United Nations International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (17 – 26 June 1987, Vienna)

The widespread abuse of drugs has become a human tragedy. Clearly, drug abuse and the illicit trafficking in drugs are problems no longer confined to small segments of a given population. The drug problem has enticed, captivated and will ultimately destroy people from all walks of life. The growing drug menace has invaded homes, the workplace and educational institutions, affecting individuals of all ages and classes. Beyond the human destruction caused by drug dependence is the damage to traditional values, lifestyles, and national economies.

Moreover the spread of corruption, violence and terrorism linked to the illicit traffic in drugs, undermines the very security and political stability of nations.

It was in response to this growing threat that in 1985 the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene an International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (ICDAIT) in Vienna, Austria, in June 1987.

The main objective of this conference would be to generate a more concerted, comprehensive and truly world wide effort to combat this drug problem in all its forms at the national, regional and international levels. The Conference would also endorse a comprehensive multidisciplinary outline of future activities focusing on concrete and substantive issues directly relevant to the problems of drug abuse and illicit trafficking. The Conference is expected to declare the international community’s commitment and resolve to eradicate the drug problem.

The Conference will focus on the following issues:
a) intensifying concerted efforts by governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to combat all forms of drug abuse, illicit trafficking and related criminal activities leading to the further development of national strategies that could be a basis for international actions;
b) creating heightened national and international awareness and sensitivity concerning the pernicious effects of the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, paying due attention to the demand dimension of the drug problem and to the role of the mass media, non-governmental organizations and other channels of dissemination of information about all aspects of the drug problem, especially in the prevention of drug abuse;
c) strengthening and expanding of national and international mechanisms for exchanging information and developing programs on illicit demand, prevention and/or reduction, including promoting the rational use of psychoactive medicines, preventive education, community participation, treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration, together with research and training;
d) promoting strict and consistent implementation, at both the national and international levels, of the provisions of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 and that Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances which all for limiting the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to medical and scientific purposes and, thus, preventing illegal traffic, and promoting further the accession to those Conventions of the widest possible number of States;
e) achieving as much harmonization as possible and reinforcing national legislation, bilateral treaties, regional arrangements and other international legal instruments, especially as they relate to enforcement and penalties against those involved in all aspects of illicit trafficking, including forfeiture of illegally acquired assets and extradition, and developing cooperation in dealing with drug abusers, including their treatment and rehabilitation;
f) making further progress towards eradicating the illicit sources of raw materials for drugs through a comprehensive program of integrated rural development, the development of alternative means of livelihood and retraining, law enforcement and, where appropriate, crop substitution;
g) controlling more effectively the production, distribution and consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with a view to limiting them exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, in accordance with existing conventions, and, in this connection, underlining the central role of the international Narcotic Control Board;
h) strengthening the United Nations coordination of drug abuse control activities by, inter alia, increasing support for the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control and reinforcing regional and other cooperation between member states;
i) supporting strongly current high priority initiatives and programs of the United Nations, including the elaboration of a convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances which considers, in particular, those aspects of the problem not envisaged in existing international instruments;
j) considering whether existing mechanisms, whereby experiences, methodologies, and other information in law enforcement, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, research and development of manpower relating to the prevention and control of drug abuse can be exchanged, should be improved or, if necessary, complemented by new mechanisms.

Malaysia fully supports this initiative for the convening of an international Conference and intends to play a major and constructive role at this Conference. Malaysia believes that the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking must be truly internationalized by the world community before eradication of the problem is possible. The success of international control on illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse is the sum of individual nation’s commitment and responsibilities.

Malaysia has declared drug abuse and illicit trafficking as a primary security concern so that priority and urgency can be given to contain this problem commensurate with the gravity and seriousness of the situation. Malaysia believes that it is the moral responsibility of governments to initiate measures at checking drug abuse. Governments must recognize that there exists a grave problem in society that needs to be tackled immediately. This requires political will and commitment at the highest level of government. Only then could policies relating to public awareness and community action be developed. The responsibility to wage the war against illicit drugs however does not rest solely with the government. The anti drug effort also requires total community involvement for it to be effective. We in Malaysia believe that all citizens and community groups must play a major role in support of the government’s effort to eradicate drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

The upper half of the ´se-tenant´stamp depicts a healthy young boy as part of a happy family. The lower half depicts his diseased torso upon addiction to drugs and his hands clutching a pile of drug symbols in agony.


The upper half of the ´se-tenant´stamp depicts a young boy escaping from the bondage of drug addiction and looking forward to a new life free from drugs. The lower half depicts his diseased body still engulfed in drugs amidst a splatter of drug symbols.


Stamp Value : 20c x 2 (different Design), 40c x 2 (different Design)
2 ´se-tenant´pairs with values of 20c and 40c
Paper : SPM watermarked, Phosphor coated
Printing Process : Lithography
Printer : Security Printers (M) Sdn Bhd
Designer : Kathy Wong