For information only - not an official document

29 February 2012

INCB President reiterates the importance of addressing social disintegration in marginalised communities

VIENNA, 29 February (UN Information Service) - On the occasion of the launch of the INCB Annual Report for 2012 in London and Vienna earlier this week, the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) emphasised the significance of the connection between social exclusion and drug problems, which has been articulated in the Board's Annual Report in a special chapter devoted to this issue, and which has been seen in a number of cities around the world, at present and in the past. However, much can be done to address the problem. The report presents a number of examples of successful initiatives, such as in Brazil, in the combination of law enforcement and community policing, in South Africa, through urban upgrading, in the United States, in the Safe Streets programme in Chicago and Baltimore, and in the United Kingdom, through a child safety initiative to keep children off the streets in Scotland, and through community policing in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. According to Professor Ghodse, "helping marginalised communities facing drug problems should be a priority around the world. While more needs to be done in many communities experiencing social exclusion and drug problems, the successful initiatives around the world should be recognised and replicated".

During the launch of the Board's report, the President observed that "illegal Internet pharmacies have started to use social media to attract customers to their websites", and that this can put large, and particularly young, audiences at risk. The Board's report calls on Governments to close down illegal Internet pharmacies and recognises the efforts of the private sector in attempting to address the problem but stresses that much more needs to be done to protect the public from the online marketing of illicit drugs.

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