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Statement on Signing the United Nations Convention Against Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

February 13, 1990

I am most pleased today to sign the United States instrument of ratification for the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

We have labored long and hard to create through this Convention stringent international norms for the criminalization of drug trafficking, the forfeiture of drug proceeds, the control of chemicals essential to the manufacture of dangerous drugs, and cooperation among nations in combating drug trafficking. United States legislation already in place in each of these areas is a model for the rest of the world and indeed formed the basis for many of the central provisions of the Convention.

By signing this instrument of ratification, we move one important step closer to placing in the hands of all signatory nations to this Convention a new and formidable weapon in our continued struggle against international drug traffickers.

The Convention will obligate all participating countries to criminalize each link in the chain of activities with which these dealers in death seek to enslave our citizens, from drug production to the final laundering of drug profits. It will remove the drug lords' shield of bank secrecy and establish effective measures to seize and forfeit the billions of dollars in proceeds realized by their commerce in misery. It will place controls on the international flow of essential chemicals necessary for the production of these poisons. It will mandate unprecedented cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of drug-trafficking offenses and facilitate the extradition of drug traffickers to stand trial for their crimes.

On the eve of our Andean Drug Summit and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs, we call upon all nations to join us in ratifying this Convention and undertaking its solemn obligations to work together as never before to rid our world of the threat to our freedoms that drug trafficking represents.

The fight against drug traffickers is one that we must win, and this Convention can give us new hope that we will.

George Bush

George Bush, Statement on Signing the United Nations Convention Against Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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