High Level Segments – Minsister of Justice, Colombia Gomez Mendez.

Colombia.  Minister of Justice.
(Cut off until now)… (Halfway through speech)  Approach must be based on human rights. Integrated and balanced approach is a tool for building peace in the post conflict period.  In this regard, taking into account challenges faced by Colombia, seems inevitable to have a discussion that will learn from the past and prepare for the future.  Clear commitment to public health and human rights.  Reduction of criminalization associated with drug problem, with moral authority that we have based on demonstrated commitment of whole decades, call on everyone to analyze — framework of autonomy of states and recognize plurality of manifestation very different in many countries.  Different from what world confronted many years ago.  Can focus on utopian goal while new synthetic drugs are produced on a daily bases.  350 drugs produced for non-medical purposes more addictive or damaging than so-called traditional drugs.  New synthetic drugs and pharma more deaths than those from cocaine.  Greater commitment from countries where those products designed and produced.  Internet a new vehicle for the drug market.  Great difficulties to control  These two new challenges, which were not included in 2009 PD are very clearly highlighted in report of Mr. Fedetov as his contribution to the review.

Reflection and debate on alternatives to make more effective has already started on our continent.  6th summit of Americas gave OAS a mandate to prepare a study on results of current policies in Americas and to explore new approaches to respond to the scourge.  This study is now being analyzed by states in the region and has already made contribution to ensuring that IA Commission in 2013 should take up a hemisphere wide commitment to approaches based on health and human rights.  Drug policies not really regional but global.  Need a new consensus or how can we explain to a farmer a small time grower that he is subject to severe incarceration but in other countries approach is quite different.  2016 UNGASS very important. Colombia believes that while we are engaged in prep process for special session we must ensure a broad, scientific, evidence base that recognizes diversity of stakeholders in WDP and various national realities.  Various bodies of UN System could make great contributions. Also voices of academia and civil society.  Countries have an opportunity to offer citizens a better drug policy that protects their right to health.  A culture of legality supported by a strong rule of law.  Colombia as always reasserts complete commitment to struggle and asks all countries to approach review with great depth and openness.. drug policies cannot be allowed to move at the speed of the telegraph while problem moves at speed of broadband internet.

 

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