efforts "in chaos"
According to a mid-January report in the United
Kingdom's Guardian newspaper, the United Nations office responsible
for fighting drugs and organized crime has been reduced to chaos
during the last three years, the report's evidence being a leaked
memo from its Vienna headquarters. The memorandum accuses Pino
Arlacchi, the head of the UN 'drug office', of a tendency to
announce multimillion-pound projects aimed at combating drug
production worldwide. Yet, it claims, the money seldom appears,
and many projects are quietly abandoned.
The Guardian's diplomatic editor, Ewen MacAskill, reports that
"Mr Arlacchi, a sociologist who established his reputation
by fighting the Mafia in Italy, became head of the UN Office
for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in September 1997."
Arlacchi replied to the criticism by saying that in every organization
where there is reform, there are people who are unhappy with
change. "These are disgruntled people, and some of them
are spreading false accusations, rumors and garbage," he
The confidential memo, sent on December 6th by Michael Schulenburg,
director of the operations and analysis division, is scathing,
according to the Guardian account. He wrote: "Despite my
personal disappointment, I still feel that you (Arlacchi) are
a man with exceptional energies and political qualities. But
you are also the worst manager I have come across." Schulenburg
left the organization two days after sending the memo. Mr Arlacchi's
spokesman, Sandro Tucci, said Mr Schulenberg's contract had not
been renewed because of his performance.
In the 11-page memo, which has reportedly been sent anonymously
to selected newspapers in Europe, Mr Schulenburg listed certain
promises allegedly made by Mr Arlacchi. According to this memo,
in 1997 Mr Arlacchi promised Afghanistan's Taliban government
a $250m project for alternative development and job creation
to replace drug cultivation, but none of the funds have been
raised. Mr Arlacchi denies making any such promise.
Arlacchi has also disputed Mr Schulenberg's claims that efforts
to raise $80m for a project in Laos had raised only $1.8m, saying
that in fact the project was a success and that the US and European
countries had put up $5m. Laos in the first year had cut poppy
production by 30%, he said.
Razor Wire editors will certainly be following further developments
in this story of apparent collapse in fundamental features of
international drug policy.
For source details go to http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/guardian/