The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that “Bolivia has the right to request a critical review” of the current classification of the coca leaf in the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, informed the Secretary General of the Vice-Presidency of Bolivia, Juan Carlos Alurralde.
“The WHO has told us that it will wait for the formal notification from the UN Secretary-General and will immediately act and take all necessary actions to initiate the process”, explained Alurralde after a meeting between Bolivian representatives and the governing body of health in Vienna, Austria.
Bolivia and 53 UN member states have been members of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for four years, from 2022 to 2025.
Bolivian Vice President David Choquehuanca attended the 66th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna on March 13, where he advocated Bolivia’s right to industrialize and market coca leaf in its natural state.
The WHO will be in charge of carrying out the critical review of the coca leaf.
Alurralde highlighted that Bolivia’s work table with the international entity was essential.
The coca leaf is used in the traditional acullicu (chewing) by workers and farmers and in the production of infusions, flour, and toothpaste and has medicinal properties, which the pharmaceutical industry can exploit.
Bolivia is the world’s third-largest coca leaf producer, with 22,000 hectares, behind Peru (80,000 ha) and Colombia (204,000 ha), according to the latest report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
With information from Sputnik