CND Day 3 – Uruguay on the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem

Uruguay is committed to confronting the global problem of drugs and has implemented an integrated strategy. This includes its fight against drugs and money laundering as well as promotion health, treatment and harm reduction.

Uruguay has seized 10 tons of drugs that were intended for trafficking and domestic consumption. Uruguay set up its first network of drug assistance which includes treatment options. Uruguay is addressing the problematic consumption of alcohol, as well since it is the widest used drug. A holistic approach also means control and prevention of legally circulated drugs since they also can pave the way for abuse of other substances.

What we have to do is review is our paradigm. Regarding the war on drugs, if it were a ‘war’ then it would preferable to focus on the strategy articulated by Sun Tzu who said “defeat your enemy without entering into a single battle.” But it is not an armed conflict. It is a complex social phenomenon. We have to listen to all voices.

In our hemisphere some people, even former presidents, have expressed various points of view. These voices must be respected. It would be helpful if there were a forum that creates an opportunity for all voices to be heard. The question is how do we control drugs? There is not a single model. There are multiple models.

The best control is that which is part of the cultural heritage of the county concerned. It presupposes political control but one that includes a diversity of voices.

I should like to remind all member states that they have the obligation to respect the right of drug dependent prisoners and all those affected by drugs including the right to life.

Uruguay urged states to ensure access to services for drug dependent people.

Political, judicial and administrative corruption show threats of organised crime but these not just consequences – they are also causes. States that minimise corruption leave themselves open to drug trafficking. The most serious crime is at the highest levels of power. People are marginalised socially and culturally, not only because of poverty, but also because of political plans.

Importance of dialogue in the UN drug control treaty bodies. There is no single model for control. It is a political choice. The best control is that which is built in the community, and the participation of the citizens, opened to all points of view, including diversity, gender, and those affected with the drug policy. Right to life and to a fair trial. Ensure that people who have drug problems access health facilities at the same level as others. Pursuing consumers is harmful and useless. We must make rational, effective and appropriate policies. There has been a disdain concerning drugs for a long time.

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