Plenary: Item 3 General Debate (Tuesday 13th – Morning Session)

Mexico: We meet because of our interest to tackle the World Drug Problem. Aware of the progress made so far, Mexico would like to strengthen the work of the CND in ordinary meetings, subsidiaries and intersessional. For Mexico it is important to replicate the good practice of this process. The implementation of the UNGASS document is being carried out by government delegates. We have a clear commitment to implement the UNGASS recommendations. Despite all of this, we have to recognise the ambitious targets. The commission has set up a group of experts that deals with all American Countries, so that our interests can be aligned. We have designed our work to have a comprehensive and intensive drug policy. That is why in the General Assembly we adopted the omnibus that relates to the world drug problem. We will serve to provide a general balance of the recommendations given by other member states. WE have made excellent progress, but the programme continues to be a threat to the health and well-being of our communities. Mexico will be using its efforts to compile the necessary data. It is timely to reiterate the synergy amongst Member States given the challenges we all face, so that we can address these, whilst in keeping with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Secretary OSCE: I’m very pleased to address this session. I thank Yury Fedetov for this invitation. The World Drug Problem impacts many regions of the world. This is intertwined with organized crime networks across the world. There is much concern about drug trafficking. Up to 85% of opioid production in Afghanistan comes from areas under the Taliban. New technologies such as the Darknet are being taken advantage of. This menace deserves our attention. The most vulnerable groups are young people affected by the health risks of drugs. They should be the center of attention. UNODC and OSCE draft action plan is an important instrument on combatting illicit drugs and tacking drug related crimes. OSCE actively supports governments adopting the 2016 Outcome Documents. Further resources are required for the OSCE to fully implement the Outcome Doc targets and SDG Agenda. Our cross-dimensional approach is the main comparative advantage. Most relevant OSCE efforts:

  • NPS continue a growing threat. We have conducted a pilot training in Minsk to combat the darknet
  • Awareness raising event in Central Asia – encouraging information sharing and interagency collaboration
  • We facilitated the UNODC Paris Pact meeting in Belgrade linked to the so called Balkan route from Afghanistan into Europe
  • We are holding an anti-drug conference

The world drug problem is a serious threat. We need to upscale anti-drug efforts at the local, national and international level.

Oman: The delegation thanks the chair and delegates in the room. The delegation is ready to cooperate to achieve success in this session. This session is taking place during a time when it is incumbent to align national law with international laws and conventions. We intend to upgrade the committee responsible for policy making in the field – the committees of psychotropic. We have a number of plans stemming from a scientific basis in private rehabilitation centres. We are also giving attention to harm reduction. We are fully committed to the three international conventions on narcotic drugs and understand that it is the cornerstone of this field. We believe that the period should be extended beyond 2019. WE are fully committed to moving forward and doubling forward on combating drugs based on scientific evidence whilst taking into consideration humanitarian rights.

League of Arab States: We wish to underline the important role of CND, as the main policy making organ focusing on drugs and drug control, and develop strategies to address the world drug problem. CND is responsible for countering and controlling drugs. Various technological 3 international drug control conventions are the cornerstone. The legalization of substances is a blatant violation of the conventions. We equally support the 2009 Political Declaration, 2014 High Level Review and 2016 Outcome Document. In this context we call upon the ministerial segment to call for beyond 2019 and realize the fulfillment of the 2009 Political Declaration. It is thus that the Arab group call upon the UNODC to identify efforts to respond to various needs when countering drugs and drug problems. Our group welcomes the inclusion of a gender based equal opportunities in its 2018-19 Plan of Action and ask that geographical location is taken into account here and in particular representation of Arab nations in senior posts. The Arab League has recognized the need to bolster cooperation through treatment and rehab process, specific targeting of the youth, and reducing supply and demand. We support the lowering cost of medicines, and strengthening efforts to counter the manufacturing of drugs. Also strengthening coordination mechanisms and collaboration at the regional levels to identify needs at those levels. We encourage the creation and establishment of national databases and collaboration within Arab League.

Switzerland: The UNGASS is an important stage to human rights and health and we are pleased to see that this has become common conversation. Drug policy focused only on oppression are ineffective and lead to the unfair treatment of human rights. We would like to uphold the principle of human dignity. The access to medication should be at the heart of our discussion. We would like to underscore the open and constructive debates amongst Member States. Another promising sign that we would like to emphasis would be the committee committed to improving the ARQ questionnaire. Only reliable and comparable data can ensure the protection of conclusive drug policy. You can be assured that Switzerland will continue to shoulder its responsibilities throughout this process.

Venezuela: My country associates itself with Bolivia and Ecuador. We reaffirm the role of this commission as the only body of drug control in the UN system. It is undeniable that the consequences are no less pressing today as they were decades ago when they were set up. We are no closer to meeting these goals. Evidence shows that establishment of structures to control drugs has grown in an alarming fashion. Combatting drugs has been used belligerently to as an excuse to end the war on drugs. Venezuela believes in multilateralism as a space for meeting, and call on you to strengthen this body and the existing control system. We would like to denounce the economic blockade our country has experienced in regards to pharmaceutical and scientific uses – we are not a country that produces or consumes or legitimizes drugs or their precursors and our financial system does not partake in money laundering. We need to respect the existing treaties. Without a change, huge breaches will occur, and there is no right to interfere in the self-determination of any nations. We insist on improving the understanding of the world drug problem. We do musical education on drugs. We have the only program reducing violent tendencies with drug issues.

Guatemala: In 2009 Member States approved a declaration which we considered to eliminate the production and consumption of illicit drugs. We believed we had come up with the best option. However, we understand that we have not achieved this. The statistics from our governments and the INCB report shows the increase in the production of drugs in Guatemala. We have stopped focussing on supply reduction and have given more consideration to demand reduction. We can now talk about demand reduction and have a common and up to date view based on 7 principles of the World Drug Problem. We have benefited from this governmental debate with non-governmental factors. We welcome the balance we are now seeing in national and international efforts in political and social institutions based on the UGASS outcome document. Guatemala aims to strengthen the three areas that were mentioned in New York.

  • Health and wealth fare the objective of the international drug control conventions.
  • Acknowledge that drug policies must respect the declaration of human rights. We are working on a conceptual focus in order to avoid t
  • The international conventions have enough flexibility to decide on the best way to implement them based on each country’s needs.

In 2017 we held the Latin American and Caribbean meeting – the second on 2 years. I would like to thank INCB and UNODC for the support they have provided. We have been asked to respond to different threats that stem from the trafficking of illicit and licit drugs. We need to make more progress than we have in the last 10 years. We need to work together to jointly face common challenges.

Morocco: As 2019 review draws near regarding progress made, certain things must be pointed out. Combatting drug trafficking requires bolstered collaboration. The UNGASS Outcome Doc is comprehensive and takes into account cross cutting issues. Morocco is on the front line in the global combat of trafficking. Strengthened international cooperation is needed. The contribution and efforts made by countries such as Morocco should be duly marked by the international community. Substances regularly cross the Eastern border of Morocco and are regularly seized. UNODC and INCB should provide figures of cultivation in the north. Policies in Morocco look at supply and demand, and eradication of certain crops, providing alternative and sustainable development. Morocco is an African leader in drug addiction treatment programs. Alternative Development is a key factor in reducing supply of illegal crops – which will reduce demand. Failures have been masked in the past. Our responsibility is to work together rather than politically instrumenting this challenge.

Cyprus: The Republic of Cyprus is fully aligned with the statement given yesterday. We consider drug dependence as a public health issue and stress the important framework provided in the UNGASS outcome document 2016. The main national coordinating body has expanded its range to cover illicit, licit and pathological substances. Concerning the drug phenomenon, Cyprus’ main focus is on vulnerable groups and areas which are considered to be of high risk. Harm reduction is part of our national strategy. We are gravely concerned that half of the drug users are Hepatitis C positive. We hope to move forward with legislation that looks to protect young people by offering early intervention steps. Cyprus believes that the UNGASS Outcome document provides a forward-looking approach on which we will continue our work. We believe that we should all step up our efforts to improve the lives of those who struggle with drug dependencies.

USA: The US expresses appreciation for partnerships at this conference. It is vital to protect our citizens, as the world drug problem is changing. Synthetic and NPS drugs are being trafficked. The SMART program reported that criminal organisations are producing at least one substance each week. Darknet sites and international mail are being used to traffic drugs. The dramatic increase in misuse of synthetic drugs is plaguing many countries. Opioid misuse remains high in parts of Europe and North America. This needs a smart strategic response, and our decisions here at CND matter. We must work together to identify innovative options to combat this crisis. Synthetic opioids cause many deaths in our societies. Carfentanil is incredibly dangerous. The US requests that carfentanil is scheduled under schedule 1 and 4; and we urge you to vote towards this this week. Our resolution aims at enhancing cooperation – it promotes and amplifies existing tools in data analysis for real-time cooperation to disrupt supply and making these substances. The international community controls these substances at 10 a year – we need to do better. We need to aggressively work together. Another option is to better understand new drug trafficking patterns. We have sponsored a side event on global mail trafficking. There is increased demand with heroin and prescription pills – it is now a crisis. We’re not alone in huge amounts of death due to opioids. It’s imperative we work together to combat this crisis. Beyond 2019, drug policy trajectory must focus on this. 2016 Outcome Doc represents the latest concerns on this crisis, and should be adopted. We want to promote a society free of drug abuse and new reality of world drug problem.

Republic of Ireland: Ireland fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by Bulgaria. We must build on this consensus and implement the pints in the document. The new strategy gives a more humane approach to the way people who use drugs are treated. The importance of mobilising communities is also highlighted. There is a collaborative approach to intimidation involving schools, the local community and law enforcement. Ireland established its first needle exchange in 1999 and now there a more needle exchange facilities all over Ireland. In line with the UNGASS recommendations for sentencing and structure we have established a working group. This group will make recommendations to the government later this year on the decriminalisation of drugs. The death penalty is a concern that cannot be accepted under any circumstances. Ireland has recently developed new rules around the possession of certain prescription drugs.

Saudi Arabia: the drug problem constitutes a tremendous in challenge. We believe comforting this problem requires concerting efforts seriously. Saudi Arabia is part of the international community and considers the conventions represent the cornerstone based on the principle of common and shared responsibility. Smuggling and trafficking of drugs is increasing and requires concerted international efforts. The kingdom stresses its commitment to the international conventions and UN principle of national sovereignty and to respect diversity of legal system. We stress the need to enhance international efforts in line with 2009 2014 and 2016 declarations. All are integrated and effective tools to counter drug problem. You need to extend the 2009 Political Declaration beyond 2019 in order to meet targets. We do not support legalization of any controlled substances. We spare no effort in order to follow efforts to curb drug problems and try to stop all loopholes that smugglers may filter through. The kingdom succeeded in persecuting a number of smuggling networks and has arrested a number of traffickers. We are convinced drug demand reduction will curtail drug market and have strategies to prevent drug use and are focusing on youth. We have established a number of rehab and treatment centres and are seeking their reintegration in society so they can go one with their lives. In order to thwart any illicit use of narc meds, while ensuring access, we have an electronic system. We also control chemical precursors. We are a member of many INCB programs. We are keen to corporate with other agencies. Drugs are a lethal poison that threatens the life of many people especially youth, the backbone of nations.

Nigeria: Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the congregation I congratulate you on your election. Nigeria aligns itself with the stamen delivered by Egypt. Nigeria believed the outcome of the Ministerial Segment should excel the beliefs of efforts and best practices to address and counter the World Drug Problem. It is important to point out that my delegation participate in all elements of the discussion. WE believe this is a milestone that represents the efforts of the international community. Nigeria joins in the call to strengthen international cooperation to address the consequences of the World Drug Problem. We have led several successful joint operations inside and outside of the country that strengthen our commitment to this initiative. Unfortunately, many hectors of farm land are lost to cannabis cultivation. It is for this reason that Nigeria does not support the legalisation of cannabis as it has had a negative impact of the lives of the people in our society. We are concerned with tramadol. Nigeria welcomes measure that will facilitate the concern of this psychoactive substance and with will continue to raise awareness that strengthen national control of these substances. The full details will be discussed at the Nigerian side event on Friday 16th March. Nigeria appreciates the support we have received from all of our partners.

Japan: World drug problem continues as a serious threat. The international community needs to enhance its work in the lead up to 2019. Japan believes the 2009 Political Declaration, 2014 High Level Review and 2016 UNGASS Outcome Doc as closely related. The response should be in line with the sustainable development agenda. Japan gives high priority to prevention of drug abuse by implementing a national program in schools. We recognize demand reduction approaches should be in line with human rights. We ensure rehab as an alternative to incarceration. We successfully contain the NPS. We would like to contribute to the international community to share our experiences. We provide other states with counter narcotic trainings. Alternative Development is another priority of Japan and has supported Afghanistan for 10 years, in particular with women and farmers. We applaud the idea of human security and long-term support. Addressing the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility. We have recently pledged the largest contribution to date to address illicit drug issues and organized crime. I would like to reaffirm our commitment to the 2009 political declaration and 2016 Outcome Document, and continue to cooperate with UNDOC and member states.

Kuwait: Our delegation expresses our alignment with the statement of the Arab group. Kuwait has always abided by the three international conventions of Narcotics and have always sought to implement the political declarations of 2009 based on the principle of common and shared responsibility. Kuwait has developed a two-fold strategy based on the reduction of supply and demand for narcotic and psychotropic substances; and the prevention through awareness raising on the warnings of the dangers of narcotics. The state of Kuwait focuses on the treatment of drug addicts and the users of narcotics by placing them in rehabilitation centres using modern methods so that we are able to integrate them back into society. We look forward to the outcome of the 62nd session which will correspond 10 years after the political declaration of 2009. We call for having the Ministerial meeting planned for next year to consider and extension of the target date and for it to go beyond 2009. We reaffirm the attachment to the principle of national sovereignty and the respect for the principle of human rights. We express our deep concern for the legalisation of narcotic and psychotropic substances.

Iraq: We wish to align ourselves with the Arab State and Asia Pacific groups. This delegation remains committed to the 3 drug conventions. We reaffirm our commitment to the 2009 Political Declaration, 2014 review and 2016 UNGASS, particularly on supply and demand. We look forward to the ministerial segment in 2019 and that it will consider beyond 2019 to complete and counter drug efforts. Iraq in recent years has encountered a spread of psychotropic substances. We formed the high national committee for narcotics and psychoactive substance use through our Ministry of Health. Many achievements have been realized at many levels. We need to focus on human and arms trafficking, money laundering and terrorism, and drug trafficking. This needs to rely on principle of common and shared responsibility and compliance with UN charters and conventions. We underline the importance of the major role played by the CND focusing on countering the world drug problem, through the adoption of policies and programs and through strengthening alternative development initiatives. In this context we call upon the UNODC to intensify efforts pertaining to drug control through tailor made programs in accordance to their needs in all field, particularly control and treatment, at international and regional levels. We look forward to increasing cooperation with UNODC.

Egypt: Comprehensive and narcotic efforts support and protect the youth. This cannot be achieved without the use of new technology, legislations and training. Narcotics is a transnational problem and has grave effects of societies, economies and aspirations of the youth. Drug trafficking is carried out by gangs who gain large profits. Despite the world effort to combat the World Drug Problem, the manufacturing of narcotics remains at the forefront of these international conventions. They have all emphasised the misuse of these substances. To eliminate the cultivation of the narcotic plans and to carry out raids on the locals where drugs are being produced and sold. The Narcotic Control Directorate has been the umbrella for controlling the drug problem in Egypt. One of the manifestations of international and regional cooperation has been elevated to a sector level to combat organised crime. We have received the INCB delegation in Cairo in 2017 and called for the establishment of two regional centres to facilitate regional investigations. We have carried out great efforts to control precursors in the illicit market. We have seized a number of import and smuggling activities with cooperation from international support. We are keen to reduce the demand for drugs to protect groups such as Women and teenagers. We are in the course of establishing a hospital and clinic for the treatment of addiction in Cairo. We are extremely concerned with the increase of use in Tramadol as they contain multiple dangerous substances. Egypt does produce medical Tramadol and is distributed in a control manner in order to reduce its consumption in the illicit market. There is a great threat to the international communities as terrorists are now using Tramadol in carrying out their activities. We call for the extension for the implementation of the objective of the 2019 objectives. The confrontation of drug problems remains a common and shared responsibility. To increase out understanding of the threat stemming from these substances we appeal to the international community to control the trafficking of Tramadol.

Hungary: Hungary aligns with Bulgaria’s statement on behalf of the EU. Progress has been made, but there is still a lot to consider. There are new threats with technological advances and the Darknet. We emphasize our commitment to the drug conventions. We wholeheartedly support the implementation of the 2016 Outcome Doc in particular on children and youth. We base our policies on the UNODC documents and policies of the EU. The Hungarian strategy emphasizes the importance of social integration. Our strategy focuses on drug use prevention. In terms of supply reduction, we highlight law enforcing initiatives and international collaboration. Our legislation allows for a quick response to NPS. Hungary one of the first countries in Europe to address these challenges. We fully support the adoption of new legislation on NPS in the EU. This legislation supports our national legislation.

Uruguay: We are attending this session with renewed hope to tackle the essential challenges of human development. This should be the first input in dealing with this common debate and we would like to highlight the importance of the SDG goals. These goals are the basic principles that allow us to tackle the immediate challenges in the future. We look forward to adopting balanced decisions that are people based – developed on duties and rights, which using the protection of the law when needed. We need strengthened states working together at international level. This should lead us to acknowledge the undecided negative within different states. The increase of corruption, the lack of protection of women involved in micro trafficking networked need our focus to build a focus. We hope to strengthen the social and sustainability of economic development. Our economy has grown at a steady pace and the establishment of a national health system has provided national health care. We must better understand out national drug policy. Uruguay will continue to tell people not to take drugs. The fact that we have decriminalised cannabis does not mean we have liberalised its consumption. We are the guarantor of public health and human rights. We have taken on the mandate to implement human rights and increase our ability to incorporate the lessons learned from previous years and tackle the challenges that we will face in the future. We aim to draft a new plan of action that is people focused and deals with public health and human rights. We want to promote health security and human well-being.

Philippines: A comprehensive and balanced approach is to drug policy is central. With this in mind, our drug strategy is focused on supply and demand reduction. Our strategy adopts a compassionate approach to victims of drug abuse and is based in human rights. We employ a community-based approach to treatment and rehab in our local units. We work with academics and youth for community-based approaches. According to the Philippines drug enforcement agency there are 4 million drug users. This is why our strategy is central. Methamphetamine is the major drug used. We support all efforts to cooperate with other countries to reduce trafficking. The drug problem has no borders, the desire for a drug free society is an aspiration we adhere to, with many other states. The Philippines host the ASEAN training center for drug education. It provides research and services and capacity building for drug education in the ASEAN region. The world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility. We reserve the sovereign right to deal with our national drug problem. We will not stand idle while the scourge of illegal drugs affects our people, especially the young. We understand the importance of our campaign against drugs, without undermining the legitimacy of the campaign. All law enforcement workers are in line with this. Our campaign strictly adheres to human rights, and peace security and development.

Jamaica: Jamaica welcomes the opportunity to participate in this the Sixty-first Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and, in particular, the normative discussions related to the implementation of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem and follow-up to the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem.

Madam Chair, Jamaica reaffirms its commitment to its obligations under the three international drug control treaties and other applicable international law, and in keeping with this commitment, continues to take efforts to address the illicit cultivation, manufacture and trafficking of narcotic drugs and other controlled substances. This includes efforts aimed at crop eradication, as well as alternative development strategies to divert traditional marijuana farmers into the regulated cannabis industry in order to address illicit cultivation. Jamaica is also working actively to tackle illegal transhipment of drugs, including in collaboration with regional and bilateral partners.

Nonetheless, we maintain that the current international drug control architecture does not allow for the requisite policy space to design appropriate domestic policies suited to changing national realities, such as consideration of cultural perspectives and practices, safeguarding of the right to freedom of religion and consideration for the human development of our citizens, in keeping with SDGs 3 and 16, in particular. Jamaica also reiterates its call for the establishment of a follow-up mechanism to review the drug control architecture and propose a recalibration of the response of the international community in keeping with evolving realities and the need to formulate dynamic policy responses undergirded by scientific and medicinal research that complement development objectives, while remaining consistent with the rule of law.

Madam Chair, While the UNGASS outcome document did not address these shortcomings, we recognise the important advances it made in the need for comprehensive and balanced strategies; alternatives to incarceration for minor drug offences; the importance of scientific evidence in the evaluation of drug policies; and alternative development and demand reduction.  We, therefore, look forward to opportunities to continue dialogue on the highlighted gaps, as we approach the expiration of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action in 2019. Jamaica also looks forward to the outcome of the decision by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence to review cannabis and cannabis-related substances in relation to, inter alia, their potential therapeutic applications.

Jamaica also continues to emphasize the importance of an inclusive approach in the development of a post-2019 framework and in this vein, expresses its appreciation for the responsiveness of the CND Secretariat to concerns of Member States without representation in Vienna.  We wish to take the opportunity to reaffirm recognition of the CND as the principal policymaking body in the United Nations system for drug-related matters, and our presence here, despite not having permanent representation in Vienna, is a testament to that recognition.

In this context, the Government of Jamaica is pleased to announce its candidature to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the period 2020-2023. We believe that Jamaica’s membership of the Commission will contribute to developing innovative policies and programmes on drug control consistent with applicable international law, and advance the strengthening of support for multilateral cooperation in tackling the world drug problem.

Madam. Chair, Jamaica takes this opportunity to express its commitment to continued engagement with all UN Member States to devise an adequate response to the world drug problem in the post-2019 era. I thank you.

Tajikistan: the convening of UNGASS in 2016 was a significant and remarkable event in combatting and controlling narcotic drugs. We feel and understand the gravity of our geographical location being so close to Afghanistan. We produce no drugs but are a transit country for Afghan produced drugs. We support alternative economies and development in Afghanistan, but facts show that the international community hasn’t done enough, as production is increasing, not decreasing. These drugs travel through hard-to-reach areas, which makes it more complicated for us. So to tackle this challenge, we created a legal framework. 4 state strategies have been implemented to combat the trafficking of drugs. Drugs users in Tajikistan have gone down 20% in 10 years, and the overdose rate has decreased. We have 7000 drug users registered – we are not concerned though, as we endeavor to take all steps to reduce this. We see a significant drop in rates of drug crimes. 3 organised crime bands have been identified. We have seen a significant reduction in criminal gangs due to strengthened border control and other measures. Drug crimes are identified thanks to our government. Drug crimes have dropped in last 3 years. Drug seizures have increased. We have good bilateral contacts with the Russian Federation. We are very concerned about the smuggling of synthetic substances. The volume of seizures is due to market demand. Actions need to be taken to reduce market demand. There is funding lacking in Northern Afghan drug offices. 2017 was the year of tourism in Tajikistan, I invite you to visit our beautiful country and to meet the beautiful Tajik people. We have a side event later in the week, which we invite you to attend.

Finland: We fully align ourselves to the stamen made by the MS. This progress has been visible during the 61st CND meetings and the various side events. The upcoming 2019 Global drug Review can be used to review the SDGs. We believe that drug policies should be implemented comprehensively with reference to Human Rights. It is essential to pursue multi-disciplinary between stake holders, NGO’s and people who use drugs. In Finland we have implemented harm reduction initiatives for over 20 years. Police and other law enforcers officers are often the first ones in contact with drug users and have a lot of responsibility to refer them to the right places. Finland has table the draft resolution: L5. We believe that no one should be unfairly accused or convicted. Drug policy is not a competition, and at the core should be the promotion of public health and human rights.

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