THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PAVES THE WAY FOR NEW AND MORE CREDIBLE STRATEGIES IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST DRUGS
Strasburg, January 18th 2006 - Thanks to the resolution on Afghanistan adopted today, the European Parliament is the first institution in Europe to take a clear and unambiguous position on the limits of counter-narcotics strategies that have repressive policies as the principal focus.
The proposal of flanking measures traditionally pertaining to the ‘war on drugs’, such as eradication and alternative livelihood programmes, with the possibility of granting licenses for the regulated production of opium for medical purposes, in particular for painkillers, is a fundamental step towards a strategy aimed at affecting not only the weakest link in the chain, the farmers, but also the stronger ones, such as corrupt public officials that create an environment of impunity and the powerful international cartels. The most recent data provided by the UN shows that production has not decreased in any significant manner despite hundred of millions of dollars spent by the international community; in addition opium is increasingly turned into heroin on the spot, thus creating a local market for domestic consumption that opens the door to HIV/AIDS spreading. This represents a clear picture of the high costs and evident flaws, in other words of the failure, of the short-sighted and ineffective policy carried out until now. I hope, as requested by the European Parliament, that governments and personalities that will participate in the international conference on Afghanistan, taking place in London from January 31st to February 2nd with the aim of setting the framework for the post-Bonn transition process, will take into consideration, in a serious and open-minded way, the possibility of granting a license regime, as already foreseen for a number of countries probably more "influential".
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European Parliament resolution on Afghanistan