Monday, March 18, 2013

UN Development Program Head Slams Drug War

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Helen Clark and John Key - UNDP
Former New Zealand prime minister and current head of the UN Development Program Helen Clark (right) has toughly criticized the reliance on criminal justice approaches in the global drug war. (file)

MEXICO CITY — It is increasingly clear that the “war on drugs” has failed and there needs to be room for new approaches, the head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said Thursday.

UNDP head Helen Clark’s remarks ahead of the presentation of the organization’s 2013 Human Development Report came in a pre-ceremony interview with Reuters.

“To deal with drugs as a one-dimensional, law-and-order issue is to miss the point,” Clark said. “Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach. We have waves of violent crime sustained by drug trade, so we have to take the money out of drugs,” she said.

Clark didn’t go as far as calling for drug legalization, but she said she was encouraged by recent efforts by Latin American leaders to put the issue on the global agenda.

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