The persistent increase of drug abuse and illicit trafficking remains a serious trans-national threat in the OSCE. It creates instability, menaces the security of States and affects the entire international community. The UNODC estimates that 205 million people in the world use illicit drugs, including 25 million who suffer from illicit drug dependence. Illicit drug trafficking and its close links with corruption and money laundering have a devastating effect on democratic governance and economic development all over the world.
The economic transformations, the liberal market policies, and the intensified international trade and travel facilitate the development of illicit business activity. The global trade in illegal drugs is a vast enterprise, estimated by the UNODC at more than $300 billion a year.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) stands ready to make its contribution to the international efforts to combat the threat of illicit drugs and diversion of precursors, in close co-operation with relevant international organizations, institutions and mechanisms.
The OSCE assists countries in the implementation of various UN conventions and universal instruments related to drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism. The OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana (2005), through its Decision 5/05 “Combating the Threat of Illicit Drugs” urged the OSCE participating States to engage in more effective co-operation in the drug-fighting sphere and tasked the Secretary General to enhance co operation with the UNODC and other relevant organizations in combating the trafficking of illicit drugs. The OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid (Decision 4/07 OSCE engagement with Afghanistan) and the Permanent Council (PC DEC/758 on Enhancing international anti-drug co-operation and PC/DEC 813 on Combating the threat of illicit drugs and precursors) have further addressed the matter of enhancing OSCE activities in the drug-fighting sphere.
The above mentioned Decisions reiterated the commitments of participating States to ratify and fully implement their obligations under the three UN anti-drug conventions (the Single Convention -1961-, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances -1971- and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances -1988-) and to increase the engagement of the OSCE in contributing to the global efforts against drug trafficking.
The OSCE Concept for Combating the Threat of Illicit Drugs and the Diversion of Chemical Precursors (PC.DEC/1048) adopted in 2012 streamlined the OSCE mandate in assisting the participating States in combating illicit drugs and provided a solid platform for a dialogue and closer co-operation of all interested stakeholders: participating States, international and regional organizations, civil society, including media and non-governmental organizations.
At the 2015 Belgrade Ministerial Council participating Stated adopted Declaration on the OSCE Activities in Support of Global Efforts in Tackling the World Drug Problem. Therein Ministers endorsed recommendations for the United Nations General Assembly special session on the world drug problem (UNGASS 2016, New York, 19-21 April 2016) aimed at supporting and complying with the three international drug control conventions, pursuing balanced and integrated approach to reduction of both illicit drug supply and demand, developing partnership with the private sector and co-operation among public health, education sectors and law enforcement with a view to reducing drug-related crime and promoting healthy living. The OSCE executive structures were called upon to continue to promote in close co-operation with UNODC, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and other relevant multilateral organizations the OSCE’s efforts to tackle the threat of illicit drugs, the emergence and spread of dangerous new psychoactive substances (NPS) and the diversion of chemical precursors and to extend relevant assistance to the OSCE participating States at their request and in line with the three United Nations drug control conventions.
The OSCE executive structures (particularly the Strategic Police Matters Unit, the Borders Team and the Office of the Coordinator on Economic and Environmental Activities), within their respective mandates, contribute to the implementation of the commitments adopted by the participating States.
The OSCE field operations, also within their respective mandates, cooperate with the host authorities in implementing its counter-narcotic commitments, assisting them with projects on enhancement of capacities to combat illicit drugs.
This portal in POLIS is a platform that offers information to experts from participating States on combating drugs. Its purpose is to raise awareness on drug related problems and stimulate the participating States to be more actively engaged in drug supply and demand reduction. The portal is meant to be a useful tool for law enforcement practitioners to exchange information in their efforts to curb the smuggling and unlawful use of narcotics in the OSCE area.
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