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Final statements on Panel discussion on UNGASS

I want to come back to the issue of alternative development, as well as the issue of women. We need to think of specialised regional centres on these issues. We can have researchers working on these issues to push ahead. What we have done with training falls far short of what we need. We have also listened to civil society reps, detailed information. And this reflects their view on these issues and we welcome their contributions.

I want to thank civil society for their statements. They said a lot of what we have on our minds but have not expressed as convincingly as they did. Often, we talk about the same topics the same way they did 10 years ago. We have to understand that we must change and be one step ahead. Reality is against us. We need to take that step forward and benefit from this. UNGASS is an opportunity here – drugs are not just a crime matter, it is a social issue. And if we don’t realise this we will be in the same situation 10 years from now. The international community should deal with this matter multilaterally and we should stop saying the same thing over and over again.

There was consensus on several things here, the need for dialogue and discussion, the substantive role of civil society, the value of exchanging views on drug policy. I want to get back to the views of the UK on the need for better strategic tools. We could deal with NPS through surveillance tools and build on the evidence. An NGO mentioned the role of the WHO in scheduling. Canada welcomes the role of WHO. Finally, the delegate from Norway said that UNGASS had to be balanced, inclusive and focused. This is one of the most compelling statements we have heard today.

Chair: This has been a diverse and comprehensive discussion, touching on many aspects, having a taste of the various views and perspectives on the drug problem, although we didn’t hear from youth and the Scientific Committee. But the CND does provide space for discussions with the participation of all stakeholders. One final remark from Uruguay and Colombia, we do not want “pre-cooked” outcomes. And I cannot agree more. One of the examples of this is the JMS.

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