Statement by the Argentina Minister of health at CND on 16th March 2012 (English)

Dr. Juan Manzur

Mrs. Chair:

My sincere gratitude to you, and to the members of the Commission, for giving me the opportunity to address to the Plenary on this occasion.

It is an honor to share with you some ideas at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which we believe is the appropriate framework for analysis, discussion and consensus building on issues that affect all our countries.

Drug control, the fight against organized crime, and particularly the combat against illicit traffic, oblige us all, at a greater or lesser degree, to provide answers regarding health policy and criminal policy. And we all know that our efforts will be futile if we do not orchestrate a proper international cooperation.

This Commission and UNODC give us the conceptual, regulatory and operational framework to carry out and improve this so necessary international cooperation, and therefore once again we reiterate our commitment and our active and responsible support for the tasks developed here.

Let me comment briefly some aspects of the situation in Argentina.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner adopted a series of actions that are in progress and are focused on the care of addicts and in reducing drugs supply and demand to prevent use and abuse, according to the principle of shared responsibility.
The task of inter-ministerial coordination and cooperation is central to this effort, which is enhanced by the federal framework of the Argentine system.

The same applies to the existing coordination and cooperation mechanisms and patterns at the bilateral, sub regional and regional levels.

We also incorporate civil society and NGOs in our public policy regarding drug control.

One of the central challenges is to mitigate the effects of a particular drug: paco (coca paste), which impacts the most vulnerable social sectors, and that is slowly penetrating other more affluent classes.

Mrs. Chair, We cannot let out that Argentina, and South America in general, has also become a country of consumption, so the State through their competent authorities is in a stage of reengineering means and mechanisms to combat more effectively the problem from this perspective.

The government is in the task of transforming the right court, i.e. judicial decisions into positive law.

Simultaneously there is a firm conviction and determination to fight against all the chain of illegal drugs, such as cocaine or synthetic drugs.

In the South American region effort are coordinates and examined in greater detail between national and regional bodies to enhance surveillance of potential diversion of chemical precursors, also aiming to improve data regarding importation of products of interest to drug trafficking, linking databases, and advancing comptroller of potential front companies.

Argentina adequately meets all its obligations arising from treaties that structure what we usually call the “institutional / legal system of drug control and the fight against drug trafficking”.

Regarding this issue, we should perhaps analyze if, after decades and considering the results achieved so far, time has not arrived to start an open debate on the consistency and effectiveness of some of the provisions contained in those treaties.

Mrs. Chair, I finally will like to highlight the issue of drug control and human rights.

In 2008 this Commission approved the Resolution 51/12, a pioneer in this matter and in 2010 the Executive Director of UNODC presented the report “Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: A Human Rights Perspective” as CRP, CRD only in English. I think we should come back on this subject in following sessions to analyze whether there has been progress in the practical implementation of human rights in the field of drug control, both by States and the UNODC in their activities.

Thank you very much.

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