Plenary – Agenda Item 6: Follow-up to the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem held in 2016, including the seven thematic areas of the outcome document of the special session (Thursday, March 16, 2017 – Afternoon)

Sudan: We align with G77 China and African group. Youth are the main group affected by drugs and we highly appreciate the recommendations of the UNGASS. While preventing diversion we have provided 10,000 prescription pads. We have also carried out training courses and workshops targeting health professionals for rehabilitation.

Kenya: We reaffirm our commitment to the 2016 outcome document and its implementation for a world free form drug abuse. The goal is to protect the health of overall society. We are reviewing our act which incorporates the 3 conventions and sets the legal framework for drug control in Kenya. We are prosecuting drug traffickers. We are working with civil society and faith based organisations to deal with the drug problem.

Ecuador: Member States should give UNODC progress updates with the world drug problem. Human rights should be at the top of the list. We reaffirm that human beings are at the core of the drug problem. We have tools help control production and import of substances. We are working on a study of the economic and social cost and the case of vulnerability on various levels. These have been valuable in identifying vulnerable groups. We have trained professionals to go into schools and universities to teach about a healthy lifestyle. We are looking into use among 12-17 year olds with the aim of feeding information into UNODC. We train urban communities that show high levels of drug consumption with a view for them to create products and services as a form of Alternative Development and empower people.

Finland: We believe in comprehensive implementation while respecting human rights. We welcome proportionate sentencing and the abolition of the death penalty. We recognise the INCB’s inclusion of gender equality in the latest report, but need to address remaining issues. We have implemented harm reduction measures for the last 20 years, and recognise that drug users have a right to health services. We only have a few HIV cases each year among drug users. All relevant stakeholders must be included for an effective policy and target group participation is essential. Coordination and cooperation is essential. Drug policy is not a competition between law enforcement or health policy, but to promote overall participation and inclusivity.

Thailand: We support the implementation of the recommendations of the UNGASS Outcome Document (…). Our drugs strategy was formulated taking into account drug trends. We are in the process of amending our drug control laws taking into consideration a public-health, human rights and development-centred approach. Punishment will be more proportionate. Drug users are patients who should receive treatment at no cost without criminalisation if they complete treatment. Thailand receives good cooperation with countries in East and South East Asia that work together combating production and trafficking. We work closely with INCB and UNODC for drug control in the region. We promote information sharing on NPS and diversion of precursors. We enhance judicial assistance, judicial cooperation, capacity building on border control and law enforcement of prosecutorial agencies. Technical support. Drugs and other related crime are associated with poverty. We need to address the root causes. Poverty and lack of opportunities are major causes. We welcome the UN principles of AD at the UNTA. We thank support by Member States and urge for these to be implemented. We have a strong commitment to share practices and expertise on these programmes. We welcome efforts of the UNODC to gather existing evidence-based initiatives. Partnerships and shared responsibility are deemed crucial elements in addressing the drug problem. Thailand wishes to reaffirm our support to UNODC Programme for South East Asia and Pacific regional and other initiatives at the regional and sub-regional level. In line with the Outcome Document, we underline the importance of collective responses towards an integrated strategy to counter the world drug problem targets of 2019. For the implementation of the UNGASS Outcome Document we pledge support and encourage members to provide input to UNDOC.

Portugal: The UNGASS Outcome Document includes many improvements to our approach to the world drug problem. The Outcome Document is an instrument to direct action, and we must decide how best to implement them over the coming years. All UN bodies with mandates covered in the Outcome Document must be adapted without selectivity or fragmentation. There is a need to improve in areas not sufficiently covered in the past, namely public health and human rights as well as Sustainable Development Goals. We would like to see more attention given to alternatives to conviction. Action must be supported by solid evidence. Data collection and analysis must be improved and expanded in order to implement the Outcome Document. It is not owned by any one state, but all states must own the document and implement it.

Belgium: We endorse the position of the EU and Malta. The Outcome Document is crucial in a world in which science and communication are in constant flux. It reasserts much of the work already done by the UN. The right to health and healthcare include access to controlled substances.  There is no denying that this is a failure of past policies, and this is a challenge for the future to get controlled substances to those who need them. We will continue to pursue these in our future policies. WHO, NGO’s and other actors are vital in implementing the Outcome Document. We advocate for the total abolition of the death penalty and it simply does not work. We strongly condemn extrajudicial killings in the strongest sense. We call upon all international organisations to support us in implementing the Outcome Document.

Azerbaijan: We are geographically located as a transit nation, so cooperation always interests us. We can highlight the level of seizures was over 2 tons as a result of international cooperation. The Outcome Document represents a broad and balanced consensus. Member states reaffirmed that all aspects of drug problem are addressed. Mutual trust and confidence is vital for long standing cooperation. Sovereignty and national integrity must be respected by member states.

China: The Chinese government supports the CND to continue dialogue on the implementation of the Outcome Document and expect countries to exchange views towards consensus. In order to achieve drug reduction and ensure availability of medicines, I already talked about them. Next, on human rights; China respects the rights of offenders, vulnerable groups, and ensures non-discrimination in school admission and social security. Drug related policies should protect human rights, and ensure peace, welfare on the other hand. We should promote dialogue and respect sovereignty and differences. We’re against politicising the issue of drugs. We believe in law enforcement, ensuring a balance between this and human rights. We cannot overlook the problems of drug abuse to society. We oppose the indulgence in the abuse of drugs in the name of harm reduction. But to tackle new challenges in drug control, China has been actively working on NPS control. We placed under control 134 NPS, including ketamine. We including 4 fentanyl-like substances. We exercise a strict control of precursors. We strengthen the availability of internet owners and crack down on cyber-crime. We call on Vienna institutions to improve NPS warnings, intelligence sharing and transparency of evaluation. We hope UNODC will provide technical assistance in tackling precursor laws and cybercrime. Our shared and common responsibility, we fulfill by actively participating in activities by UN drug control agencies. We attach great importance to decisions at CND. We provide assistance and equipment to relevant countries, including training. We want to strengthen cooperation. We call the international community to improve capacity building and assist drug transit countries. ON alternative development, we continue to improve our input in work in Myanmar and Laos. We carried out cross-border cooperation on AD. We hope that in a context of achieving 2030 SDGs, UNODC will adhere development oriented strategies to reduce illicit cultivation of original narcotic crops. We support CND, UNODC, INCB in playing a leading role in the international drug control area in their own mandates. We ask you to unite in a fight against world drug problem and implement the Control Treaties, and the documents of 2009, 2014 and 2016.

Colombia: This is the time to implement UNGASS Outcome Document, the latest global consensus. We cannot backpedal to previous commitments. We have seen the policy worldwide. The process of intersessionals have contributed to sharing experiences. We have shared our progress in implementing UNGASS. Regarding the health approach, as a result of the proliferation of injecting use in our country, we implement harm and risk reduction, from an integrated and comprehensive approach; we’re building capacity to support this, including civil society work; in areas with highest injecting drug use. In terms of access to controlled medicines, we have regulated access to medicinal cannabis. We took control of the chain of production and supply of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes, in line with 1961 Convention. Today, I can tell you, as to alternatives to incarceration, Colombia has a model for drug treatment tribunals related to minor offences motivated by consumption. This model has been experimented elsewhere and fits our context. The Minister of Justice has a differentiated approach to growers of illicit crops with the opportunity to be applied for a year. We have also strengthened prosecution of trafficking ensuring proportionality. We signed a Peace Agreement in November 2016, including to reduce vulnerability and coca cultivation. We are signing agreement with communities to replace coca. Colombia consistently with its differentiated approach to drug trafficking approved a strategy that includes interdiction, seizure; we have a single opportunity to change our situation and combine our strategies. We need participation of all members and better coordination of all agencies. We ask for greater involvement of the Secretary General in implementing the Outcome Document and the final review of the 2009 Document. UNGASS was a good effort to update and humanise drug policy. We must continue further. If we look away and extend the 2009 document, we’d be looking away from an urgent need.

Venezuala: I would to thank Portugal for his work so far. the OD is complimentary is to the instruments agreed in 2009 (…)

UK: It is crucial to implement the Outcome Document and welcome the work done so far at the inter-sessionals. Member States agreed a series a concrete recommendations on NPS. We call for harm reduction measures to wipe out the HIV epidemic and the UK is committed to significant future funding worth £75 million

USA. UNGASS to assess progress in implementing 2009 Declaration. UNGASS outcome document carefully worded. Now turn attention to implement the commitments outlined in this document. Requires cooperation at all levels. Lead entities in Vienna, CND, INCB, UNODC should draw upon other entities whose work impacts the different areas of drug policy. Ensure safety and wellbeing of our citizens. Look to 2019, focus on how to advance UNGASS commitments, breathe life into collective commitments, adjusting focus of plenary meeting to ensure more law enforcement and health related responses. USA Supports proposal meeting in 2019 and 2016 UNGASS should be constituted as the 62nd segment of the CND.

Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. UNGASS was an important milestone and discernible progress was certainly achieved. However, the outcome document will need concrete, operational results if it is ultimately deemed to be a success. In spite of the positive measures contained in the outcome document, I would like to highlight a number of urgent challenges to implementation from a human rights perspective. Since UNGASS, the right to life has continued to be challenged in some States. In one State, in particular, there has been a notable and dramatic upsurge in extra-judicial executions of suspected drug traffickers and drug users. Extra-judicial executions are among the most serious human rights violations, and they must be subject to a prompt and effective investigation by an independent and impartial body with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice. Otherwise impunity will prevail.

Other significant challenges to the implementation of UNGASS also exist. In a number of countries, individuals suspected of drug-related offences continue to be the subject of unlawful and arbitrary arrest or detention.  In addition, compulsory detention and rehabilitation centres for drug users, or those who are merely suspected of drug use, continue to function. Individuals may be confined to compulsory detention centres without trial, or even an evaluation of whether they have drug use disorders.  Compulsory treatment is often not evidence based, and forced labour, torture, ill treatment and sexual violence have been reported to occur in these centres. The outcome document recognizes that persons with drug use disorders may only participate in drug treatment programmes on the basis of voluntary and informed consent. States need to carefully monitor programmes to ensure that coercive measures are not used to pressure drug users into treatment programmes against their will. The outcome document recognizes that medication assisted therapy and injecting equipment programmes are effective measures to minimize the health and social consequences of drug use. It also promotes measures to prevent and treat drug overdose, and notably by the use of the medication naxalone which has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing overdose-related deaths. In order to counter the trend of an increasing number of deaths by opioid overdose in some regions of the world, the challenge will be to promptly and effectively implement these measures.

Also concerning the right to health, millions of people, particularly in developing countries, continue to not have access to essential medicines such as opioids for the relief of moderate and severe pain, as well as for opioid substitution therapy. The challenge to implementation will be to change the dynamic of inaction to this long standing problem, so that positive results may be finally achieved.

An additional challenge to the implementation of the outcome document is that ethnic minorities, women and adolescents continue to bear a disproportionate impact of drug control efforts. Often poor and with little or no education, minorities, women and adolescents are frequently sentenced to substantial and disproportionate prison terms for minor, non-violent drug-related offences. Alternatives to incarceration would be far more appropriate in most cases. Another challenge to implementation concerns the rights of indigenous peoples. The challenge to implementation will be for States to provide legal certainty so that indigenous peoples may use drugs in their traditional, cultural and religious practices or ceremonies, as they have done for centuries.

While OHCHR acknowledges that there was not a consensus on some important issues at UNGASS, such as the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences or the de-criminalization of the personal possession and use of drugs, as an Office we will continue to advocate for these positions. We will do this because, in our view, the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences is incompatible with the right to life; and because the criminalization of the personal use and possession of drugs places significant and unreasonable obstacles to the right to health for drug users.

Japan. UNGASS vital opportunity to increase collective efforts, operational recommendation, time to translate it into action, highly appreciate two rounds of thematic discussions, reaffirm commitment to implementing operational recommendations. Japan has given high priority to the prevention of drug abuse, particularly among youth. Effective intervention program, life time prevalence rate of drug abuse is kept very low. Demand reduction based on human rights and fundamental freedoms, rehabilitation period for incarcerated drug abusers as an alternative for incarceration. It is important to introduce measures to permit appropriate use of medical narcotics to improve quality of treatment. Transnational trafficking organisations, growing threat of amphetamine type stimulants overwhelming drug control agencies all over the world, law enforcement strengthen international cooperation, information sharing, joint operations, national police agencies have hosted the Asia conference for more than 20 years, themes of conference transnational trafficking in NPS, opportunity to exchange the abuse of current drug trends. Proud to offer longstanding training courses for law enforcement agencies, most training courses contribute to implementation of operational recommendations. World drug problem is a common and shared responsibility. Pledged largest contribution yet to UNODC. In closing, like to reiterate Japan commitment in implementing recommendations of outcome document, this documents are closely related to each other, need to accelerate implementation. Japan contribute to variable activates by participating constructively in discussions.

Switzerland. Delighted by memorandum of understanding between who and UNODC, UNODC and who un bodies directly involved in consequences of policies. Recalling of importance of UNGASS outcome document, very positive elements. Welcome ECOSOC statistical commission report on Mexico national statistics enhancing quality of drug statistics, report proposes ways of addressing methodological issues with drug availability and consumption, need to enhance drug statistics. 2030 agenda signals enable to look at the future. New national strategy on addiction. Based on quality of life and health of individuals, joint effort among experts at federal.

Chair: We have 7 speakers remaining and will recommence at 10am tomorrow.

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