Announcement of the United States Delegation to the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

June 11, 1987

The President announced today a high-level, expert delegation to represent the United States at the upcoming International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (ICDAIT). The Conference, to be convened in Vienna, Austria, June 17 - 26, under the auspices of the United Nations, represents the first time a ministerial-level world conference has been held to focus exclusively on the problem of drug abuse and trafficking.

Led by Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who also serves as the Chairman of the National Drug Policy Board, the multidisciplinary U.S. delegation will include representatives of 15 Federal agencies involved in all aspects of the President's national strategy to combat drug abuse: law enforcement, international cooperation, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and research.

United States Representative to the United Nations Vernon A. Walters and Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead were named as alternate heads of delegation. Assistant Secretary of State Ann B. Wrobleski was named as ranking delegate. The President's Adviser on Drug Abuse Policy and the chairman and ranking minority member of the House of Representatives' Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control are members of the U.S. delegation. In addition, several professionals from outside the Federal Government were named to the official U.S delegation. Included were representatives from the medical and legal communities, State and local law enforcement officials, and grassroots community organization leaders who serve on the front line in the battle against drug abuse. Attached is a full listing of the U.S. delegation.

All United Nations member states, United Nations specialized agencies, and numerous intergovernmental organizations have been invited to send delegations to the Conference. Over 3,000 people from approximately 100 countries are expected to attend. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOS) also will be well represented. A separate forum will be held concurrently with the Conference to focus on how nongovernmental entities can contribute to local, national, and global efforts to eliminate drug abuse and curb illegal production and trafficking. This is seen as particularly important in light of the considerable success they have had attracting attention and support for antidrug programs.

The United States considers this Conference to be a high-priority concern in the continuing effort to build international commitment and cooperation in the global fight against drug trafficking and abuse. The appointment of this distinguished delegation of experts reflects the important and high expectations that the United States attaches to activities of the international community in this area. As the Attorney General has stated: ``This historic Conference demonstrates that international cooperation is now a worldwide concern. Such cooperation should lead to increased international action to confront the global drug problem.''

Note: A list of the members of the U.S. delegation accompanied the press release.