Policy and trend analysis are cornerstones of UNODC’s work. This research is used to inform strategic analysis of the threats states are facing.
UNODC’s research is put into the World Drug Report and annual reports to the CND. Member states have found the World Drug Report useful and it is the most downloaded document off of the UNODC’s Web site. The difficulty of the World Drug Report is that it is based almost entirely on voluntary contributions. Thus if contributions change over time, it can threaten the agencies flagship publication.
There are gaps in the data that have been identified. First, the data on cocaine and heroin is reliable but less is known about cannabis and ATS. There simply are not the monitoring systems for these substances. Some problems have been identified in monitoring international prices as well.
Also, seizure reports don’t always include purity of the drugs seized. In addition, as different agencies report seizures there is a risk of double-counting.
UNODC has put in a lot of work on threat assessments. Today’s debate could address how the UNODC can help member states undertake threat assessments. There are transnational markets for heroin, cocaine, ATS and cannabis. States could inform the UNODC on how to prioritise future study of different markets.