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close this bookIllicit Drugs and the Development Assistance Programme - Strategy paper (DFID, 1999, 18 p.)
close this folderThe response
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentLaw enforcement and interdiction
View the documentDemand reduction programmes
View the documentAlternative development
View the documentWorking with multilateral organisations
View the documentNon-governmental organisations (NGOs)

Working with multilateral organisations

25 An increasingly important element of DFID's anti-drugs strategy should be influencing multilateral programmes, particularly that of the European Community.

26 European Union aid policy recognises the importance of combating drugs. The European Union's Plan to Combat Drugs (1995-1999) and related strategies are founded on a comprehensive and integrated approach to the problem through reducing the supply and demand for drugs. Key elements of a new EU drugs strategy for 2000-2004 were agreed during the UK's EU Presidency in 1998.

27 The European Community is providing support in the following ways:

· A Council Regulation (2046/97) on 'North-South co-operation schemes in the context of the campaign against drug abuse' of 13 October 1997 established the legal base for the budget line which provided for commitments totalling 8.9 mecu (8.9 million ecu, about £5.9 million) in 1998 which support the preparation of national drug control master plans as well as specific implementation measures.

· Assistance for countries in Central and Eastern Europe in their efforts to combat drugs and drugs related crime under the PHARE economic restructuring programme. The EC has committed 33 mecu from 1992 to 1998.

· Technical assistance to support Newly Independent States in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the fight against drugs production and trafficking covering areas such as reinforcing institutional and technical capacity, tackling money laundering, etc.

· Proposals for linking additional trade access to the EU market for Andean countries and Venezuela to conditionality concerning the fight against drugs.

· Support for alternative development through regional programmes, e.g. in Bolivia, Peru and Morocco.

A fuller description of EC support is given in the annex.

28 There is scope for encouraging more commitment to drugs control by the World Bank and regional development banks. The UN Special Session on drugs in June 1998 called on the multilateral banks to do more.

29 Work is most advanced in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which is being called on to take an increasing role in programmes to address the problem of the production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs. The Bank provides support specifically through alternative development, prevention efforts, the strengthening of judicial systems and training in banking supervision to detect and prevent money laundering. However, the IDB has not produced a drugs strategy paper drawing together its approach.

30 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made some efforts to become more aware of the place of drug control issues in its programmes, and to share information with UNDCP Bangkok, but does not have a coherent proactive policy reflecting the multidimensional nature of the problem and the strategic importance of the subject. The UK has been the most active board member in pushing for drugs issues to be addressed, e.g. in the Bank's long term strategic framework, in selected country operational strategy studies and in country assistance plans. With its heavy involvement in promoting reform, restoring growth and protecting those most affected by the Asian crisis, and its continuing freeze on staff numbers, the ADB may lack the resources to respond adequately at present.

31 The World Bank has consistently failed to produce a statement on its approach to drugs, despite pressure from the UK over the past ten years. In its country assistance strategies, the impact of the drugs industry is not mentioned, even for Latin American countries where the drugs problem may be acute. The Bank does not see itself as having a comparative advantage or expertise in drug reduction, and instead points to the indirect contribution made through its lending for development in many areas (e.g. good governance, health, education and rural investment) that will strengthen the prevention and mitigation of the effects of drug trafficking. Informal contacts suggest, however, that Bank staff working in some areas (notably social development) are beginning to take the issue more seriously. With US support, the UK will now raise the issue as appropriate at board level.

32 Neither the Caribbean Development Bank nor the African Development Bank has attempted to develop a drugs control policy. Both institutions have limited staffing and neither have the skills to make an effective contribution in the drugs area. We are therefore not pressing them to become involved.

33 Against this background and taking into account DFID's priorities and objectives for the multilateral development banks, DFID will encourage the production of drugs strategy papers where appropriate. In addition, DFID will look for opportunities to raise drugs-related issues at the executive boards of the banks in discussion of individual country strategies. As with DFID's bilateral assistance, our objective will be to ensure that drugs control is incorporated as appropriate within anti-poverty programmes to which recipient governments are strongly committed. We shall argue in support of pro-poor approaches which take active account of human rights.

34 As with DFID's own programmes, we should argue for a coherent approach to drugs issues in development programmes financed by the UN. This should be facilitated by the progress being made towards better co-ordination of UN country-level programmes through the UN development assistance frameworks (UNDAFs). Other UN agencies, currently outside the UNDAF process, also have a role, e.g. the World Health Organisation (WHO), which implements a Programme for Substance Abuse to which DFID contributes.

35 UNDCP is, however, likely to remain our principal interlocutor on drugs issues within the UN system. The UN Special Session in June 1998 reaffirmed its role, including as a global centre of expertise, i.e. in research, analysis, monitoring, etc. DFID should work with UNDCP in two parallel strands of activity. First, it should seek to influence UNDCP's approach to ensure that anti-poverty objectives are properly reflected in its core policies. Second, it should continue to look for opportunities to work with UNDCP (including by providing project co-financing or parallel financing, and participation in project steering groups and evaluation missions) in specific countries which are pursuing anti-poverty strategies, with drugs control as an integral element. DFID should favour opportunities for working with UNDCP where there are other donors involved, with UNDCP co-ordinating activities and encouraging a common approach.

36 DFID has no plans at this stage to provide core funding for UNDCP, or to contribute to its (as yet incomplete) 'Global Plan' other than on a country-by-country basis.

37 Donors, including the UK, remain concerned about aspects of UNDCP's management and technical capacity in the field of alternative development. DFID should continue to work, with other interested donors, for improvements. This should include working alongside UNDCP and other donors in the field, in order to improve the focus of activity. UNDCP's capacity merits further scrutiny. A small organisation, it may be stretching its resources over too many countries to be effective at project delivery. Other Whitehall departments which have regular contact with UNDCP and provide funding (FCO and Home Office) should be encouraged to become involved in DFID's efforts in these areas of concern. DFID should also work with other donors to press UNDCP for better co-ordinated evaluation of its own activities, which would be consistent with the role identified for it as a centre of expertise. (The evidence of UNDCP's recent evaluation reports suggest that evaluation methodology is sound.)