Time: Tue Jul 15 22:36:45 1997
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Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 22:35:42 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: UN Commission in Vienna, July, 7-9th 1997 (fwd)

>The Transnational Radical Party delivered, for the first time, a speech
>addressed to the UN Commission in Vienna that is responsible for preparing
>the Special Session for the UN General Assembly that will be held in 1998.
>In its speech, the TRP emphasized the fact that the same official UN
>documents and reports (the latest of which is the recently published Global
>Report, which estimates that 8% of the world's commerce consists of drug
>distribution) cannot be read as anything other than a confirmation of the
>disastrous results of current policies. Such an observation has yet to be
>reflected upon within the UN for the necessity of reforming the
>International Conventions, which are actually modelled upon a strict
>prohibitionism. (The entire text of the speech follows.)
>acting as preparatory body for the special session of the General Assembly
>Vienna, July, 7-9th 1997
>Mr. Chairman,
>The Transnational Radical Party has already expressed its criticism of the
>policies adopted so far by the United Nations regarding the problem of
>substances that are placed under international control by the International
>Conventions. These, however, have not prevented us from attentively
>monitoring the effects of the policies of the governing bodies. Such
>attentive analyses remain a point of reference and are the point of
>departure for this document.
>Certain passages of the 1996 International Committee Report on narcotics
>control are exemplary of how the current policies have worsened current
>problems and created new deficiencies, and without ever considering, in a
>pragmatic sense, that these policies are not only inefficient, but also
>The second paragraph of the first chapter of the report states the
>following: "The Committee has documented an increase in the amount of
>opiates, amphetamines, and other psychotropic substances, as well as
>cocaine, that have been seized in recent years [...] This evolution reveals
>both the aggravation of the problem of drug abuse, but is due also to the
>improvement of the means of repression."
>The third paragraph states: "The Committee believes that, despite the
>intensification of repressive strategies, the production and shipment of
>drugs, as well as their consumption has extended to regions of the world
>which, before recently, had never known the problem".
>In the fourth paragraph, it is concluded that the actual situation, which
>strikes small scale dealers and consumers more than the large distributors,
>"can generate a sentiment of injustice and unfairness towards the penal
>system in the hearts of the people. Many jurisdictions are subject to the
>combined effect of the intense distribution and consumption of illegal
>drugs, as well as the effects of stronger repressive measures and a larger
>prison population."
>The sections cited above relate to only one dimension of the drug problem,
>which is that of the difficulties encountered by the penal system.
>More explicitly, in its February 9th, 1996 resolution the General Assembly
>declared its "profound worry for the fact that, despite the increasing
>effort of nations and international organizations, the demand has increased
>for the illicit production and distribution of drugs and psychotropic
>substances, including synthetic and "designer" drugs, and, by consequence,
>that the global dissemination of these drugs seriously threatens the
>socio-economic systems, politics, and stability of nations and the
>sovereignty of an increasing number of states."
>Neither the Committee nor the General Assembly, at the conclusion of their
>analyses, confronted the question of the cause of the onslaught or what
>remedies are now required. On one side, the power of the criminals tied to
>drug trafficking must already be coldly considered, as it is an
>incontrovertible fact and an inevitable of our times and our societies,
>and, on the other, we must reaffirm that this must not prevent us from
>fighting them with all of the necessary resources.
>The final bell of warning, which risks being rung in vain, is the World
>Drug Report presented by the UNDCP two weeks ago. The methodological rigor
>and seriousness of the scientific analysis conducted therein paints a
>shocking picture of the diffusion of drugs throughout the world, and is
>able to expand upon solutions in correct terms of damage reduction and
>legalization. It is a pity that the UNDCP has taken a step away from its
>report, and does not assume the responsibility of representing these
>debates by utilizing the space to maneuver that it has been provided with.
>Mr. Chairman,
>If the United Nations Conference is to be prepared upon these
>presuppositions, the future is already lost. The experience of these
>policies has not brought any benefits, whether direct or indirect, and the
>value of its analyses are increasingly negative, to the point that it seems
>extremely difficult to change course without deep reforms. As has been
>noted, the failed arrival at an objective of the International Conventions
>is not as worrisome as the damages the policies have caused in trying to
>reach that objective.
>We are aware of the fact that the drug policies are a matter of individual
>nations and that the role of the United Nations is to encourage and
>reinforce international cooperation. At the same time, we have noted with
>great pleasure, for example, that the problem of the treatment and
>reduction of drug-related health risks is considered far more seriously
>today than it was in the past.
>The Transnational Radical Party, in light of the 1998 Special Session of
>the General Assembly, solicits reflection on the following:
>- on the policies adopted in certain nations which have signed the
>International Conventions (for example, Islamic nations) regarding the
>products derived from alcohol, a substance which is not subject to
>international control;
>- on the fact that the UN cannot continue to present minimal "limits" of
>the penalties, without simultaneously defining the maximum acceptable
>limits more clearly. We find ourselves in the paradoxical situation of
>watching the ostracization of nations that have democratically decided not
>to prosecute consumers, without there ever being any sort of condemnation
>for the nations that often resort to the death penalty for the simple
>possession of substances that are subject to international control.
>- on the necessity of the UN's determined opposition to the extant limits
>regarding the laws for the cure of citizens who are addicts, and the
>consequent obstacles placed upon the freedom of physicians.
>The Transnational Radical Party, in view of the 1998 Special Session of the
>General Assembly, proposes a pragmatic work method: to conceive political
>decisions for the goal of controlling the problem, beginning with the
>acquisition and study, of all the available scientific facts.
>To this end we would suggest to the Preparatory body commission two
>scientific studies with the aim of more throughly understanding the nature
>of the reforms that are to be adopted:
>- Cost evaluation/Efficiency of the International Conventions, with
>particular focus on the markets where substances that are subject to
>control, and the impact of their presence upon social, economic, judicial,
>and health care systems;
>Evaluation of the recent scientific researches regarding substances that
>are under the control of International Conventions, and the eventual
>proposal for the updating of the list of substances that are to be placed
>under international control.
>An open political debate within the Preparatory Body that will result in
>the revision of the International Conventions should also be considered. We
>are not the only ones who request such a discussion. The European
>Parliament, in its report on the European Union's plan of action for
>1995-1999, has recommended that a conference should be held which will
>"encourage reflection and analysis of the results of current policies, as
>they have been dictated by the UN Conventions of 1961, 1971, and 1988, and
>to also open the way for an eventual revision of those conventions."
>Thank you Mr. Chairman.

>Posted by:
>Arthur Livermore
>LIVERMORE CONSULTANTS    alive@pacifier.com
>P.O. Box 36              http://www.pacifier.com/~alive/
>Arch Cape, OR 97102 USA  Copyright (c) 1997 by Arthur Livermore
>503-436-1882             All rights reserved

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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