International drug traffickers are moving increasing quantities of illegal narcotics, threatening governments' stability and contributing to a sharp rise in drug-related deaths, a U.N. report said Thursday.
The 1988 annual report by the International Narcotics Control Board, which last year warned that drug trafficking groups in Latin America challenged state authorities, did not single out any region for particular blame."Illicit production and manufacture of drugs take place in a growing number of countries," the 31-page report says.
"These activities continue to be carried out by criminal organizations . . . which often join forces with terrorist groups, spread violence and corruption, threaten political institutions, undermine the integrity of national economies and imperil the very security of countries," it said.
In the United States, the report said the estimated quantities of illicit drugs entering the country continued to rise, especially cocaine.
One bright spot cited in the report was a 1987 survey of U.S. high school and college students that indicated drug-abuse declining among that group. The survey found for the first time a 20 percent decrease in cocaine use by high school and college students and young adults.
The Vienna-based board works with the World Health Organization and other U.N. agencies. It said its report was based on data from governments, the United Nations, Interpol and other international organizations.
Many countries provide information voluntarily.
However, the report said that of the world's 185 countries and territories, only 10 - Angola, Bolivia, Brunei, Cambodia, North Korea, Gambia, Israel, St. Lucia, Vietnam and Zambia - declined to provide drug-related data.
"During 1988, the gravity of the situation, which preoccupies the highest levels of governments, has led to strong counterattacks" by governments, the report says. It singled out a coordinated enforcement operation in August that featured 30 countries in the Americas and Western Europe.