organizations are playing an increasingly important role in highlighting the need for equitable access to medicines used for the treatment of pain. The need to ensure respect for human rights in supply and demand reduction measures is emphasized repeatedly by international organizations and non-governmental organizations. Organized criminal groups are dynamic — always seeking the path of least resistance. It is only together — through cooperation — that the international community can make real progress in its efforts to prevent drug-related problems and continue to ensure the availability of controlled drugs for medical and scientific purposes.”

Download the full report (pdf.).

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