By Daniel Trotta

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The "war on drugs" has not been won, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the United Nations on Tuesday, exhorting the world body to add teeth to a special session on drugs in 2016.

"Right here, in this same headquarters, 52 years ago, the convention that gave birth to the war on drugs was approved. Today, we must acknowledge, that war has not been won," Santos told world leaders at the U. N. General Assembly, referring to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.

"And I say this as the president of the country that has suffered more deaths, more bloodshed and more sacrifices in this war, and the country that has also achieved more results in the fight against this scourge and the mafias that underpin it."

Colombia is the world's largest exporter of illegal cocaine, despite an intense crackdown on guerrilla armies that have intertwined themselves with drug cartels.

Armed conflict in Colombia has killed more than 220,000 people in the past 50 years, Santos said.

He challenged Colombian guerrillas who have joined forces with drug traffickers to respond to his government's overtures to end the armed conflict through dialogue and said failure would condemn his South American country to many more years of bloodshed and pain.

Santos made similar statements about the failure of international cooperation to fight drug trafficking last year at the Summit of the Americas, when the Organization of American States was commissioned to study new approaches to combating illegal narcotics.

The studies were delivered in May, Santos said, proposing that the United Nations give them serious consideration in time for a so-called Special Session on Drugs in 2016, proposed by Mexico and accepted by the world body.

Last month, Santos said he was ready to start peace talks with the smaller of Colombia's two leftist rebel groups, the National Liberation Army (ELN), to try to end half a century of war.

His government last year opened peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and though the talks have been turbulent at times and progressed slowly, neither side has walked out.

Without naming the rebel groups, Santos also called on the FARC and the ELN to seize what he termed a historic moment.

"The guerrillas will have to decide whether they opt for an honorable and long-lasting peace, or whether they will insist on the war," Santos said.

"The time for decisions has come. If we come out empty-handed, we will condemn our nation to many more years of bloodshed and pain" he said. We can't miss this opportunity. Future generations and history would not forgive us."

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Christopher Wilson)

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel