Colombia Addresses the High Level Segment

Colombia addressed the High Level Segment today with the following national statement:

“Experience shows that some of the manifestations that impact on this scourge are severe, perhaps more so than 10 years ago. The illegal drug industry is now based in illegal networks of terrorists and governments, these weaken democratic institutions and increase criminal activities, destroy human rights, and is the case 10 years after the adoption of prevention of narcotic drugs and psychotropic drugs and substances. On the principles of demand reductions we certainly face new and challenging demands. We certainly need to provide treatment for sick people and not just inflict punishment. We have now to renew our commitment to multilateral efforts guided by joint responsibility, integrity and faithfully discharging our commitments. States must join all efforts to counter various manifestations that make up the chain of the world drug problem such as natural and manmade substances, trafficking and laundering of assets and financing of terrorism.”

“The government of Colombia is considering a new body to bring together public health activities. We should not be using traditional law enforcement but even less will we be legalising drugs. We will be providing treatment. We believe that the free development of the personality ends where respect for the rights of others and the rule of law starts. We have extreme violence – legalising would not assist. Since 1999 our authorities have eradicated a total of 1million 9o0000 hectares. Over the past year we have seized over 1000 tonnes of cocaine. We were able to seize 30kilos of solid substances and 21million gallons of fluid substances. Support for alternative development was provided, we’ve been able to contain the laundering of assets and trafficking of weapons, ammunitions, and explosives and we have fully respected our mutual legal assistance responsibilities. We have been able to apprehend and seize substances and we have civil forfeiture in place for drug traffickers in possession of tainted assets.”

“We are very concerned about the harm caused to the environment. 1 gramme of cocaine = many hectares of rainforest destroyed. Columbia will not allow the destruction of the most important area left to counter global warming and under the leadership of president uribe our country have stepped up efforts to counter traffickers. We are hostile territory to traffickers.”

“From this standpoint of common responsibility. We stand ready to offer our experience to the world but at this point in time we extend a hand and assistance to all countries. Now let me take off my hat as minister and official representative. I would not like to see my children or grandchildren use drugs. It is a terrible maelstrom for any human beings. For my grandchildren and yours and mankind as a whole, i wish to have a world free of drugs. Columbia stands ready once again to say we will not lower our guard and we are here to counter this most dreadful scourge of the past years.”

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