Thirteen countries signed the first international drug control treaty in 1912 at The Hague, Netherlands. Into the 1950s, governments entered into eight multilateral treaties aimed at preventing the illicit trade and consumption of opium and other drugs. Over forty years, many of the provisions had become obsolete, had never been implemented, or required revision as world developments presented new challenges. The Single Convention consolidated the existing multilateral drug-control treaties into one agreement. Its drafters also intended to encourage governments that had not participated in earlier drug-control agreements to join the international effort. As of November 1993, 144 governments were party to the Single Convention.

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