Special Event of the CND, Commemoration of the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and Launch of the 2020 World Drug Report followed by a Discussion on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world drug situation, virtual event
Chair: We are greatly honoured by the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, speaking for the host country. We are also honoured to have with us the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs in the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria and Miss Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under Secretary General for Global Communications. Also, among our distinguished guests today, and I’m really grateful for their presence are the heads of the Vienna based organisations, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, and Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation. All of them are very close friends and colleagues in our daily work. I would now like to give the floor to Madame Waly, Director General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
UNODC: We celebrate today not only the UN’s own anniversary, but 65 years of Austria in the UN, contribution of troops to UN peacekeeping missions. I would like to commend Austria’s unwavering commitment to the principles of the UN Charter and to multilateralism. I also wish to congratulate the Austrian government on the wise management of the COVID-19 situation and applaud the solidarity and discipline of the people of Austria. We are fortunate to be able to meet in person today. And we do so in the knowledge that we are lucky, while many others are not, and that this crisis is far from over, ladies and gentlemen, 75 years ago, the world came together, not in celebration, but in the sober realisation that the only way to stop untold sorrow was through collective understanding and united purpose. The UN Charter embodies the very best of who we are, and of who we can be as a global family. The unprecedented challenges we face today have shown us the gap between the dreams that guide us and the reality we live. However, the failings of our world do not prove the failure of our ideals, but rather the urgent need to live up to them. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to consume lives and livelihoods, and conflict and violence rear their ugly heads, our best hope is to find inspiration in the vision of the charter once again. In doing so, we must channel the timeless convictions that inspired the UN Charter, the conviction that we are all equal and deserving of life and dignity, the conviction that it’s not beyond our nature to move past conflict and coexist peacefully, the conviction that we deserve to dream of a better future and have greater opportunities for ourselves and our children. And perhaps most important of all, the conviction that we are at our strongest when we work together. Today, our United Nations is 193 members stronger. The UN emblem is a symbol of hope. Now more than ever, as COVID-19 has already claimed nearly half a million lives. Our Secretary General has shown decisive global leadership, ensuring that the UN from headquarters and through the country teams has continued to deliver throughout the crisis. He has mobilised the resources of the whole of the UN system to provide vital support to countries in the health response to the virus and to address the many socio-economic impacts. And you Melissa, you have galvanised un global communication you have inspired that empowers your team around the world. And during this crisis, you have placed the UN at the centre of the global response with hard facts, clear information and human stories that inspire people in action. I’m delighted to have you with us today. The new action plan for COVID-19 launched yesterday will put us back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address precisely those failings of our systems and social safety nets that COVID-19 has exposed and further weakened. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Office at Vienna remain fully committed to playing our part, along with the rest of the UN family in the headquarters here by the Daniel, guided by the same spirit of consensus, countries here always find a way past their differences to come together in the face of shared threats and challenges and promote chair responses. I thank you for treasuring and preserving the spirit to strengthen our work. And I promise you that we will live up to the ideals of the UN Charter in these crucial times excellencies. Ladies and gentlemen, we must listen to the voices of the people we serve. And we hear loud and clear that they want us to work together. First results from the un 75 survey show that 95% of respondents strongly support cooperation to address global challenges. This view gained in popularity among survey participants, even as COVID-19 spread around the world, closing borders and stopping flights. The result show that even as dividers conspired to keep us apart. It only succeeded in reminding us just how closely interconnected we truly are. In overwhelm in overcoming the global pandemic, we must see past the divisions and devastations of the present moment to work together towards a fairer and more just future, leaving no one behind. The UN Charter calls for a better world, while providing the practical framework for making our aspirations reality. It has served as the cornerstone for our efforts to build a better world and it holds the key to shaping the future we want. If we are to build back better, we must rise to meet the challenges of 2020 and beyond by living up to the standards we set for ourselves 75 years ago, we must trust in the strength of our unity. Thank you.
Chair: Thank you, Madam governing for your informative remarks. We deeply appreciate the inspiring guidance and leadership you continue to provide us and I think all of us would agree that we will continue to need this inspiring guidance and leadership as we move through the challenging times ahead. I now have the player to give the floor to His Excellency, Mr. Alexander Schellenberg, the Austrian Federal Minister for European and international affairs, Excellency, you have the floor.
Austria: Thank you very much, to commemorate the signing of the UN Charter 75 years ago, I’m extremely pleased to represent the host country, Austria, and to convey to you the warmest greetings of the Federal Chancellor of the Austin federal government, especially in this challenging year. This anniversary takes on a very specific significance. We are in a very unique situation. For the first time, each and every nation on this planet is facing the same challenge, the fight against the COVID-19. Although we might have a different impression in Austria and Europe, from a global perspective, we are still in the midst of this health crisis. And we all know that this pandemic is far from being over. But it has made us again very much aware how deeply interdependent we are, and that we all have to work together if we want to face this challenge. To this end, we need actually today a strong UN more than ever, and Austria is an active member of the United Nations as you have mentioned already, and a proud home to one of the four headquarters of the UN family. Indeed, we are deeply committed to effective multilateralism and Austria had actually his first experience with the United Nations 75 years ago. Even before we joined the UN, when asked to face the famine, after the Second World War, the United Nations Relief and rehabilitation administration provided food and other essential goods. This was life saving for many Austrians at the time – immediately after regaining our full independence and sovereignty, asked to join the still young organisation. And since 1960, we have been continuously contributing to our UN peace missions. We have served the international community three times as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and we are fully prepared to do so again in 2027 -28. Also, we are a member of the Human Rights Council, and we are proud that an Austrian diplomat is presiding the council this year. I believe the United Nation can really look back on a great history. It has successfully worked for the progress of humanity and for the advancement of mankind. It has made our planet safer by setting new global standards and human rights, rule of law, conflict prevention, peacekeeping, the fight against poverty, disarmament and climate change. However, we all have to acknowledge that these standards are being constantly threatened. Our generation is facing a range of strongly interrelated challenges, ranging from armed conflict to climate change and from political risk repression to extreme poverty. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has actually even aggravated these challenges. And what is even more, we all know that the very notion of international cooperation of multilateral diplomacy is put into question by some …but Austria, like so many other small and medium sized countries depends on negotiated solution for addressing global problems, if the question is rule of law or the law of the jungle, our answer is crystal clear. There needs to be a rules-based international order. But good governance, open societies and the notion of practice should still prevail. The global challenges we are facing requires a strong United Nations. This is in the interest of every one of us actually. And I believe that the family of the United Nations here in Vienna is well equipped to provide the perfect framework for advancing multilateralism. It is an indispensable hub for many pressing issues of our times, including, among others, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, energy, sustainable development, the peaceful use of outer space and fighting corruption, crime and drugs. This is a very important topic you will address further on this afternoon, especially under the new leadership. Ladies and gentlemen, the United Nations UN Charter as written 75 years ago, remain an utmost and lasting, relevant document that has always been and will always remain a strongly committed. We, the peoples of the United Nations need each other. And we need a strong functioning United Nations because it is this organisation no other the tireless league works every day to make our planet a better place. Thank you.
Chair: Well, thank you, excellency for your remarks. Let me recognise that it is really significant for you to be present personally present here, and then Austria itself is an important member of the international community. So, we are really grateful to you for this solidarity and for this inspiration. With this now we move we proceed to the launch of the World Drug Report 2020. The World Drug Report, as you know, is the source that provides us with a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in the world’s illicit drug markets by focusing on the production, trafficking and consumption of the main types of illicit drugs along with the related health issues as a consequence of the use of those drugs. Reliable and objective data is a crucial tool in our joint efforts to effectively address the world drug problem to develop, implement and monitor effective responses at the national, regional and global levels, and hence is a cornerstone of evidence-based policymaking and monitoring. The importance of global data collection is reflected in the three international drug control conventions by which parties are required to annually submit drug related data to the United Nations. In the 2009 political declaration and plan of action, we committed to increase our efforts in collecting data on the nature and extent of drug use and dependence to strengthen information and monitoring systems and to employ methodologies and instruments based on scientific evidence. The UNGASS outcome document was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in April 2016 – promotes the value of reliable, comparable objective and quality statistics on grants. You will also recall that in the 2019 ministerial declaration adopted last year by the CND, we committed to promoting and improving the collection, analysis and sharing of quality and comparable data. With these remarks, I would like to give the floor to Madame Waly once again as executive director of the UN ODC for her opening remarks on this subject.
UNODC: Thank you, Ambassador Han excellencies. Dear minister, thank you for joining us for the launch of the 2020 UNODC World Drug Report on this 75th anniversary of the UN Charter and on the International Day Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, science and solidarity. These are the words of our secretary general calling for action against the misinformation that has endangered lives in the COVID-19 crisis. There are there are also load stars of the balance health centred response to the world drug problem. It is in the spirit that I present to you the World Drug Report. The report is based on the data provided by member states and we rely on you to contribute and share information on the transnational challenges posed by drugs. Through this commission, you have negotiated and agreed major policy documents and reaffirm the commitments in the 2019 ministerial declaration. The SDGs has also been instrumental in translating these policy commitments into concrete action through resolutions addressing different aspects of drug challenges. The resolutions in turn help UNODC to further tailor our integrated support from Ghana and the field to be to build national capacities and strengthen international cooperation to address drug supply and demand. The expertise and experience gained through implementation on the ground are then brought back to the commission, thus further informing and enriching the policy work. The updated annual report questionnaire adopted by this commission at the session in March will further enhance future editions of the World Drug Report and contribute to a global effort to understand and address the world drug problem. I encourage you to use this instrument and support UNODC as we seek to deepen the global evidence base on drugs through the national illicit crop cultivation surveys, regional and synthetic drug reports and the flagship World Drug Report. This year’s report shows that more people are using drugs and there are more drugs than before. There are too many people who need help who cannot get it with only one out of eight people receiving drug really treatment. one of three people who use drugs is a woman. But women represent only one out of five people in treatment, often due to discrimination and stigma. We have seen the tragic consequences of this lack of care. Over the past decade, the number of women who have died due to opioid use disorders went up 92% the poor the marginalised youth, people in prison settings and displace people who face barriers to treatment for drug use disorders and related HIV interventions. illicit drug challenges have become increasingly complex, and the COVID crisis and economic downturn threaten to worsen the impacts for the people who can least afford it. The theme for the International Day this year is better knowledge for better care. We need to better understand the many dynamics fuelling and feeding drug use disorders, illicit drug cultivation and trafficking so we can improve response provide better care and save lives. We know that health centred rights based and gender responsive approaches to drug use, and related diseases deliver better public health outcomes. We need to enable such responses with more support, especially to developing countries. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals. We need to know more and to care more. Our societies cannot afford to compound the illicit drug threats through in attention and neglect. We must support solutions through meaningful cooperation with civil society and youth organisations. We can seek new ways to reach young people who remain the most vulnerable to drug threats, using sports and education to build resilience and encourage healthy choices. balanced, comprehensive and effective responses to drugs require national strategies that bring together all stakeholders and that enable effective regional and inter regional coordination to address Chad’s challenges. Challenges excellencies my colleagues will present the findings of the World Drug Report 2020 to you in detail. You no DC looks forward to your comments. And I encourage you to reinforce your feedback by further contributing to our research efforts to strengthen future work drug reports. I also urge you and all our stakeholders to use this resource and to make best use of the support that un ODC provides to help address the interrelated challenges of drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism. We are here to help you. Thank you.
Chair: I would now like to give the floor to Miss Me the chief of the Research and Trends Analysis branch of UNODC, who will introduce the 2020. World Drug Report. Miss Me, you have the floor.
Research and Trends Analysis branch of UNODC: I will start with a couple of main messages that you will find in the report, and more just to tell you what to find. So hopefully to give you the curiosity to actually go and look at all the interesting findings that we have in this year was reported. One of the main messages that there’s also mentioned by Miss Waly is that we are now confident with a series of long-term data to say that the global drug market is expanding, and we see they’re in all direction. We see that with all despite how we can our data on drug user, we see that between 2009, 2013 and 18, there are more than 30% of drug users in the world that the deaths related to drug use disorder and we have the highest cocaine production that we have never monitored before. And the seizure of methamphetamine went up six times. We have not recorded opium production, as we have seen in a couple of years ago. But we still have abundant opium production, as we see from the drastic decrease of opium price that is the lowest level recorded in Afghanistan, indicating that definitely we have an oversupply of opium. So, all of these indicators show that the drug market today is bigger than 10 years ago, and 20 years ago. So, we have looked into this year to say why. And you know, the answer to this question is very complex. It’s like to say Why is malnutrition in the world? You know, there are many factors not only relating to society and economy, but also, we have a government approach that policy and respond to the problem. But we have looked at particularly three elements and then we focus on to population growth and urbanisation. Two of the main elements that drive this expansion and why is important to look at also these elements is because these are continue to grow. So, we will have you know, is projected that the global population will continue to be more than today in the year to come the same for urbanisation. And so, if these are elements that are driving also the expansion of the drug market it is important that as we reflect – there is a need, again to reflect on increase efforts, if we really wanted to stop this increasing. So even if the same prevalence the same percentage of people use drugs, then by definition, because of this global population, we will have more people using drugs and then that correspond to more drugs to be produced and traffic globally. But there is also the issue of the young population, we know that the youth is the age where there is the highest prevalence of drug use. And youth population is growing much more in developing countries and actually in developing countries is declining. We still suffer by the critical lack of data and drug use scientific data and drug use in developing countries, particularly in Africa. And you see that, according to the national experts on drug use, it is increasing much faster in developing countries and there is even the gap of treatment. The issue of stigma is even more severe. And so, this means that the problem is increasing where resources to address it are at the lowest. I don’t have the time to go through all the issues, just wanted to mention some and one is the overlap between legal and illegal markets. We see for example, in Africa, where 20 years ago, the opioid that was not used for medical use was erroneous – particularly from a perception point of view. But usually the new subject is the new set of substances entering the market. And then again, I think is a story that the commission at least have discussed. But here I don’t want to focus on the numbers of substances that you find in analysis in the report – we have increased on the topology, but the fact that they be complicated the response and the problem of the drug because they are often using combination, and so often user don’t know even if they think that they are going to buy cocaine or methamphetamine or heroin. Often this are mixed with substances that even more harmful and often doctors in emergency departments don’t even know what to look for, because the substances are so difficult to detect. And you will find in the report a nice infographic that shows the seizure, the global seizure or the precursors of ketamine and methamphetamine and how these have changed and compared to how the control as a known precursor … and the issue of poly drug trafficking and poly drug user that you will find discussing. We will be putting a series of the World Report digest on the website, because each piece is a report by itself. And so, for example, you will find the chapter on opioids. And you will see there where we analyse the upright crisis from North America, but also what is emerging in Europe and also the issue of no medical use of Tramadol. Here, I just want to focus on one issue, you will find a lot more of analysis in the report. But just on the threat that the synthetic opioids pose, I just want to show as an example of the profit, the issue that the synthetic opioids are very profitable for traffickers – fentanyl is much more profitable than heroin. And here is just an example to say that, for example, to produce one kilo of fentanyl more or less, it cost about 1.5 to 3.5 million thousand dollar and other retail traffickers can make between one to 1.5 million, the same, right and I’m talking about here, the United States with this numbers. Then what you will see in this complexity is also to make the point that the drug market change very fast. In terms of substances dynamics, and here I just want to see show in a couple of examples. One is what is happening in the Russian Federation in Central Asia, where, in a couple of years, the market has completely changed from the dominance of heroin, to now the dominance of synthetic drugs, but also talking about methamphetamine. What do we zoom in the report is the increase in the methamphetamine market in countries like Iraq, but again, in previous years, it was more dominated by opiates. In Afghanistan, a large manufacturer of methamphetamine is emerging. And we have seen it in Russia, a report of people using methamphetamine together with heroin in Afghanistan, but also with large seizures, both inside and outside of Afghanistan. Then we have a chapter one of his words report digests is on the accessibility to pay medication. And the main message here is that 12% of the global population have access to 90% of the total pharmaceutical opioids – you will find in the report in relation to your triangle on this availability of a medication using INCB data, but also an analysis of the reasons what are the obstacles to the accessibility of pain medication and you will see that various between policies, practices, and you know the system on how the supply chain is manager and also the way how at community level and family doctors really pain medication management. On the socio-economic disparities within the drug use the people with drug use disorder. And again here one of the main message here is that basically, higher socio economic groups have a greater propensity to initiate drug use, meaning that in countries where we have information by social economic group, usually, if you look at just the annual prevalence of abuse is higher among in a way the return group of a society. But when we zoom in, we look on who progresses from drug user to drug use disorder, it is people in the lowest socio-economic groups that are more likely to progress from drug user to drug use disorder, and therefore pay the highest price. And so in this booklet, you will see an analysis also of how people are attracted into what we call the vicious cycle of having issues like unemployment, low education or drop out from school and poverty affecting the risk of drug use disorder, but at the same time drug do disorder also have an impact. And you will find also in the book later on women, on sexually diverse populations, indigenous and Aboriginal people, ethnic groups and immigrants, displaced person, people in rural a setting and where we analyse on how these population groups are particularly vulnerable, or moving towards drug use disorders and are particularly vulnerable also in accessing treatment. Also we have looked at the criminal justice system and so to look at globally, how many people are arrested, how many are convicted, and how many end up in prison, by sex, we looked at by type of sub type of drug and, and we see that basically the majority of people that are brought into the criminal justice system are for the relating to cannabis. And then we have an old chapter on international cooperation, where we try to analyse a show that countries report relating to international cooperation and here the graph is very small, but basically one of the main messages that you see there is that actually while we are saying that the problem is getting bigger, it looks like donor engagement on drug control is getting much smaller. And so again here I think is the point to where we need to renew also the commitment of international community to the problem. Then we have a chapter on cannabis legalisation where we review the trend in different indicators relating to cannabis on in jurisdiction where cannabis has been legalised in the United States, in Canada and Uruguay. We cannot understand, you know exactly what the new legislation had, what kind of impact they had. But that is worth noting that all in all countries where this legislation was adopted, drug user has increased. Then we have a chapter on alternative development. We have a chapter on that Canada and one also on drugs and violence. And in our booklet also you will see the if you want the usual trend analysis of the substance by substance opiates, Cannabis, NPS, and cocaine. And for each of these substances, you will find the latest trend in terms of cultivation, production, trafficking, and also in all booklets dedicated to drug use and health consequences with all the new trends also in relation to drug use, and, for example, injecting drug use HIV and hepatitis C. Mr. Chairman, they conclude what I really would like before concluding giving credit to the team . I would say the report is more comprehensive than before. Thank you.
Chair: Thank you very much for this. And now I move towards opening the floor for interventions from member states.
Peru: I would like to start by taking the opportunity to congratulate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. It is indeed a special occasion to celebrate many accomplishments of this organisation related to the maintenance of international peace and security is an element of friendly relations among nations the promotion of human rights and the strengthening of worldwide cooperation. But also, it is timely to reflect on many other challenges that are still pending in these matters. The health crisis produced by the spirit of Coronavirus has imposed even more challenges and its impact is putting the world under enormous strain. The consequences of this pandemic on the world drug problem are still unknown completely. But it is for sure that it is becoming increasingly complex, as assessed by the World Drug Report 2020. And we’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you and UNODC for this variable report in this regard to really express his concern about the sustained increase in global demand of drugs, and especially on cocaine. The consumption has maintained steady growth for 20 years, with an estimate of 18.2 million consumers in 2018. Consequently, to this intensive exogenous demand, the potential production of cocaine in Peru shown an upward trend during the last decade, and more than 95% of this production is intended to the external markets. It is important to note that in the current COVID-19 epidemic context, coca leaves and cocaine basic paste and coca hydrochloric got higher prices on May of this year in the Peruvian areas of production. These price increase anticipate an upcoming scenario of intense rectification of illicit cocaine production and trade. They seem to supply the global market. The Peruvian National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs has reinforced its actions for economic activities, areas affected by illicit coca cultivation crops and production of cocaine through a generative development projects aim to trade bananas, cocoa, coffee, fish, among other products. The role and impact of these projects are not only to promote a better livelihood and incomes to the producers, but also contributes to food security in these communities. In this year, around $20 million dollars transfer to local governments from strategic intervention according to our national traffic policy, with a purpose of implementing 24 new projects and 47 activities for the consumerization of the value chains of illicit markets and the maintenance of community roles, which also contributes to the generation of many job opportunities. Peru is committed to achieve these goals by electing an agenda, based on the principle of common and shared responsibility. Mr. Chair, Peru has been severely affected by this pandemic. And this context represents a menace by intensifying social economic gaps in the areas where illicit cultivation crops and by making its population even more vulnerable. We are convinced that violent solution to drug demand and supply must be rooted in share responsibility. Hence, international cooperation plays a key role to this matter, as we need to redouble our efforts to attend these new challenges. I advise on this occasion to pledge the consumer market countries to reinforce their cooperation and aid in the fight against this court. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Iran: Allow me to begin my statement with thanking the executive director of UNODC and her team for their hard work in the course of preparation of the World Report 2020. Despite measures taken by international community, we are still facing increasing drug related challenges. The use around the world especially in developing countries has been on the rise, cultivation and production of NPS on psychotropic substances are going on with accelerated rate and drug abuse and illicit trafficking continue to have a profoundly negative impact on development and instability across the World. We believe that the only way to overcome these challenges is promoting international cooperation and concerted support as well as enhancing national and regional efforts. A balanced approach based on international drug control conventions should be the cornerstones for all measures our national, regional and international levels. It should be notified that any approach and that decriminalisation and legalisation of narcotic drugs undermines the international efforts to have a World free of drug abuse. In the past four decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has borne irreparable human and financial losses to counter supply and reduce demand – in the last Iranian calendar year from March 2019 to March 2020, the Republic of Iran has dedicated 30 contact persons in the course of 202,319 operations and armed confrontations dismantling 1886 active local and international networks and seizing more than 950 tonnes of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances of various types including 47 tonnes of heroin On morphine, and 17 pounds of methamphetamine, these figures indicate close to 20% growth in amount of seizures, and unprecedented achievement in the history of this struggle in the country and the World. It is noteworthy that for the consecutive years in row the largest amounts of different types of drug seizures globally belongs to the Republic of Iran. While the country has been on the illegal and illegitimate unilateral sanctions and has not enjoyed international assistance appropriately, it is expected from the member states and UN ODC and other relevant international bodies to acknowledge the comprehensive and effective national campaign of the Republic of Iran in countering and addressing the World Drug Problem in a way that equal international support is provided and necessities. I would like to conclude my remarks by emphasising the following points which effectively strengthen the global campaign against illicit drugs, implementing development projects ample realities, alternative livelihoods programmes in target countries, removing all obstacles, including unilateral, coercive measures which disrupt the international campaign against illicit drugs and diminish the capacities of leading countries in this regard, providing equipment and technical assistance as well as transferring advanced technologies and a more effective fight against illicit flow of narcotic drugs, blocking the (…) of the law related illicit proceeds into international financial systems, sharing experiences in the field of demand reduction, and supporting UNODC programmes and initiatives in the field of border control management and intelligence sharing.
Uruguay: I will deliver the message of the Deputy Secretary of the presidency of Uruguay, and president of the National Drug Board. Since 1987, every July 26, the United Nations commemorates the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. This year, the slogan better knowledge for better care. The United Nations emphasised the need to prove the understanding and knowledge of the world drug problem, promoting international cooperation between people, non-profit organisations, the private sector, and member states with the objective of countering the impact of health, governance and security. Problematic drug use affects the lives of individuals, families and communities. While on the other hand, illegal markets and drug trafficking, promote acts of violence and that seriously affect the social coexistence and development of countries. The globality and complexity of this issue requires political, legal and scientific cooperation between countries to build effective, effective, efficient and natural beneficial responses. In this sense, you do why actively participate in international fora promoting joint reflection and collaboration from a comprehensive approach for people with respect perspective of human rights, public health, and gender. Our country through the National Drug Board assumes this committee’s commitment this commitment by developing comprehensive decentralised public policies based on scientific evidence and broad social participations in the areas of prevention, treatment, social integration and the fight against illicit drug trafficking. Strengthening these policies is our objective. While we invite society to reflect on this issue, in which we all share roles and responsibilities
Japan: It is a great pleasure for me to celebrate one of the largest direct reports in 2020 with you today on behalf of the Government of Japan, that me highly commend UNODC, and in particular, Miss Angela and her dedicated team. Despite the numerous challenges you must have faced, you have managed to publish comprehensive body of data. The pandemic is seriously affecting drugs, including the entire supply chain and the trafficking of drugs. Crime organisations have found novel ways to adapt to new market conditions and to further exploit. In this moment of crisis, we are required to re-evaluate and formulate a strategy in order to adapt to our new reality both during and after the pandemic. We have before us a great opportunity to strengthen our international cooperation, to add an integral strategy. I believe this research which serves as a foundation for tackling all participants system and new challenges in a comprehensive manner – Japan is committed to increase our efforts to strengthen our information and monitoring system to improve the security and the data collection. And to further strengthen our support to alternative development and the demand and supply reduction measures, which align with the commitments we made a ministerial declaration of 2019. The report granted today will certainly give us a solid scientific base.
Germany: Ladies and gentlemen, at the outset, I’d like to express our gratitude that in spite of the challenges with a pandemic crisis has brought upon us this yearly landmark event can take place (…)
Afghanistan: (…) I mean, that has been of a great concern for Afghanistan for the last few years. In the past, methamphetamine used to be smuggled into Afghanistan from neighbouring and European country, but now it is being produced in the country. 2018 and 2019 have been successful in terms of law enforcement, operations and opiate seizures. The situation wasn’t in 2020 with the withdrawal of US troops, and with the Taliban expanding their drug trafficking networks in Afghanistan in the region. As highlighted in the side even organised by the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the margin of the regular segment of the 62nd session of the CND(…) Our issue will need to be considered – Processes initiated in Afghanistan at the same time. Neighbouring countries will have a significant role to play as Afghanistan moves forward in the peace process. 2020 has seen a decrease of opioid (…) insecurity in the country. The current security situation coupled with the dire consequences of the pandemic leaves little hope, a higher number of sizes or this year. On the other hand, the virus might have not decreased the level of smuggling of precursors. Intelligence information indicates, due to several reasons including high price, heroin and morphine production has mainly shifted from Afghanistan to other countries beyond our borders… further clarification of this issue is needed. (…) I wish to encourage countries to investigate further before claiming (…) I call our country and our partners to respect, scientific approaches when coming to such a conclusion. Let me conclude by reiterating our active engagement in the combined efforts of the international community to address and counter the world drug problem based on the principle of common and shared responsibilities. Thank you.
Cuba: We congratulate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for preparing such an illustrative report divided into six separate blocks, each with a specific topic. We also congratulate you on the timeliness issue to look at one of these blocks to address the implication of COVID-19 on illicit drug use and trafficking worldwide (…) We are deeply alarmed by the fact that in 2018, around 269 million people worldwide had you used drugs at least once, corresponding to 5.4% of the world population between 15 and 64 years of age and represent almost one in 19 people. The report also specify that cannabis is by far the most widely used Worldwide, with approximately 192 million users in two a 2018. Without a doubt, the problem of drug use is becoming increasingly worrying to everybody. That’s why, in our opinion flexibilization of drug Control Regime should not be carried out. In line with our policy of zero tolerance for the production, consumption and the trafficking of drugs, the government has the appropriate means to strictly control the production and marketing of internationally regulated substances. By November 2019, more than 1490 kilos of rock were confiscating Cuba, and it was possible to arrest 1392 people thanks to effective action at the border between January and September 2009. A total of 32 drug trafficking operation were at their border of Cuba, in which 81 people were arrested. And 19.8 kilos of drugs were confiscated. In the same year, Cuba confiscate a more than a dozen and a half of drop in territorial waters. We will continue our war very hard. Mr. President, international cooperation is essential to face the world drug problem based on the common and shared responsibility of all states with a strict adherence to international law and the principle of the United Nation. We support the leadership of UNODC to carry out coordination in the United Nations system, Thank you very much.
Egypt: I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work of your NDC in carrying out its responsibilities despite the difficulties faced as a result of the current pandemic. Egypt would like to join other delegations in thanking you and the different branches of the Secretariat for the comprehensive World Drug Report 2020 and the informative presentations of the day. We appreciate and highly valued the efforts undertaken by UNODC to support member states and enhance international cooperation. In the field of drug control, we will continue to support you in disease work and this important area of its mandate in order to curb the dangers of illicit drugs. Egypt has a very strong belief in the international regime for drug control. I believe that stems from our understanding of the trans-boundary nature of the world drug problem. We affirm that efforts to decrease supply and demand on the national level can only be effective through cooperation at the regional and international levels. It is through a comprehensive approach combining supply reduction and demand reduction under the umbrella of international cooperation that we believe our shared responsibility to address the world drug problem can be met – enhance cooperation at all events, and especially now, when the world is facing such unprecedent pressure than the challenges caused by COVID-19 seems to be the only way forward with our efforts in order to achieve sustainable development goals, aiming at the prosperity and welfare of humankind. As we commemorate the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by launching of the 2020 World Drug Report, I would like to share some reflections in my national capacity, primarily in connection to the non-medical use of Tramadol. This year’s report stated that some sub regions in Africa namely West Central, and North Africa, reported high levels of non-medical use of Tramadol. Egypt is one of the countries facing a major challenge as of the rise of non-medical use of Tramadol. Egypt continues to work with the INCB and UNODC to assist Countries suffering from this harmful phenomenon. In this regard, Egypt believes it is essential to enhance the scheduling system, addressing real and urgent concerns of countries over the abuse of opioids, in particular Tramadol and saving lives in the process. And this challenging times it is more crucial than ever, to reinforce our efforts to address the world problem and achieve the Aspire of our peoples for more prosperous society. Egypt stands ready to work with I NBC and in cooperation with other member states to achieve this goal. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Venezuela: I would like to share with you some of the details stated in there for Venezuela occupies the fourth place in South America in terms of seizures and rises up to this position in dismantling laboratories in Latin America. Also, it is noteworthy that my country is not reflected with (…)
Dominican Republic: (…)
Nigeria: (…) The non-medical use (…) in the countries and the disturbing reality that remain in our
efforts to control the illicit goods, including the use in jurisdiction that underlies non-medical use. Revelations from the drug report include the urgent need for regulation of new psychotropic substances in order to bring them under international control and we therefore believe that all countries must work together. (…) We must, therefore, acknowledge the need to double our efforts at all levels, implementing all our commitments in addressing the world drug problem in line with the spirit of the ministerial declaration. In this context, Mr. Chair, our delegation supports the which assists member states in addressing country specific problems. Beyond the UNDC, member states have a duty to continue to observe fully the obligations under the drug control conventions. multilateral diplomacy in my view will be better served when Member States continue to respect the rules of engagement, bearing in mind that addressing the world drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility.
USA: Thank you very much chair. The United States supports the UNDCs World Drug Report and the research and trend analysis branch that produces it. The World Drug Report is a critical tool to spot new drug use and track trends and helps us to more effectively combat the world drug problem, we welcome new findings on the COVID-19 policy implications related to the world drug problem, and we look forward to future reporting on this matter. The United States also supports and contributes to the annual report questionnaire, which helps inform the World Drug Report on United States’ statistics. We look forward to working with you in DC on the updated and streamlined ARQ, and we will include more qualitative data and listed word responses to member states.
Russia: Russia commends the work of the UNODC to collect and analyse drugs statistics provided by Member States. It is not an easy task, we are satisfied that the World Drug Report, on the whole turned out to be a balanced and solid paper that highlights valuable insights on the dynamics of the global drug situation and may be used as appropriate as one of the important scientific evidence tools to inform global and national drug control policies. We would like to note that some assumptions contained in the report namely those that the Russian territory as a transit point for have done 48 trafficking to Europe do not correspond to information available to Russia. Today on the International Day against drug abuse and trafficking, the Russian Federation would like to reiterate its strong commitment to build a society free of drugs – we categorically denounce any attempts to legalise non-medical use. In this regard, we appreciate the reports clear provisions on risks and dangers related to commercialization of cannabis by large corporations and other stakeholders that place revenue and profit above public health considerations. We believe that the report must and will contribute to further efforts to maintain and strengthen the global drug control the game based on the three un conventions. Russia fully shares the conclusion report that the investment in drug use prevention among children and youth is the most cost-effective way to ensure safety and wellbeing of our people. Russia recognises the need to further study and address social and economic causes of illicit drug related activities. However, we strongly believe that Sustainable Development Goals are not and should not be criteria per se, for measuring success of drug control policies. Russian competent authorities will take a closer look at this important document in question.
Honduras: I would like to thank the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the sector for preparing this report and organising these events event in this special day in unprecedent circumstances. Today we are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations has one of his original signatories – we affirm the purpose of our organisation in the maintenance peace, security, development and the protection of human rights. Today 75 years later, we reaffirm the relevance and validity of the purpose and the principles on which they are raised, as well as the crucial role of multilateral and international cooperation in addressing international problems of an economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian nature as set out in our charter. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has posed an ever more challenging situation, than the one that led us to sign the chart and find out our organisation. The pandemic as well remind us that solidarity and international cooperation are essential. Today, more than ever, the World Drug Report before us demonstrates that the global drug problem continues. To present us with enormous challenges, drug markets are expanding and becoming more complex, and our response continued to fall short of achieving the desired goals to combat these issues. The word drug problem particularly affects young people, and the most vulnerable people in developing countries. It also affects women in particular, and our response must be responsive to this specific disease. The implication of the outbreak of the pandemic as the report points out, and if we do not take lesson from past experience, we may exacerbate the negative impacts foreign tourists providing a balanced response to the drug problem, in accordance with our international obligations. We believe that the work drug problem must be addressed more broadly, and in conjunction with the Agenda for Sustainable Development, security and human rights. Over the past decade Honduras has made significant progress in the area of illicit drug trafficking, with decisive and effective action against organisations involved in the illegal drug trade and his moving towers his training his response based on our comprehensive balance is tragically since the establishment of the institution over which I have the honour to preside in line with the recommendation received by the International Narcotics Control Board. We have been working to strengthen the integration of our health approach into our response, as well as coordination of various institutional actors for the formulation of more comprehensive policies with agenda perspective on human rights-based approach. We also recognised the importance of the ability of narcotic drugs for medical use and pain relief has enshrined in the international drug control treats. In conclusion, I will like on behalf of my country, to reiterate the importance and crucial role of international cooperation in achieving of our objectives in the framework of the response to the world drug problem. we reaffirm that commission on Narcotic Drugs has the main forum for cooperation and a change of experience in this area. And we recognise and appreciate the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a provider of assistance. Thank you very much.
Albania: We listen carefully the report that was presented today, for all of us (…) from this situation of criminal activity has focused more on the internet and online platforms. Thank you very much.
INCB: Mr. Chair, Ambassador Khan, I am very pleased to participate in in this special event on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the charter. Clearly the ideals and the goals agreed 75 years ago, are as relevant now. And even more important, perhaps as the world is hit by COVID and the board is committed to play its unique role in this global architecture. I would like to extend my congratulations to UNODC, to miss Waly and to miss Angela Mae and her team on the launch of the 2020 World Drug Report on the occasion of the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Clearly, the World Drug Report is an indispensable interest instrument in better understanding of the world drug situation today and how we can best address that. The board has specifically contributed to the section on access to controlled medicines for pain management, by sharing its data with UNODC and reviewing the draft and we are very pleased to see that this critical issue is gaining broader attention. The data reported shows that disparities remain with consumption of pain medication, pharmaceutical opioids in low and middle income countries representing some 10% or 30 of global consumption. In past years, INCB has made a series of recommendation in our special reports aimed at improving the availability and accessibility of substances. And the INCB learning project is building capacity of governments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to continue to provide support to competent national authorities through the learning webinars, and E-learning modules offered in both English and Spanish and the continued support of governments has allowed us to sustain and diverse the way we deliver our activities. Also, on the occasion of the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, I would like to take a moment to recognise the effect of drug abuse on young people. While there are many factors that lead to substance use and dependence, vulnerability during early childhood development plays an important role. It is therefore critical that intervention start at an early age and are delivered at specific stages of pregnancy infancy childhood and middle childhood, and support mother’s parents and schools to promote the healthy development of children. And I urge governments to implement the recommendations we have made in this regard in our thematic chapter of the 2019 annual report dedicated to jobs and children. Again, congratulations to UNODC on the launch of the 2020 World Drug Report. We are very pleased to be able to collaborate with UNODC in the sharing of data, information and expertise, not just for the World Drug Report, but also in our day to day work. The board remains committed to working with state parties, the commission and key partners.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Today’s date is particularly important for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at the fight against drug trafficking has become one of the priority activities of our organisation since it was established 19 years before. We express our full support for the activities of the UNODC in coordinating global efforts to address the world drug problem. Changes affecting the illicit drug market in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic scrutinised by the SCO member states. Especially we quickly responded to the trend of digitalization of modern direct business and through increasing attention to this problem during a special even on fighting drug trafficking. We are documented on the side lines of the 63rd CND session, we know the possibility of sharp increase in drug smuggling and drug use in case of gradual removal of restrictive measures and opening of international borders when following the Coronavirus – new stage of drug expansion will threaten public health. In this regard, we attach great importance to the development of practical measures to address this risk and as a result of SEO, anti-drug operation spiderweb health at the end of March this year, more than three tonnes of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance was seized from illicit drug trafficking. We draw attention to the emerging challenges to the Asia region, due to the large shift of drug trafficking southwards towards maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean. We are ready for active cooperation with the anti-drug agencies of Asia to counter the direct threat from the Golden Triangle region, we see promising war in the SEO, , in the implementation of the issue of anti-drug strategy. We attach priority to join work to curb direct right clicking from Afghanistan. In this regard we support for the cooperation with a Paris pact initiative. We strongly support that strict compliance with the with the three un anti-drug conventions, including those on the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, exclusively to medical and scientific proposes, when reject calls for the legalisation of the certain types of drugs which are contrary to existing international anti-drug law. In this regard, we are ready to contribute to the fruitful work of the International Narcotics Control broad. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, NGO representative: Thank you very much. I am the executive director of the teaching hospital admission coordinator of palliative care for Zambia where government owns most of the hospitals and health care facilities. For the last five years, Zambia has consumed around nine kg of morphine for medicinal purposes. The list is very inadequate given our estimated need to relieve suffering. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs has adopted resolutions noting the lack of treatment or Pain in more than 150 countries, which is more than 80% of the world’s population. The low amounts of morphine that are imported into our country have been a source of concern. With health care provision, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the rational use of morphine and other strong opioids. On a personal level, in my practice, and in my personal life, I want to tell you a story of my grandmother, who has been negatively affected by this pandemic. She is a patient of cancer, breast cancer, and is in pain most of the time, due to the non-availability of morphine and the stock outs that we experience. She has now resorted to rationing. Now she uses the morphine. She only drinks morphine in the night so that she can be pain free while she is sleeping. And in the morning and afternoon, she does not take the medication so that she can prolong a supply. This is my grandmother’s story and many more patients, and I feel very horrible seeing that suffering in pain. This could be your grandmother, your sister, your wife. Therefore, the NGO world call upon UNODC, the International Narcotics Control Board, and other stakeholders to provide technical assistance for medicines, such as morphine that are used for medicinal purposes. And we are asking for your support for the training of healthcare workers in the rational use. And we want you to support us in research that is going to make the use of these drugs safe for everyone. And I want to thank you for this World Drug Report. And I Thank you Chair.
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Chair: Welcome back. Let me recall that the last part of our special event today is dedicated to the discussion co-sponsored by the European Union and UNODC focusing on the regional perspectives of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the drug situation. I would like to extend a warm welcome to our distinguished speakers. And I start with madam Executive Director of UNODC, Madam Head of the Organised Crime and Drug Policy Unit, European Commission, Executive Director of Europol, His Excellency, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organisation of American States, our excellency Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission, Secretary General of Narcotics Control Board of Thailand, Director of the EMCDDA European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Chief of the UNODC Research and Trend Analysis branch and Chair of the Vienna NGO committee on drugs. Thank you to all distinguished speakers for joining us today. Your rich experience and valuable views will be most beneficial to this important discussion. It goes without saying that the COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous impact on the social, political and economic life across the globe. Drug trafficking and drug markets experience changes due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions. While the current health crisis increases the vulnerability of people with substance use disorders. The importance of ensuring availability of an access to controlled substances for medical purposes, in particular for pain relief, has never been more compelling. What we need in that regard is a truly coordinated and joint multilateral response to address the devastating impact of the pandemic on all spheres of life. I find therefore, this discussion to be a very important and timely one, as we have an excellent opportunity to hear about different regional perspectives of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the drug situation.
UNODC: Thank you very much excellencies distinguished guests, thank you for joining us their journey and in person for the commemoration of the signing of the United Nations Charter, the presentation of the 2020 UNODC flagship World Drug Report, and this event on the impact of COVID-19 on drug challenges. The virus has had a different impact and timeline in different regions. The world drug problem is a shared problem that many fests itself in a range of regional and international challenges, which requires thoughtful and targeted solutions, the COVID-19 lockdown has shifted illicit drug trafficking to that net darknets online as well as to maritime routes. As overland and air travel are restricted, treatment and other services for drug use disorders, HIV and other related diseases are impacted as health and social services are overwhelmed. In addition to these challenges, we must all be aware that the impact of the pandemic on the world drug problem has yet to be fully seen or fully felt – organised crime groups will exploit vulnerabilities and they’re vulnerable as COVID-19 restrictions continue in many parts of the world. The global economic downturn threatens to compound the dangers of drug use as well as increase the potential for involvement in drug trafficking and related crime. Young people represent the largest share of drug users, there are more young people in developing countries and there they are most at risk from drugs, and indeed from the economic fallout of COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, almost one in five young people have stopped working. The world cannot afford a lock down generation to let the prospects and potential of the world’s young people be damaged by the negative consequences of the virus or of illicit drugs. As we rebuild our economies, we need to also focus on building greater resilience to the threats of drugs and crime. Most of all, through support to developing countries in a spirit of shared responsibility in line with the 2019 Ministerial Declaration and the Sustainable Development Goals. Dear colleagues, we remain united and our response and then our resolve to work together to address the challenges posed by drugs in the COVID-19 response and recovery and beyond. I thank the distinguished panellists joining this journey to share the regional perspectives, and I welcome the important contribution of our civil society partners. I wish you all fruitful discussions. Thank you.
European Commission: In my first words, would be worth self-compassion sympathies for so many big themes around the board. So many countries I paid or are paying too high death tolls, confronted with a pandemic. We all know, and it has been underlined already in the previous intervention that the corona virus outbreak has brought major challenges to our societies into our economies. And we have to realise, and we have to recognise that has also brought major challenges to the multilateral system. But now more than ever, we need to show our solidarity, our capacity to work together, and our commitment in addressing these common global challenges. We are very grateful to you Mr. Chair, and to UNODC for having organised this change on the COVID-19 impact on the world drug situation. UNDC is an important partner for the European Union in addressing the drug problem in our evidence base integrated a balanced way. That is why we are also very pleased to be here today with two of the most important EU agencies. EMCDDA and Europol represented the highest level by where the rector to talk about the development of a committee on the drug situation and the impact has been heavy. Both on the health side and on the security side. On the public health side, it has been extremely difficult to ensure continuity of care for people taking drugs. It has been difficult to offer care and protection to all those who needed it. We also have to recognise that the stigmatisation and marginalisation that are unfortunately often associated with the use of drugs have made it even more difficult to offer risk reduction measures. On the security side, after me by the director of Europol [will explain], there have been also changes in the market. But two things for sure, violence among suppliers and distributors was still very high. And the role of organised crime was also extremely important and dangerous – organised crime is an evolving threat that always adapt to a different situation, and that we need to come back with determinations, and using all the legal tools and all the operational action that we have. The economic difficulties, the social distress will have consequences also on the situation on drugs in the EU and globally. So we are facing a difficult situation today. And we will see most likely unfortunately, a difficult situation that we need to address together. I will come to the closure of my intervention, but I really wish to emphasise the tackling the COVID the challenges require multilateral responses, and international solidarity. You know that the EU has put its full weight behind the United
Nations Secretary General’s efforts to coordinate a un response to defeat the virus. The European Union and its member states, as the world’s largest donors are also at the forefront of these efforts with a series of concrete actions to support our partners. Together, we combine a 36 billion package to support partner countries and the most vulnerable to tackle the pandemic and tomorrow, we also have a final pledging summit where business foundation and citizens can also join forces with public donors. The funds will finance testing programmes, treatments, and vaccinations for countries around the world and for everyone who needs them. Mr. Chair while we commemorate the 75th anniversary of a senior to the Charter of United Nations, our response to the pandemic has to be guided by the 2030 sustainable development agenda. And leave no one behind. Thank you.
UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch: The information that we have and that we have produced and published on this research refer to is a bit different from the what I presented earlier on the World Report .You will see less numbers and the idea of having this brief is that we were conscious that the impact of drugs was still not clear, we didn’t have a clear trends or and probably we still don’t have those clear trends and understanding are they’re really impacted that lockdowns have had on the drug market and so, the purpose and also what I will present remains: bringing to the table for discussions or initial trends. So, with this caveat, I just wanted to start by saying that thinking how potentially COVID could affect drug markets are thorough because of the mobility restriction, or significant reduction in the trade of goods. We know that the drugs always are transported and traffic along with trades, also changes in law enforcement activities – that actually, the lockdown has given more control to law enforcement authorities, so we are actually seeing more reporting. The seizure activity in other countries like some in Europe, Italy, in Central Asia, it looked like the lockdown actually, increased so much risk, and that really trafficking either was not detected at all or really stopped. But also, we thought about the long term effects. And it’s clear now to everyone the economic downturn that’s created and in doing this, we actually went back to see what happened with the last financial crisis and see whether we can understand the threat that we have in terms of economic way. We also had about 40 countries that reported some preliminary information and trends that they were seen in relation drugs. For example, the precursor for fentanyl and methamphetamine in Latin America, but also in the Middle East and North Africa region, some shortage of precursor to produce (…) when we are looking at seizure in real time drug monitoring platform we could see how also the trafficking may have changed. And so here is a graph of it that we did not in relation to COVID. But that really helped us, and we saw that this really had an impact on how trafficking was impacted with COVID. So, for example, airline is typically transported by land because of the Balkan. Cocaine is usually transported on water mainly from Latin America to North Europe or through West Africa. It definitely looks like there was no major disruption of a large shipment of cocaine and they were still during lockdown a large seizure of cocaine happening both in Northern Europe, but also in Brazil, and in other ports, leaving for Europa. Trafficking in the air was more effected. And you see just a modest increase with heroin, but that could be an indication of increased maritime seizure from in the Indian Ocean. So, meaning that traffic is maybe you know, moving more towards the sea to avoid the lockdown. In terms of the drug user, what we had seen reporting and again that we see also Reporting now, particularly during the hard lockdown, countries were reporting shortage of marijuana, and particularly with increased price and reduced purity. And why other countries for example, were reporting a stable situation for example, in the Middle East and North Africa, were probably locked less compared to lockdown in some countries in Europe, for example. But also, we saw report of increased demand for cannabis from some European countries. And but also clearly a decrease in demand for recreational drugs like ecstasy or drugs that are more user like party type and since there were no parties… so we saw new ways to distribute drugs. So, we had reporter of the very novel way the traffickers try to camouflage or even through people dress like doctors, for example. But also, Nigeria reporting for example, in increased use of postal services. In terms of the health consequences for people who use drugs, we have alerted on how the shortage of certain drugs particularly airline can be actually produced more harmful practice with user going to harmful substances increasing injection for example. Also, we had the country’s reporting that mitigation measures such as a giving wider access to substitution treatment, for example, in the UK and in Czechia. We said after when we locked down there could have been some stockpiles, because a large trafficking particularly of cocaine, it was still going on, but then the streets … and it was clearly a shortage. So probably trafficker have stopped by somewhere drugs. Then, in terms of the economic crisis, this could reduce and could really exacerbated the vulnerability of rural population. And so particularly in countries like Afghanistan, but also Bolivia, or Colombia where e the illicit cultivation of drugs is related to poverty, to lack of accessibility to market, etc. This could bring more people going into cultivation, So, in terms of the 2008 economic crisis, there were reports of increase use in some areas, but also to the increased use of substances that were more harmful, numbing and maybe cheaper but more harmful. And learning from that, we need, of course, to increase the international responsibility, international cooperation, but also to ensure that the economic crisis will not reduce the budget of national and international Institute institutions to address the drug problem. Thank you.
Europol: It is a pleasure for both of our organisations to be invited, and to explain our views on the European drugs market. Jointly with EMCDDA recently published a report on the impact of the COVID pandemic on the drugs market. We do all agree that a pandemic has had a major impact on our lives and is slowing down or economy… But the economic consequences are likely to also have a significant impact on the drugs markets, we will most likely see changes in the area of drug use. Some drugs use behaviours combined with poor socio-economic conditions and marginalisation may pose additional risks that are important to take into account. People who use drugs for example, opiate users may be particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 due to lifestyle factors or underlying chronic medical conditions. Other people may be attracted because of their socio-economic situation, to start using certain drugs or to get involved for instance, in street dealing It is likely that people in our societies will become vulnerable to both drugs problems and involvement in the drug trafficking market. Therefore, it will be of utmost importance to take next to tackling drug trafficking, also invest in prevention, in treatment and in harm reduction interventions. While the COVID pandemic has an economic, an enormous economic impact, this economic trend has not been seen in international drug trafficking and in organised crime. These illegal markets continue to generate huge profits, including during the pandemic. While our legal economy is weakening criminal markets continue their business and they become stronger. Some illegal drugs in some EU countries during the first half of this year have been higher than in the same period last year. Global restrictions on travel and other measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have had a temporary disruptive impact on some drugs markets. This led to salvages and or higher prices for some, but the situation is changing rapidly. The disruption to the supply chains and logistics of drugs trafficking in Europe was most visible at the distribution level because of social distancing measures, but the movement of bulk quantities of drugs to the EU and in the EU, has continued despite the introductions of broad controls – commercial transportation of goods throughout the European Union continues. Organised crime groups remain resilient and are adapting their modus operandi. The current instability has led to an increasingly volatile environment for criminal businesses around the supply chain in the European Union. This resulted in violence continuing among mid-level suppliers and distributors of drugs. The number of violent incidents linked to drug trafficking has increased over the past years. In Sweden and the Netherlands, for instance, violent incidents and liquidations have taken place during the pandemic and during the lockdown on cocaine, cocaine trafficking, using maritime shipping containers has continued at all levels. And that are comparable to or even higher in some countries that those seen in 2019. In Belgium, for instance, an increase in terms of cocaine seized was more than 30%. On synthetic drugs, the number of labs dismantled in the first months of 2020 is higher than in the same period last year, clearly showing that the production the production just continues. So overall, the business continued, hardly disrupted, or impacted by the pandemic. What may change is that since we are more online, there is a clear potential for online drug distribution to gain more traction, and it may therefore be expected that darknet markets, social media and secure communication channels will increase in importance, concluding more than ever, these findings should motivate us to ensure that any recovery from the pandemic is accompanied by a strong and effective law in law international response. Combined with a sustained public health response. We need to establish that drug traffickers, criminals do not benefit from the poor. Potential social and economic consequences of the current crisis, further strengthening or coordinated response
to fight one of the strongest criminal markets is required. We are looking forward to the next edition of the World Drug Report. Thank you.
Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission, organisation of American States (CICAD): It is fitting that the theme of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is better knowledge for better care, as care for those suffering from drug dependence has never been more needed than during the current pandemic. CICAD has been working diligently for the past several months to mitigate the impact of the corona virus pandemic on the drug problem in the Western Hemisphere. A recent survey of OAS Member States shows that drug consumption and dependence is likely on the increase due to social isolation with drugs treatment services sadly reduced to due to restrictions on face to face contact. This is an unfortunate and perilous combination and makes our efforts all the more important. CICAD also conducted a survey of OAS Member States on how narco-trafficking has been affected by the pandemic. The responses indicate that, not surprisingly, criminal drug traffickers are taking advantage of current national and global vulnerabilities. Although some trafficking has been disrupted by the pandemic drug control, authorities are experiencing significant difficulties in performing their duties because a sizable amount of their personal personnel and financial resources has been allocated to security and humanitarian tasks related to the pandemic. Beyond important data gleaned from the surveys I just mentioned, allow me to share some of the other ways CICAD is providing member states with better knowledge to address the drug problem during the pandemic, with the goal that member states can provide better care to their citizens, we issued a paper entitled COVID-19 in the treatment of substance use disorders, which provides guidance on treatment strategies during the pandemic. This paper was the result of a joint effort with Colombia and Paraguay, the Chair and Vice Chair respectively of CICADs, group of experts on demand reduction, as well as the Pan American Health Organisation. We have held webinars on this topic to further educate our member states and others and are planning a series of dialogues with civil society on demand reduction issues starting in July. We have held three webinars on alcohol use during the pandemic, free from prohibitions on drinking in the workplace, those working from home or even more vulnerable to alcohol use which could affect their job performance. In addition to family relationships. We have held several virtual events to discuss alternatives to incarceration for drug related crimes, as countries seek to reduce prison populations because of the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus through within penitentiaries. Alternatives to incarceration, such as drug treatment courts, and diversion programmes, sound ideas during normal times become even more attractive. In the area of supply reduction, we just inaugurated the first of several virtual courses at our regional counter drug intelligence, based in Bogota, Colombia, and run jointly with the Colombian National Police. We are also planning virtual courses for the parallel school for English speaking Caribbean member states, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago. We have just published a paper entitled considerations for drug research in COVID-19 to assist member states with monitoring drug use. And last week, we launched online training for national early warning systems and continue to expand the early warning system in the Americas, which crucially links national early warning systems. Finally, the CICAD executive secretary is working with the United States, which is leading the drafting group to prepare the new OAS hemispheric drug strategy and corresponding plan of action. In this time of pandemic, unprecedented in our lifetimes and uncertain duration, CICAD will continue to foster dialogue with our member countries, as well as with international partners such as UNODC and will continue to provide pertinent information and training to help the nations of the OAS respond to the ever changing drug problem as effectively as possible.
African Union Commission: I will take this opportunity to congratulate UNODC on the launch of the World Drug Report 2020 which is a very important tool, which challenges are which he challenges us to come up with appropriate interventions as a policy and programme level. And they asked or I would like also to thank all the editors of this report. On its part, the African Union continues to provide overall coordination, strategy, guidance, training and dissemination of good practices to assist member states in addressing the world drug problem. The Africa Centre for Disease Control, CDC, has been active in supporting national governments in Africa and Institutes to organise preventive measures and mount responses needed, in particular strengthening capacity of health workers to improve surveillance, detection and treat the COVID-19 virus – disseminating education materials to keep communities informed, providing regular updates to health workers, advising and facilitating the transport specimens to national testing laboratories and advising on workplace preparedness. Africa CDC is our technical institution that been assigned to coordinate the response of the African member states. We have approved our strategic plan since the 22nd of February, we are implementing it with our Member States, we have launched an initiative to accelerate the testing in the continent. As of today, Africa has more than 300,000 cases and we have nine thousand deaths, but we have a large number of recoveries and we are trying to minimise the harm on the continent. COVID-19 has made it harder for those recovery to stay or recovery without the structure of social support systems. And we hear from treatment communities across Africa, that acquired number of patients are starting to relapse. Restrictions on travel and other measures imposed by African governments have slowed down the Law and market of illicit drugs across the spectrum of production, trafficking, street retailing and consumption. This is in a way a plus for a fight against drug trafficking, the shortage of imported drugs of abuse. Here we cocaine and synthetic drugs has led to spike in the local production and use of cannabis, which is widely grown in many countries… huge quantities of cannabis have been confiscated. By law enforcement says we foresee more risky drug consumption patterns such as sharing of drug injecting equipment, which also comes with risk of overdose and blood borne diseases. The ban of alcohol and cigarette sales in some African countries to minimise gatherings and the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in production of toxic illicit and underground sales. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for unscrupulous sales of substandard and falsified medicines and medical method material consumables in Africa. In many African countries law enforcement resources have been redirected to enforce COVID-19 regulations – networks have exploited this restriction as seen in this stretch in crimes such as wildlife poaching, hence an expected increase in that traffic as well. IN February, we approved a new comprehensive plan action 2019 – 2023 helping us to refocus attention on the most vulnerable and hard reach, as countries develop their COVID-19 responses. My department, Social Affairs, has also developed and is in coordination, implementation of the African Union comprehensive socio-economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which incorporates the controlled sector responses in order to improve evidence in line with today’s theme, better knowledge for better care. The African Union has established an expert working group on cannabis and are underway to come up with a common African position and understanding to inform national policy. We also continue to strengthen and support the biological networks. Today, we have with us reports covering data for the period 2017- 2019 across the continent, many African countries have taken steps to reduce prison populations, protect people in places of detention and prevent and count controllable outbreaks to reduce vulnerability to the COVID-19. In the coming months, it is imperative for Africa to address drug abuse and illicit trafficking more rigorously, to mitigate the overall impact on health and the economy. The African Union will provide whatever support we can, to help African governments in this endeavour.
Secretary General Office of Narcotics Control Board of Thailand: During this time of crisis, the general public might expect positive impacts on the situation, increasing movement or the era of activity the decreasing flow of that precursor chemical and the decreasing access to drugs. On the contrary, the pandemic has a limited impact on the drug situation in the Mekong sub region. Particularly, you will see drug syndicates can still access the large number of source of precursor chemicals in the region relating to the massive supply of synthetic drugs and bringing down the price of methamphetamine in the northern triangle. Recent input to the countries in and outside the region is a problem that needs solution. In Thailand, the drug situation is similar to those in the region. As it is believed, drug smuggling into the country became more difficult because the jurisdiction. However, drug syndicates are flexible to change the drug situation and continue that illegal activity is worth far more along the border in North Eastern Region, which is a cheap route from the norm. It is believed that these will continue. In addition, drug seekers have changed that pattern and exploited advanced technology. It was while that online drugs, trends via Twitter and Instagram are seen as significant. In conclusion, I do believe that no precursors, no drugs – we must do more to stop and chemicals in the Golden Triangle. I do believe that no demands mean no drugs. Together, we must do more to realise awareness of the drug problem among the people, particularly the young people and to create a safe society, free of abuse. Accordingly, the champion team of World Drug Day 2020 in Thailand was devoted to (…). Together, we must do more to improve understanding of the world drug problem, and to ensure safety and wellbeing of the people.
Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC): Thank you very much, Mr. Chair for inviting me to speak today. On behalf of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. I want to start by expressing solidarity with all of those fighting against inequalities around the world. We are listening and we are learning, and we stand firmly against racism in all of its many forms. We are also listening and learning when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. How quickly frontline workers have adapted to the new situation? And I want to pay tribute to the vital role that civil society is played, and how NGOs around the world have worked tirelessly and fearlessly to continue delivering essential prevention, harm reduction treatment, rehabilitation, and advocacy services for those in need. There have been many commendable changes in policy and practice in response to this global emergency – innovations such as virtual consultations, peer led outreach, support to reduce harm and aid recovery, more flexible treatment models, providing shelter to the homeless, combining HIV and COVID testing for people who use drugs, and releasing hundreds of thousands of incarcerated people across all regions of the world, including many in pretrial detention, or sentence for nonviolent drug offences. But there have also been negative responses. pandemics exacerbate or feed upon existing inequalities, poverty and vulnerability. We’ve seen law enforcement abuses in the name of Public Health Service closures, essential funding being diverted away from NGOs and vulnerable people being demonised because they cannot comply with locked measures. The impact of all of this on health and mental health and substance use are likely to be significant. We can only overcome this pandemic, and its impact on drugs, if we leave no one behind… And if we focus on human rights, on addressing the inequalities that exist throughout modern society, and on collaborating with NGOs. To quote the recent statement from the conference of NGOs in consultative relationship with the United Nations, “we can emerge from this crisis and build a better world.” This is an opportunity to meaningfully and tangibly deliver on the countless commitments that member states have made to adopt truly balanced and comprehensive drug responses that emphasise inclusiveness, public health and rights. COVID-19 cannot be an excuse to backtrack on these commitments for the CND itself, in discussions attached to shift to virtual platforms such as this one, we welcome the inclusion of civil society voices today and in the CND intersessional, but we do note with regret that NGO observers are locked out of the new topical meetings on cannabis and related substances where we feel our expertise would be a value. The World Drug Report launched and presented this week is a testament to the hard work of Angela Me and her team. Yet it once again demonstrates how much still needs to be done to more effectively address the world drug situation. The data show for drug use has increased globally, production and supply continue unabated, and the responses remain underfunded, or inadequate. More needs to be said about the impacts of drug control on human rights and on racial inequality. Civil society is a driving force for addressing these issues as the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs urge all member states to acknowledge, support and empower civil society in all of its shapes and forms, even when our messages may be critical or challenging. We are part of the solution. Thank you for your time.
Afghanistan: (…) Speaking as a representative from this developed nation, it really is our appreciation for all your support. With this in mind, let me say that this fight is far from over… while many developed countries have been successful in curbing the worst humanitarian consequences of this elevators. Countries like ours are in much more dire situation. The fight against this virus is a global fight. As an international community, it is our mission to simply our support to our the least equipped countries like Afghanistan for which the humanitarian and economy consequences of a virus would eradicate the case of progress towards humanitarian development and economy. With limited resources, and with 60% of our population living under the poverty line, and with most dependent on daily income nationwide lockdowns enforcement of such measures, lack of medical resources and testing equipment as reduced our daily testing capacity on an already low number of thousand people per day almost at zero on Sundays Afghanistan is fighting also a fight for peace against terrorism and insecurity in cities since the beginning of the pandemic. All our resources have been allocated in the fight against the virus and containing it and they’re resulting in decreased actions and policy directions …for the more recent developments in the peace process and increased recognition of (…) by countries in the region is eating the incident, (…) to expand their drug trafficking network as well as violence. And as a result, last week has been a bloodiest week for our security forces of the last 10 years that significantly diminishing our focus on the drug problem. I asked to come together in this group of five and allocate available resources with me. Well, those who need it most. I appreciate the tremendous immediacy and its member states have already indicated that they can pass this virus and remain hopeful. We as an international community can prevail, and together stop the most horrible consequences of this pandemic from happening. The people of Afghanistan need you and today more than ever, it is not a moment to forget Afghanistan as count on the solidarity and movement initiative mainly.
Egypt: The past few months in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the fact that enhanced cooperation at all levels is a must in order to overcome the new trends in drug production and drug consumption, the measures implemented by governments to control the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions resulting from the lockdown have shown changes in blood trends in terms of both production and consumption. These changes varied from one region to another. But they proved the undeniable role of cooperation between the competent authorities at regional and international levels in exchanging information and mutual assistance to others the world drug problem in a swift and concerted manner. It is important therefore for UNODC through its different regional policy things to discuss during their next meetings. A policy paper prepared by the CND focusing on the lessons learned from the unprecedented crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed documents should also discuss how the pandemic crisis has affected cooperation, coordination and communication among the drug control law enforcement agencies in different regions in order to improve responses towards similar challenges in the future. In this regard, Egypt calls on all African countries to share their experiences to address the drug problem during the COVID-19 crisis within Africa, and at all multilateral (…) To this end, and in order to enhance the existing cooperation between the African countries. Egypt is fully engaged in the ongoing consultative process between UNODC and African countries to develop the strategic vision for Africa 2020-2030 aiming at supporting Africa towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and priority goals of the African Union agenda 2063. This vision should include accelerated and enhanced levels of cooperation with Africa in the areas of drug control, crime prevention, anti-corruption, and addressing transitional organised crime in presenting areas of great importance for Africa and its people. We believe that engaging African stakeholders in such process is for the benefit of all parties through collecting advice, insights, inputs, and recommended approaches in response to different needs and priorities. I would like to reiterate again, that Egypt stands ready to work with UNODC and in cooperation with other member states to achieve its mandate at national, regional and international levels.
Russia: We have read with interest, preliminary assessments of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the drug supply chain in a 2020 World Drug Report. Russia fully recognises the need to address this topical issue. And to take a closer look from the drug perspective at the pandemic and its consequences. We underline the importance of reliable and Science Base information for these purposes. We have to be aware of the fact that the current public health crisis poses multifaceted challenges to the global situation in many areas. And the pandemic has diverse effects on the drug situation in various countries and regions of the world and in Russia. During the five months of 2020, we have witnessed an expansion of the illicit market for synthetic drugs produced in local clandestine laboratories. Illicit substances are increasingly sold online through the dark net. Although enforcement authorities registered a two-fold increase in the number of drug related offences committed with the use of IT technologies, definitely new trends require the monitoring and relevant measures to mitigate risks and to public health and safety. Despite the carried related restrictions, drug trafficking continues to cross borders. It proves time and time again, the transnational nature of the world drug problem which cannot be effectively countered by national action only. First of all, the Russian Federation believes that in this stressful time, the CND, the prime view and policymaking bodies for drug control matter, should have it say on this issue. At least we’ll have to reaffirm solidarity and call for collective solutions to COVID related drug challenges while preserving Vienna spirit. At the backdrop of the pandemic, it is important to continue technical assistance to those countries that face drug related problems. Also, before the outbreak break, Russia is committed to support those in need through bilateral chain channels. We do it with respect to many countries, as well as through our voluntary contributions to the UNODC and other UN entities. Thank you.
Ecuador: Since 2016, we are committed to evidence base as a key part of our drug policy. We understand that in order to prevent drug consumption, treat and tackle its traffic, information is vital. That will lead us to better responses and is not investments. Furthermore, drug policies should be linked to develop policies. (…) are growing faster than we expected and generating new challenges. We have a challenge surrounded with poverty, exclusion, lack of education, lack of health care – these problems should be tackled because these factors are respecters to drug consumption and drug trafficking. COVID-19 impacted in Ecuador the most vulnerable communities, especially young people lost their jobs and established studying at high school and universities. Strategies to tackle the drug problem requires analysing the new economic and social conditions in developing countries. We need to invest in the human beings in order to reduce these risk factors linked to drug consumption and drug trafficking.
Poland: COVID-19 had an impact on treatment system in more than half of European countries. (…)
Ireland: Firstly, I would like to say that Ireland welcomes the launch of this report and acknowledges the great work that has gone into it. I would like to thank the UNODC for the timely convening of this meeting (…)
INCB President: Ladies and gentlemen, this discussion (…) with those families who have suffered such losses in the epidemic (…) great respect for the health care workers and many others who have worked tirelessly to contain the outbreak. During the COVID-19 epidemic, INCB has continued to provide support to governments and competent national authorities in a number of ways. With the measures that are were put in place by governments to contain the spread of COVID-19. It remains essential for those governments to ensure the continued access to controlled medicines for all COVID-19 related medical needs. But of course, also for the other ongoing critical medical needs such as pain relief. HIV care neurological and mental health disorders, including the treatment of drug use disorders. In a comment published in The Lancet of 22nd of April this year, I joined a number of experts in calling on health responders to apply the principles of palliative care, to focus on compassionate care and dignity to provide access to essential opioid medicines and to mitigate the social isolation at the end of life and to prevent caregiver distress. INCB has called also on the competent national authorities of all countries and territories to ensure the maintenance of sufficient buffer stocks of these controlled substances to guarantee their availability throughout the duration of the pandemic. suppliers and distributors play a crucial role in ensuring that these controlled substances needed for medical treatment remain available within and across the national border. The board remains in contact with the national authorities and is closely monitoring the developments related to COVID-19 in the pandemic, and the possible impact on the international supply chains for these substances. The board has also reminded governments that in acute emergencies, and where competent authorities are not able to operate as normal, it is possible to utilise simplified control procedures for the export, transportation and provision of medicinal products containing controlled substances. I (…) electronic international import and export authorization system (…) is a critical tool for governments in facilitating trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, while preventing their diversion and abuse, especially important during the pandemic as we’ve heard, the system provides a secure forum for nationalism authorities to also exchange ideas and innovations regarding to COVID-19 contingency measures. Given the circumstances of COVID-19 lockdown measures and the plunge in both domestic and international air and land travel, there has been a significant increase in express consignments and home deliveries for vital supplies providing ample opportunities for traffickers to hide controlled and illicit substances. INCB’s pre-export notification system, the online and the precursors incident communication system are helping governments prevent and investigate diversions of precursor chemical. Also, the project incident communication system is helping national authorities exchange information on seizures of new psychoactive substances, including fentanyl related subjects senses and other non-medical synthetic opioids, online and in real time (…) webinars have been held to raise awareness of new these new trafficking trends in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide practical approaches including the training on the INCB tools.
To deal with this project and the project opioids are providing practical tools to interdict illicit manufacture, marketing and movement, dangerous new psychoactive substances, fentanyl related substances and every cursor. As mentioned earlier, INCB learning is continuing to build the capacity of competent national authorities during the pandemic through webinars and the e-learning modules offered both in English and in Spanish. In the last 3 months alone 394 government officials of 33 countries and territories have enrolled in these learning modules. The board is committed to continue working with old governments towards full implementation of the international drug control treaties and achieving their objectives, including the health and well-being of our peoples. To this end, we count on the ongoing cooperation and support of governments and the active participation in the INCB initiatives. In this way, we can meet our obligation to ensure availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes and prevent their diversion, illicit manufacture, trafficking and abuse, including during this COVID-19 time. Thank you.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: (…)
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA): Dear colleagues, it is a real privilege and a real pleasure to have been invited to share with you some of the concluding remarks of this very important meeting. And I would like of course, to thank and to congratulate, UNODC and the European Union for co-sponsoring this session. I am pleased to provide some of those closing remarks. I would like also to congratulate UNODC for the new World Drug Report. You certainly know we have a very closed and very intensive cooperation with UN bodies in particular, UNODC, but also WHO, and we were privileged to hear the highlights from this word report. I would like also to congratulate all the colleagues that have been taking part to this specific session. As you have noticed, as you read the presentation by my colleague, the director of Europol is capturing the EMCDD and Europol are working very closely together to strengthen our respective operational and strategic analysis capacity; and to build on our experience to further adapt our respective business models. And certainly, as it is the case, in many areas, we can already say that the COVID-19 funding has also contributed to boost the change, including towards digital transformation at all level, including in European and for European agencies. More than ever, the objective of our agencies is to anticipate emerging threats even better and to inform policy decision making and operational responses – there is now a critical need to identify areas where rapid adaptations to very similar responses and future policies are required. And at this stage at this point, I would like to share you those main concluding remarks. But I will do it on behalf of the directors, not only of the EMCDDA, European Drugs Agency and Europol but also on behalf of the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention – all together the three agencies invite the EU institutions and the member states to strengthen rapid data collection, information exchange and intelligence and analysis to inform immediate cross border; public health and security policy and operational response to integrate direct related services into the essential services at national level; and to provide adequate equipment; and tools for frontline workers to build on the positive reasons of changes and innovations that they’ve been brought by the practitioner is so direct service, in close cooperation and in dialogue with the clients with people who are using drugs to maintain the funding and functioning of drug related services in the post COVID-19 period; to support the development of new tools and methods that are needed to address the new operational and strategic challenge caused by the changes in the direct market from production and trafficking, to distribution and use; and finally, strengthen the cooperation and the coordination between institutions and official authorities. Both our international, European and at national level. Services and authorities have been working together in the European Union, in the times of this pandemic, as shown that the balanced approach of the EU drugs policy has contributed to care and to protect rather than to punish, thank you very much for your attention.
Chair: With, this we have reached the conclusion of today’s event. We had three important segments today, we had commemoration of 75th anniversary of signing of the UN Charter; then we launched the World Drug Report 2020 and had a discussion about it. The third segment with regard to impact of COVID-19 on world drug situation is also one of the most pertinent and really relevant topics of current times. I thank all the panellists and delegations for their very constructive inputs, statements interventions, I knew NRDC and conference management services for their work in making the today’s event possible. And I closed this meeting with very nice evening and weekend wishes to all of you. Thank you. Meeting is suspended.