BY ANDREW M BROWN Tun INTERNATIONAL
community needs radically to rethink its policy on the drugs trade, a seminar heard on Monday. The Catholic Institute for International Relations (CUR) organised the seminar "European Responses to the international drugs trade" in anticipation of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the subject in June.
CUR urged the European Union to take a lead in defining a new global approach based on the needs and rights of the poor in developing countries. Ken Bluestone, CIIR Policy Officer for Latin America, said the "War on Drugs" had failed to reduce the flow of illicit substances across the world.
"In fact, it has made things worse by encouraging human rights abuses and reinforcing the conditions of poverty which lead many farmers in developing countries to grow drugs-linked crops," Mr Bluestone said.
"Many European coun tries have admitted that their domestic drugscontrol policies are not working and have opened up debate on new strategies. Now it is time for EU countries to explore alternatives to the policies which have failed at an international level."
Dr Jonathan Marks, a consultant psychiatrist and the chairman of the Drug Policy Review Group spoke on "The Paradox of Prohibition" and Stanley Newens MEP talked about "Poverty and Inequality: The social challenges underlying the drugs trade".