UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – Statement by Pompidou Group (Council of Europe)

Main intention of the UN regarding drugs is the safeguarding of the health and welfare of mankind, and to protect young people against illicit production, trafficking, and use. World drug problem poses a significant problem to the world. Availability of illicit drugs is high and social harm is high as well. There are an ever increasing number of new psychoactive substances. New modes of distribution significantly affect demand and supply reduction, both globally and in Europe.

Risk that criminality attitude undermines harm reduction, potential for recovery, and social reintegration. Death penalty is still widely applied contrary to the spirit of human rights. Right to health is not everywhere ensured. In meeting these challenges, member states underline the right to life and dignity, right to health, right to be free from discrimination, and the right of children to be free from narcotic drugs. In view of the current economic and financial crisis, urge governments to ensure access to essential medicines are available to all in need. Encourage governments to maintain policy of cohesion between all sectors affected by drug policy, while ensuring access to controlled medicines. Coherent policies need to address gender dimensions. Consider abolishing the death penalty for drug offences. Changing patterns of drug use (such as new substances and polydrug use) are a challenge for the future, and require a rethinking. Internet has reduced the risk associated with buying drugs, and thereby represents new challenges for law enforcement and customs. On the other hand, the internet provides opportunities for prevention and treatment.

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