Home » UNGASS: Thirtieth special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem (6th plenary meeting)

UNGASS: Thirtieth special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem (6th plenary meeting)

General debate [item 7] (continued)

The full statements delivered by member states during the UNGASS general debate are available here

Nepal – Established national coordination committee for drug abuse control with separate district level committees in the country. Doing our best to address drug problems. Look to international community for enhanced cooperation, including in coordination with SDGs. Focus most be on the men, women, and children affected by drug use and dependence. Confident that plan of action and commitment on international cooperation from UNGASS will go a long way in ensuring an integrated and balanced strategy.

Russian Federation – UNGASS is a very important and necessary step to promote international counter-narcotics cooperation. Challenge of illegal production and distribution has reached an unprecedented level. Poses a real threat to state and society. Proceeds of drug cartels financing terrorist and extremist groups. Only by consolidated and concerted efforts in line with three conventions that this evil can be effectively resisted. Outcome document followed by concrete steps at national and intergovernmental levels. Intend to strengthen our efforts in addressing the problem. Must take immediate and decisive action to tackle a problem of this scale. Drug strategy until 2020. Despite measures, drugs continue to claim thousands of Russians, especially youth. Community of nations failed to block transit routes from Afghanistan. Hope the outcome of UNGASS will strengthen international anti-drug cooperation. Committed to the Paris Pact and intend to improve it. Expect all states to show enhanced solidarity. Internet for drug smuggling and NPS. Drug problem cannot be countered by punitive measures alone. Effective treatment, prevention and rehabilitation required. Social rehabilitation allows them to reintegrate into society. Effective alternative development programs are needed. Proceeds of trafficking fuel corruption, organized crime, and terrorism. UN must continue fight against drugs. In run up to UNGASS, some pessimists argued that we lost the war on drugs. This is not the case. We must continue our fight.

Iceland – Discuss openly and without prejudice how we can tackle the world drug problem. This is a health issue. Needs to be solved as such. Do not support legalizing drugs, but willing to participate in balanced debate about this. I have gradually become convinced that policy of criminalization does not deliver the desired outcome. Use this opportunity to try to do better. Current policy of incarceration has many faults. Makes it more difficult to reach addicts who need help and assistance. Need to examine alternatives to incarceration for minor offences. Have to understand obstacles to recovery. Need drug policies centred on people. Appointed a working group in 2013 to take stock of situation in Iceland and examine other country approaches. Look forward to coherent strategy that emphasizes a humane approach. Look forward to results of working group which will be presented later this year. Need stronger evidence-based prevention strategies. Need to be willing and ready to assist those in need. Now is the time.

Myanmar – Alignment with ASEAN statement. Concerned about threats posed by use, trafficking, and production of drugs. Slowly breaking down social fabric of our communities. Committed to fight against narcotic drug problem. Need to tackle this problem as could have disastrous negative impacts on workforces. Must view this problem in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Critically review strategies being applied in terms of effectiveness and implications. Need coordinated and synchronized response. View problem as a public health issue. Sense of ownership of program in those involved in fight against drugs. Successful completion of outcome document is a milestone along our path in achieving a drug free society. Look for source of precursor chemicals and take decisive action. Effective counselling and education needed for people in treatment centres. Need to review and study services in these centres so they are effective and efficient. In collaboration with minister of education, consequences of drug use should be included in school curriculums. It is worth considering to review strategies to suit the local context.

Collective Security Treaty Organization – Includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. All support outcome document. Grateful for those who drafted it and adopted it. Concern over scope of illegal production of drugs. Threat to international peace and security and development. Illegal trafficking related to terrorist activities, organized crime, and corruption. Strengthen role of UN and institutions. We will comply with our commitment in that area. Support INCB. Full respect of international law as well. Members view that we have sufficient instruments available to cope with trafficking and production of drugs. Have to reduce the area where such crops are grown. Crops that can be used for illegal drugs also feed into corruption. Balanced approach to drug problem is required. Believe in working with health services and encouraging social and economic growth. Alternative development effective in countering drug threat. All states should take steps to ensure social reintegration of addicts and provide care. Implement a global policy on this. Members are being faced with new forms of drugs and transitional crime. Need to work out appropriate responses. NPS and synthetic drugs. At national level, need to develop suitable laws to deal with NPS. Deal with large scale money laundering operations by organized criminal groups. Members of CSTO work at the regional and international levels. Work together to counter illegal trafficking.

United Arab Emirates – Do not have much time before 2019 to implement the Political Declaration. UNGASS an opporutnity to review our strategy, continue the good work we have done, and correct our failures. Meeting to sign an outcome document which is a common commitment to confront the drug problem internationally. 7% decrease of addicts in 2014 and 8% in 2015. Have had seizures increase 9% in 2014 and 15% in 2015. Human rights for women and children. Protecting children against the danger of the internet. Government appointed a 23 year old women as minister of youth affairs to encourage young people to take part in decision making. Respect for human rights. Recall principle of sovereignty of states and three conventions, and invite other countries to respect our religion, culture, and policies.

Brunei Darussalam – UNGASS an important opportunity to review progress made and challenges in Political Declaration. Must take full advantage of important forum and work together to tackle drug problem. Come up with new policy approaches and allow each country to address its own drug problem by fully respecting principle of sovereignty. Intensive efforts at national, subregional, and regional levels to promote health, security, and well being of people. Fully aware that narcotic threats are inevitable in every country due to transnational nature. Work closely with other countries. We are committed to countering the world drug problem and unwavering commitment to implementing three drug control conventions. Adopt a comprehensive and balanced approach. Robust and comprehensive legal and policy framework in place. Sovereign right of each state must be taken into account. We are relatively drug free. 0.1% of population involved in illicit drugs every year. Possible because we have taken a tough stance on illicit drugs. Zero tolerance approach has worked for us. Ensuring that it does not reach the public, women, and children. Stand with ASEAN and embrace a zero tolerance approach on drugs. Three conventions continue to serve as basis for world drug problem. Respect sovereignty of member states. Want to be part of a drug free ASEAN. Reiterate full support for CND as the main body for drug issues at the UN. Joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem.

Romania – Welcome adoption of outcome document. Hope that discussion will continue on key aspects to ensure further development of drug policy. World drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility. Calls for integrated and multi-disciplinary approach including supply and demand reduction. Listen to each other and learn from each others experiences. Despite increasing efforts by states, this problem continues to pose a threat to health and safety, particularly to children. Human beings must be the centre of drug policy. Treatment and care, rehabilitation, harm reduction, and social reintegration have to be the core of strategies. Current international drug control framework provides necessary flexibility to react to ongoing challenges. People using drugs should benefit from same rights as non-users. Death penalty is not a solution to limit drug trafficking phenomenon. Implement better alternatives to incarceration. Allocate more resources to justice therapy. NPS requires an efficient response. More flexibility in capacity to implement evidence-based drug policies based on human rights. Countering world drug problem requires a firm political commitment. We are facing a new trend on illicit sale and purchase of NPS on the internet. Witness rapid evolution of the dark net. Strong combating action from all stakeholders. Combine law enforcement efforts to fight against them. No country alone can stand and succeed in this struggle. UNODC, INCB, WHO, and other UN agencies should enhance cooperation in order to respond properly. Of utmost importance is sharing information on organized crime group activities. Fully committed to combatting this global challenge. International cooperation essential now more than ever.

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) – Must respect how the situation has evolved since establishment of treaties in contexts of security and development. Struggle against the scourge of drugs has been lost. Countries and the entire world are threatened. Problem of public health faced by people. Sometimes national sovereignty is undermined on the grounds that they were fighting drugs. In recent years, Venezuela is not a producing, transit, or consuming country. We are free from drug crops. We have a national program to counter drug use and put humans first to ensure essential human rights. Invasion of Afghanistan example of how cultivation increases after invasion. Rethink the entire model and approach. CELAC has a vision of how to acknowledge the respect for human rights and see drugs as a human health problem. Reject politicization of this issue. Go beyond failure of war on drugs. Reject double standard implied by imperialist countries in this area when they claim to be fighting drugs by invading countries. Double standards being applied by imperialist countries. Money from drug trafficking being laundered in those countries. Focus on human beings. Recognized worldwide that war has failed. Have to move toward a democratic policy with respect for human rights.

Honduras –  Endorse statement of CELAC. Drug phenomenon is global but each country has its localized approach. We are very suitable for drug trafficking given our country’s terrain. Health programs taking into account gender perspectives and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Have the right to life and the integrity of the human person at the core. This problem represents a huge cost for countries of transition. Leads to considerable number of violent deaths. High cost of financial resources required to combat them. Significant role of civil society. Our emphasis in the approach is to involve criminal structures and the fight against corruption of these groups. Dismantle groups to reduce violence and insecurity. Combat drug trafficking. Establishment of land, air, and maritime shields. Dismantling of laboratories. Trained thousands of girls, boys, and heads of families in talking about prevention. Centres for detoxification. Difficulty in implementation. Trust that after UNGASS there will be sustainable ideas with regard to implementation of SDGs. Money laundering need update to jurisprudence. Include greater international cooperation for tax issues and global financial flows. Recall that Honduras doesn’t produce or consume drugs. We are a transition country. Face many deaths. Emphasize approaches we have had and common problem for all states.

Qatar – Drug problem is one of the most important challenges facing the world. Considerable results achieved. Drug abuse and illicit trade entails catastrophic results on social development, rule of law, and public health. Money is levied from illegitimate activities related to drugs. Take the necessary measures to address this problem, accompanied by economic and social policies that concentrate on welfare. Preventive programs among youth through education and awareness raising to fight against the scourge that threatens public health of society. Doha Declaration is a step forward. Renew our commitment to combatting the drug problem. Continue taking efforts through bilateral and multilateral efforts. Call on INCB and UNODC to continue providing technical assistance.

Namibia – High attendance at UNGASS is a testimony that drug problem is global and must be addressed in holistic and comprehensive manner. Meeting represents a collective opportunity to address the progress made and challenges to implementing the Political Declaration. During the 59th session of the CND, many highlighted the importance of a human rights approach. However, the outcome document doesn’t reflect the views of human rights as it relates to death penalty. States with death penalty should consider to abolish it or establish a moratorium. World drug problem is a common and shared responsibility to be addressed in multilateral settings. Reaffirm unwavering commitment to ensuring all aspects of demand and supply reduction and international cooperation in alignment with human rights. Illegal trade in drugs is a threat to society. No country is immune to scourge of drugs. Put in place strategies to deal with phenomenon. The use of illicit drugs, with cannabis being the most common, has increased in recent years. Ensuring affordability of pain relief drugs. Appeal to UNODC to build capacity of member states upon their request.

Burkina Faso – Align itself with statements of Sudan and Morocco on behalf of African and Francophone group. Welcome adoption of SDGs. Goal 3 target 5 relates to preventing abuse of psychoactive substances, and thus drug abuse was made a world priority. UNGASS is important framework for looking for progress made by all parties involved. Combatting illicit drugs trafficking is common and shared responsibility of all states supported by regional and international cooperation. Adopted law on customs code that prohibits drug trafficking. Set up specialized units in police and customs to carry out large seizures. Strengthen our judiciary because combating drug trafficking can only be effective if judiciary is effective. Income from trafficking provides traffickers with money to use in other criminal activities. Terrorism feeds on drugs. Combatting drug trafficking is combatting extremism and terrorism. Political Declaration urges stares to cooperate internationally. Must work together in synergy. Greater international cooperation will enable us to combat drugs. Invovled in UNODC initiatives. Stand ready to work with other states to build a world free of drugs.

Ecuador – Latin America has most felt the impact of criminal drug trafficking violence. Suffering environmental devastation as well. International strategy has not produced desired effects. Must rethink our approach. Demand of drugs continues, and there will always be someone ready to satisfy it. List of money launders. 90% laundered in banks of South. Prioritize the approach of health and prevention. Put people, not substances, at the core of policies. Reduce harm and social risks linked with drug use. We are against the death penalty, including for crimes related to drugs. Comprehensive prevention and rehabilitation should be the subject of a new normative body. Encourage socioeconomic development through state bodies, and alternative development. Wish to eradicate poverty and build equitable societies. Recognize realties of structural conditions and violence. Decriminalize use and consumption as part of a public health approach. Radical change needed to give priority to human rights.

Egypt – There is no doubt that implementation of operational recommendations in outcome document are an important step to achieve objectives in Political Declaration. Respect the three drug conventions, which represent the cornerstone. Non-intervention in the internal affairs of countries. These documents are enough if we can implement them in full to reach a society free of drugs. Egypt was among the first countries to introduce legislation to criminalize opium cultivation. Have adhered to all international commissions. Have felt the negative effects on society. Implemented a complete strategy to combat trafficking and tackle problem of imports. Pay special attention to reduction of supply and demand by establishing national council to combat addiction. Established special systems for raising awareness. Not a single country can face this problem alone. Desire to find an effective mechanism and new ways of cooperation among the whole world. We hope to have a world free of drugs, but this cannot be done without international efforts. Confident that UNGASS will enforce common efforts to achieve a better future for our people.

Benin – UNGASS is an exceptional opportunity to examine the status of the Political Declaration. SDGs aimed at eliminating poverty by 2030 and leaving no one behind. When adopting the international goals, made a commitment to world where human rights, dignity, justice equality, non-discrimination and rule of law are respected. Must evaluate our actions in light of these principles to assess the world drug problem to date. Elaborate a global approach to meet identified challenges. We note that seven years after the commitments made in Vienna to combat illicit drugs, the drug problem remains a serious threat to health, security, rule of law, and the well being of humanity, in particular young people. West Africa have particularly different vulnerabilities with this problem that threaten the very existence of certain states in the region. Characterized by high demographic growth rate, population of young people, lack of employment and uncertain futures. Organized crime, violent extremism, and terrorism find fertile ground there. Trafficking of illicit drugs threatens international cohesion and feeds violence. Benin already took concrete measures to ensure illicit drug controls. Anti-drug policy drawn up in 2000. Based on national master plan and action plan. Benin has ratified the three UN drug conventions. Against the imposition of the death penalty for drug trafficking in particular.

Holy See – Reject the use of illegal drugs and legalization of narcotics. Pope Francis affirmed that reduction in problems of drugs will not be solved by legalization. Must educate young people and give those in difficulty hope for the future. Attempts to legalize recreational drugs fail to produce the desired effect. Fight against drugs cannot be won with drugs. Drugs are evil. Must say not to all types of drug use. Must say yes to love, greater job opportunities, etc. Family as the cornerstone of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Grave consequences of substance abusing members, as they imbalance household relationships and strain family life. Research reinforces the key role that family plays. Children who have nurturing families receive eduction to say no to illicit drugs. Demand of addicted individuals leads to supply. Educating young people is an important tool on the demand side. Not all crimes of drugs are of equal gravity. Principle of proportionality.

Gulf Cooperation Council – Fully discharge our obligations under three conventions. Assure you that we greatly appreciate work done by CND. We are pioneers in providing protection against drugs. Attention to tackling supply and demand. Drug abuse increased in recent years for many reasons. Developing national strategies to combat the scourge of drugs and seek to reduce supply and demand. We will continue our work to deal with terrorism, extreme violence, and money laundering. International cooperation is needed. Illicit trafficking is a capital offence under our laws. This was indicated in international treaty in 1988 convention. We have done our utmost to promote bilateral and international cooperation to stamp out crimes. Set up a data centre. We regret that there is an increase in illicit trafficking that interferes with full implementation of international conventions. Every state is sovereign and can enact its own laws. Repeated requests to abolish the death sentence for certain crimes. Death penalty is in proportion to the crime given the extremely devastating consequences of this crime. Believe in common and diversified responsibility. Appreciate work done by UNODC and INCB. Appreciate regional efforts.

Economic Cooperation Organization – Our region is one of the most drug affected regions in the world. Regional platform for enhancing goals and welfare of member states and people. Wide range of regional cooperation frameworks. World drug problem threatens regional viability. Capacity building and technical assistance programs. Collective measures in law enforcement. Establishing a police organization and regional centre on active  corruption cooperation. Judicial and legal assistance cooperation. Drug related data exchange. Ten year vision document addressing needs in line with the SDGs. Global commitments can be transmitted to regional commitments in our part of the world.

INTERPOL – UNGASS provides an ideal opportunity to revisit particularities and challenges posed by global problem. Links to corruption, organized crime, and terrorism. Combining full time enforcement and intelligence gathering. All actors work together. We are the only global police organization. Can assist in three ways. First, unique communication tools. Second, provide training and expertise. Three, as law enforcement worldwide is dealing with more complex crimes, resources once committed to combating drugs are stretched to other areas. We can help maximize resources to get optimal results. Information sharing is at the heart of INTERPOL.

Collective Security Treaty Organization – For over twenty years, narcotics from Afghanistan have been a main problem of the CSTO. Designer drugs circulation is comparable to trafficking in heroin. Try to concentrate on comprehensive anti-drug measures. Parliamentary assembly working to harmonize legislations of member states. Developed an anti-drug strategy up to the year 2020. Coordinating council to combat drug trafficking. Working groups to exchange information. Developed a joint data bank. Strengthening relationship between law enforcement bodies and police. Better organizing efforts to reduce demand for drugs. Call on all interested states to work closely together.

Organization of American States – UNGASS is an opporutnity to take stock of the paths taken by international community on the the world drug problem. Leadership assumed by the regions and openness of this debate. Closing at the the sixth summit of the OAS received a clear mandate from heads of state to analyze results of drug policy and explore new approaches. This isn’t a single problem, but many problems. Different impacts with different realities in different places. Not viable or effective to have single or universal approach applicable to all cases. Allow for an approach to adapt to diversity with which problem affects each country. OAS report in 2013 had a debate in the regulation and at the global level impact. Priority was given to centrality of human person rather than substances. Continue to work on drug policy in an open and collective spirit. Learn from initiative by implementing and identifying what functions to tackle different facets of the problem in countries of the region. While UNGASS represented a relevant moment in treating the world drug problem, it is our duty to continue finding initiatives. Promote human rights perspective. Right to life, and also human rights such as those relevant to women and children.

Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association – In 1991, my brother was diagnosed with leukemia. His three children remember him as always in pain. As a physician I tried to relieve his pain, but doctor refused to use pain medication. Why was my brother denied access to adequate pain relief? Because essential substances are also subject to control. Morphine must always be accessible, available, and affordable. 85% of the world population has no access to pain medication. Millions are left in pain. World drug problem requires ensuring the availability of drugs for medical and scientific use. Governments must collaborate to ensure this vision. Kenya ministry of health purchased 50 kg of morphine for distribution. This is just 10% of what we need in Kenya. We face barriers such as health care providers lacking training and skills, poverty, stigma, etc. We have the will, compassion, and expertise to ensure access to pain relief. We should start today.

Forut-Campaign for Solidarity and Development – Four key words for my brief intervention: action, development, mobilization, and prevention. Outcome document contains a long menu of effective interventions to reduce drug related harms. Some claim that everything has been tried and nothing works. Could not be more mistaken. Problem is that too many countries have failed in using effective policy options. All national governments should go home and pick the interventions with the most chance for success and implement them. Prevention is effective, humane, cost effective, and empowering. Prevent don’t promote. Experience from all over the world shows prevention works when implemented. Mobilize people and involve local communities. Social and economic development must be at the core of any drug strategy. Programs need more support. Donors should increase funding. Let’s move from discussing words to taking action. This is the best way to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

India HIV/AIDS Alliance – Harm reduction saved my life, but many friends were not as fortunate. Their lives were lost because they could not access harm reduction services when they required it. I have experienced police exploitation, violence, and detention simply for being suspected of using illicit drugs. Drug users are easy targets. Forced drug treatment is entirely ineffective. Friends have been tortured and publicly humiliated for days and weeks in the name of treatment. People incarcerated for days and years for possession of drugs for personal use. Is this fair? Is this human? Will this help end AIDS? Widespread criminalization of drugs use shows that this is a war on drug users and on people. Appeal to put the health, rights, and security of people who use drugs first. Appeal to put policies informed by evidence of what works first. Stop incarcerating people for possession and personal use. Death penalty must be abolished. Support drug users and organizations working with us. Support drug users to participate meaningfully in the design and implementation of harm reductions services. A drug free world is an illusion. We must ensure drugs cause the least possible harm. Harm reduction saves lives. We cannot end AIDS until we scale up harm reduction and end criminalization of drug suers. Support, don’t punish.

New Zealand Drug Foundation – Sometimes when we are threatened, we go to war, and sometimes we go to war against the wrong people. If we waged a war against cancer, would we bomb people who have cancer? I started using drugs when I was 13. When I was 28, a judge gave me a choice to go to jail or get help for my drug problem. The judge could see I needed a health intervention. He sent me to treatment for my health problem. And because treatment worked, I stand here today having not used drugs for 27 years. Journey was supported by opiate substitution therapy with methadone and treatment for hepatitis c. Many of you contribute to the world drug problem by denying access to harm reduction. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Countries that continue to block progress to compassionate and proportionate responses for drug users. Stop punishing people who need help. Stop criminalizing people who need care and support. When we focus only on drug use and don’t ask questions about why people use drugs, we miss so much. My problems went much further back then the day I picked up the needle. First nations people make up a disproportionate percentage of prison populations. As indigenous people, we have the solutions to our problem. Outcome document acknowledges Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. That puts obligation on you to include us in policy decisions. Unique perspectives of first nations people must be in the discussion. War should be on poverty and historical factors that have left people in disparity. People we are talking about are our families. How would you want your son or daughter treated if they developed a problem with drugs? When you answer that question, the way forward becomes very clear.

Fazza – Theme of the UNGASS is a better tomorrow for the world’s youth. People suffering from drug use disorders should not be stigmatized. The consequences of substance use are dire. Drugs are not harmless or fun. Supporting families or providing extra support to vulnerable children is valuable. Education and efforts of young people can provide valuable outcomes. Committed to helping peers, empowering them to believe in themselves, and want to positively shape our future. See youth as a rich source of information.

Pro Coalition Association – Importance of involving civil society in prevention of drug use. Need to create local solutions to local problems by integrating residents, government, parents, teachers, justice, young people and others to assess what poses the biggest problem and identify which is most impacted by the community. Execute strategic prevention together. Now have resilient community coalitions even in current difficult times. Importance of youth leadership in our coalitions. Involve youth in all respects. Like many countries in the region, we have little prevention and treatment to fuel our needs. We must continue to increase resources towards preventing drug use and recognizing that prevention is the most cost effective way to protect our nations.

2. Credentials of representatives to the special session of the General Assembly: Report of the Credentials Committee A/S-30/5 (to be issued) [item 3 (b)]

Having considered the credentials of representatives at the meeting, adopted without a vote a draft resolution accepting the credentials. Recommend to the plenary the adoption of the resolution. Note that since the meeting, former credentials required were received.

Assembly decides to adopt the draft resolution contained in document A/S-30/5.

Report on Roundtable 1 – Many speakers commended ongoing move to people centred health approach. Acknowledged that drug use and disorders are health issues that can and should be prevented and treated through services based on evidence and human rights. Efforts must be strongly reinforced, both at national and international levels, with a view to meet SDG 3.5. Strengthening the common and shared responsibility in addressing the world drug problem. Enhanced cooperation needed with UN agencies. Spectrum of evidence-based interventions that need to be scaled up, including education and prevention, services to prevent blood borne diseases and overdose, such as naloxone. Special attention should be paid to research and providing services to vulnerable groups. Several speakers commended the standards for drug use disorders. In addition, the necessity of providing health and social care, treatment, and reintegration, as an alternative to incarceration was emphasized. Problems such as non-medical use of prescription drugs were mentioned. Highlighted that 2011 target of 50% reduction in HIV among people who inject drugs has been missed. Recently adopted SDG 3.3 calls for ending AIDS by 2030. National drug policies and strategies grounded in public health, science, and human rights. Addressing stigma and discrimination. Urgent scaling up of harm reduction services, including those listed in the WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS technical guide, including in prison settings. Need to be matched by allocations of funding. Ensure availability of controlled substances. High degree of discrepancy between high, low, and middle income countries in ensuring medicines for pain management and palliative care. Value of multi-sectoral approaches. Read the full report.

Report on Roundtable 2 – Speaker highlighted need to strengthen law enforcement cooperation. Meaningful cross border cooperation. Sharing criminal intelligence. Highlighted importance of tracing illicit financial flows related to drug trafficking and need for financial investigation training. Need to address exiting challenges. Framework of international conventions was further stressed. Comprehensive and balanced approach is needed. The importance of proportionate sentencing. Collaboration and coordination among criminal justice institutions and other relevant institutions. Transit countries need targeted strategies to deal with their specific problems. Internet is increasingly being used by organized criminal groups to facilitate drug trafficking. Monitor and prevent diversion from legal sources. Several speakers noted that alternative development efforts yield good results. Sharing of best practices and lessons learned. Problems faced by farmers. Read the full report.

Report on Roundtable 3 – Reference to section on human rights in outcome document. Right to life, right to health, right to access to controlled substances for medical purposes, rights of children, right to be free of discrimination, rights of women, right to be free from torture, right to be free from arbitrary detention, and rights of families. Consider the specific needs of women and vulnerable groups. Importance of a public health centred approach. Harm reduction measures including opiate substitution therapy and needle and syringe programs in prevention of blood borne diseases. Aggravating and mitigating circumstances should be taken into account in sentencing. Death penalty shouldn’t be used for drug offences. State sovereignty. Stigmatization, violence, disproportionate sentencing, poverty, and needs of pregnant women and women with care taking responsibilities were all mentioned. Bangkok rules mentioned. Need to focus on protection and promotion of children’s rights. Prevention and education was stressed. Read the full report.

Report on Roundtable 4 – Strong commitment to three drug control conventions, emphasizing their flexibility in addressing evolving challenges. Welcome section on NPS and ATS in outcome document. NPS are a collective challenge that require immediate and effective responses. Fast evolving nature of new and number of NPS highlighted as threat to public health and capacity of law enforcement responses. National legislation responses to challenges on NPS alone won’t solve the problem. Investment needed in public health policies and effective treatment responses. Strengthen member state capacity in analysis and reporting. Need for cooperation between authorities, law enforcement, and laboratories to identify NPS. Interventions for prevention and treatment. Establish need for early warning systems. Recognize important role of international organizations. Law enforcement and judicial cooperation. Importance of partnerships with civil society. Transnational challenge posed by increased use of the internet. Drug policies should be people and public health centred. Some speakers underlined need to discuss whether existing international drug control system would address current challenges and threats and referred to new approaches, including decriminalization for personal use. Need for data collection and analysis. Read the full report.

Report on Roundtable 5 –  Poverty, food insecurity, marginalization, and vulnerability are relevant. Alternative development programs not only reducing cultivation but also improving socioeconomic conditions of marginalized farming communities. Can be no sustainable development without peaceful and holistic responses. Ensuring a development approach to the world drug problem. Alternative development should be included in broader development strategies. Importance and added value of UNGASS in enhancing development as an approach to address root causes of cultivation. Contribution to SDGs. Need long-term sustainable integrated approach including access to infrastructure, health, markets, and others. Importance of addressing needs of women in alternative development. In order to unlock potential of alternative development, must address discrepancy in political endorsement of alternative development and limited funding it receives. Often provided funding on a short term basis. Alternative development funding must be scaled up. Speakers noted need to strengthen research and evidence base. Number of speakers highlighted that alternative development must be designed with a human centred approach and human rights. Critical importance of involving all relevant stakeholders, including farmer communities. Importance of implementing UN guiding principles on alternative development and implementing alternative development on the ground. International and regional cooperation were mentioned as critical to enduring alternative development’s success. Several speakers highlighted importance of market access. UNODC must play a role with other UN agencies to implement the outcome document and the Political Declaration, noting that resources would be provided. Read the full report.

PGA Closing Remarks – Over the past three days, I have witnessed a truly historic process culminating in a moment of genuine realization. Member states have worked hard to adopt an outcome document on the world drug problem that reflects where the world as a whole is at today. At the same time, you have identified important issues and set your sights on even greater heights on our way to 2019 and beyond. Members of civil society, academics, parliamentarians, women, youth, and children have also contributed greatly to this debate. As we move forward, efforts must be made to strengthen your engagement in this process. Over the past three days, member states and civil society have clearly shown that you care about the world drug problem, or rather that you care about the people most affected by this problem. More than ever before, the global consensus recognizes that the solution lies in a more humane, public health oriented, human rights compliant, evidence based approach that addresses this issue in all its complexity. Willing to debate how best to address this problem and listen to different views. My firm wish that the feeling of common and shared responsibility will permeate future discussions of the world drug problem. Right now, we need to do more. People suffering from addiction and communities torn apart by drug related crime need more. Need a more comprehensive and humane approach to the world drug problem in preparation for 2019. Need action for health and wellbeing of humanity. Need interventions that have proven to work and perhaps as importantly, need honesty about those that have failed. Over the past few days, I have heard many stress that the 2030 agenda can’t be achieved unless we solve the world drug problem. As you leave, encourage you to be mindful of the principles behind the 2030 agenda, namely the commitment to leave no one behind. We must enhance a more people centred approach to achieve a more sustainable and just world.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *