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June 8, 1998

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Our nations came here because we all understand that nothing destroys lives, families, and communities more than illegal drugs. Let us leave here determined to act together, in a spirit of trust and respect to win the global fight against drugs and build a safe and healthy future for our children.

President Bill Clinton
June 8, 1998

Today, President Clinton addresses a special session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss worldwide efforts to combat the use and production of drugs. The President outlines efforts the United States has taken to reduce drug supply and usage, and calls for international cooperation to fight drugs.

Fighting Drugs Requires A Worldwide Effort. Ten years ago, the United Nations established the UN Drug Convention, which provides a comprehensive framework for international cooperation in combating illicit drugs. During that time, many nations have made progress in the fight against drugs, cocaine use is down 70 percent in the United States since 1985, Mexico's drug eradication efforts hit record levels in 1997, and last year, Latin American and Caribbean nations seized over 166 metric tons of cocaine. While these numbers are encouraging, a global effort is needed to ensure that the strides which we have made in the war against drugs continue.

Providing International Leadership In The Fight Against Drugs. The President announces several new initiatives which will help countries combat drugs worldwide:

  • The Virtual University for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse will allow experts from around the globe to share knowledge and strategy on reducing drug demand. This course will bring officials from Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador together with drug abuse and gang prevention experts from the United States. The course will be available via satellite from the U.S. Information Agency's Worldnet system, allowing for access around the globe.
  • Internet postings of drug prevention and treatment workshops conducted by the National Institute for Drug Abuse will allow anyone with a computer and a modem to gain the latest, most advanced medical knowledge on drug treatment and prevention.
  • The International Drug Fellowship Program will bring professionals from around the world to the United States where they will work with our drug-fighting agencies in meeting the goals of the UN Drug Convention.

A Presidential Strategy For Fighting Drugs In The United States. The President has made drug interdiction and demand reduction a top priority. The Clinton Administration has:

  • Provided a National Drug Control Strategy aimed at cutting drug use and access by over half in the next 10 years through stronger law enforcement, tougher interdiction, improved treatment, and expanded prevention efforts.
  • Launched a major Anti-Drug Youth Media Campaign which sends the message through television, radio, and the Internet that drugs are bad and can kill you. The President calls on Congress to extend this program through 2002, enabling this public/private sector effort to continue educating children on the dangers of drugs.

Building A Brighter Future For Our Children. As our world has grown closer and the barriers which used to separate people have given rise to a global community, the cooperative efforts of all nations are needed to continue the fight against drugs. The President's firm commitment to the eradication of drugs and his vision for a comprehensive, international cooperative effort amongst is helping to ensure a safer future for our children.

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