UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – statement by Australia

This session is an opportunity to share problems and solutions concerning the drug problem.

Australia here is focused on access to medicinal drugs, along with other issues. The country’s approach is evidence-based and balanced. We recognise the law enforcement aspects of drug policies, but we oppose the use of the death penalty for drug offences and call for its abolition. It is an inhumane approach and is not a deterrent.

We call on the UNODC to continue efforts in abolishing the death penalty.

An increasing challenge is the emergence of NPS and synthetic drugs. Methamphetamine is particularly concerning in Australia, and we must do all we can to stamp out its use.

The use of methamphetamine has been rising in Australia, and in some jurisdictions the drug’s purity has tripled. However, our law agencies have become adept at seizing this drug as evidenced by increasing seizures.

Australia would welcome the opportunity to learn from other states regarding health and law enforcemen approaches. Similarly, we are glad to share our experiences on these issues.

We work with health and law enforcement to decrease the harms of drugs, and tackling meth will be an increasing priority.

Australia urges the collection of information on emerging NPS around the world to better confront the problem.

We look ahead to the UNGASS and reaffirm that the CND should be the lead UN agency on drug policy.

Finally, we reassure you that Australia is a safe producer of licit opium poppies. It is importance to recognise the need for a balance between licit supply and demand of opioids and the need for greater access to these medicines in poorer areas of the world.

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