UNDP sets record straight on drugs debate

14 Mar 2013

Mexico City – A Reuters article published today wrongly states that UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark believes the "U.S.-led war on drugs" has failed.

Helen Clark at no point criticized U.S. policy on the so-called war on drugs during her interview with Reuters in Mexico City today.

She was speaking about the negative effects of the drug trade on development in some Latin American countries in the context of the 2013 Human Development Report, released here today.

The Report shows that more than 40 developing countries have made greater human development gains in recent decades than would have been predicted.

These achievements, it says, are largely attributable to sustained investment in education, health care and social programmes, and to open engagement with an increasingly interconnected world.

The 2013 HDR does not go into detail on issues related to the control of illegal drugs.

UNDP supports the position of the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which calls for concerted action by States to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of psychoactive substances, which constitute a serious threat to public health worldwide.

According to the INCB, the global nature of the drug problem was the driving force behind the creation and adoption of the three international drug-control conventions that today form the basis of the international drug-control system.

UNDP shares the view that existing drug-control treaties are among the best available tools for addressing the world drug problem and for protecting humanity from the suffering caused by drug abuse and its impacts, such as drug-related crime and violence, of trafficking and of the illicit cultivation and production of drugs.