Established in 1946, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was established by the Economic and Social Council as a body of the United Nations dealing with drug related matters. Member states of the CND, critically asses the drug situation in the world, provide a follow up to a special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem and offer possible measures and solutions to cope with the situation. This is however done so long as the solutions offered are within its mandate. Functions of the Commission.
As a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council, the commission assists in supervising the application of international conventions and agreements dealing with narcotic drugs. It also advices the council on all matters concerning the control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors. The international conventions mentioned above came as a result of the formation of CND and the rising use and abuse of narcotic drugs throughout the world. The different conventions tackled different issues and came up with different proposals to strengthen the international drug control system to combat the world drug problem.
These conventions were held in 1961, 1971 and 1988 to address the drug situation. The single convention on narcotic drugs, the convention on psychotropic substances and the convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances were held in those years respectively. The single convention on narcotic drugs of 1961 It was purposed to combat drug abuse by synchronized international action. Two forms of the intervention and control were put in place and work together with the following objective;
• First, it seeks to limit the possession, use, and trade in, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes. • Secondly, it combats drug trafficking through international cooperation to deter and discourage drug traffickers. The convention on psychotropic substances of 1971 It established a control system for psychotropic substances. It reacted to the diversification and expansion of the spectrum of drugs of abuse and introduced controls over a number of synthetic drugs according to their abuse potential on one hand and therapeutic value on the other hand.
The convention against illicit traffic in narcotic and psychotropic substances of 1988 It addressed the issue on drug trafficking as stated in the convention’s theme, aimed at curtailing the drug trafficking rate globally. Following the convention, the commission decides upon the recommendation of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), to place or transfer precursor chemicals frequently used for the manufacture of illicit drugs. Following these provisions, the commission was mandated to consider all matters pertaining to the aims of the conventions and see to their implementations.
In December 20 1991, the General Assembly established the fund of the United Nations International drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and expanded the mandate of the commission to enable it to function as the governing body of the programme. Seven years later in 1998, the 20th special session was held and the general assembly pledged to counter the world drug problem, conferred additional mandates to the commission of narcotic drugs (UNDCP). UNDCP is now administered as part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
During this General Assembly, the commission requested member states to report after every two years to the commission on their efforts to meet the goals and targets. Role of narcotics in fueling conflict. Conflict and production of illicit drugs have often been linked together by many people. Recent academic research on the matter has taken place mainly within the framework of studies of the role of natural resources in civil wars. These have tended to lump drugs together with other ‘lootable’ resources such as diamonds (Cornell, 2005).
Past cases indicate that where a pre-existing drug production exists, the conditions of armed conflict boost the production of narcotics and enable insurgents to become more involved in the drug syndicate to generate financial resource for the war. This increases their capabilities and the threat they pose to other nations. Drug trade also has an effect on the insurgent groups by creating a motivational drawback. This generates an economic function of war and fuels the continuation of the armed conflict. This is the situation in many African countries and some Asian countries today.
The Place of Co-operation in Furthering the Policies of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs The principle of co-operation is an international recognized customary principle that ensures the promulgation of no harm to the international community by seeing that all states within the international sphere initiate adequate steps to control and regulate sources of serious global drug and substance abuse and in particular regulate its harmful implication to persons (Charney, 1949). Thus it is every states mandate not to allow knowingly its territory to be used for acts that relate to production and use of drugs contrary to the rights of other states.
For co-operation to be effected, states are required to abide to the international principle of due diligence and harm prevention that requires all states to take ,individually or jointly all measures consistent with the above mentioned conventions through the use of the best practice means at their disposal and in accordance to their capabilities. Inorder to effectively see the materialization of this practice, states are required to introduce legislative and administrative control applicable to public and private conduct which are capable of effectively protecting other states and global environment.
It is however note worthy that the principle of co-operation is one that is flexible in nature and as a result, creates limitation towards effective implementation of the international principles as it does not make the state an absolute guarantor of the prevention of harm, (Contini and Sand, 1972). Also another major impediment to this general formulation of due diligence is that it is relatively unhelpful in drug control matters because it offers little guidance on legislation or control are required of states in each case.
Something more is needed to give it concrete content and predictability. What then may be the alternative drug control strategies upon consideration of the shortcomings identified in this thesis? For the purpose of initiating useful approach it i8s imperative for UN member states to consider internationally agreed minimum standard set out in treaties or in resolutions and decisions established by international bodies with specific reference to commissions that are set out to undertake an in depth analysis into specific issues.
Such ecostandards are recognized for providing detailed and precise policies that relate to specific issues. This is also due to existence of expects that are well vast with issues that relate to specific fields of study. An alternative approach allows for a state’s development of due diligence standard that are congruent to the best available technology.
The London dumping convention for example, establishes that states abide to the international standards in the best practicable means whether independently or in partnership with other states; this in my view also relates to the Tran boundary import and export of narcotic drugs. References: Charney, R. (2004). International Responsibility, Washington: SAGE Cornell, S. (2005). The Interaction of Narcotics and Conflict, New York: Florida. Continy, T and Sand, K. (1972). Trends in Transboundary Drug Importation. London: Macmillan.