In this response to the UNODC's World Drug Report 2008, the IDPC continues to support the concept of the Office acting in a capacity as a 'centre of expertise' that collates data, analysis and information on best practices, objectively facilitates policy debates between member states and civil society, and implements multilateral programmes. Nonetheless, it argues that there are still too many examples in the Report where the objectivity and expertise of the Office can be questioned.

This brief review looks at four key questions raised by an analysis of the document: Is the global market for controlled drugs being successfully contained? Does the history of opium use in China provide valuable lessons for 21st century drug control? How can we develop a workable international strategy on cannabis? To what extent can we rely on the data available globally on drug production, distribution and use? In each case, this IDPC response describes and critiques the positions taken in the Report, and attempts to articulate the nature of the future challenges faced by member states as they prepare for the review meeting in March 2009.