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President Trump to host drug policy meeting at annual UN summit

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President Trump to host drug policy meeting at annual UN summit

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2017-09-18t214511z2lynxnped8h12vrtroptp4un-assembly-trump
Photo: Reuters

Today, US President Donald Trump will host a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, focusing on international drug policy.

The administration is planning to promote its ‘Global Call to Action’ framework for a series of heavy-handed policies on combatting the illicit global drug trade. This will include additional funding for enforcement and tackling the production of illicit substances. The US has taken a position which is aimed at strong-arming countries in South America that it views as doing too little to combat the issue. Countries with more progressive policies on drug usage, including Canada and Portugal, are finding themselves in an awkward position, but could commit to the document just to avoid a diplomatic spat with Trump.

For some countries, the consequences for not signing could be severe. Both Mexico and Colombia have faced pressure from the US to double their efforts to stop illicit substances reaching the US border or face possible sanctions. The US is demanding additional border controls, as well as the announcement of ‘four prong’ plans for combating production, distribution, treatment and usage. The inclusion of treatment is not expected to make the Global Call to Action any different from past US proposals on drug policy, especially with the involvement of more hard-line states such as Singapore and China who execute individuals from drug offences. Ultimately, the plan is designed to push a renewed hard-line US view on drug usage, however past experience has shown that this has been far from successful.

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