UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – Statement by Canada

Canada views UNGASS 2016 as an important milestone for all of us to take stock of achieving the goals in the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, and as an opportunity for the international community to have a focused discussion on the many challenges posed by illicit drugs. Canada believes we should focus our efforts on the priority areas outlined in last year’s Joint Ministerial Statement, including, new psychoactive substances, methods to address diversion and trafficking, a balanced and coordinated approach to demand reduction, and measures to address precursor chemicals.

Effective long-term solutions require a multifaceted approach. INCB highlights this point in its most recent annual report, when it notes that the drug problem is linked to a weak rule of law, economic inequality, social exclusion, poverty, and corrupt institutions. Through the National Anti-Drug Strategy, Canada continues to create safer and stronger communities by treating addiction and reducing drug use. The National Anti-Drug Strategy was expanded in 2014 to include prescription drug abuse. Over the next 5 years, 44 million dollars will be invested in the National Anti-Drug Strategy.

Protecting substance abuse amongst youth is critical to our government by raising awareness of dangers of experimenting, assisting parents, and contributing to the health and safety of communities.

Proliferation of new psychoactive substance is of grave concern. Use of these substances represents significant risks for health and public safety. Government strives to improve the public knowledge of new psychoactive substances when they appear in our communities.

National level is not enough. Canada will exchange information internationally, such as by using the UNODC early warning system, on new psychoactive substances. International activities of INCB on new psychoactive substances support international efforts to prevent unscheduled new psychoactive substances from coming unto the market.

At UNGASS 2016, Canada is concerned about calls for decriminalization and legalization. Believe this underplays the power of organized crime and the danger they pose to communities.

Address priorities including prescriptions, new psychoactive substances, diversion and manufacture of synthetic drugs, and a balanced and comprehensive approach to demand reduction. Be assured of Canada’s full engagement in the preparatory process of UNGASS and this session.

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