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Summary record of the 6th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 2 October 2002, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Wenaweser ................................................ (Liechtenstein)
Agenda item 101: International drug control (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda item 101: International drug control (continued ) (A/57/3, 88, 127 and 203)
77. Mr. Zeidan (Lebanon), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that his delegation had not been surprised that the representative of Israel had taken advantage of the opportunity to politicize the Committee’s discussions. His Government had declared 2002 the year of the irreversible elimination of drug cultivation in Lebanon, through a campaign for the total eradication of cannabis and opium poppy crops. In 1993, following the chaos of the civil war, the authorities had begun a crackdown on drug cultivation. By 2001, the results of their efforts had begun to be acknowledged, including by the United States Department of State. In 2002, Indian hemp eradication had been truly systematic for the first time since its cultivation began in Lebanon in 1930. The crackdown had severely affected farmers, who had lost some $450 million in potential income.
78. His Government could not continue those efforts alone, and donor countries must take responsibility for their reluctance to support alternative development projects in the Bekaa Valley, where the bulk of Indian hemp was grown. It was with the full knowledge of the Israeli army that drug smuggling had taken place during Israel’s 22-year occupation of south Lebanon, and the money generated had been used to fund the South Lebanon Army, Israel’s surrogate army.
79. Currently, his Government was trying to provide irrigation water to south Lebanon to benefit farmers, but Israel had met those development initiatives with further threats of bombing, thereby hindering his Government's efforts to normalize living conditions for the Lebanese population in that region.
80. The Israeli representative’s suggestion that Hezbollah was implicated in smuggling drugs to so-called Palestinian “terrorist” groups was pure provocation. Delegations should be very careful about making such statements without solid evidence. It was Hezbollah’s resistance that had forced Israel to withdraw from most Lebanese soil, and the Israeli representative’s false accusations simply reflected resentment on the part of Israel and a blatant attempt to politicize the Committee’s work.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.
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