Plenary Day 5: Mr Fedotov’s closing statement at the 55th Session of the CND

Mr Fedotov’s made the closing statement to the planary. He noted that this year’s session of the CND has seen a lively debate. The resolutions reflect our shared concerns on these issues. From the need to address the challenges in Africa, the female risk caused by drug use and also the challenges of new psychoactive substances. He referred particularly to the resolution celebrating 100 years of the international drug control system, that calls on members states to strengthen action and cooperation towards the goals of the drug control conventions which remain the cornerstone of the system.

He noted that the resolutions are the strength of the Commission and reflect the ability to debate and reach consensus. He mentioned that this year, the issue of alternative development was high on the agenda and that farmers producing illicit groups must have access to alternative development.

Mr Fedotov in particular mentioned that he sought to promote engagement with civil society. This year the Vienna NGO Committee held informal dialogues with him in the margins of the CND and Mr Fedotov found these discussions very helpful and informative. He reaffirmed UNODC looks forward to civil society engagement both here and in the field. NGOs have real ability to make a difference in the field of drugs and are an important resource. He also noted that he was impressed by the Global Youth Initiative in terms of the actions they are taking against drug use in communities.

He ended by noting that he had started in opening speech with the two words ‘illicit drugs’ and wished to close his speech with two other words, ‘drug control’. The strength is in a balanced approach – we are guided by the conventions. We must consider human rights and respect for rule of law for all activities that we undertake. Drug control remains necessary and we must acknowledge that conventions are the foundation of this work.

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