Statement by the VNGOC

Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the floor.

I am taking the floor on behalf of the VNGOC to provide our views on how NGOs and civil society can contribute to the reflection of the Commission and its members on the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action adopted in 2009.

To do so, I will draw on the discussions of the second informal Civil Society Hearing held during the annual session of the Commission.  The report from the Hearing has been circulated as an NGO Paper and I would encourage all delegations to review this document so that you might have a better appreciation as to how we see ourselves contributing to this global mandate.

This 2nd informal Hearing was developed in close consultation with a range of Member States and in its deliberations looked specifically at how we might appropriately and constructively contribute to the high-level review.

I wish to be clear with all member states, NGOs fully accept the opportunity and responsibility of working with member states in the manner described in articles 10 and 39 of the Political Declaration.  The work of the Vienna NGO Committee is specifically oriented towards assisting Members States and NGOs to achieve these commitments.
We have worked and are working to support the uptake and successful implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action of 2009.  In this regard, I would direct the Member States attention to the NGO report of the Informal Civil Society Hearing which describes the range of activities our members have been engaged in, entirely consistent with the Political Declaration and Plan of Action.

Our 110+ members represent a massive and strategic asset for you to consider working and partnering with.  Our members are operating in your countries, in your communities and are dedicated professionals in the field of demand reduction, harm reduction, treatment and recovery to name a few,  We urge all member states to consider opportunities to enhance and strengthen your relationship with NGOs in your country.  The Vienna NGO Committee is fully prepared to assist you in this regard should you wish.

We are of the view that a healthy relationship between NGOs and member states – while fully respecting the authority and mandate of governments, can yield significant and collective success.

In the near term and as a contribution to the mid-term review of achievement since adoption of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action in 2009, we ask Members states to consider all options to allow for NGO contributions within the agenda of the fifty-seventh session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs and its High level segment.  The Vienna NGO Committee will host the annual informal Civil Society Hearing again next year in an attempt to contribute positively to your deliberations. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Bureau of the Commission and the Secretariat to develop a programme facilitating interactive exchange between NGOs and Member State.

We believe there is the opportunity in the preparations for the High-Level Review to identify appropriate, inclusive and effective mechanisms whereby the contribution of NGOs as major contributors to the overall response to the global drug problem might add additional field and practice information to the review.  We look forward to working with Member States to develop these mechanisms in a timely way.

Thank you Mr Chairman.

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