UN Representative for the Transnational Radical Party says INCB concerns on African countries will only increase law and order policies not general health or development of the region

On the occasion of the presentation of the INCB 2004 Report, UN Representative for the Transnational Radical Party, Marco Perduca warned that while being accurate, but certainly not new, the poor reporting of UN Member States did not allow a comprehensive overview of the presence of narcotics in the world “INCB concerns on African countries will only increase the strengthening of law and order policies, the latest fashion in many countries, but not improve the general health or development situation of the region.

In its Report for 2004, the International Narcotics Control Board noted that “Most countries in Africa have no adequate legislative framework and lack the necessary administrative mechanisms for the control of precursor chemicals” and that “such a situation may lead to serious problems in the international monitoring of trade in such chemicals”. Africa is also becoming a route of preference for Latin America traffickers to reach the U.S. and Europe. In addition, the Board states, “African countries are increasingly being targeted by traffickers attempting to obtain the chemicals they need for illicit drug manufacture”. In the past the INCB had expressed concerns on the increase in the production of cannabis derivatives in a dozen African countries, but now, to face, what is consider to be sudden and worrying rise in the production and refining of all sorts of narcotics, the Board urged African Governments to “establish, as a matter of urgency, appropriate mechanisms for the monitoring and control of precursor chemicals in order to prevent their diversion”.

Mr. Perduca commented that “a continent that is still dying of starvation and armed conflicts could in fact make a better use of international support and ad hoc technical cooperation”, moreover he noted that “toughening policies, or establishing emergency laws, is running the risk of strengthening oppressive and repressive regimes, giving them legal ammunition to crack down on critics labeling them 'drug traffickers'”.

“Once again”, concluded Perduca “the Board offers the same old, failing, remedy, prohibition, for new and dynamic contexts; one can bet on the outcome”.