20 December 2001


The First Country Using Assets Seized from Drug-related
Criminal Activities To Finance UNDCP-run Programmes

VIENNA, 20 December (UN Information Service) - The Luxembourg Fund Fonds de Lutte contre le Trafic des Stupéfiants will provide support to the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) for two projects in Viet Nam and Mexico. According to an agreement signed today in Vienna, the Luxembourg Fund will provide 270,000 EUR for the alternative development project in the Song Ma district in Viet Nam as well as $260,000 for the treatment and rehabilitation center for drug abusers in Mexico.

The Viet Nam project is designed to address issues of both opium cultivation and drug demand by offering people in the Song Ma district sustainable alternative means of livelihood, including increased and improved agricultural production as a replacement for opium cultivation. In Mexico, the Luxembourg fund's contribution will be used to establish a "therapeutic community" for drug abusers in Chiapas' capital Tuxtla Gutierrez, including a new treatment centre as well as support for the selection and training of personnel.

In establishing the fund in 1992, Luxembourg became the first country that implemented the article of the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances that invites signatories to contribute proceeds generated by the forfeiture of assets in drug trafficking cases, including money-laundering, to international organizations specializing in the fight against drugs. The Fonds de lutte contre le trafic stupéfiants is managed by a board consisting of the representatives from the ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Health and Justice.

Since 1996, the Luxembourg fund has supported nine UNDCP projects for a total of $4 million, including subregional law enforcement training in Latin America; alternative development projects in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam; support to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) involved in drug control in Central America; vocational training in Bolivia; and demand reduction projects in Iran and South Africa. The basic idea behind the fund's support for UNDCP projects is to channel forfeited assets back into drug control efforts worldwide.

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