Cyprus National Speech to HLM

I would like to note that the republic of Cyprus fully aligns itself with the statement of Czech republic. My country believes that it is very important to recognise the progress made since 1998. At the same time we must acknowledge that new challenges have arisen during the past 10 years that require joint responses. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance among the general population in Cyprus and particularly among young people. However, heroin is the most commonly reported primary drug among those seeking treatment. Heroin and opioids seem to be most related to drug related deaths. Our drug related deaths exceed the average in the EU. We are also concerned about the increase of hepatitis C. We have enacted law to establish the Cyprus Anti Drugs Council responsible for coordinating drug programmes. Our Drug strategy based on the EU drug strategy reflects the importance of the global integrated approach including preventing, treatment, supply reduction and international cooperation. We have the aim to prevent harm and follow a comprehensive approach that will not focus only on illicit drugs. The goal is to ensure that each citizen has equal access to services. Harm reduction was included in the new national drugs strategy as a separate pillar. The introduction of harm reduction methods is expected to significantly reduce the risks to users and society in general. The Cyprus police are in charge of the restrictions on supply. Cyprus is an island located in the sea between three continents and its main threat regards drug import is by air and by sea. In the last years there have been an increase in drug seizures with cannabis being the most commonly seized drug. We make use of the mechanisms of Europol. I reaffirm my governments determination and commitment to overcoming the world drug problem and to implement the political declaration.

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