High Level Segment – Czech Republic

We believe that all countries in this room are committed to addressing the problems caused by the World Drug Problem. In 1961, when we signed the convention, evidence was not clear. today, we know much more about what is realistic and achievable. We should not be driven by ideologies and wishful thinking. We unfortunately know today that the idea of a drug-free world based on the belief that if we eradicate supply we will reduce demand, is not achievable.

But a balanced policy based on the protection of public health is far more effective and cost-effective. It is why we all respect the culture of every country.

The drug scenes adapt and constantly change. We face new epidemics. risks of transmittable diseases spread rapidly among users, such as HIV and hep C. They do not respect boundaries. These are more reasons to establish an international system where we open debate on what we can do together. This should be based on science and best practice. HIV and hep C give us an obligation on what really works. We have the evidence on what works today. We should remove what creates more risks in our globalised world.

Drug policies should not be based on criminalising people who use drugs or suffer from addiction. These policies are expensive and not effective.

The Czech Republic decriminalised drug use and this did not create risks, but allowed the budget to be used more effectively. These are reasons why we should open debate and put aside politics and ideology and allow science to speak. The Czech Republic is going in the right direction, but we need to keep going forward. We would like to suggest hat policies should not be based on beliefs of a drug free world, but on reducing as much as possible the harms. Destigmatising the situation and shifting policies to attract users to seek help shows results in the drug scene and reduction the amount of new people becoming drug users.

This is all the more reason to open the debate. We would like to propose that we should look and evaluate alternative regimes appearing in other continents in North and South America and in Europe rather than just be silent about it. We should appreciate their courage to be the first ones to do this.

We feel strongly that users should not be criminalised. We advocate for abolishing the death penalty, it is an unacceptable tool. We welcome the latest declarations of INCB. We propose possibilities to debate with academics and experts towards UNGASS 2016 to change the world in this area.

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