UNGASS special segment, third meeting

El Salvador: Thanks board. CND is a path to UNGASS and an important opportunity. Current conventions and commitments are the reference point, but must be flexible. The main pillar of our policy decisions is the three conventions. The socioeconomic element is an important part of our agenda on the road to UNGASS. The sustainable development goals must be apart of our agenda – achieving these goals must be realities for out societies. The drug war has imagined on progress, and created huge problems for society. We value the initiate of some countries in our region, which returned to the contact of the 2009 declaration, and asked the General assembly to review at UNGASS. The drug problem is multi facetted. UNGASS must have an outcome document that tackle the dynamism of the drug problem. The strategy must include institutional, public and private. Links must be recognized between arms trafficking and terrorism must be considered and pose a huge threat to national and international security. We must increase regional and international cooperation between affected parties. El Salvador needs the assistance of the international community. There must be a good and balanced approach between supply and demand. El Salvador and the international community have a commitment to human rights and gender equality. Drug policies must be considered within this context.

Philippines: There is much to be done, but welcomes the 2009 declaration. The Philippines recognizes the three conventions as milestones – and the INCB and CND as the surveyors of this. We remain resolute against moves to legalize controlled substances. Encourages treatment to ‘victims of drug abuse’ alongside strong punitive approach. Does not favor capital punishment for drug offenses. For drug demand reduction, Philippines have organized extensive education programmes, for teachers, law enforcement, parents and children. We underscore our belief in empowering and preparatory processes, which depend on community engagement to ensure effectiveness. Alternative development programmes encourage cultivators to engage in cultivating different crops, and encourager retailers to trade with the resultant crops to encourage production. The drug problem transcends borders.

Romania: NPS could raise new challenges and spur increase in terrorism and organized crime. Not just illicit drugs – but other things fuel these security threats. The Internet is a ‘shopping list’ for drug addicts using bitcoin. The Internet is a key threat to our ability to face the drug threat. We must tackle ISPs, credit providers and other service providers to tackle this problem.

Uzbekistan: In Uzbekistan, we are concerned by the narcotic situation in Afghanistan. Tense socio-political situation in the area, and risks worsening. Only solution is to conduct international political negotiations on a peaceful basis to bring into alignment the opposing parties and with the consistent financial support of donor countries and UN participation. Conduct a political approach to this problem with strict observance of basic international legal principles. Necessary to have unconditional support for countries that are Afghan opiate transit countries. According to UNODC classifications, there is a breakdown in flow routes. Balkan route accounts for more than 40% of drugs flowing into Uzbekistan. Southern route more than 40%. There is an activation of narco-trafficking along the north and black sea route, which branches off the Balkan route. We have seen very large volumes of heroin seized. In Ukraine, seizures of liquid heroin are very well concealed. Increasingly large seizures of heroin found in Russia, Armenia, and Ukraine. Heroin concealed as table salt. Southern route activated because there are more and more seizures. We are extremely interested in having studies organized on known routes of Afghan drug flows to update the UNODC classification. Seen trends that new types of psychoactive substances appeared, including spice, smoke, synthetic cannabinoids. Aligned national legislation. New regulation of import export psychotropic substances and precursors. Eighty new kinds of entries have been added to the list of substances banned. Capital punishment struck from our regulations. Replaced with lifetime sentences. We indeed are ready to uphold the banning of capital punishment. At the UNGASS, looking at the topics, problems and acute issues on narcotic drug flows to better arrange international strategic approaches to counter narcotic drugs. Necessary for us to adapt our regulations and international approach to realities of the actual drug situation.

Malaysia: Full support for UNGASS and CND. We align our selves with statement of Pakistan on behalf of ASEAN. We fully support the primary role of CND in preparation for UNGASS. WDP an issue of common and shared responsibility. Supports the 2009 declaration. Wishes to suppress all drugs, zero tolerance of trafficking drugs. We pursue the aspiration of a drug free ASEAN. We have 10 facilities for voluntary and compulsory treatment. They have been established to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintroduction of drug addicts into society. The existing three drug control conventions are the pillars of dealing with drug control in the 21st century. We underlines the importance of civil society engagement in policy making, and their inclusion leads to a more balanced approach to the WDP.

Canada: Canada views UNGASS as an opportunity to reflect on progress and engage in discussions on new and continuing challenges posed by drugs and the social harms they cause. Recognizing vast challenges, we should focus domestic and international efforts on priority areas that provide greatest opportunities for improvement. First, strong emphasis on a comprehensive public health approach. Implementation of prevention, treatment, supporting recovery, and reducing harm. Harm reduction is critical. Support the use of evidence-based harm reduction measures, including needle and syringe programs and safe injection sites. With one long-standing safe injection site, approved a second, anticipate there will be more in the future. In response to increasing overdoses, began process to remove naloxone from prescription status in order to have wider access to this life saving drug. New prescription drug abuse strategy based on Canadian Council on Substance Abuse and including all stakeholders. Strategy takes a comprehensive approach designed to lower high rates of opiate use in Canada. Ensuring access to essential medicines is crucial. Lack of access is a serious issue in many countries. Second, ensuring appropriate regulation for control of NPS. Given rapid rise of NPS, substances pose a serious risk to public health and safety. Canada supports proactive measures to address this issue, national controls tailored to each country, control most prevalent and persistent substances. Third, importance of sound data. Canada supports evidence-based policy. Canada supports the development of improved and broadened metrics, which take into account health, human rights, peace and security, and development. All drug policy should be rooted in the respect for human rights. Proportional sentencing. Canada opposed the use of the death penalty everywhere. Canada has committed to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana. The current national approach is not working. Canadian youth use cannabis at highest rates. Organized crime reaping the benefits of the illegal marijuana trade. Most Canadians support the government’s commitment. Canada recognizes that this is a serious and complex undertaking. Strong international commitment to combat the world drug problem. We will keep shared international objectives front and centre as Canada moves forward to develop a task force to develop a new regime for cannabis regulation. In order to further progress, we need stronger collaboration with UN agencies, including UNODC, WHO, UNAIDS, as well as civil society and the scientific community. Canada will continue to do its part. Look forward to finalizing the text of the UNGASS document. Look forward to fruitful and informative conversation at UNGASS. Look forward to Canada’s meaningful and active engagement.

Australia: I recall the work Minister Fiona Nash conducted at the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The national response to ICE including ICE taskforce has widely expanded its operation against ICE use. ICE taskforce conclude that we could not arrest our way out of the ICE epidemic. We have listed to ICE taskforce advice. We are pro-active cooperator with INCB, within this context we have licensed regulated cultivation and cannabis. There were dangers from doctors and medical professional sourcing unregulated and potentially dangerous cannabis from overseas. Along with the UNODC and members states, we believe that the availability and accessibility of pain relief drugs is extremely important and support fully. We will continue to promote the issues of avoidable pain into UNGASS 2016. The balance of health and law enforcement in promoting national drug policy has been a long-standing AU response to drug policy. We strongly oppose the death penalty, and promote a proportionate approach to minor and non-violent drug crimes. We are a strong supporter of gender equality, and gender specific programs to meet the unique requirements of these groups in society. We also must increase gender representation on governing bodies.

UK: The UK is delivering a modern, balanced, and evidence-based approach to drugs within the UN conventions. For the first time, the UK drug strategy has a chapter dedicated to global strategy. Will include international priorities of enhancing access to medicines, and promoting human rights. Welcome the UNGASS as a unique opportunity to enhance the response to the global abuse of drugs. Enhance our collective approach to drugs. UNGASS should focus on enhancing the international response to NPS. Look forward to adoption of outcome document with operational recommendations to achieve our goals for the future. Responding to NPS is a priority. New legislation in UK introduced a general ban on the supply of all NPS. The UK has demonstrated global leadership on this issue, including in a formal group of member states which seek to coordinate and drive the global response to NPS. International community immediate priorities in this area should improve responses to NPS. UK implements a smart, proportionate criminal justice response. This includes alternatives to incarceration. Use independently produced sentencing guidelines to ensure consistency in sentencing. Proportionality, while remaining a criminal offence. Strong history of championing human rights. Oppose the death penalty in all instances. Urge states to abolish the death penalty. UK does not provide financial assistance that may result in death penalty being applied. The UK remains committed to reducing the transmission of HIV. Missed the target of reducing HIV among people who inject drugs by 50%. Urge member states to scale up OST, NSP, and antiviral treatment. Continue to take a leading role. UN conventions founded on dual goals on ensuring access and reducing use. Despite this, 5.5 billion people live in countries with low or non-existent access to pain medicines. Must strengthen efforts in accordance with roadmap of SDGs. Drug trafficking and organized crime pose a serious threat to all our nations. Need to address vulnerabilities that drive, enable, and perpetuate organized crime. Provide licit socioeconomic opportunities to prevent vulnerable people from being drawn to organized crime. Need to improve quality of impact indicators in organized crime. Promoting a balanced approach to tackle organized crime. UK support for modern, balanced and evidence-based approach to drugs within the UN conventions. UK will continue to take a leadership role through prevention, recovery, and supply reduction. Member states have much to gain. Look forward to what we can achieve together.

Norway: I’m pleased to be given the opportunity to speak on this important issue, leading up to UNGASS. Norway has aligned itself with the statement made by the EU. We would like to thank members of the UNGASS board and the CND bureau and UNODC secretariat. We believe that UNGASS will be a success. We are still far from handling the world drug problem. There are many challenges that tell us we need political action and political will. We need forceful international cooperation, to tackle trafficking and corruption. We need political will to secure access to essential medicines, to fix governance challenges, and to protect human rights. As mentioned by Executive Director Fedotov, we need to address the nexus between crime and terrorism. Drug policies should be about reducing harm to society, regions, and communities, and many individuals affected by dugs. The slogan leading up to the 1998 UNGASS was “A drug free world – we can do it!”. We must question the realism of these goals and whether they are too ambitious. We must not make the same mistake again, and not base our policies on wishful thinking. UNGASS necessitates a thorough and honest assessment of where we are and where we want to be. We think UNGASS has not yet met this challenge. We think the UNGASS process is so far falling short in this regard. The inclusion of civil society is improving. We appreciate the direction in which things are moving. But we have a long way to go for a balance between drug control and public health. We want to strengthen the criminal justice system to tackle supple, while improving health interventions. Norway does not question the UN drug conventions. We do, however, believe there is room for a more flexible interpretation of the conventions. We believe this is necessary for future innovations, and will help prevent drug legalisation. As part of a balanced approach – which we all support – harm reduction should be a matter of fact, to help stop the spread of diseases and protect health. We hope that harm reduction will be part of the UNGASS outcome document. Harm reduction is not an end in itself. Access to treatment and prevention are also crucial – and this is part of Norway’s drug strategy. We will also repeat what ED Fedotov said about respect for rights and health. Norway denounces the death penalty in all its forms. We call for a moratorium on the death penalty for drug offences. Mitigating and aggravating offences should be taken into account. Sentencing must be proportionate. Those who benefit most from the illegal drug trade should be punished most severely. Norway has a comprehensive approach to the world drug problem. But as problems and organised crime grow and impact governance, development and security, we need a wider range of tools to tackle these issues. We need to take into account the SDGs, and need to cooperate with a range of UN agencies. Those affected by the world drug problem depend on us to face up to the challenges in front of us. We must not disappoint them.

New Zealand: Pleased to be participating in CND. It comes at an important time in the run up to UNGASS. Last year, New Zealand launched a new national drug strategy. Drugs minister Peter Dunne stated our core sentiments, and we hope they are reflected in UNGASS. Our new policies reflect a shift in how we deal with drugs issues. We believe drug-related problems are first and foremost health issues. Access to housing, education and employment must be included to address the reasons why people use drugs. A range of stakeholders need to be included to address users’ needs. The primary focus is to ensure the proportionality of sentencing and law enforcement. We are reviewing opportunities for more health-based responses and our framework for personal possession offences, as well as access to essential medicines. We recently developed an illegal drug-harm index, which considers the social harm from drug use and separately looks at the costs of addressing these issues. We welcome the SDGs, and believe they provide further impetus to focus on the health and social outcomes of drug use. We have much to share and to learn from global responses – there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We have introduced legislation for a regulated market for NPS. We continue to support the UNGASS outcome document process and stress the need for inclusion of an anti-death penalty statement. Civil society and academia also have an important role to play in the run up to UNGASS, as we address the world drug problem.

Sweden: It was 35 years ago when I first attended a CND meeting. I was chairman of the commission ten years ago. It is a privilege now to be part of this and to discuss the UNGASS. Sweden fully aligns itself with the contribution from the EU on the UNGASS process, but we just want to make some additional remarks. Sweden welcomes the progress made in the outcome document process. We are convinced we will reach a successful result before UNGASS itself. In 1998, we had a similar situation, when the CND negotiated the outcome document and took it to the General Assembly, where it was accepted. I was posted in New York at the time, and people there said why should we accept something done in Vienna? But we convinced them to accept it. That’s what we should do now. Here we have the expertise. We have three days in New York. It will be a super week – a lot of negotiations will take place, but we should really go for having a result here in Vienna that is brought to New York. One of the questions to be asked in this process is the SDGs. The goal to strengthen prevention and treatment of drug use will help promote health, along with sustainable livelihood programmes that will help address drug crop cultivation. Need human rights based approach. Everyone has the right to enjoy the highest sustainable standard of mental and physical health. This includes the right to not be exposed to drug abuse, and the right to access drug treatment and support. We recognise the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that we must do all we can to prevent children’s involvement with drugs. We must do all we can for demand and supply reduction. Gender equality issues must also be driven at the highest level. We note the global efforts to reduce demand. Demand reduction has been very low on international agenda, and on the national agenda. Demand reduction should be higher up our list of priorities. We need to strengthen cooperation by WHO and unodc. These two organisations have a central role to play in the battle against drugs. We need to strengthen these two bodies. The UN organisations are too weak in their struggle against drugs. They should be much more active. UNDP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, etc., should all be much more active in this struggle. It’s up to us to put more pressure on the process. Lastly, I must say we must concetrate, before 2019, on the implementation of what we have already decided. We have a plan of action. We have the plan of action from 1998 and 2009 – let us implement that. Let’s not go for a new approach. Let’s go for implementation. Let’s put pressure on each other and our own governments, to put resources – political will – to combat drugs. We cannot just go to the UN to put words into different documents and then go back and think we have done something. But rather, we must so something more concrete. Need to put more resources into control and demand reduction. Not just talk about it – do it. I’ve been the ambassador for human trafficking and I was attending a lot of different UN meetings and everyone thought that we did something. But we didn’t. We went back and achieved nothing. You must do something in your own countries, and prioritise these things – trafficking, demand reduction, and focus on concrete actions.

UAE: I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, for presiding over this 58th session of the CND. I would like to thank the secretariat of the CND, and UNODC and INCB, too, for their continued work limiting the problem of narcotic drugs. I wish the UNGASS every success. It should come up with recommendations that combat this challenge of drugs. We are all aware of the gravitas of this problem, and know we haven’t done enough. Despite the annual calls, and the budgets, and commitments to the health of mankind, we cannot stop the spread of organised crime all over the world. Addiction and use are increasing. New psychotropic substances are invading the world. This all makes us feel sad. We therefore need to devise new mechanisms to meet this challenge. It is a challenge to deter young people from taking drugs. Can we do this if we legalise drugs? We need to prevent this using new means and strategies. The UAE has committees in which all ministers participate. We concentrate on all topics devised by the UN, in order to reduce supply and demand. We also have a new award – the award for combatting narcotic drugs – in order to encourage the public and private sectors to do so. We have produced information that led to the prosecution of hundreds of cases. We commit to continue this fight. Thank you very much.

Guatemala: It is an honour to address the CND on behalf of the government of Guatemala, in this extraordinary segment in preparation for UNGASS. My country has participated in this process of combatting the world drug problem, always bearing in mind that the main aim of the drug control system is the health and welfare of humanity. We are glad to see recognition by member states that human rights must be at the heart of drug policies. This was raised by the Organization of American States in 2013, and this has been strengthened by resolutions and commitments since. These elements should be included in the UNGASS outcome document. As my country has suffered from the current approach, we favour a comprehensive, balanced approach to the world drug problem. We reaffirm our belief that the dignity and freedoms of individuals should be at the core of any strategies for tackling drugs. We have prioritised the commitment to enriching drug policy through national and regional experiences. It doesn’t matter how different our visions are – what matters is open dialogue on new approaches. We don’t want to impose these approaches, but just reach a consensus that accepts different realities. We are pleased to accept the conclusions of the Latin American commission held in Santa Domingo, which accepts the international drug conventions and the Declaration on Human Rights. These are above any other conventions. They constitute the legal and policy framework around which member states can make decisions about their own policies, based on their own needs and contexts, within the concept of shared responsibility. We believe it is possible to recognise the flexibility of the drug conventions and that other jurisdictions are taking advantage of this flexibility successfully. Our country believes that the international community, to achieve better results, should not maintain a failed approach, especially given the range of new approaches and realities. Particularly now UNGASS is linking the world drug problem to the SDGs. Guatemala has lost many lives. It is hard to explain to our people that resources for development must be dedicated to the drug problem, and no longer on the failed war on drugs. Arms are a key element undermining security. We need to work with institutional unity. We reiterate the commitment to system-wide coherence made in 2010. The UN agencies must take on the challenge of extending the fact that all stakeholders can work together to overcome dogmatic positions and inertia, so that UNGASS 2016 does not prevent an update of global drug policy. Academic organisations and civil society – we would like to thank them also, for helping maintain a diverse, evidence-based discussion, as has taken place so far.

Algeria: Warmly congratulate the chair for heading this special session of the CND. And we thank the board for their work preparing for UNGASS. We support the statements made by the African group, as made by the representative from Sudan. Today we are meeting to try and do our utmost to prepare for this amazing event, the UNGASS. To mark our work towards the achievement of the political declaration. As you know, the problem of drugs continues to afflict mankind. Its nefarious effects are many and serious, and it ceaselessly multiplies – affecting physical and moral health, and encourages instability, serving as a breeding ground for all kinds of crime and terrorism. We are cognisant of the links between terrorists and traffickers – and this link is recognised increasingly. My country is resolutely committed to fighting drugs, and to find an appropriate response to them. We would like to recall that there is a universal consensus that the current regime is important. However, in spite of the achievements noted, there are significant obstacles that impede our endeavours. Algeria is particularly concerned by initiatives concerning legalisation and decriminalisation (for ends which are non-medical, particularly in relation to cannabis). We have to become aware of the dangers of drugs, and take into account the different media in this struggle. We must reduce supply, and Algeria is doing that. Significant measures have been taken to improve law enforcement responses to trafficking, but we continues to face the challenges posed by this issue. Algeria is a transit country par excellence, given its geography. We seized more than 126 tons of drugs in 2015. 637,000 tablets of different brands were seized. Cocaine seizures have increased significantly, as have heroin seizures – from 339 grams to 2,073 grams. International cooperation is essential to combat drugs, that’s why we are working with our partners to adapt to the new operating methods of criminal organisations. We are sure that the new initiatives raised by African nations will help. My country hosted the 25th Meeting of the Heads of Service in Africa aimed at combatting drugs. Their recommendations will help input into UNGASS. We believe the integrated approach adopted in 2009 should continue to be the benchmark for countries to reach. We are committed to tackling transnational drug crime and terrorism.

Turkey: Turkey aligns itself with the EU statement delivered by the Netherlands. This session of the CND is important as we draw near to UNGASS. The world drug problem continues to pose a threat to the health and wellbeing of humankind. While the international community has made some progress, there is still more to be done. In this context the role of the CND, UNODC and INCB is vital. The drafting process of the outcome document has shown that there may be different approaches to tackling the drug problem. My country believes a balanced and integrated approach is the only way to tackle trafficking and drug-related crimes. We are fully committed to letter and spirit of three drug conventions. The open discussions of outcome document negotiations have led to a comprehensive document, which will help achieve the goals set in the 2009 political declaration and will help us achieve a number of the SDGs. We recommend a balanced approach, where multidisciplinary steps are taken to tackle problems. Treatment and prevention, as well as stricter controls on traffickers and sellers of drugs have been implemented in Turkey. We lie on one of the main opiate trafficking routes. The Turkish police have been successful in intercepting this trafficking. Cooperation with our regional counterparts has helped us dismantle some drug crime networks. The value along the Balkan trafficking route is around £28 billion. Where do these profits go? Many of them go to terrorism. Turkey has long identified links between terrorism and drug crime. Turkey adheres to the principle of shared responsibility and has tried to coordinate collective responses to trafficking. Among our assistance are training programmes by the Turkish Academy Against Drugs. Turkey is seriously concerned by the increased use of NPS – especially among youths. Tackling this threat is a priority for us. International cooperation is essential for this. We support strong language on this in the UNGASS outcome document. Let us not forget we all agreed to the goals set in the 2009 political declaration. We would like to commend the work of the UNGASS board.

Kuwait: Congratulate chairman on election to head of the session. Express thanks for all states’ help in preparation for UNGASS. UNODC has played an important role in reinforcing activates to combat drugs. We would like to associate ourselves with the comments of the Asia group. UNGASS is still a few weeks away, and this will give us an opportunity to tackle this scourge that afflicts many people and societies. It constitutes a threat to society and mankind as a whole. We have a responsibility to counter this scourge. We should expect this special session to give us a springboard to implement the goals of the 2009 political declaration. We’ve developed a comprehensive and competent strategy to tackle drugs – focusing on tackling supply, eliminating trafficking routes, while also improving treatment and prevention. We pay special attention the victims of drugs – providing facilities for the social reintegration of patients. We run awareness-building sessions for our society, as to the importance of countering drugs. We would thus like to reiterate our commitment to the three drug conventions, which are the cornerstone of the international approach. It is necessary to respect the sovereignty and religious and cultural specificity of each state, however, too. Combatting drugs requires international cooperation, and the use of new technologies. We must step up our efforts – targeting money laundering and illicit transfers of funds. Given the importance of the UNODC in these efforts, we would ask that states step up their efforts to address the drug problem.

Chile: Chile considers UNGASS a unique opportunity to review the progress made towards achieving the goals established in 2009, and how to correct or strengthen those aspects that will allow us to work our way toward 2019. We shall emerge strengthened from UNGASS, because we will have a broad and open debate to share experiences. Outcome document will be broad, comprehensive, and balanced, and guide national efforts and multinational capacity on the road to 2019. Will be completed here in Vienna. Reaffirm commitment to three UN conventions as cornerstone of international drug control. Prohibit trafficking of drugs and their abuse, and guaranteeing access for medical and scientific purposes. Support the principle of common and shared responsibility. This involves commitment of all states to provide global, coherent, and coordinated response. We believe all experiences at all levels should be based on existing legal framework provided by the conventions. Abolition of the death penalty for drug related crimes. Want the outcome document to suitably reflect growing consensus on the death penalty. Principle of proportionality should be applied to prosecution, penalties, and alternatives for drug-related crimes. Public health dimensions have to take into account treatment, prevention, social integration, with all of which guaranteeing a gender perspective and adapted to vulnerable groups, including children and adolescents. Multisectoral approach. Include active participation of civil society. Highly valued and acknowledged by our country. Boost universal prevention programs. Should be evidence-based, respect diversity, accessible, timely, and of high quality. We need to have gender sensitive responses that take into account the reality of the different impact on women. Committed to strengthening democracy and rule of law. Corruption and institutional weakness feed lucrative drug trade. Need to have an active and effective system of cooperation. Reiterate that global dimension of the world drug problem requires a collective effort by UN specialized agencies. Continue to participate in drafting the UNGASS outcome document in a constructive way.

Cuba: Reaffirm that CND is the main UN body to deal with the drug problem. Plays a pivotal role with the coordination of UNGASS. We all have great expectations of UNGASS. We see it as an important opportunity to exchange experiences, acknowledge efforts, and coordinate steps to follow in implementing 2009 Plan of Action and 2014 JMS. Also a pivotal moment to reaffirm political commitment of governments and non-state actors to international drug control, and the UN drug conventions. Should be greater coordination with bodies like the WHO. UNGASS should serve to find ways to boost cooperation in regard to threats like NPS, the internet, and new sophisticated methods for production and trafficking. UNGASS is a forum for reaffirmation and unity. Right to life, health, and development. Drug abuse and dependency not just a serious problem for health, but also security and economic and social progress. Our region is a victim of this problem. Generates and reproduces cycles of poverty. More important than ever to consider the principle of common and shared responsibility. Difficult to deal with the trafficking of drugs without addressing demand in the north. Cannot solve the problem by legalizing drugs. Psychoactive drugs are illegal because they are harmful and not vice versa. Should include the wellbeing of people and perspective of dealing with crime in multidisciplinary away. Need to take into account the different realities of each region. Our country is not a platform for transitional criminals trafficking in drugs and other crimes. Will continue to cooperate with countries in our region to make the region safer and more prosperous. We have few economic resources but have set up measures to deal with drug problem. Have strong political will. The work of public health institutions alongside education, justice, public safety and active participation by communities and civil society has contributed to this. Universal public health system of ours is free, everyone is treated. We will participate in UNGASS to contribute to our goals and defend the welfare of our peoples.

Qatar: First, the three counter narcotic conventions are the cornerstone of the efforts of the international community to counter the drug problem. Full compliance with these instruments and 2009 political declaration. Full respect for sovereignty. Principle of equality of rights and respect of social, cultural, and political characteristics of states. Second, world drug problem undermines development, national security, and rule of law. Illicit trafficking in drugs is a very serous crime. Deciding the appropriate sanction is the responsibility of member states. Third, world drug problem continues to pose a grave threat to public health, peace, and wellbeing, especially among children, youth, and families. Unprecedented spike in NPS, including ATS. Trafficking through different means, including the internet. Requires an integrated and balanced approach. Four, world drug problem not a phenomenon isolated from other criminal activities. Requires study of the links between drug trafficking and other organized crimes, such as money laundering, terrorism, corruption. Five, warn against call of some to legalize drugs for recreational use. Dire consequences of this on youth and families. Undermine credibility of international community to implement three conventions, and efforts to counter drug problem. Six, commitment to implement three conventions has scored outstanding success at the international level. Ignorance of the danger of scourge is perhaps the main reason of the expansion of this phenomenon. Seven, appreciate role of UNODC, CND and subsidiary bodies, and INCB as the UN bodies that have primary responsibility in combating drugs.

Belgium: Support the EU position and the statement of the Netherlands presidency. Stress the trans-boundary nature of this issue. Dialogue and cooperation key to producing a satisfying outcome document for UNGASS. Fighting traffickers requires more resources to be invested. Harm reduction, specifically needle exchange programs, have demonstrated their effectiveness. In Belgium, our drug policy strictly observes human rights. Principle of proportionality must prevail. Respect the right to life. Plead for total abolition of capital punishment. Each drug user must have guaranteed access to health care. Access to controlled substances for medical purposes. More than 75% of population doesn’t have guaranteed access to pain relief. This leads to human suffering. Drug problem requires an integrated approach in the fight against poverty, social inclusion, and food security. Continue to encourage trans-boundary cooperation. Necessary to make sure our debates are effective. Not necessary to create parallel expert groups. Should take place in CND, with proper cooperation with other organizations, such as first and foremost, WHO.

Morocco: Associate with statement made by African Group. Most recent report of UNODC shows a worrying increase in trafficking and consumption at all levels. There have been substantial mutations in the problem, such as NPS and increasing use of the internet. UNGASS more relevant than ever before. Member states should do everything possible to ensure UNGASS leads to a roadmap to evaluate our progress and reinforce international strategies to combat drugs. Preparations for UNGASS taken place with wisdom and efficacy. Intelligent commitment. All stakeholders will exchange information in open and inclusive debate. Hope the spirit of the Vienna consensus will continue to guide our work to complete the outcome document at the CND. The remaining divergences are not impossible to overcome. All stakeholders should show goodwill and compromise. Eliminate controversial issues to arrive at a document of consensus in a short time. We have insisted on our national strategy, which is prevention, science based, and taking recommendations of experts. Strategy to combat cannabis. Beyond the diversity of states, we all share the same goal to protect our society from destructive drug scourge. Need extreme caution when we deal with the problem of depenalization of drugs. Could be counterproductive and lead to opposite of what we hope. Morocco is permanently confronted by drug trafficking links to transnational organized crime. Using terrorist networks and rebel movement. Threatening peace and security. We are making considerable sacrifices in human and financial resources to combat these criminal smuggling networks on the boarders and coasts. Worsening security in our country. Need more regional cooperation, mutual legal assistance, and extradition, to neutralize these gangs of drug traffickers. Adopt a global and balanced strategy based on prevention, care, and combating drugs. The progressive eradication of illicit crops, prevention and awareness campaigns, care for drug users, as well as social integration. Where illicit drugs are grown, need alternative development programs and social development. Enhance effectiveness of anti-drug programs. Efforts made by UNODC and others meant that we have managed to reduce cannabis crops by 65%.

Tunisia: This year, we are having a session dedicated to preparing for UNGASS. And I’d like to thank the board entrusted with this preparatory work, under the supervision of President Shama. I will be joining the statement of the African group, on stepping up efforts to counter illicit drug trafficking, on the basis of an integrated approach that addresses the socioeconomic and security challenges of the world drug problem. This problem is linked to terrorism and money laundering, among other things. All these elements provide financial input to terrorists. Recently, for example, there was an effort to take over an area of Tunisia. And this was done as a result of trafficking activities. We were able to counter this attack, but this should be a lesson for the international community. We must not underestimate the importance of our attention to this very important linkage. We are not very far from the hotbeds of this problem – terrorism knows no bounds. In the context of efforts to implement the goals of 2009 UN political declaration, we wish to tackle this scourge of drugs. Some are tempted to try international policy experiments. We have established a commission to look into how best to tackle drugs, along with a new law. We have updated our list of banned substances. Even though our law is strict and rigid, it has failed to stop drug abuse. Without prevention or rehabilitation work, enforcement activities are futile. We must have a triple-pronged approach. Proportionality of punishments is also key. Alternatives to incarceration are key. Treatment, as well as information, must be dispensed. The new draft drug law will provide data to our statistics body, to ensure that there is a drug strategy which is effective. We will set up a national commission and local branches to enhance the awareness of drug consumers, to highlight the seriousness of their offences, and make them aware of services available. The success of the UNGASS session requires us to work in concert, in observance of the drug conventions. We hope to be able to agree on a final outcome document here in Vienna, so that a consensus is maintained and reflects our shared goal of fighting this scourge. Concerted and joint efforts are very important, and we must pay tribute to the efforts made to counter drugs. We stress the importance of undertaking national as well as international efforts to tackle this problem.

Sudan: We welcome the convening of UNGASS. We stress the importance of this event and its value at this juncture, where the drug problem is becoming more complicated. This session will afford an opportunity to study and contemplate, and share visions and ideas for new ways to deal with drugs in an effective manner. We can evaluate previous attempts to tackle this problem. My country hopes that the UNGASS will be a milestone in the efforts of humanity to counter the drugs issue. These efforts should be appreciated, because they have achieved progress. Future approaches should build on this success. Here, we reiterate our commitment to the three UN drug conventions, and the 2009 political declaration and plan of action as an appropriate strategy for dealing with the drug problem. We also recognise the flexibility of this strategy. If there are any shortcomings, these are due to the implementation of the conventions – not the conventions themselves. We commend the preparations for UNGASS, led by President Shama. The discussions in the last period have fostered a good atmosphere, conducive to the drafting of the UNGASS outcome document. This document is the synthesis of a range of ideas that stem from practical experience. The facts we have recorded in our countries, such as seizing millions of ATS tablets, and the dismantling of clandestine laboratories that produce such substances, leads us to stress the need at UNGASS to deal with such matters, especially forensic evidence and the different characteristics of such substances. We must stem the increase of such substances. Dealing with the drug problem, with all its complications, requires dealing with various aspects – health, legal and political frameworks. The approach should be holistic, and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. My country’s national committee on tackling drugs has formulated a roadmap concerning the control of the licit trade and illicit trade in psychotropic substances.

One comment

  1. Chris Killick-Moran says:

    Hi. The summary of Australia’s country statement needs correction. Minister Fiona Nash did not make the country statement. Dr Lisa Studdert delivered the country statement and began by recalling the work Minister Fiona Nash conducted at the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

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