UNODC Launches 2008 World Drug Report at IPI

IPI’s James Cockayne poses a question

The World Drug Report 2008, compiled and published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was launched last week at the International Peace Institute’s Trygve Lie Center with a lunchtime event that attracted staff from UN Missions, the UN Secretariat, funds and agencies, and other members of New York’s international affairs community.

IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen introduced Mr. Antonia Maria Costa, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of the UNODC, who launched the report with a fascinating visual presentation on current world drug trends.

The World Drug Report, released annually, provides analysis of global trends in the four main drug markets: opium/heroin, coca/cocaine, cannabis, and amphetamine-type stimulants.

One-hundred years after the international community established the international drug control system and ten years after the 1998 General Assembly Special Session on drugs, the 2008 report shows that recent stabilization in the world drugs market is now under threat. The report also highlights the recent systemic shift in major drug routes, particularly those for cocaine. With drug traffickers targeting West Africa, the region’s health and security are at risk. The development of new trafficking routes, moreover, could both strengthen demand where it already exists and create new markets.

Mr. Costa’s presentation elicited a lively question and answer session and served as a reminder of the importance of curbing the drug economy in order to manage other international challenges ranging from state security to economic development.

The report is available for download here.

Ambassador Terje Rød-Larsen, President, International Peace Institute

Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime