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Human Rights Council cross-regional statement on Drugs and Human Rights

Cross-regional statement on Drugs and Human Rights General Debate Item 8

(Monday, September 22nd)
Read by Ambassador Quintana, permanent representative of Colombia in Geneva

Thank you Mr. President.
I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of Argentina, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Panama, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Uruguay.

Mr. President,
We would like to raise the attention of the Human Right Council onto the Special Session on the world drug problem, convened by the UN General Assembly by means of Resolution 67/193. This Special Session, which will take place in 2016, will assess the achievements and challenges of the international community in countering the world drug problem. It is the first such event for almost twenty years.
We look forward to having a frank and open discussion during the GA special session, one informed by the best available evidence and the realities confronting our States, communities and regions. This will allow us to conduct a realistic review of the global response to the drug problem, with arguments and data on what is –and what is not –working, as well as what can be improved or needs to be changed.
In this context, we consider that it is important to analyse the different dimensions of the issue beyond the traditional approach, which still relies heavily on the reduction of drug demand and supply through prohibition, law enforcement and criminal justice. In particular, we see a pressing need to take into account a Human Rights and public health approach when addressing the world drug problem, when assessing current policies and when finding solutions.
Mr President,

The world drug problem, due to the criminal organizations involved in drug-related criminal activities undermines political stability, democratic institutions, national security and sustainable development and constitutes a challenge to health and well-being of populations.

We have learned from experience that a global response to the problem focusing exclusively on prohibitionist and enforcement-led drug policies has a negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights.

Mr President,

As it is established in its mandate, the Human Rights Council should play an important role in promoting the effective coordination and the mainstreaming of human rights within the UN system.

In this framework, we feel that the Human Rights Council is in an excellent position to provide authoritative guidance on the adoption of a human rights based approach to the ongoing debate on global drug policies and especially in the preparations leading to the GA Special Session.

We look forward to explore ways for the Human Right Council to play this role.

I thank you Mr President,

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