UNGASS Special Segment Day 1 – Statement by South Africa

South Africa associates itself with the statement by the G77 and China group. We are faced with the responsibility of exchanging views on the world drug problem at the UNGASS to be held in 2016. It will provide the international community with the unique opportunity to review the achievements and challenges framed within the 2009 political declaration.

We are aware that the world drug problem remains a challenge for the community as a whole. A discussion should foster collaboration among the international community, based on the 3 UN drug conventions.

We must all revitalise our responsibility to improve the implementation of the drug control treaties and the 2009 political declaration. We also share the view point of the INCB President – implementation should not undermine the conventions. We should not move toward a premature new approach before we review our goals in 2019. This will distract us from our goals.

We look forward to the holding of the 5 interactive discussions of the high level segment on the world drug problem. They will feed into the effective implementation of the 3 drug conventions and the objectives set forth in the 2009 political declaration and plan of action.

The globalisation of trade and movements across borders create fertile ground for an increase in the world drug problem. At domestic level, we remain concerned with the abuse of cannabis. We have implemented cannabis eradication strategies to balance crop eradication while promoting socio-economic issues (health, education, housing, jobs, etc.).

We continue to face issues of abuse of cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, heroin, etc. The diversion of precursor chemicals also poses significant challenges. We have also expanded law enforcement within our region to address these challenges.

Despite these challenges, we will put together mechanisms to prevent drug demand and supply. Dependence is at the root of crime.

We fully support this discussion.

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