Reports: Country Must Ratify Drug Treaties

Just days after a US State De­partment report cited Cambo­dia as a major conduit for regional drug trafficking, a UN-funded or­ganization noted Cam­bo­dia was one of only four Asian nations not party to any of the three major international drug con­trol treaties.

North Korea, East Timor and Bhutan have also not ratified the treaties, the Inter­national Nar­cotics Control Board’s report said.

The three treaties, which seek to control the trafficking of illegal drugs, are the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Con­vention on Psychotropic Sub­stances of 1971 and the UN Con­vention against Illicit Traffic in Nar­cotic Drugs and Psycho­tropic Substances of 1988.

Cambodia was criticized this week by the US State Depart­ment’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement for its weak judicial system and porous borders, which allow drug traffickers to move large amounts of illegal substances throughout the country with ease. About 300 kg to 600 kg of heroin were estimated to have passed through the country each month during 2003, the State Department report said.

The International Narcotics Con­trol Board report did commend Cambodia’s efforts since 2001 to ratify the treaties.

But the ongoing government deadlock, which has prevented the new National Assembly from meeting, is one reason Cambodia hasn’t acted on ratification of the treaties, said Graham Shaw, program officer for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Phnom Penh.

Shaw said Thursday that Cam­bo­dia could receive more sup­port to fight drugs if it ap­proved the treat­ies. “There are na­tions who are suspicious of those who are not in­volved in any of the drug treaties,” he said, adding that Cam­bo­dia is one of only 13 countries in the world not party to any such agreements.

The INCB report also encouraged Cambo­dia to strengthen its judicial system.

Lour Ramin, deputy secretary gen­eral of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said Wed­nes­day that the country’s drug laws need to be amended.


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