High Level Segment – Statement by Trinidad and Tobago

We need an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem. We need to refine, improve the implementation of our drug strategies. The 2009 declaration is integrated in our national drug strategy and programmes. We recognise the principle of international cooperation and the principle of common and shared responsibility. We participate in all international, hemispheric and regional forums on this issue. We rely on strategies and programmes that focus on repression, arrests and seizures. We have focused on a balanced approaches to minimise health harms from trafficking and use.

The new national strategy for 2014-2018 has been drafted to integrate international obligations through a holistic vision to tackle drugs:
– law enforcement
– effectiveness of judiciary
– prevention and education
– human rights protection through treatment and rehab to meet the needs of all drug users

The value of information is critical so we have set up a national information system, with a national platform. In 2013, we conducted 2 school surveys. These showed that youth use alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and energy drinks. Targeted interventions in the work place, communities and schools have also gathered data on drug use. We focus on drug education for pre-school students. There was increased awareness among students and parents in the programmes. We also provide continuum of care including low-threshold services. We also have hospitals, residential care, therapeutic communities. We also try to develop initiatives for sustainable development to promote healthier life-styles. Alternative development at local level is a preventive approach for income generation.

Our efforts will be in vain if we ignore the vulnerability of our geographical location. We seek to improve surveillance activities and local law enforcement efforts. We also augment our marine resources. We have organised crime and counter trafficking units, which are effectively managed and monitored.

We’ve also implemented the first pilot treatment court. A second court should be implemented later in 2014. We also want to set up a juvenile treatment court. Training is also offered locally to our partners. We seek to build the skills of all our partners.

We have achieved a balance in treatment, prevention, enforcement, etc. Finally, we commit to work closely with the CND. I wish to place on record that we have a desire to continue to be members of the CND.

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