Uruguays move to legalize cannabis endangers global antidrug effort UN agency says

The head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yuri Fedotov said that confronting illicit drugs and their impact is dependent on pursuing a comprehensive response to the problem based on health, long-term security, development and institution-building. “Just as illicit drugs are everyone’s shared responsibility, there is a need for each country to work closely together and to jointly agree on the way forward for dealing with this global challenge,” he said in a statement. The move, which Mr. Fedotov termed “unfortunate”, comes ahead of a special session on the ongoing world drug problem, to be held at the UN General Assembly in 2016. He noted that next year, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs will hold a high-level review of Member States’ implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on the world drug problem and said that would have been an opportunity for countries to pursue a coherent approach to drug trafficking. Mr. Fedotov also said that UNODC agrees with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body mandated to implement UN international drug control conventions, which earlier today said it “regrets” the decision by Montevideo. In its statement, the Board said “…the legislation to legalize production, sale and consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes approved yesterday in Uruguay contravenes the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which Uruguay is a party.” INCB President Raymond Yans said he was “surprised” that policymakers “knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed provisions of the treaty.” The Vienna-based agency also noted that Uruguayan policymakers failed to consider the negative impacts on health which confirm that cannabis is an addictive substance with serious consequences and longer-term development applications. read more

Aston Martin Lagonda to invest £200m in new product development

Aston Martin Lagonda has announced £200 million of new investment for product expansion and the development of new models.The funding will allow the manufacturer to expand its current range of luxury cars, enabling the production of the all-new DBX crossover based on the concept shown at this year’s Geneva and Shanghai motor shows. This announcement is in addition to the company’s previously announced investment plan, and follows a 45% increase in product development spending in 2014.Aston Martin Lagonda chief executive, Dr Andy Palmer, said, “This additional long-term funding will enable us to add extra model lines and broaden our presence in the luxury market segment by the end of the decade. The additional investment announced today will allow us to realise the DBX and other new luxury vehicles that will form the strongest and most diverse portfolio in our history.”2015 has already been a record year of investment for automotive manufacturing, with an unprecedented £1 billion invested in just one week earlier this year. Keep track of the industry’s investment highlights here.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more