UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – statement by Austria

Austria fully aligns itself with the EU statement.

Given the multifaceted nature of the world drug problem, an effective response must be holistic. Progress has been made, and I would like to commend the work of the UNODC in addressing the world drug problem.


However, four years from 2019, many challenges persist and new ones have emerged.

We believe these issues require attention in the lead up to the UNGASS:

  1. Emergence of NPS which Austria has addressed with the introduction of a new law in 2012. This law does not criminalise the users.
  2. A stronger focus on the health and social problems associated with addiction, including greater access to demand reduction services. More focus on science could avoid ideological differences and political disputes. Austria is strongly committed to a human rights approach to drug control.

Alternatives to incarceration are highly relevant in view of the 2009 political declaration.

We’ve supported a number of alternative development projects in Latin America and will continue to do so, and welcome the inclusion of this issue in the UNGASS.

There must be meaningful participation of civil society, and welcome the creation of the civil society task force in Vienna.

Austria is committed to making the UNGASS a milestone in drug policy.

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