UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – Statement by Brazil

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to congratulate you on your election, as well as the other members of the Bureau of the CND and also the members of the Board tasked with preparations for UNGASS 2016. You may count on the full support of the Brazilian delegation. I would also like to thank the UNODC Executive Director and, through him, the Secretariat for the excellent preparations for this meeting.

We associate ourselves with the statement made by Chile on behalf of the G-77 and China. At this moment, my delegation would like to make some additional comments on our national perspectives regarding UNGASS 2016.

Mr.Chairman, distinguished Delegates,

Brazil attaches the highest possible priority to the principle of common and shared responsibility as a core element to successfully address the world drug problem. In this spirit, we welcome the opportunity for further discussions on this serious challenge during this special segment of the current CND Session, dedicated to the preparations for UNGASS 2016.

Brazil’s vision regarding key issues to be discussed at UNGASS 2016 is based on progress we have been able to achieve at our national level. We seek to implement an integrated, balanced and multidisciplinary approach, based on scientific evidence, respecting human rights and emphasizing health concerns with regard to people who use drugs.

The review of the National Drug Policy and approval of Law 11.343, from 2006, established a balanced approach between actions to fight supply and demand. This policy includes a differentiated treatment towards people who use drugs – who are not subject to incarceration – and a special focus on prevention, care, voluntary treatment, social reintegration and human rights.

We have significantly expanded the treatment network for people who use drugs. We note with satisfaction that the INCB Report pointed out in paragraph 455 that (and I quote) “the Government of Brazil has invested heavily in drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation” (end of quote).

Indeed, Brazil considers it essential to recognize that the use of drugs is a public-health issue, which requires improving health services, qualifying health professionals, as well as avoiding concepts that stigmatize or marginalize people who use drugs. These necessary advancements in the health approach to drug use rely heavily on the development and consolidation of solid scientific research.

In this regard, the Brazilian government has been implementing, since 2011, a national plan to control “crack” cocaine and other drugs, particularly stimulants as the most prevalent used drug in Latin America. With this plan, which promotes civil society participation, Brazil reaffirms its commitment to the consolidation of a public network of prevention, care, voluntary treatment and social reintegration of drug users. In this context, let me mention that civil society has become a key partner in Brazil’s efforts to address the drug problem. My Delegation takes this opportunity to highlight the importance of its contribution to our common endeavors.

Let me also stress that Brazil continues to emphasize as well the need to combat drug trafficking and money laundering. This is a challenge that will continue to require enhanced international cooperation and continuous intelligence work.

Mr. Chairman,

Although progress has been achieved in addressing the world drug problem, it is just obvious to state that it remains a very serious challenge to all countries and therefore it calls for strengthened multilateral efforts, based on the principle of common and shared responsibility.

Brazil has been fully engaged in the preparatory process leading up to UNGASS 2016, both at the CND and at regional fora – such as the Southern Common Market-MERCOSUR, the Union of South American Nations-UNASUR, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States-CELAC and the Organization of American States-OAS.

We believe that UNGASS 2016 will contribute to improving our national policies, with a view to promoting a more effective implementation of the international drug control regime and of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action of 2009.

Brazil reiterates the need for the debate regarding the UNGASS 2016 to be open, inclusive and pragmatic, within the legal framework of the three international drug control conventions. These instruments remain valid. They are flexible enough to accommodate different national perspectives in the formulation and implementation of integrated policies to address the world drug problem, incorporating at the same time both measures to fight supply and strategies to reduce demand and provide a humane and evidence-based treatment and care to people who use drugs.

In our preparations for UNGASS 2016, Brazil is open to an inclusive discussion on possible new approaches to improve our drug policies. At the same time, my Government would like to emphasize that our support to such a discussion should not be understood as a request to, or an interest in, reviewing the current international legal framework to address the world drug problem, but rather as a natural acknowledgement of the need to continuously consider possible new science-based strategies that can improve current policies.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,

Last, but not the least, we would like to highlight our serious concern regarding the recent increase in executions for drug-related crimes in countries that adopt the death penalty. While we understand the priority attached to adequately combating and punishing crime, my country believes that no crime warrants the application of the death penalty. We respectfully, but strongly, urge all countries that still enforce the death penalty to adopt an immediate moratorium, a step that would further reaffirm our common commitment to the values and principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. My Government believes, furthermore, that the death penalty is not an appropriate instrument for public security policies, since there is no empirical evidence establishing a causality link between the death penalty and effective crime control.

Thank you for your attention.

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