Packs of cocaine and guns are seen at the judicial police headquarters in Praia, Cape Verde, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Julio Rodrigues
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The U.N. General Assembly gathered Tuesday to rethink global strategy in the war on narcotics for the first time in two decades as activists, U.N. officials and world leaders cited an international trend toward more liberal drug laws.Despite broad agreement on the need to deal with the global drug problem, there are deep divisions among the 193 U.N. member-states, with some favoring a shift toward decriminalization and a greater focus on reducing the harm caused both by narcotics abuse and the war on drugs.A number of Latin American leaders say decades of an aggressive war on drugs have failed, having killed or destroyed thousands of lives worldwide. European and Latin American delegations and activists hope this week's special U.N. session taking stock of what many describe as the failed war on drugs can contribute to pushing the world a few steps closer toward a more liberal drug strategy that puts human rights and public health, not repression, at the center.
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