Missing document

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

As we noted previously, Mr. Costa opening speech included some remarkably positive - and in the context of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs - sometimes daring statements. His remarks were further elaborated in a so-called Conference Room Paper (CRP) that was distributed at the CND. However, that paper is nowhere to be found on the UNODC website. But you can find it on the Transform blogspot.

The paper, "Making drug control 'fit for purpose': Building on the UNGASS decade", elaborates on Costa’s opening remarks. Although one might disagree with some of the statements of the Executive Director of the UNODC it is by far the most daring assessment of the UNGASS decade by an acting drug control official at the Thematic Debate on the issue at the past CND, which was otherwise bland and evasive.

Conference Room Papers are not official documents of the CND and do not have official policy making status. They are more like debate papers. One wonders why it is not published on the UNODC website. Did some governments object to its distribution? We don’t know, but given earlier experiences with censorship (see the Dear Bobby episode) we decided to make it available for the public. 

That does not mean that we necessarily endorse everything that is said by Costa, but he certainly should not be silenced for whatever reason. Civil society participants in a video - Is the world drug problem contained? - made by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) comment on some of the things Costa said.

Thanks to Transform for scanning the paper. See also their press release: UNODC Director declares international drug control system is not ‘fit for purpose’.