Side Event: Strengthening the Rule of Law to Achieve Sustainable Alternative Development

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Amb. Sirisamoot, Chair: the Royal Thai Government in 2015 posted a second statement in the interest of implementing the conventions. The conference came up with a set of operational recommendations. I have the pleasure to chair this conference, and would like to draw your attention to one of the key recommendations. Namely that good governance and rule of law must always be considered. Both can be seen as mutually reinforcing to each other. We aim to share practical examples of how this can help in the implementation of good drug policies.

Amb. Friedrich Däuble, Germany: We can share experiences of illicit development and rule of law. The need for frank and open discussion about the links between illicit production and good governance became clear during our discussion in 2013. Fortunately there is growing awareness that difficult issues cannot be omitted – particularly when considering farmers who are involved in growing coca. For longer than three decades, Germany has had experience in the field of alternative development. Strong support from government at all levels is the cornerstone of implementing alternative development programees successfully. Orgniased crime and trafficking and negative impact of the drug law are all symtons of the absence of good rule of law. Linking the debate of alternative development and ustainable development is promising and useful. And in partiucalr balance the negative consequences firmly believe that this issue has to be addressed in UNGASS 2016.

Amb. Sirisamoot, Chair: we must acknowledge the important role Germany has played.

Mr Lafredo Chuquuihuara: three and a half years ago we hosted the first international conference on alternative development. The following year we reached a milestone, we adopted this outcome: we strengthened state capacities in alternative, sustainable development. Germany has been very supportive.

Augusto Salamanca, Minister of Peru: illicit coca plantations are in rural areas of Peru. The drug trade promotes disagreement between Gvt. and populace, and inhibits economy by creating hazardous conditions. It also fuels corruption. The use of chemical precursors is apart of this problem. Generating fear and the use of extortion, is a common characteristic of the illegal drug trade.

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Human security can be understood as a living condition free from fear and need. State presence is important to generate security, which in turn is predicated by the rule of law. Alternative development is supported to be a virtuous circle.

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Drug trading organization promotes a lack of enthusiasm for alternative development by using bribes. Expectations must be addressed and translated into realistic plans. Take the example of Monzon valley.

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Red zone where Cocoa crops were located most densely. Three police stations were implemented. 3,212 hectares of alternative crop land. This led to a reduction of 94.33 % reduction in production cocoa without social conflict. Some of the problems facing this project are lack of confidence in the government & Lack of political will from local authorities.

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The project has led to farmers seeing their livelihoods completely differently.

Dr Kittipong Kuttayarak: The Thailand institute works on cross cutting issues such as drug policy development, woman prisoners, rule of law, and protecting children. Alternative development is a development led approach. Human development and wellbeing is the aim of this policy. We must recognize that everyone has right of access to these basic human rights. The rule of law difficult to define and measure. The ‘thick’ definition of the rule of law is what I want to focus on. We want to achieve justice and equality, including; legal empowerment, institutional capacity, fundamental rights, culture of lawfulness, ousting discrimination, and maintaining human dignity. We take our example from Thailand and Lao PDR. Let me draw your attention to the area of the golden triangle. Poverty and lack of opportunities and social infrastructure create vibrant black economy. Sustainable development assistance has been essential in harnessing the right support.

It was important to provide lots of different services to highland communities to avoid illicit involvement. It provided legal identity, which in turn provided access to buy land and be apart of the broader society. By 2014, in those covered by the project, 93% stopped farming illicit substances. Farmers took ownership and became law-abiding citizens, and society became meaningful again. This is the case for alternative development initiatives. Farmers supplied Many reasons for not cultivating opium any longer, but the main one was finally abiding by the rule of law. The program was easy to implement in this case. The rule of law is not the only outcome we want to achieve.2016-03-16-14.55.18

Ms. Katrin Buder: Reason for the establishment of drug economies is simply ‘because they can’. No real alternatives available. The presence of violence and missing rule of law creates this environment. Possibilities for political participation, Financial transparency, equal provision of resources for all regions, decentralization and efforts to fight corruption help to remediate this issue. But how do you establish rule of law with sustainable AD projects?

1) analyze the gvt context

2) only work in contexts where security can be provided for farmers

3) enhance state building

4) enhance political participation

5) foster access to legal property

Amb. Sirisamoot, Chair: Brings to a close.

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