UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – Statement by Italy

Aligns with EU statement. UNGASS 2016 is an important opportunity to take stock of progress and discuss how to address the challenges we still face. It is an opportunity to further promote respect for the UN drug conventions. Although last year’s Joint Ministerial Statement is valuable, UNGASS 2016 should not mirror the high-level review carried out in 2014.

Drug policies should be based on respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We oppose the death penalty including for drug-related offences and call for its universal abolition. Crucial to further promote both civil society and the scientific community involvement. Strategies that are based on a balanced approach between demand reduction and supply reduction should be promoted at the UNGASS. Risk and harm reduction for drug users plays a crucial role. Strongly support evidence-based prevention interventions as they are an effective and efficient investment. Must preserve the health and full reintegration of drug users into society.

Must counter the illicit use of drugs and new psychoactive substances, as well as to their increasing availability over the internet. EU has proposed a resolution relevant to the sale of new psychoactive substances over the internet. Member states should protect the health and wellbeing of young people through this emerging challenges.

UNGASS 2016 should also be a useful opportunity to increase and improve our interventions to protect the most vulnerable groups. Important to continue the ongoing review of enhancing the protection of human rights of drug users in prison.

With regard to supply reduction, UNGASS 2016 will allow us to take stock of international cooperation of the illicit drug market and stress the importance of an international legal framework. Full and universal implementation of the 1988 Convention should be promoted at UNGASS 2016, as well as its three protocols and the Mérida Convention against Corruption.

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