Colombia urges UN to discuss drug trade

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin calls for a “global” discussion of the drug trade by the U.N. Security Council.

“I think it is very important with the drug issue, which is very complex, that we could arrive at a global discussion, as a problem of health, of transit countries,” Holguin said in an interview with El Tiempo published on Sunday.

The minister said the drug trade has “increased insecurity in many countries of North Africa”.

“The drug problem is not only an issue related to terrorism, but goes far beyond that,” Holguin added.

The Colombian foreign minister said her government considers the decriminalization of drug consumption to be a paradox. “The consuming countries want to legalize the production and possession of drugs while countries such as Colombia try everything they can to eradicate the problem. This problem should therefore be part of a global discussion.”

President Juan Manuel Santos in August declared his support for Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s call for a discussion on drug legalization. “President Calderon is right to call for this to be discussed, without meaning that one is in agreement or not with the position of legalization.”

The president announced that he would seek to form a united stance with Mexico and Peru on the legalization issue if the U.S. state of California votes to legalize marijuana consumption in a referendum scheduled for November.

In Sunday’s interview, Holguin also said that Colombia and Venezuela have been working closely together on the drug problem and will be holding a meeting in Cartagena on October 20. “We will look at everything: roads, transit sites, and how we can work together,” she explained.

The minister hopes that the Caribbean will eventually join this strategy to fight drugs.

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