UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – Statement by Ecuador

Ecuador is attending this 58th Session of the CND with serious concern around drug policy and its implementation. The model put forward based on demand and supply reduction cause prices to rise and has not yielded expected results, with a surge in trafficking, and impacts in security, poverty, etc. especially in smaller countries. Over 50 years, there was no respect for the culture of users around the world. The cost of the model in terms of human rights has led us to a dead end. we particularly refer to Latin America. Governments have invested more heavily in interdiction. The interests were often those imposed on us from foreign countries. A web of corruption spread, affecting many states, the role of the police. This created an imbalance in proportionality of sentencing. Groups, including farmers, have been displaced. There have been changes in geography. There has been crude and indiscriminate crop eradication measures, ignoring the ancestral usage of some substances.

There is no single drug problem, no monolithic view. We underline the sovereignty of states in designing new approaches. People in Latin America and the Caribbean have borne the brunt of law enforcement measures.

We’ve made headway to tackle the socio-economic aspects of drug problems. Addictions are a public health problem in our constitution. In the criminal code COIP, we have revlected the principle of proportionality for production and trafficking of controlled substances. We established provisions that are not penal in nature – use and consumption should not be punished – it is admissible to possess substances for personal use.

Ecuador would like to put the following forward:

  • reconsider the view of drug control based on the universal declaration of human rights
  • respect for sovereignty of states: new vision of drugs but also experience of sovereign nations, national initiatives and special features of the drug problem in certain countries to develop a regional and international strategies
  • focus on the human being, rather than on the substances – build a hierarchy for use, possession, trafficking of substances.
  • Other UN agencies, including UNDP, WHO, UNESCO, should be involved to reconsider drug policies – with the inclusion of a new aspect to reduce harms, reorient the role that the CND and the INCB have. This will improve our strategies and better address the social and economic elements of drugs issues – human rights, health, development and education, putting forward preventative economic development and integrating communities, reducing their vulnerability. The world certification for alternative development must be promoted
  • Setting up multidisciplinary working groups with academics, CSOs and NGOs, promoting their commitment to participate in the preparations leading to the UNGASS 2016.

In several bodies, such as the OAS, UNASUR or CELAC, there are agreements that support policies that recognise diversity and national realities. We underline progress achieved in integrated policies that are balanced and multidisciplinary in the region.

The meeting of the OAS in September 2014 recognised the need for a one single voice from the region. We unanimously adopted a resolution, highlighting the need for member states to share experiences and consider need approaches, focusing on the individual and his/her environment. There is also a need in keeping with international law, reviewing approaches based on scientific evidence and knowledge. The critical mass in the hemisphere will make a significant contribution based on human rights. This must be given emphasis at UNGASS 2016.

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