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Australia helps international drug controls

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M/98 28 November 1972


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Nigel Bowen, today announced

ways in which Australia would pursue its active role in international efforts

to combat drug abuse and to control drug trafficking.

. The Minister said that in January 1973i Australia would take its

place on the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the first·time.

Australia was elected to the Commission by the Economic and Social

Council in July 1972.

, Mr Bowen said Australia attached much importance to the work of the

Commission, and would be represented by senior officers .of the Departments of

Foreign Affairs, Customs and Excise and Health at the session beginning in

January in Geneva.

The Minister said that the Government had decided to contribute

$US100,000 to the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control in 1973·

This contribution further illustrated the Australian Government’s

desire to help the international effort to curb the spread of drug trafficking

and drug abuse.

The Fund for Drug Abuse Control was established in 1971 with the

objectives of controlling illicit drug traffic, reducing the supply of illicit

drugs and rehabilitating drug addicts.

It is financed entirely by voluntary contributions largely by

Governments and reflected the growing co-operation among Governments in

tackling problems associated with addictive drugs.


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Australia was fortunate that the problems of drug abuse and drug


Mr Bowen, but the Government was conscious of the need to keep abreast of

current developments in the drug field and to apply stringent controls where


On 22 November 1972, Australia ratified the protocol to the United

Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs, signifying its readiness to fulfil its

international obligations in the field of drug abuse control.

As announced by the Prime Minister in his policy speech, the

Government planned to send senior officials from the Departments of Health

and Customs to Britain early in the new year to study problems of drug

addiction and its treatment. . . ■ ·

Mr Bowen paid tribute to the support he- had received from his

colleagues Mr Chipp, the Minister of Customs and Excise, and Senator Anderson,

the Minister -of Health, in the Government's pursuit of an active and

co-operative role in international ventures tackling the problems of drug

abuse and drug trafficking.