Special segment, fourth meeting

Hungary: Pleasure to represent the UNGASS board. In line with past directives, we will now give the floor to the youth forum, to inform the plenary about their work.

Youth Forum: Thanks for the opportunity. The main goal is to achieve a better tomorrow for the world’s youth. We would like to share our experiences. Problems markedly affect our peers. Our experiences tell us that abuse; bad parenting, poverty and negative role models lead to drug use and drug use disorders. Genes and mental disorders are contributing factors. Drugs users must not be stigmatized. Harm reduction, reintegration are the only path. We do not believe drug use is harmless or fun. We know it can create restrictions on drug users lives. Atop of this, PWUDs still have to face punishment despite the damages drugs cause. We must keep their humanity in mind. Evidence from research agrees that public health must be kept at the center of policy. We have jointly agreed that providing education for parents and extra support to vulnerable children. The media has a strong role in promoting good, truthful messages about drugs. Policy makers should invest in experts that utilize the media to disseminate these messages. Enhancing human connection is key. “We believe in you, do you believe in us?”

Iraq: Thanks the board and congratulates election of chair. It is necessary to take stock of all achieved in the plan of action of 2009, in order to enhance national cooperation and recognize national and regional achievements. Our government has created specific centers to help reintegrate and assist drugs users. It is necessary to focus on the differences in economic development and to place emphasis on the leading role that the UN drugs bodies’ play. It is important to take note of the specificities of member states. My country attaches particularly importance to UNGASS 2016, a chance to engage in a scientific and open debate. Finding an answer to all of these problems won’t necessarily be based on the principle of common and shared responsibility. We hope that alternative solutions can put an end to the threat that it poses on an international, regional and national level. We support delegations that have developed a clear link between drugs/trafficking and terrorism and organized crime.

Mozambique: Thanks the board and congratulates election of chair. We attach great importance to this issue. We have provincial and central offices responsible for a cross cutting approach to fight illicit drugs. Our national efforts are concentrated primarily on education, improving awareness of social and health consequences of drugs. Main purpose to decrease impact on individuals, as well as families and individuals. Last year, we had an increase in programs aimed at helping the young and prison inmates fight drug abuse. Consumption of heroin and cocaine constitutes a small percentage of total consumption. The programs are mainly carried out through home visits and by parents, families and communities. They must be carried out carefully and persistently to avoid relapses of their effectiveness. We consider the toxic dependent as a sick person. His or her treatment is of great concern to the government, and of paramount importance to society. 2015: 10 kilos of cocaine against 20 kilos in 2014. International cooperation has helped in this outcome. We are fully aligned by the African Union and stand by the statement made by the Sudan administration. We hope that UNGASS 2016 will adopt a strong document. Always on the basis of common and shared responsibility.

Indonesia: associates itself with the statement made by the ASEAN group. The world drug problem is rampant and poses a huge threat to our societies and peoples. Nearly 260 million people have consumed drugs as shown in World drug report. Indonesia is of the view that UNGASS is timely. The three conventions are the cornerstones of International Drug Control policies – must have respect for human rights. The outcome documents of the UNGASS must be consistent with the conventions. The outcome document must be short, concise, and action orientated. In response to the growing dangers of drugs, we employ a balanced approach between demand and supply. We use education to fight demand; our national body for fighting drugs should be given more resources in order to carry out its mandate. While progress has been made in some areas, criminal activities continue to be a serious threat to national interests. Drug trafficking rings and drug abuse continue to spread in all areas of the country. We have taken strict law enforcement measures to halt the spread of drugs. My delegation wishes to stress that law enforcement programs have shown significant results in containing the problem. Cooperation between ASEAN nations is essential and so we will fully subscribe to this position. Each country still must maintain its sovereign right to make its own decisions.

Japan: Thanks board. Stands by declaration of 2009. Three conventions remain the cornerstone of drug policy. In 1998, we made drug abuse a high priority. We place an emphasis on treatment. We recognize the demand reduction must be done within human rights. We recognize that NPS, particularly methamphetamine, must be tackled. We have regulated these substances, but we need further and deeper international cooperation. We have been supporting UNODC’s work to strengthen counter measures. Alternative development is a further emphasis we put on the outcome document. Donor countries must share best practices. We advocate human security, which underlines the importance of a human centered approach to drug policy. Sustainable development goals must play in concert with this. Drug problems in Afghanistan are multi-faceted. We must address the link between terrorism and trafficking. We donated 5.5 million dollars to UNODC to fight trafficking in Afghanistan (..) We have trained 80 police officers (and other results). I would like to reiterate Japan’s support for the 2009 plan of action. We will continue to support UNODC.

Nicaragua: Aware that the drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility that requires a well-balanced approach. Full recognition of sovereignty, allowing us to create diverse policies. Policies with a gender approach, family-based approach, within the UN drug conventions. Acknowledge the role of the CND as the chief organ of the UN system, along with INCB. Consensus based decision with our community of states. Nicaragua the safest country in Latin America. Human nature to delegate chief role to families and communities to prevent crime. Nicaragua has wasted resources that should have been allocated to health, education, and housing to tackle the drug problem, although it is not a country of consumption or production. Need a gender-based policy. Must do more to mainstream women’s rights. Gender equity is a human rights matter and a matter of justice. National police force is the outcome of the revolutionary struggle waged by men and women alike. Gender equity in police units is our policy. Higher number of women in police than anywhere else. Nicaragua reiterates it rejection of unilateral lists formed by developed countries that have an impact on our countries.

Holy See: Rapid advances in trade and communication. Proliferation in the illicit drug trade resulting from an increasingly interconnected world. Links between illicit drug trade and other inhumane activities such as trafficking in persons, proliferation of arms, organized crime, and terrorism. Substance abuse can never be regarded as a self-inflicted or victimless drama. Has far reaching and devastating impacts on communities beyond the end user. Supply and demand dynamics serve as impediments in political, economic, and social development. Greater effort needed to highlight links between development and drug trade. Drug trade driven by demand coming in large part from developed world. Accountability remains but one factor in addressing a complex problem. Social reintegration also needed. Consumers must be held accountable where they break the law. Need access to rehabilitation. Positive role of faith communities in this regard. Urgent call to integrate health care into the formulation of policy on health dependence. Alleviate the suffering of drug dependent people through treatment. Affects not only the international community, but physical, social, and spiritual lives of individuals, families, and communities everywhere. No one suffers as an isolated individual. The family is usually the first to suffer, both the acute and long term consequences. Since the family constitutes the basic unit of society, drug use breaks down not only the family, but undermines the social fabric of whole communities, and leads to destabilization of society itself. Core principles are learned in the home. Family as the cornerstone of prevention, treatment, reintegration, and health strategies. Increasing knowledge and understanding of drugs. Assisting states in ratification and implementation of relevant international treaties. Enhancing capacity of member states to combat illicit drugs. If we truly wish to engage in a sustained process, then all parties need to find common cause in universal human principles. Need to promote a people-centered approach to the international drug trade, with special attention to the most vulnerable members of society. Recourse to capital punishment can never be used as this excludes any consideration for the rehabilitation of the offender as a person.

Costa Rica: Thanks floor and board. Addressing the phenomenon of drugs in all manifestations should be based on the unlimited respect for human rights and the rule of law. Proportionality of sentences and human rights are key. Must employ harm reduction model, rehabilitation ad support for drug users and their families. We wish to place emphasis on the significant progress made in our legislation in order to introduce the concept of gender and proportionality into our response. We give support for woman’s reintegration back into society by giving them complex support and assistance. The Costa Rican government is introducing legislation to fight organized crime by economically intervening and taking their resources, to reinvest this money into programs to protect society from drugs. International cooperation is essential to tackle the issues, it cannot be done alone. Highlights successes made in Latin America on this issue. We stand by the statement from (Community of Latin American and Caribbean states). Without appropriate diagnosis there cannot be effective treatment. There is a need for scientific data and information. It is important to engage civil society and to engage with affected populations to in order to reflect the needs of stakeholders. Finally, like other speakers toady, I would like this opportunity to restate Costa Rica’s objection to the use of the death penalty in all instances.

Croatia: Aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the EU by the Netherlands. Working on improving national policies to counter the drug problem, bearing in mind the global shift towards a more balanced and evidence-based approach. Proven valuable in social and reintegration programs. Numerous activities, such as psychosocial support, reeducation, employment, housing, and other forms of social interventions aimed at reintegrating users. Chief results very positive, such as reducing the stigma associated with drug use, motivating more users to participate, and increasing employment rate. Implementing harm reduction programs has proven to be effective in reducing drug-related deaths and blood borne infections. Harm reduction should form an integral part of all policies and programs to address health. Implemented in association with civil society. Civil society provides us with recommendations and insights in decision making processes, and in implementation phases. Appropriate sanctions when sentencing for drug-related offences. All factors should be taken into consideration when sentencing individuals for offences, including alternatives to imprisonment. Based on evidence. Actively involved in negations in advance of UNGASS.

Vietnam: thanks the board and floor. Fully aware of human rights issues that face the world drug problem. The Vietnam places huge emphasis on the importance of human rights. We have strengthened law enforcement to suppress criminals. Hunger elimination and poverty reduction, strengthened the capacity of specialized forces. Addicts should be treated with diversified drug treatment models. We have provided many harm reduction initiative for drug users. We uphold sovereignty of nations. We stand by the ASEAN position and aspire to the goal of a drug free ASEAN. UNODC and international l community must give more resources towards drug control, particularly in the south East Asian region. Vietnam has been actively.

China: At present, the world drug situation remains grave and complicated. UNGASS 2016 will be an important milestone in drug policy development. We hope it will facilitate an in-depth sharing of views and priorities, in order to build a consensus, build cooperation, and strengthen the existing international drug control system, providing it with a wider consensus, making it more resilient. China safeguards and supports the existing system based on the three UN drug conventions. We support UNODC’s efforts in addressing the world drug problem. China’s position remains unchanged. With the three conventions in place, we think that the system is inclusive and flexible enough to be effective. All states should continue to apply an integrated and balanced approach, and try to find a maximum degree of consensus. In line with the conventions and the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, it is important to strengthen law enforcement and judicial measures, and give equal attention to supply and demand reduction, with neither being neglected. All measures should be formulated in respect of states’ sovereignty. Individual countries or regions should not be allowed to dictate their own approaches on others. Punishments for drug crimes should be determined by member states themselves, in line with principles of proportionality. No country has the obligation to abolish the death penalty, and neither UNGASS or its preparatory process is the correct forum in which to examine this issue. We commit to reducing drug use and supply, but there must be a principle of non-interference in the conduct of states with regard to drug policy. With regard to the UNGASS outcome document, it should seek to enshrine UNODC’s position, maintain an integrated and balanced approach, and accommodate the concerns and positions of countries. We stand ready to cooperate with all countries, and contribute to the success of UNGASS 2016.

Honduras: Our country recognises the usefulness and relevance of this session and UNGASS 2016. It is an opportunity to put individuals at the heart of drug policy, promoting health, youth and safety. However, a significant percentage of deaths in Honduras are caused by gangs that kill for the drugs trade. That’s why the state spends millions tackling this issue, which has exacerbated poverty and instability. Homicides have fallen by 30%, through our new drugs programme. We acknowledge that there must be an integrated, balanced approach. It must be founded on regional and interregional cooperation. The drugs phenomenon does not affect all countries in the same way – the impact is not uniform, so the response cannot be uniform. Based on empirical evidence, each state should implement an approach, in keeping with the principle of non-interference in states’ internal affairs and respect of sovereignty, and the three UN drug treaties. The situation that Central American states are in because of drugs, requires significant action. But we cannot do this on our own – we need cooperation and coordination. We hope the UNGASS outcome document will promote joint efforts to tackle drug trafficking problems, the coordination of actions between different agencies, assistance in the implementation of alternative programmes, and the strengthening of scientific research into emerging trends. It is also essential to mainstream drug education programmes, strengthen social reintegration programmes, promote efficient and effective actions with a gender focus, and those that target youth.

Egypt: The CND addresses one of the most pressing issues of today. We wish to join the efforts aimed at countering this scourge of drugs. We need to think of new horizons opening up. There are new dimensions that this serious topic is folding itself into. Our country was one of the first to model its legislation on the criminalisation of opium poppy cultivation. It was Egypt that contributed to this effort by acceding to the relevant international conventions. The drug problem has evolved, as have the responses to it. It has been necessary to change our approach. Our strategy aims to put an end to the illicit trafficking of drugs – it recognises that illicit cultivation and production provides a breeding ground for criminality as a whole. So we conduct financial tracking to put an end to these strategies. We must even look at precursor trafficking. Many conventions needed to be enacted to facilitate this work, and this is what we have sought to do. We have set up an international board to cooperate with national and international units that are dedicated to drug control. Given the nefarious impacts of drugs, it is impossible for one single government alone to stand in the way of the spread of this scourge. From 2014-16, we seized vast amounts of heroin, cocaine and opium. Part of the international community wants to step up its cooperation with the rest of the world, to get better results. We have targeted more than 100 drugs, and this of course requires collective work, using the international drug conventions. I’m sure we will do important work here to respond to the aspirations of our people.

Namibia: My delegation offers its full support to this commission. The growing number of states attending this session attests to the growing drug problem. We associate ourselves with the common African position. This meeting is significant to a lot of us here, and the international community at large, allowing us to assess the progress made since the 2009 Political Declaration. With regard to the UNGASS outcome document, we hope a short, action-oriented document will be produced, based on a review of the implementation of the 2009 Declaration. Namibia is aware the world drug problem remains a grave international problem. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to supply and demand reduction, in full conformity with the charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Human Rights. We are calling on the international community to tackle the increase in drug trafficking and associated trafficking of women. The trafficking of drugs has intensified, leading to Namibia moving from a transit country to a consumer one. The scourge of substance abuse continues to ravage communities and families, going hand in hand with dysfunctional family lives, unemployment and other social ills. The production of drugs continues to be a major problem. Medical drugs must be accessible and affordable in developing countries. We look forward to fruitful outcomes following this meeting and the UNGASS.

Slovenia: Slovenia subscribes to the statement made by the EU. We are committed to the balanced approach of supply and demand reduction, under the principle of shared responsibility. We believe the three drug conventions and Declaration on Human Rights form a solid basis for such an approach. We know that there are policies that have proved ineffective in preventing people using or becoming addicted to drugs. Opioid substation therapy (OST) is successful; in Slovenia, doctors provide four different drugs as substitutes. The programme was established more than 20 years ago, and is covered by the national health programme. Drug policies must be evidence-based, to reduced drug-related risks, such as HIV transmission. We believe that harm reduction measures are based on the principles of respect for human rights, and state that they have been rigorously evaluated and are indispensable for public health. We have been systematically developing drug policy. As far as back as 1999, Slovenia decriminalized personal possession of small amounts of drugs. Our greatest emphasis has always been on public health. I’d like to also point out that our national action plan has been drafted by working groups from a range of disciplines and members of NGOs. This is because we are convinced that civil society has an important role to play in this area. We think we have important contributions to make and experiences to share. We want to promote balanced approaches in southern Europe, through greater cooperation.

Kenya: We align ourselves with the statement made by the African group. We pledge our commitment to the three international drug conventions. We have enacted legislation to enact the conventions at national level. We believe any changes to the drug control system must be made in line with the principle of non-interference in states’ internal affairs. Kenya is a transit point for drugs. We stress the importance of international cooperation to tackle the problem of illicit drug trafficking. Kenya calls on the international community to respond to the increasing challenges posed by the links between drugs, terrorism and organized crime, and to the challenges faced by judicial and enforcement systems in tackling these issues. The government is considering joint cooperation with the UNODC and border control agencies to address trafficking. We established a campaign against drug and alcohol abuse, guided by a strategic plan 2009-2015, which contains measurable goals on supply and demand reduction. In 2011, we established a technical commission to guide the implementation of the national supply and demand reduction strategy. The strategy provides for long and short term interventions, to address all aspects of the drug problem. We have developed minimum treatment standards. Every treatment centre must meet four conditions of licensing. These facilities are private, but we envisage that public centres will be available in all Kenya’s counties in the coming years. We have developed a curriculum for undergraduate and graduate programmes on addiction studies. We consider addiction a disease, and treat it as such. There is a need to improve data collection, if we are to improve drug policies. Our national strategy has partnered with the UNODC to establish a drug observatory to collect adequate data. Alternative development programs are also key, and have been enacted in Kenya. We affirm our continued support to the commission and the work of the UNODC.

Dominican Republic: We currently exercise the chairmanship of CELAC and fully endorse the Santa Domingo declaration, which was held in my country in March. In this declaration, Latin American and Caribbean governments committed to tackle the world drug problem, in keeping with human rights principles. We recognize the global challenge posed by this problem, and the need to address it with shared responsibility. We reaffirm our dedication to the three UN drug conventions, and stress that our drug policy approach respects human rights to highest degree, and is gender sensitive. No country can go it alone on this matter. Comprehensive, broad initiatives are needed to protect the marginalized in our societies. We have achieved success in drug prohibition, but we are affected by trafficking that occurs in our country. This undermines citizen security and has led to increased drug use. The ministry of health is responsible for providing treatment. The national health plan coordinates actions relating to drug use. The Dominican Republic is among the few states in our region that has established drug tribunals or drug courts. We are committed to controls on drug exports and imports. As a result of money laundering, crime has turned the economic gains of criminal activities into legal sources of income. We want to reiterate our intention to cooperate with the international community on this problem. To conclude, we wish to reiterate our commitment to effective outcomes from UNGASS 2016, and to cooperate with other Caribbean and Latin American countries.

World Health Organization: We want to see people, public health, and human rights at the heart of drug policy. We are one of four UN organizations involved in drug policy. We provide normative guidance and technical support to the 194 member states, helping to address drug use disorders and related problems. We help strengthen health systems and lend empirical force to drug strategies. Primary prevention, identification of drug use disorders, social reintegration of drug users, adequate availability of controlled substances for medical use – these are the key principles to a balanced drug policy approach. Measures aimed at target populations and the social and economic determinants of drug use are key to prevention. OST and other approaches need to be taken seriously. Too many countries don’t make it available due to stigma and prejudice. When it’s not available as part of a comprehensive package, people continue to use drugs, and fall into poverty if treatment is not publicly available. The technical work by UNAIDS and others relating to drug treatment measures enjoys broad support. We welcome greater access to essential medicines, which has been mentioned in UNGASS outcome document draft. It is a key pillar of a new global drug agenda. As we all know, opiate-based pain relief is not available for more than 5.5 billion people. The World Health Assembly has adopted a resolution on palliative care which strengthens our role in ensuring these medicines and related services are available. The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence decides whether substances should be placed under control or not, on the basis of evidence. We looked at evidence on ketamine and rejected the idea of scheduling it. It is an essential medicine – an anesthetic – used in developing countries and often war zones. Placing it under control would have constituted a public health disaster. We look forward to continued cooperation with the INCB and UNODC on this issue. We hope the decisions here can be translated into meaningful action that will benefit mankind.

OHCHR: A number of human rights issues that have either not been addressed. While there is evidence of provisions to help human beings, there is no reference to harm reduction and the right to health. The special rapporteur of the right of health have found that harm reduction is a fundamental component of the right to health. There is no justification for the use of the death penalty. There is no acknowledgement of the human rights violation already committed in the name of the fight against drugs. If these violations are going to be addressed. Nor has the problem of stigmatization of drug addicts and convicted felons been mentioned. OCHR believe that those cultures that use drugs as apart of there culture should be allowed to continue to take use these drugs for these reasons unimpeded.

UNAIDS: Believes drug control should respect human rights at all times. They sincerely hope that this will be reflected at all times in the outcome document. Many PWUDs depend on the global consensus to allow them to seek treatment. Harm reduction interventions and OST bring about the best results and are the most costs effective. We must move away from a punitive approach, towards health and human rights approach. A more substantial article will be published as by us as we approach the UNGASS. We cannot just turn around and close our eyes to this suffering. We have an excellent opportunity to be inclusive in this debate. Lets seize the opportunity together.

Economic Corporation Organization: region is one of the most drug affected areas in the world. Growing problem has made this a necessity to world leaders. We operate within the three drug conventions. Important EU partnership was implemented in past 5 years. We want this meeting to contribute to a fruitful outcome for the Global community.

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