UNGASS roundtable 4: New challenges, threats and realities

Co-chair 1: Good morning, we will start. Let me call the 4th round table on the world drug problem. Let me take this opportunity to cordially welcome all of you to the deliberation today. The round-table is entitled: Cross-cutting issues, new challenges, threats and realities. I read Forbes magazine last night, it was stressed last night that cannabis production will be best investment to start-ups. So, I want to stress that the drugs are not harmful and dangerous because they are illegal, but they are illegal because they are dangerous. We are facing new threats and challenges. I now invite my fellow co-chair.

Co-Chair 2: Good morning to all of you. I trust we will have a very interesting and rich discussion today therefore I would like to wish you success in that discussion. My co-chair, Minister.

Co-Chair 1: Thank you Ambassador. Now in order to encourage interaction. No static list of speakers. Speakers show their desire to speak and will speak in that order. Avoid reading from written statements. I encourage you to be brief, to 3 minutes. Before opening the floor to enable maximum participation, now I give floor.

Colombia: We declared war on drugs. Significant changes have happened. Certain substances we fight against. We devote efforts. Synthetic drugs have doubled. In accordance with most recent report, there were 602 new substances in 2015. This is a dramatic increase. Emerging market poses new challenges: variety and hard to detect them. Change in the chemical composition, and that makes it difficult to detect. New complex challenges in detection. Additionally these drugs are sold under apparent drugs under lawful names. In certain cases, they are skillfully distributed, with warning that they aren’t for human consumption. The information on this is scarce. We do not know the real risks on health. Research into risk, but progress is slower than the progress in the change of these drugs. Some drugs are used to imitate others: Cannabis, LCD, Extacy. For example, more than 70, which copy extacy, some have come out of labs that they have certain properties which make them even more addictive than methamphetamine. In Colombia shows there are 20 new drugs in the country, including new forms of Cannabis and extacy. No proof this is create din Colombian territory. They have appeared in Europe and American soil. World of illicit drugs is not static, it changes. We can’t just keep the same old policies against drugs. There are new substances posing new challenges. We must change present drug policies and bring them to line to new realities. Use of social networks is flexible, discreet and sure to dealing with these drugs. New online markets give more protection to consumers. Violence and drug trafficking diminishes now. Drug market are very adaptable. There are new technologies to deal with detection and control the flow of new substances. Recent shift in drugs, not new problems, they are new opportunities to better current policies. Use of internet as a means to prevent minors accessing drugs. We must think newly of goals and indicators used in the past. We focused on strategies that aren’t flexible, and tools not able to deal with problem. New realities require new responses, we cannot stick to a single vision. We must keep our minds open to deal with unlawful drugs. World requires greater commitment. More than ever, principle of shared responsibility is even greater. As we work together, we must not forget the path we are on: respect human rights.

UK: New psychoactive substances is a key challenges. UK is working with partners to meet this challenges, by establishing New International Working group. This group is the forum we need to share best practice and catalyze international action. Significant progress has been made. Joint efforts has established an early warning system. 5 psychoactive resolutions have enhances action oriented recommendations. We should be proud of these achievements but not complacent. We need to enhance law enforcement, information sharing. Chair, the starting point must be collection and sharing of information. Nationally, national early warning system need to be put in place. This is to build a rich understanding of the threat and feeding into international picture. Internationally, organisations should continue to gather information. Excellent work by the UN. The UK recently passed to ban supply, import and export of new psychoactive substances. We are happy to share experience and learning from this. However, not all size fits all. It’s important we share information on different models. Chair, the international scheduling system is an important tool to our disposal. We welcome excellent work of WHO to regularly prioritize and list new substances. This teared response should include international scheduling and broader regional and international actions. As with other drugs, the international trade requires cross-border control. We should consider other ways to strengthen our response. Finally, as with other drugs, we need balanced response. Lessons learned should be shared. UK has learning to share from Neptune, online-training and front-line workers. I look forward  to working with you all and thank you.

China: At present the number of drug users world wide remains high. Emergence of new psychoactive substance. As far as exploitation of technological means for drug crimes. necessary for all to put into practice shared responsibility with balanced approach for supply and demand reduction. In a large number of countries, abuse, cultivation and trafficking big problem. Proven that enforcement and treatment not effective solution to drug problem. Only integrated approach can deal with drug threats. This is of particular significance given as young addicts are main users of amphetamines and NPS. Common and shared responsibility mandates that drug producing countries and consuming countries assume their responsibilities and join hands to come with drug threats. Drug consuming must address consumption market of rugs. In recent years new NPS are produced in developing countries but abused in developed countries. Internet used to sell, share information, which makes it tougher to enforce. 14 new substances are found in China. Control measures doesn’t address the variety of drugs available. China wants to intensify control with producing countries. NPS have caused harm, abuse, threaten public security. Common and shared responsibility dictates that judicial sovereignty is respected. As a major producer of chemicals, China has tightening its controls. China seeks to enhance security controls and information sharing. China has developed incentives. Underground meth, have materials upgraded.

UTRIP, Slovenia: My name is Matej Košir and I work for the Institute for Research and Development UTRIP in Slovenia and temporarily also for Oxford Brookes University in UK. I work mostly in the field of prevention, prevention research and public health advocacy. I also conduct many courses and trainings on evidence-based prevention, prevention systems, evaluation of drug demand reduction programmes, quality standards and media advocacy. Several challenges for the future of drug policy have been discussed in recent years, including within different civil society platforms. And a substantial part of those discussions were related to the high need arising from the ground to improve our strategies and policies regarding a new drug phenomenon – new psychoactive substances (NPS). In my opinion, a vast majority of Member States are struggling to deal with a large number of new substances on the market and usually adopt rather complicated and long procedures to list those substances as controlled drugs. I can highlight some alternative solutions, which are within the reach of authorities and which require minimal extra legislation and do not criminalize users, but have proven already to stop the open trade of NPS. These practices have proven to work faster and have greater impact than national drugs legislation.

Some countries have designed new catch-all control systems, or faster systems to classify substances as drugs. Others have enforced consumer safety or medicines legislation to stop the open sale of these products. In this case, the supply of potentially harmful substances is controlled automatically or rapidly, as is the aim of Member States, under the same “precautionary principle” that the citizens across the world accept for all consumer safety, with clear proportionality between measures taken and the level of protection chosen. Rapid control would avoid unregulated products going on sale for long periods with subsequent associated harms, as with BZP in New Zealand and food supplements in the United States. The above systems control the market without penalizing possession for consumption—as reflected for example in the Irish, Polish and UK laws. Those intending to profit from sale would pay for a risk assessment, not the taxpayer, as in other regulatory systems. The same is now being enacted in Poland. Very effective system regarding NPS is now in place also in Romania.

Additionally, more investments in risk and harm reduction strategies are needed, especially in particular settings, such as nightlife and the so-called »hot spots« for NPS sell (such as “smart or head shops”, internet, festivals/concerts etc.). Member States are called to develop and support different approaches in programme and service design and implementation, as well as monitoring, to tackle new market trends and phenomenon of NPS. We have to ensure a person-centred approach for programme and service design and delivery to ensure that the needs of the target groups (e.g. youth, homeless people, people with mental health etc.) are being adequately addressed.

Another challenge related to the present situation and new trends on drug market is to improve the quality of drug demand reduction interventions and services in practice and assure significantly better and sustainable funding and systematic evaluation. In relation to this, more can be done at all levels to adopt and effectively implement at least minimum quality standards. While there are a wide range of good and high quality practices worldwide, there continues to be rather common and widespread practices which fall short of what could be described as a minimum standard, resulting in poorer than optimum outcomes and waste of (already) limited resources. There is a strong consensus in civil society, especially at the European level, that the minimum quality standards should be obligatory for all programmes and services receiving public funding. There should also be regular education and training available for programmes and services on minimum quality standards and a system for monitoring and improving implementation and enforcement of those standards. We urge Member States to facilitate the adoption and monitoring of the internationally recognized standards, such as UNODC standards on prevention and treatment, the EU Council conclusions on the implementation of minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction etc.

There is a clear need for long-term political commitment to those standards and the processes should involve civil society organisations as equal partners. Member States shall assure a structured inter-ministerial, multi-sectorial and multidisciplinary approach at all levels with strong and active involvement of civil society organisations from the entire spectrum of our work, which would also guarantee better collaboration with the purpose of successfully implementing quality standards in practice. Another concern or challenge for the future is related to a rather limited (underdeveloped) evaluation culture in the field of drug policies. Policy-makers are urged to promote better evaluation culture among drug demand reduction programme and service providers and invest adequate resources in education and training to increase the quality of evaluation practices worldwide. There is a huge lack of knowledge and experience regarding evaluation, especially outcome and impact evaluation, which is a key issue if we want to implement successful and sustainable high quality practices. Countries in which evidence-based practices in drug demand reduction (in line with the quality standards) are systematically implemented on a regular basis are unfortunately very rare. But even in those countries all geographic areas or regions are not equally covered by those practices. It causes significant inequalities in implementing evidence-based practices between and within countries which means not all target groups get the same quantity and quality of programmes and services.

To conclude, there are several challenges in drug demand reduction for the future, but at the same time many barriers that must be overcome. We need to remember that we are here for the people we serve and they should be at the core of all our efforts. Evidence-based practices, quality standards, partnership with civil society and better evaluation culture should be our mantra for future work in the field of drug policy. Thank you!

UNODC: The outcome document of UNGASS rightfully recognises challenges from NPS. These dangerous substances remain outside control. Cat and mouse game. Criminal systems are struggling with use of internet, and dark-net. Constraints in confronting these threats, including lack of equipement and knowledge and gap in legislation. Facing international community, must improve monitoring and information sharing. UNODC supports you, technically, research. About NPS, it is wise to consider expanding and promoting early warning and information sharing systems. We have published several regional and global reports, and committed that international community has up to date information. Furthermore, in order to address abuse of substances, need cooperation mechanisms, capacity building and technical assistance to all states. These challenges and many more, will continue to evolve and emerge. In order to meet these challenges we need solid foundation, including 3 drug convention. On like this, we can promote international cooperation.

Chair: Floor open for interactive discussion. Urge you all to be concise, to allow as many delegation and speakers.

EU: Thank you. Needless to say there are a number of challenges. One of the most important of NPS: first, rapid pace with which new substances appear on market. Back in 2009, EU registered 24 new substances. Today, we report 100 NPS for the first time. Second, use of internet. We have a globalised market and author. Monitoring center, 7 websites in the EU website available. Need to take firm action to address these parameters. We have set up mechanism to list these substances. This mechanism relies on early warning system, we can monitor market faster and share information among all member states. Today at UNGASS, we are pleased that this topic has gained recognition across continents. Welcome inclusions in outcome document, especially share information on NPS with UNODC and INCB. Thank you.

Italy: While aligning myself with EU, I am making remarks to the national capacity. 2013 we adapted a national plan on the substance adapting a early warning system in coordinated manner. We encourage all member states, WHO, INCB and UNODC to strengthen their cooperation to this end. Growing use of Internet is threat to young people. We need to strengthen in all levels, in private sector. Italy has launched initiatives, through information technology to address problem. While overall death toll of medicine, counterfeit medicine is loop-hole in international system. We regret UNGASS does not address this threat. International cooperation, sub division appears out-dated. Distinguish transit and destination countries. They are inadequate, clear by continued abuse of drugs. The production of drugs in particular NPS, we need to monitor changes in drug trafficking routes. Italy pays attention to Africa, to this end, Italy monitors the international waters of International waters in cooperation with Europol, etc… Italy has technical and juridical know-how to tackle illegal obstacles. Will contribute to international efforts. On the basis of the outcome document, ahead of the review 2009 political declaration, we will continue to do our part to advancing the agenda in close cooperation with international organisations.

Jamaica: Jamaica welcomes this to deepen conversation. One question: how to effectively respond to this, with a convention developed decades ago. Jamaica’s concern is somewhat different, how do we treat old substances. As urgently respond to demand, we must acknowledge in approach is necessary. We call for multi-dimensional. We must re-evaluate system, we ask: is it fit for purpose? the people? the culture? It is for this reason, Jamaica amended its dangerous drugs acts. Drugs stigmatize people. Statistics show that young men were incarcerated because of ganja less of 1 ounce. It was imperative to act and take different action. Since passage of these amendments, people previously convicted with small possession for non-violence were removed from jail. We are experience issues with cannabis for medical use. For medical and scientific purposes. Needless to say, we cannot establish a regulated system for medical and science without access to banks. People and health at center is key. Need for revision of current established mechanisms, global drug architecture. Push is needed from member states to bring us closer to our goals. Let us define our next steps and lets get them done together.

USA: Thank you. NPS are toxic, colourful packaging and sold around the world. Manufacturing act with impunity in the USA and around the world. No domestic control over them. Once they are under control, they are tweaked again so that they have same pharmaceutical content without legal liability. Labelled as not for human consumption. Bought over the internet. NPS do not respect national and international boundaries. International response threefold: promote data sharing earl warning system, second control NPS under international conventions. With hundreds of NPS identified, and more lurking in the shadows, with architecture. We need swift response to the emergence of these, that fit national needs.

India: Good morning. New challenges, and how to be tackled. india strongly believes that to handle these challenges, NPS, internet sale, new trafficking routes. Strong mechanism of collaboration is critical. India has put a step forward. Countering money-laundering, in partnership with UNODC, hosted a meeting in New Delhi to counter illicit flows coming from organised crime. To step up efforts, India and UNODC are in advanced stages to implementing intelligence centres, with Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, … Will allow regions to connect and enable secure information on money laundering and drugs. NPS, number exceeds numbers of substances in control, issue of global concern. 615 new NPS reported by UNODC. India has reported only 2, Ketamine and mephedrone. NPS committee put in place in India to identify NPS. Urgent response needed by international community.

Singapore: Recent years, we have faced proliferation of NPS and sales of illicit drugs online. Many NPS are not controlled under conventions and legality differs from one country to another. In Singapore, we realized numbers increased too fast, new approach needed. 2013 act, new listing of NPS. Enacted to allow to analyse NPS quickly. Mechanism to take action against substance. Once listed, we empowered to seize substance. We have also adopted a generic listing system. After a year temporarily listed, they are listed class – A drug. This approach helped us control NPS before abuse spread. 10 generic groups listed in this process. Thank you to early warning system in place by UNODC. Singapore will continue to detect, and streghten NPS network. In terms of abuse of internet: Singapore we have seen orders and transported through the mail of NPS. Challenge for law officers. Lack of information on packaging, makes it even harder to detect. Wider implications, these go undetected. To tackle this: we have continuously developed intelligence and enforcement.

El Salvador: Thank you. El Salvador wants to stress the importance of approaching this problem. Social, economic and health problems. Concern on young gangs who practice illicit practice, arm and human trade. New threat for El Salvador. For this reason, we stand together at national level. NPS and internet are new challenges. Instrument used to distribute and make available drugs. At the present time, we have an anti-drug strategy. We must stress that we have had experience creating problems to deal with crimes committed because of certain technologies. To share responsibility, ES is implementing plans with other countries. Combat groups, money laundering. International cooperation must be coordinated. Important to cooperate to combat trafficking of drugs. Protect youth of our country.

WHO: Thank you. The WHO has responsibility to assess psychoactive substances. From start, more than 200 substances evaluated by WHO have been scheduled by CND, including 16 new psychoactive substances in the past 2 years. Growing health problem, emerging and especially in young people. Critical reviews on NPS, biggest challenge, lack of valid data. Especially in relation to prevalence, dependence and harm to individuals. Three main reasons: NPS enter market and exit rapidly, linked to consumer wants. Second, large substance +600 disappeared and may come back. Little evidence on all. Third, difficult to monitor, and sophisticated labs cannot monitor. As you may know, may NPS have disappeared. Important to identify which ones to be assessed by expert committee. Need more rapid system to communicate dangers with substances. In order to achieve this, WHO taking measures. Meeting annually, second we identify substances most persistent and harmful, third, WHO issuing list of substances that are still scarce. Fourth, more data to be published and share among countries. Since 2013, WHO and UNODC have jointly hosted annual consultations to explore new mechanisms to disseminate information harmful NPS. Next meeting first week of may in Geneva. Finally, it is important member states adopt commitment elements of the world drugs problem. Resolutions in human rights, as well as resolution in world health assembly, access to medicines, palliative care, essential surgery and anesthesia.

Civil society: I am a consultant psychiatric in Sudan. We train youth, because knowledge and talk can be heard well and taken into action more than from parents and teachers. We are using the media to raise awareness and doing research among users, to find good treatment to help in this drug problem. Nowadays, we went on to make researches inside jails to know about what causes sends them to trafficking. We have a centre, we use special ways of treatment: single rooms, admit patient, and even if in jail, provide them medication. We are using this in our centre, we admit after motivation of patient. Helping him and help us bringing him back to society and be back as member of society. I think we now use media, all means possible to raise awareness to help in this drug problem. Thank you.

Malaysia: Thank you. We are continuously committed to the implementation of international institutions. In line with efforts, Malaysia balances rehabilitation and law enforcement approach. These measures, include awareness raising. Emergence of new methods by criminal groups. Malaysia underlines importance to highlight early warning system, punishment for industries. Department of chemistry, has been providing analysis to identify substances in order to bring drug criminals to justice.

Israel: Good morning. I am a parliament member. We accept with greeting the paper adapted two days ago. In some articles, we are advanced others we are learning. We have advanced research in medical cannabis, but still arguing on export. We have rigorous on decriminalization of cannabis, recreational use, still criminalized. I am supporting this decriminalization. NPS, is a big concern. Israel has presented a new system: dealing with minor chemical changes, a feature of these drugs. We have beginning discussion regarding new medical approaches, harm reduction, human rights, women rights, minority rights. Knesset has advanced recognition of addiction medicines, people who suffer can access these without stigmatization.

Switzerland: President. There are responses to existing challenges, but they have been neglected. It’s important that we include the social dimension: we must think about health, sustainable development, environment. It is important that we guarantee research on NPS. Our toxicological expertise on this is limited. We want to base this on scientific knowledge. Switzerland is convinced that we recognize the three conventions space to act in connection with illicit substances. Certain types of behaviours are punishable. Proportionality of sanctions, considering the infraction. Member states should take into account proportionality in sanctions, with alternatives to incarceration, treatment and care for those who need it.

KazakhstanI am convinced our discussion today on key agenda items will allow session to achieve its goals, for further cooperation. Issue drug trade, is a priority task for the law system. We have undertaken measures to strengthen our fight against NPS. Our legislature is liberal, but there is a concept of strict liability for drugs. This includes severe punishment for these crimes: including 20 years behind bars. Need to create early warning system for this threat and to elaborate appropriate measures. We have consistently combated illicit trafficking of drugs, based on the conventions. Outcomes of UNGASS will define strategic areas for member state activities in approaches combating drug threat.

Japan: Explain our domestic measures with NPS. New drug category to control NPS in 2007. Almost all NPS are controlled as designated substances, sale, import and possession and use are prohibited, same as narcotics and psychotropics. 2000+ substances are controlled. We carried out various measures to tackle this. Health authorities carried out inspections of shops. We established mechanism to stop all suspicious psychoactive at borders to prevent imports. We have anti-NPS campaigns. As a result, NPS shops were eradicate last year. Key: is to approach multiple angles. Emphasis on law enforcement, but also multi approach.

Indonesia: Number of internet users is growing rapidly. Indonesia has 90 million internet users in 2015, majority children and young people. Drug syndicates target these to sell online, sometimes on social media. To address, we stress importance of technical assistance and prosecute criminals on internet and dark net to strengthen capacity of developing countries.

INCB: Thank you. Three conventions have been at the heart of international community to address world drug problem. It has evolved, borders erased, and world become interconnected through the evolution of technology. International drug syndicates have flourished. Drug conventions have allowed adaptable and flexible frameworks. International community has recognized, and work together to innovative methods. Classifications of consumers and producer states, but adequately look at situation on the ground. I order to achieve, states must do following: develop mechanisms for increased communication and cooperation, sharing intelligence and dissemination of malpractice. States must commit to fluid sharing of information, new trends and patents of trafficking. Also need demand-reduction best practices. Need new tools for new challenges to deal with ever changing world problems. Criminal sanctions must be balanced. States need strong and impartial regulatory authorities with good training with defined mandates. INCB has a programme to strengthen pillar of drug control.

Intercambios Puerto Rico: We have been a US colony since 1988. We have stigmatised, imprisoned, all those who use drugs or are connected. The policies that we have have brought us violence, poor health, civil rights violated. Puerto Rico has 50% with HIV AIDS and 85% drug users have Hepatitis C. Prison, 311 for 11 000. I mention this because Caribbean is a transit route. Consumes large amount of drugs. We talk about measures drugs, development helicopters, weapons, police, etc… but none of this is based on scientific evidence. From our point of view, to get out of this, we need measures based on health, peace and human rights. We need to go from quantities of drugs to health and HIV AIDS and other diseases. We need to talk about smoked cocaine, scientific evidence, systems to promote health. This is the real challenge. We must move from talking of hectors of illicit drugs, to how to deal with poverty and promote health and sustainable development.

Uruguay: Thank you. First we want to thank those who have spoken in this meeting. We like to emphasise certain goals as we talk about drugs. We welcome results of the agenda of GA. Environmental realities and international policies must be adapted to changing realities. We must elaborate and implement policies in accord with realities and to each countries. We are glad the document, reflects diversity. New challenges. We must not just think of old substances, drug policies need to based on pillar of health, gender, peaceful coexistence. Integrated balanced approached. We will continue to work with policies that work with fundamental freedoms.

Afghanistan: Thank you all. As you know, Afghanistan is at the center of the world drug problem. We are trying to fight this, based on shared-responsibility. Committed to all drug conventions. Afghanistan adopted new plan of action. While expressing our commitment in fighting all narcotics. Our experience in Afghanistan, terrorism and extremist ideology remains a main factor behind processing, trafficking and production of drugs. Taliban ruled territory develop poppy crops. Weak infrastructure and infrastructure allows narcotics to become main source of funding. Defeating Taliban, Daesh remains one of our main priorities. We would like our partners to help us in this fight. We are grateful for our partners in Afghanistan, for sacrifices, and would like continued support.

Costa Rica: It is a great pleasure. This is extremely important to be able to speak here, because it seems we have had opportunities to hear statements about what is being done in every country. We are analyzing challenges, and we think it is challenge of integration of countries that are seeking comprehensive solutions for drug issues. Who is at the heart of these issues. We would like to know, what is the role of our states in the global community, we cannot continue to examine events in our own country. Transnational issues need to be looked at as well. Main issue, criminal groups are focusing on globalization. Networks in place for many years, working beyond borders. We must become transnational in our thinking. We must work together, thank you.

Australia: Thank you. Australia notes happily the various approached to emerging problems with NPS, mentioned by other member states today. Like many countries, Australia is concerned about NPS. We are keen to address these issues, emphasis on health and law working together to have a mixed approach. We also note the primacy of the three drug treaties and reaffirm our commitment to them, and to the outcome document. Note the need for international cooperation to engage to the drug problem. We were pleased to work with other states to bring resolution 58/11, looking on new treatment modalities for NPS. In Australia, we have recently a new psychoactive legislation that looks at scheduling by appearance. We are able to stop and seize substances that border reasonably suspicious. Importer needs to prove it has a legitimate use. We are not to list individual substance as they are developed.We welcome new ways to engage with NPS. Thank you.

Stop the Drug War: Executive director of Stop the Drug War. We second the call, that there should be new conventions for drugs. We also regret that the discussion on NPS has taken a narrow approach. there should be regulatory actions and not only prohibitive ones.

Ecuador: First, thank you to the panelists for their presentations. Ecuador has fought very hard since 2011, and we said we have to consider new approaches, which are draconian. We nee da new approach, leaving status quo and depart from what has happened. War against drugs has failed. We must avoid a monolithic view leading to depression. In Ecuador the respect for human rights is crucial. Addiction is a question of health, we are not looking to criminalize personal drug use. We need to bare in mind existing international conventions. Model we suggest is reducing supply, and this has raised prices on the market, and thus reduced buyers interest. Terrible effects have taken place. Women are mules, especially since 12 years ago. We developed new approach to decriminalize consumers, then amnesty to those who use drugs, and taken a gender-perspective. Ecuador has implemented proportionality. We are aware that dealing with socio-economic aspects, we need to deal with money laundering where there is illicit drugs. International financial groups are adding countries to their lists of money laundering, but consumers are in the north. In other words, we are not prepared to continue to create more and more deaths as a result of repressive policies. This is the new approach should be supported in 2016.

Brazil: We created partnerships with law enforcement and international partners. Identification of NPS, appropriate measures need to be taken. Prohibition isn’t part of them. International community needs to realize that technical information need to be used for enforcement purposes. Brazil wants to express concern about NPS, many countries have not taken part in meeting and consultations. International debate has been marked by the presence of authorities that work with perspective with supply reduction. NPS cannot be an even bigger problem we can approach this multi laterally.

Myanmar: We congratulate everybody’s hard work for the UNGASS outcome document. Party to all conventions, Myanmar has been implementing these. Three supply, demand reduction are being employed, however we need to do more. Need to address NPS and other psychotropic substances. New Myanmar government, looking at health care plan and other new strategies. Right to health and right to development must be emphasised. Peace in the region is key. Alternative development, especially important. These are top priorities for Myanmar. Narcotic drugs, are being sold a lot online now. Law enforcement need to evolve and address these. To conclude, we must implement with all our force SDG for sustainable development, especially for poor and minorities.

Armando, Mexico, Civil Society: Indigenous spirituality, here to express concern for the preservation of sacred plants outside of the conventions and or laws that prohibit the cultural sustainability for indigenous people. In our country, although the scared plants, mushroom and peyote, they are prohibited which affects the human rights of many indigenous groups. We want to make a statement to consider that sacred plants are not drugs, they are collateral victims of this war on drugs. We need a regulatory model to include these.

Concluding remarks

Panelists:

UK: Clear from this discussion that there is a consensus that NPS are posing a new challenging. EU, UNODC, Australia, Israel, etc… have highlighted this. We are not in the dark of this, we have an idea of what is needed. We need evidence-based approach. As Brazilian highlight, legislation is not only, we need prevention and treatment as well. We need to adapt and flex our approach to NPS. Example, new transit routes, Internet, and health workers being unfamiliar with these substances.

China: Thank you all for your contributions. This problem has become a common challenge in the world efforts. We want to reiterate, that international community needs to enhance early warning and member states should implement sharing of intelligence to reduce supply for drugs. Thank you.

Matej Kosir, UTRIP: It is important to emphasise the importance of collaborating with civil society regarding NPS and early warning system (EWS). The information which is available from the ground is extremely important and valuable for quick and effective action to protect health of NPS users. Especially in those countries in which drug users are marginalised and a part of hidden population, the collaboration with civil society is crucial from public health perspective. Additionally, in my opinion we should not focus too much on supply reduction regarding NPS, especially not on repressive measures against users. We should focus more on investing in effective and evidence-based prevention to minimise demand from young people to use any kind of drugs. And it doesn’t mean any kind of prevention … It means effective and evidence-based prevention only. Thank you!

Chair: We thank all participants, we are facing huge dilemmas, no doubt about that. There is clear consensus that proportionality is needed. Surely, there is need for proportionality but we have to understand that we take step by step legalization, will make drugs cheaper, so more demands and more addicts and more harm.

Co-Chair: Thank you very much. It has been a pleasure. I want to congratulate all of you. For your excellent remarks, and comments, I have to say, makes us break a record in terms of time. One, cooperation – very clear and mentioned by several. Second, dialogue, so we understand each other more. Third, implementation, we have full range of operational recommendation that we just adopted that must be implemented. I thank you all.

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