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US, Few Others Object to Bolivia UN Coca-Chewing Bid

  1. ZenobiaSky
    18788.jpg Four Western countries -- the US, Britain, Italy, and Sweden -- have formally objected to Bolivia's rejoining the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with a reservation that allows for the traditional habit of coca leaf chewing, the Transnational Institute reported Friday. The move is the latest twist in the Latin American nation's effort to remove the international proscription on the ancestral habit.

    But the Western objections are far from sufficient. Another 58 signatory countries would have to object by next week to block Bolivia's bid, and there is little sign of that happening.

    Coca leaf, the raw material from which cocaine is produced, has been used with little ill effect as a hunger-suppressant and mild stimulant for thousands of years in South America's Andean region. It was included as a proscribed substance in the 1961 Convention based on a 1950 study that has been found to be unscientific and blatantly prejudiced. The 1961 Convention called for the chewing of coca leaf to be phased out by 1989.

    Led by former coca grower union leader Evo Morales, Bolivia tried in 2011 to amend the 1961 Single Convention to remove the provision requiring it to ban coca leaf chewing. If no countries objected, the request would have been automatically granted, but the US, supported by the International Narcotics Control Board organized a "friends of the convention" group to rally against the move. In all, 18 countries objected to Bolivia's request.

    Among Latin American countries, only Mexico's conservative government objected. Colombia objected at first, but withdrew its objection, while Costa Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela went on record supporting Bolivia's request even though they weren't required to. The objecting countries were all European, except for Canada and the US and Japan and Singapore.

    Following the failure of its effort to amend the 1961 Convention, Bolivia withdrew from it and requested re-accession with a reservation regarding the coca chewing provision. The Convention allows for such a procedure, which can be blocked only if one-third of the member states object. There are 184 countries that have signed the Convention, meaning 62 must object to stop Bolivia's re-accession.

    So far, only four have done so. Other countries have only until January 10 to weigh in.

    by Phillip Smith, January 04, 2013, 04:33pm


    Sounds very unfair that if a third of the votes reject Bolivia's proposal then it will be quashed.

    The UN always seems to stand over these small countries to a stage where a majority vote outcome will be over ruled. That's no fair system.

    The people of Bolivia should not be pressured by over controlling countries that are trying to rule the world.
    A country should be governed in accordance of its peoples needs not a bunch of bullies.
  2. Phaeton
    Needing a full 1/3 to object is clearly better than the single spoiler system they fought against the first time, but still not fair.

    "Boliva withdrew from it...", wanting back in must mean there are perks involved. Balanced against these perks are the meddling in internal affairs.

    What I am gathering from the article is this effort should allow membership and their keeping of cultural traditions.
    It should have been automatic instead of an ongoing struggle, but nice to see them finally getting respected.
  3. Calliope
    Bolivia: Morales Wins Victory as U.N. Agrees to Define Some Coca Use as Legal
    Traditional uses of the coca leaf in Bolivia will no longer be considered illegal under a United Nations antidrug convention, the organization said Friday. Coca is the plant used to make cocaine, but many people in Bolivia, which has a majority indigenous population, chew it as a mild stimulant, a use that has continued since pre-Colombian times. Bolivians also use the plant as a tea, in medicines and in religious or social rituals. The government of President Evo Morales withdrew from the international agreement a year ago as it sought an exception for traditional uses of the plant within its borders. The change was a diplomatic victory for Mr. Morales, above. To block the change, 62 United Nations members would have had to object; only 15 did, including the United States. Bolivia will now rejoin the convention, which could help it receive aid in fighting drug trafficking.

    January 11, 2013

    This will send a message to the 15 countries that voted against BOLIVIA that their efforts to force drug restrictions onto smaller countries is no longer going to work.

    The drug war is looking more ridiculous in the eyes of the citizens of the world.
  5. chaos69
    So the countries that objected it were United States, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Israel and Ireland.

    Not Australia! Yay!
    The Australian government actually wanted to legalize pot mdma and heroin and was forced by the UN and United States not to.

    They stated that our goods would be embargoed and thus the government gave in.

    Google up the AUSTRALIA 21 INITIATIVE its a good read.
  7. chaos69
    Isn't Australia 21 not a government thing. As far as I'm aware the actual government didn't plan to legalise anything. It was just a suggestion from the Australian 21 round table discussion such as Alex Wodak and others which the government ignored not unlike the whole Prof David Nutt thing in the UK.
    The Australian government were going to regulate the supply to registered users like methadone is dispensed but apparently the Australians were stood over by the UN and United States and threatened with goods embargoes.
    The group AUST 21 i believe has on several occasions been paid and engaged by the Australian government to hold discussions with professionals and general community members on several topics including drugs.
    They also put proposals and recomendations to the government on their meeting out comes .

    YES they are actually a community based non government organization.
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