A new international treaty takes effect today to eliminate safe havens for drug lords by letting governments extradite them, seize their bank accounts and property and open their financial records.

The U.N. Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances binds the United States, Mexico, Canada and 24 other nations that have adopted it to cooperate in battling drug traffickers.Sixty-two more nations and the European Economic Community have signed the convention, indicating they will adopt it.

Attorney General Dick Thornburgh lauded its adoption, saying that "under this treaty, signatory nations are obligated to criminalize each link in the chain of illicit drug-related activities, from the initial production of drugs to the final laundering of profits."