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Australia Addresses the Plenary Session of HLM

The delegate for Australia today addressed the High Level Segment of the Plenary Session of the High Level Meeting as follows:

“This high level segment marks a cross roads, it is an opportunity to look back and mark progress achieved since 1998, but it is also an opportunity to look forward and decide on priorities. Active engagement of the multilateral system is a key pillar of our priorities and we are committed to address drug challenge collectively. Australia is pleased that the political declaration recognises the need for a balanced and integrated approach to the drug problem. This is what we do domestically – based on a balance of supply, demand and harm reduction strategies. The use of illicit drugs has decreased in general. The Australian strategy has three pillars. The first is demand reduction, prevention is a priority with multi media drug campaigns, alerting young people to the dangers of drugs encouraging avoidance or treatment when needed. We maintain a multi faceted approach to drug treatment. Harm reduction is the second pillar of our strategy. We have a decreasing number of those dying from overdoses. We tackle the problem of IDUs passing on HIV, through needle exchange and harm reduction campaigns. We work across South East Asia to fund such programmes.”

“We work in community partnership with indigenous communities and we are working to close the gap between life expectancies. The third pillar is supply reduction. A growing network of law enforcement officers and screening of all cargo and Australia has focussed on preventing the development of precursor chemicals and diversion of precursors and we have raised cooperation and capacity in our region and through cooperating with UNODC and we are contributing to the funding of data collection in Asia and we promote a range of alternative development offers which have to be integrated into broad development programmes in order to be successful.”

“Australia joins others in welcoming progress made in the last decade, we recognise this is an enduring challenge. Australia looks forward to the adoption of the political declaration and we trust it will provide an important framework for action.”

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