Plenary: Item 4. General debate of the ministerial segment (cont…)

Chair: Good morning, we’ll now resume the session. We have many on the list.

Secretary: We have nearly 70 speakers left that have asked for the floor. We will do our very best – but we’ll have to have another evening session tonight to accommodate. We’d like to appeal to the speakers – some of the speakers did not use their slot last night, if you didn’t use it you will now go to the bottom of the list.

Chair: Please do not exceed the 5 mins.

Mauritius: (Prime Minister) Thank you. The drug problem is one paramount issue facing all of our countries. As indicated by World Drug Report 2018, nearly 6% of people aged 15-64 years has consumed drugs at least once, and drug markets are expanding. This escalation has also happened in Mauritius. We see a scourge in NPS, today the consumption of synthetic drugs is very high, especially in youth. Well-structured psychosocial we see drug users as fellow citizens that deserve our support – our ultimate aim is to reintegrate and support them. Health based and person-centred approach to support those with social issues, in 1908s we set up a commission and set up a dangerous drugs act. 1986 anti-drug and smuggling unit was set up. Police officers have attended courses in friendly countries, with the support of the UNODC, African Union, Southern African Development Community, and Interpol. Despite these steps, drugs still have momentum. Commission also investigated linkages between drug trafficking and money laundering. Some recommendations have already been implemented. Our country with the assistance of UNODC, developed a drug control mast plan, which emphasizes our commitment to the drug problem. Review and validate national strategies on drugs and HIV. Includes Harm reduction, rehab and enforcement. Will include civil society. Issues transcend national borders. 2017 following record seizure of heroin, we benefitted from support from Mozambique and South Africa. As INCB noted, Mauritius made efforts to combat drug trafficking in region. There are grounds for optimism in drug control offices.

Ghana: Ghana acknowledges the WDP to governance, democracy, human rights, and public health at the global, continental and sub-regional level. We address the situation as common and shared responsibility. The CND provides a useful space and platform for each MS to interact and share experiences as we tackle the WDP. We are able to inform each other of specific country-specific approaches. since the late 1990s, we have worked closely to implement the plan of action; we remain committed to this. Treatment, prevention, and education are essential components of any drug policy. The greatest challenges are a high level of crime and massive illicit markets. The narcotics control commission has received cabinet approval – this will be the first attempt to amend the law. It will recognise a public health approach. Addiction will be treated as a public health issue and not a criminal one. The commission is responsible for internal security and public safety. Narcotic offenses, until recently, were not bailable; the supreme court has now changed this. Ghana is expanding its education interventions; we embraced the universal prevention and universal treatment intervention curricular in 2015. In the new bill, there are committees on demand reduction and harm reduction. Through UNODC Ghana and Nigeria signed an MOU that has led to the interception of illicit drugs. Ghana remains committed to the UNGASS 2016 and the SDG’s 2030. We are ready to adopt international best practices in line with our shared and common responsibility.

Malta: unquestionably the undertaking has been that of the MS declarations. We attempt to address the present drug problem; any drug policy must respect human rights. The consensus and recognition achieved in U|NGASS 2016 have provided a framework for us to undertake the challenges. The document consists of 7 chapters providing for a number of operational recommendations; it is our duty to attempt the recommendations whilst keeping in line with the SDGs. Only 17% worldwide have access to medical treatment; we are aiming to put in place guidelines to give more scope and effective achievements. This needs a radical change. we should emphasize the need to provide drug users the ability to access treatments and education rather than sending them to prison. Under no circumstances should sentencing include the death penalty. With the increase in poverty brings new problems. The increase in the use of technology makes it easier for drugs to be delivered to your door. I believe there is a lot to do now and, in the future, to tackle the WDP for future generations.

Guatemala: 10 years after the adoption of the plan of action in 2009 and the signing of the framework conventions the international community is well equipped. Guatemala in 2016 adopted a national policy against addiction and national drug trafficking. This has been implemented in a coordinated fashion. It fosters the participation of multiple sections of Guatemala’s population. In this administration, we have seized five times more than the last administration. The homicide rate has been brought down by 33% set against 2012 – 2015. Yesterday in an operation conducted by anti-drug units an operation was conducted to seized drugs linked to large drug cartels. The criteria and focal areas are cross-cutting. Our poison wants to have a practical policy to implement these we need to take a focal view of the action. We intend to ensure public health via social prevention. We have coverage of vulnerable groups – first steps for minors is one of these programmes. The first three years of management has shown a 70% increase in budget. Efforts to combat corruption and promote transparency; we have adopted the anti-graft program. There is open management in place and a transparency approach. We have created a fiscal transparency programme. We are implementing activities contained in a road map. It is important to have an objective assessment of the results achieved now.

Suriname: on the basis of common and shared responsibility out country recognises the importance of the following drug-related issues:

  • Prevention
  • Counseling and treatment
  • Regional and international cooperation.

It is important to reduce the level of illegal drugs in Suriname. We are a transit country and is a victim of the heinous act. We must develop and employ law enforcement to ensure the security of our society. The revised national drug masterplan is a presentation of a renewed strategy focusing on human rights and health safety. The implement will consist of sustainable balance and capacity awareness. We are able to tackle the complexity of the problem. In this context it is important to highlight these actions:

  • Setting up national adversity to improve reliable and evidence-based data.
  • Strengthening national cooperation

We require technical assistance to formulate operational laws. The adaptation of this system relates to illegal drug trafficking and the smuggling of humans. To achieve success in the fight against illegal drugs we need to maintain enhanced communication is sub-regional and national bodies. The government recognises illegal drug crime as a major problem. Suriname call on all countries to support the smaller countries whose economies are not able to tackle this level of crime. In this respect, the international community should call upon other countries on the basis of common and shared responsibilities. We must join forces to combat this global threat.

United Arab Emirates: 10 years ago, we met to assess the progress made; reports showed there was some success in the production of drugs, and we adopted a political declaration. We are now confronting a bitter reality; the cultivation of poppy and opium have reached the highest levels ever. The trafficking and use of synthetic drugs have surpassed the current markets. The WDP is abundant with challenges; there are those who call for the legalisation of drugs, claiming the harm comes from excessive control. We are optimistic in the UAE, we review adapt, develop and carry on. We have invested in demand reduction. We have included both public and CS sectors and a national strategy to counter drugs. We have seized of 553 operations, the confiscated of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. My government supports various UN initiatives aiming to protect the youth from drugs. We are commemorating a tolerance that has been implemented in foreign affairs. We hope we would be met with the same respect and abide by the three international drug control treaties. We welcome the adoption of the 2019 ministerial declaration. Drug-related crime proceeds are used as a means to support and finance terrorism; we need to unite our effort to fry up sources of finance terrorism.

Cuba: (Minister of Justice). We wish the Chair every success. We attend this segment with high expectations, to bolster cooperation on the terrible problem of scourge of drugs across the world. Poverty, violence, social exclusion, difficult public health circumstances. Massive drug trafficking in the south due to drug consumption in the north. We will not come to grips with scourge with politicization of drug control. We can’t resolve this through legalisation or passing drugs off a harmless. If this is done, states cannot keep duties in combatting crime. Cuba is definitely not supportive of this (legalization). It is unfair to say that drug control efforts have led to world drug problem, must look at root causes. Unfair and selfish order from one side prevails. Due to cultivation and other related scourges. We can take effectively steps against drugs went we have social inclusion and universal treatment without discrimination. We think we might achieve a situation where drugs are not a significant problem, we have already achieved this. We are deprived of resources but have met this with success with the support of our people. We must reaffirm our commitment to this matter. Conventions are the cornerstone. 2009 declaration should be on equal setting as 2014 and 2016 documents. We ratify our commitment to community of Latin America and Caribbean states. Societies free from illicit drug use are key.

Gambia: (Minister of Interior) Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. First time attended by Gambia. From president – would like to thank Austrian government for supporting us. Congratulations to elected members. Our presence here show testimony to our quest in combatting drugs and organized crime. Thank you for your efforts in countering world drug problem. I would like to associate us with African statement yesterday. Commitment to meeting 2009 goals – we’ve created an environment in law enforcement cooperation. Several bilateral nd multilateral partners have come together in Senegal to maximize collaboration in security. We synergise and coordinate efforts in combatting organize crime. Narcotic trafficking work is in line with conventions and 2009 declaration. UNODC and US DEA supported our collaboration with Senegal in combatting illicit traffic. Analysis conducted has shown us that we are a transit country through sea, land and air boarders. International cooperation agenda will continue. Government of Gambia is supporting law enforcement agency of Gambia in supporting robust approaches. The agency identified demand for response to scrouge of trafficking through Gambia. Developed first national drug control strategy 2019. Reviewing drug control act 2003 is ongoing to align with international best practice. The government is committing resources. Trend of drug abuse is on the increase.  A drug demand reduction unit is required. This is targeted directly at youth through schools and symposiums. Youth and womens groups are beneficiaries. These activities are complemented by media and social media platforms. Gambia is against the legalization of cannabis. Call on CND to tackle problem of cannabis use – controlled drugs find their ways into illegal markets and into hands of youth. Outlined in drug control act. An MOU signed by authorities for more robust monitoring. Dug and law enforce agency and pharmaceutical services conducted survey in 2016. Outlined recommendations focused on importation. Thank you.

Canada: We express our sincere condolences to New Zealand for today’s events in Christchurch – you are in our hearts today. Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about our achievements and plan for path beyond 2019. The opioid crisis continues to affect Canadians – 9000 deaths since 2016 makes this the largest public health crisis in Canada’s recent history. We are committed to working with international partners to improve health, wellbeing, and security of the world. We recognize that these approaches must place human dignity and rights are the fore. Over the past decade, with an evolving world drug problem that includes an increasing number of synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances, Canada has equally needed to evolve in the implementation of its national drug strategy. The Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy underscores Canada’s commitment to a public health approach to drug policy. Harm reduction is a key pillar of the CDSS alongside prevention, treatment and enforcement. In the context of Canada’s opioids crisis, harm reduction has played a critical role in the Government’s response, including supervised consumption sites,
drug checking, making naloxone available without prescription, and removing barriers to access of methadone and diacetylmorphine. For the pillar of treatment, we have put in place with our territories – millions of dollars to fund and expand treatment. Must also focus on prevention efforts. Canadian government has tried to reduce demand. We have restrictions on commercialization and prescription of opioids.

Mister Chair, the Government of Canada also recognizes the importance of law enforcement and supply reduction measures as part of a comprehensive and balanced approach. This includes efforts by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to build capacity with international policing partners to train canines in fentanyl detection as well as sharing information related to drug seizures. As called for in the UNGASS outcome document, it is critical for enforcement and supply reduction measures to be taken in
conformity with national and international human rights obligations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that any judicial and law enforcement measures are proportionate to the gravity of the offense. We remain gravely concerned about the ongoing violations and abuses committed in the name of the world drug problem, including extrajudicial killings.

Our national approaches to drug policy apply to efforts beyond addressing the opioid crisis. As delegations are well aware, Canada’s domestic public health approach to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis came into force on October 17, 2018. The legislative and regulatory framework in place, along with the infrastructure to support such a framework, has the objectives to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and to take profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime, goals that are aligned with our commitment to safeguard the health and welfare of our citizens. This framework also includes a strong border control component to prevent the illegal movement of cannabis and cannabis products across our borders, which remains a serious criminal offence. Canada has been fully transparent in our approach and our Government is
committed to measuring the health and social impacts of our cannabis policies, and we will share outcome data with other CND members.

We are a defender for the drug control system as established in conventions. We do not advocate legalization for all other states – we do this in Canada to protect the health and security of our citizens. Would like to emphasize that we are making an effort to reflect a broader range of view in our drug policies – those of civil society, people who use drugs themselves – they are ultimately those most affected.

Like last year, Canada is pleased to have members of civil society, including people with lived and living experience with substance use, on our delegation.

For people who use drugs, stigma adds a barrier to accessing health care, or other social services. Reducing stigma is of paramount importance and is a critical step in recognizing the
fundamental rights and dignity of all people, including people who use drugs.

Canada appreciates the support received by Member States last year in the adoption of the resolution on stigma. We look forward to continuing our discussion this year, and I invite all participants to attend our March 18th side event and to visit our exhibition
booth in the rotunda.
This Ministerial segment provides an opportunity for Member States to recognize the importance of the commitments made in the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, the 2014 Joint
Ministerial Statement, and the 2016 UNGASS outcome document. Canada recognizes that, while these documents are complementary and mutually reinforcing, the 2016 UNGASS outcome document, which builds on commitments from all previous documents, represents the most recent international consensus. Therefore, it should be the overarching drug policy document guiding international efforts under a single track approach moving forward.

We look forward to continuing work and make progress toward goals of control framework – mainly for the health and wellbeing of our citizens – sharing expertise, by supporting efforts that aim to fight drug trafficking.

Cyprus: (Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UN) We fully align with EU statement yesterday. The declaration adopted yesterday shows the commitments we have made from 2009 and 2016 documents – the most comprehensive and recent texts. Unwavering commitment to UNGASS outcome document. Cyrprus supports balanced and evidence based approach to drugs. Drug policies in Cyprus encompass supply and demand, and reduction of harm from drug use. We take efforts to reduce availability of drug precursors, NPS, and counter profits from drug related criminal activity. International cooperation is important. We see drug use as a health disorder – must be managed from health manner. National strategy focuses on treatment and specific subgroups – including migrants, those with dual diagnosis. It has an emphasis on female drug users. It aims for increased treatment rates for those in criminal justice system, and reintegration into society. Harm reduction measures provide solid basis. We have adopted vending machines for syringes and other injecting equipment – 24hr availability has increased access and reduced blood borne viruses such as hepatitis C. Our legal framework: there has been recent amendments in legislation, allowing referral for drug users, young people may be referred to treatment rather than prison in certain cases. We have a new centre for young people who face substance abuse issues. Effective response should inform our policies. We need to safeguard dignity of all individuals. We should step up our efforts in upholding health of drug users. Civil society, NGO, those who use drugs should be represented.

Finland: (Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UN) We fully align ourselves with the EU statement. I would like to convey our deepest condolences to New Zealand – our thoughts are with you. A lot of progress has been made since 2009 – the progress was visible by 2016 when the outcome document gave us a modern and balanced framework to work together. Reaffirmation to recommendations can also contribute to achieving SDGs. Even if there had been progress, the problem is not improving. We all need reliable data, and we want to underline the commitment of sharing quality data. We believe all drug policies need to be implemented with human rights, health safety and security is important. We advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and anything of extrajudicial nature. Must pursue balanced approaches with representation from grassroots, NGOs and people who use drugs. We have implemented harm reduction initiatives for last 20 years. To tackle new threats be need early warning systems and international cooperation. We need new practices to make sure law enforcement officers are not affected by exposure. The main role of law enforcement is to reduce drug supply, and successful and sustainable harm reduction is not possible without their participation. Police have a key role in referring users to services. All policies should contribute to public health.

New Zealand: We are all aware that we cannot manage the challenges alone. Our greatest challenge is the ongoing harm of methamphetamine and synthetic drugs. Supported by the evidence on harm reduction is to take a health and people orientated approach. People who use drugs need help from the health system and should not be criminalised. In 2018 the inquiry into addiction and mental health; the results show significant overlap. There is a need to find holistic approaches to tackle this.  The broad harm reduction approach must support those affected by synthetic drug use. We should provide police with the discretion not to prosecute. In 2018 we improved access to medicinal cannabis productive that allows people requiring palliative care to make a wider range of decisions. Our public health approach manages the risk of cannabis for our use. We believe this will put us in a strong position. Agreement on the consensus is a sign that the international community is in line with addressing the WDP. the documents of the last three years are mutually reinforcing. We share the concerns of the disproportionate use of the death penalty in relation to drug-related crimes. There is a growing understanding of a health-based approach to achieving national security, we need to give ourselves the space to build our body of evidence. As our understanding grows so does the need to understand a modernised drug policy.

Pakistan: we align ourselves with the group 77 and the china and Asia Pacific group. Efforts must be enhanced and national, regional and international levels going forward. We share the view that since 2009 several existing challenges has persisted and grown. Building on collective efforts on the lesson learned and the follow-up to the declaration we need to enforce a comprehensive scientific approach to the WDP. Promoting the health of our children and youth need to remain at the centre of our efforts. Our efforts need to be intensified in relation to social integration. We seek a single-track follow-up contained in the three policy documents. These documents are complimentary and mutually reinforcing.  Effective implementation is of critical importance. Legalisation of illicit drugs for recreational purposes remains a problem for us. As one of the target countries, Pakistan is concerned about the spike in illicit cultivation over the past decade. We call on the international community and CND to give enhances attention to assigning these threats. Strengthening border management is part of our efforts. We continue to give attention to addressing drug abuse in the country, specifically in education settings. I am confident that the commission will continue to play a central role in countering the WDP.

El Salvador: (Executive Director of National Anti-Drug Commission) We will use this timeslot to summarise the activities that have to do with the 2009 declaration in keeping with paragraph 36. El Salvador does not grow illicit crops due to climate. Marijuana is trafficked from overland routes. Public health and social risks, awareness training is underway specializing in care for people with substance problems. Professionals on drug dependence. We have 5 centers for prevention and care scattered across the country. We have set up mental health clinics by our Minister for Public Health, we have opened a special center for care for minors. We guide clinics for drug dependence. We have tobacco control measures. We have entered into cooperation with civil society for accomplishments to help high risk populations. Drug programs specially designed for children and youth. We are implementing initiatives for NPS control, with help from UNODC regional office. We have a global container control program for ports and harbours. Since June 2018 we have been part of the program to control chemical precursors, aims to enhance capacities of public institutions. For diversion related issues – the public health board took lead up until 2012, then the national medication service took over. Banned pseudoephedrine and some fentanyl based substances, with some exceptions. From 2009-2016 we have implemented and are using the pre export system for chemical precursors recommended by INCB. Money laundering legislation is in kept in line with international conventions. Effective are mechanisms available to cooperate with other countries on money laundering issues. Inter-institutional efforts against money laundering have been implemented.

Dominican Republic: (Minister of Foreign Affairs) I convey on behalf of our government a robust condemnation of terrorism – we pray for the victims in New Zealand. Congratulations on the good work was done on negotiations for the declaration we adopted yesterday. We are well aware of the worldwide challenge of the drug problem. We reiterate our strong commitment to the 3 conventions and declaration of human rights. We are well aware of our commitment to avert to social damage from drugs, in respect to human rights. Full access to prevention, full-fledged care and reintegration are steps towards are world free from drugs. This session is a valuable chance to reassess challenges we have faced over the last 10 years, and reaffirm commitment to UNGASS 2016 doc. Gender, age, social related issues need to be included in security policies that operate in countries. Protecting vulnerable groups as a matter of priority. We have made progress in order to bolster the strategy to prevent undue use of controlled substances. Because of our geographical position, we’re between manufacturing and consuming countries – so we focus on a robust structure to bring together all social players. We implement prevention policies with families, schools, the workplaces in keeping with national plan. Entered into commitment to control precursors and pharmaceutical substances, and assure public health. We achieved record levels of seizures in the last few years. We are making it more difficult for criminal groups to launder the proceeds of money laundering. We’ve tried hard to make controlled substances available. For us, it is a top priority to ensure efforts to control narcotrafficking and illicit use of narc drugs. We reiterate support for discussion at CND, and recognize it as the key body in UN drug policy.

Croatia: There are still many challenges ahead of Croatia. We have been continuously working on improving our national polices; special emphasise has been placed on social integration and harm reduction programmes. The use of heroin has declined, but the use of illicit drug used overall has increased, particularly in the use of cannabis. Some psychoactive drugs are being used more frequently. We will be adopting a new national strategy this year which will be multi-disciplinary. In recent years we have invested resources in policy interventions. One of the main goals in early prevention with a goal of increasing the age in which the youth begin to use psychoactive substances for the first time. The users of other psychoactive substance rarely seek help. There need to be a diversification of treatment options corresponding to different circumstances. It is not only medical treatment that provides a full. Harm reduction programmed have been effective in reducing blood-borne related diseases. In line with international treaties and standards we dedicate the law enforcement standards to our work. We would like to stress the efforts of the commission to building better harm reduction services with a particular focus on human rights.

Qatar: we emit a resonating message whereby we commit the implantation of the three documents over the last decade. We fully respect the sovereignty of states and non-interference in the internal affairs of others. The WDP is complex and has become a chronic problem, linked to the corruption of organised crime and money laundering. We must resign ourselves to this reality; we must recognise that our collective efforts were below the required level to counter this problem. We need to redistribute our efforts to rid the world of drugs. Our strategy is based on prevention, protection of society and law enforcement whilst including the various commitments we have taken upon ourselves. In October 2018 the INCB mission was tasked with the national commitments under the three international drug control instruments. Qatar fully complies with our commitments. Treatment and rehabilitation must be provided on an evidence-based ground. Through our generous support through a number of programmes it has been recognised through the UODC reports. I call upon all member states to extend their support to UNDOC and INCB.

Laos: Our economy and boarders remain committed to the international drug conventions of the UN drug control. We are a transit route for illicit products, including drugs. As they move from production sites in one country to consumer sites in another. Opium cultivation is relied on for the livelihood of individuals in the northern part of our country. We have taken importance steps to enhancing drug-based evidences. A priority is to expand community-based treatment services. A flagship project in this regard is being implemented on the border of Vietnam. We recognise the need to expand these projects to other marginalised populations in the country. We remain supportive of the UNGASS 2016 document.

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