Originally posted here
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN agency charged with developing strategies to reduce global poverty, has strongly criticised current international drug policy, highlighting the disastrous costs it is producing – particularly for the world’s poor.
In the agency’s formal submission to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs (PDF), launched at the annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs which began last week in Vienna, the UNDP argues:
"While drug control policies have been justified by the real and potential harms associated with illicit drug production, trafficking, and use (e.g., threats to safety and security, health problems, crime, decreased productivity, unemployment, and poverty), evidence shows that in many countries, policies and related enforcement activities focused on reducing supply and demand have had little effect in eradicating production or problematic drug use."
The agency goes on to say:
"As various UN organizations have observed, these efforts have had harmful collateral consequences: creating a criminal black market; fuelling corruption, violence, and instability; threatening public health and safety; generating large-scale human rights abuses, including abusive and inhumane punishments; and discrimination and marginalization of people who use drugs, indigenous peoples, women, and youth".
With regard to the harmful impacts on international development specifically, the UNDP states that international drug policy is having a negative effect on “poverty and sustainable livelihoods; governance and the rule of law; human rights; gender equality; the environment; and on indigenous peoples and traditional and religious practices.” Detailed sections on each of these topic areas follow in the body of the report.