Organized by the Governments of Germany, Colombia and Thailand and the UNODC.
Aldo Lale-Demoz, deputy Executive Director, UNODC (moderator)
Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC| Opening remarks.
We congratulate that the outcome document respects the Treaties. This subject of alternative development (AD) is very important, there is even one round table here at UNGASS, and we support comprehensive and supportive AD programs. Because there is a need to share practices and successful stories. This side event expands the discussion about the reduction of illicit crops in a sustainable manner, while ensuring partnership, empowerment of people living in the regions with illicit crops.
Marlene Mortler, Federal Drug Commissioner of Germany | A roadmap for the post-UNGASS agenda and 2030 Sustainable Development agenda.
The countries in this debate are longstanding partners of Germany in these issues. I would like to also thank other countries like Peru and Morocco that were very important in the discussion about AD at the CND last month. We fully comply with the UN Conventions. But concerning the 2009 political goals, we need to set higher goals. We have participated on the paper disseminated by TNI during the CND this year. It has key messages of a substantial roadmap of the agenda. We have to engage to this agenda very strongly.
But I am a farmer too. Despite the prominent present of the AD in the document, we find that there is a difference between the political will and the funding of AD that means its practical application. We need to explore possibilities to create new funding mechanisms fro AD and we engage in a project to analyze it by the end of the month.
We also have to link the AD issues to environmental ones, such as climate change. By making this linkages we will create a better knowledge for AD interventions. We strongly suggest the use of climate funding for analyzing AD projects, because evidence today shows that approaching this subject in a holistic way will have positive effects on poverty reduction, food security, access to land, to sum up: promotion of peaceful societies.
We need to promote the success stories of AD. Lets join our efforts to better integrate AD in the broader development agenda and to link it with all the agenda covered by the principles of sustainable development.
Jairo Cabrera, Coordinator of Territorial Development and Illicit Crop Substitution of Colombia | Alternative development in post-conflict settings
Some analyst argue that the increase of crops is attribute to 2 reasons: (1) The suspension of air spread of herbicide, that is just not real because it was not in application when the study was made; and (2) the peace negotiation with the FARC, that we believe has the opposite effect.
We decide to adopt a critical approach to the problem, in order to show that the reasons for the prevalence of illegal crops is link to a vulnerability of territories and a permanent absence of the State in these areas. This is way we want to fight illegal production of drugs at the same time that we implement AD projects in order to give chances to the people.
We think that it is possible to fight against illicit crops. There is a will of people of these regions to commit to AD. Based on the considerations, the government launched a new strategy that aims to approach consumption in a human rights and health visions. The peace accords are the best opportunity for Colombia to fully implement these projects.
Disnadda Diskul, Chairman of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation Under Royal Patronage, Thailand| The future of alternative development: experience of alternative development implementation on the ground and key elements of success.
Over the past decade AD has become a reality I Thailand. In the 1960’s, Thailand was the larger producer of opium in the world. The King has put a priority from the county and in 2003 Thailand was officially remove of the UNODC official list of opium producers. We look forward to share recommendations and experiences we had.
It is not about drugs but about people. The problems of illicit crops can only been solve by solving problems of poverty. Given the people alternatives before eradicating illicit crops. We cannot do it in any context. It is important to have a holistic and integrated AD approach. We need o make sure that the basic factors are useful, such as capacity building, value addition, marketing and branding.
In order to integrate all the stakeholders, like the local community, to create a sense of unity we need to address women in particular, young generations. Our view must be human centered and look to outcomes and not just inputs/outputs.
There is also an important transnational partnership. Thailand will be a donor country to assist communities in a AD programs. So, AD and rule of law are two sides of the same coin and cannot be differentiated. Because development must be ensure in security.
Thailand is ready to share all the experience because we believe that our experience can help communities in need.
Q & A
Is Thailand model replicable? First we need to understand replicable? Copy is always bad. But we have to go to the placed in need and talk to the people. We need to identify the need of the people.