UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – statement by Costa Rica

In recent decades, Costa Rica has undertaken reforms in accordance with the drug control treaties in order to improve our response to the drug problem.

We’ve promoted an approach based on human security, including harm reduction and social reintegration for people who have been addicted to drugs.

Criminal organisations involved in drug trafficking don’t respect international borders. Whenever this trafficking encounters difficulties due to counter-narcotics efforts, it simply moves to another area and continues. As long as there is demand, there will be efforts to satisfy it.

We must acknowledge that no country on its own has the capacity to tackle this problem. Therefore, the UNGASS is a unique opportunity to debate and share best practices and new initiatives to tackle the global drug problem.

Costa Rica hopes the UNGASS will provide a forum for knowledge and evidence and include participation of civil society. We are undertaking an inclusive process to ensure participation from many different actors.

The member states of the OAS underscored last September the need for consensus in addressing this issue, and has decided to go to the UNGASS and speak with one voice. We must have policies focused on the well being of the individual, and incorporate responses based on a deeper understanding of the causes of drug use.

Finally, like other speakers, we would like to state that Costa Rica rejects the application of capital punishments in all circumstances and would like to see the abolition of this abominable practice.

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