I would like first to congratulate you Madame Chair on your election as chair of the high level segment and to use this opportunity to associate myself with the statement delivered by Czech on eu. This HLM is a very important meeting to establish a basis of international cooperation in drug policy for the next 10 years following declarations of the Genera Assembly in 1990 and 1998, this new declaration should identify future priorities and areas requiring further action as well as goals and targets to be set in countering the world drug problem beyond 2009. We think the review process itself induced the member states to evaluate what has been achieved and where the international community has failed. The results of this review are mixed.
On the one hand we can observe progress in some regards. Member states and the international community have made great efforts to strengthen international cooperation, instruments, and information known and we have developed better treatment worldwide.
On the other hand we must admit the goals and targets of 1998 have not been met. Consumption is not significantly reduced. In many parts of the world it is increased considerably. The same applies for supply of illicit drugs which have not increased globally either – despite all efforts. Taking stock leaves us with one conclusion. More of the same is not enough if we want to continue the ambitious objectives of 1998 we need to add new instruments to our tool box and consider ways and means to be more effective. There is one such effective tool, it is harm reduction.
Harm reduction addresses the adverse consequences of drug abuse. Harm reduction complements reatment and prevention – it does not prevent them. Our first priority is to prevent use of drugs, second is treatment to get them off, third, when prevention and treatment have failed we must address the adverse health and social consequences of drug abuse, in Germany we call this help for survival. This includes medically supervised outreach facilities, needle exchange etc. This has been proven to be effective. To be frank the draft political declaration does not satisfy us. We regret very much that it does not mention harm reduction though we think it is covered by ‘related support services’.
We would have also like to see proper sequencing and non conditionality which are an integral element of alternative development.
We welcome that the political declaration confirms some principles of 1998 ungass decisions – but we would like to have seen also, system wide coherence, proportionality, and evidence base policy in all fields of counter narcotics policy.
Nevertheless i am confident that together we will be able to establish a solid basis for the interational community to develop new tools and instruments to counter the world drug problem tomorrow and we stand ready to work with you all.