Plenary: Item 3 General Debate

Afternoon session (Continued from the morning)

Argentina: I would like to congratulate you. We endorse the work of the countries in our region to seek a consensus. We continue to give evidence to commit to ending the world drug problem. we must have a balanced approach to reduce supply and demand and complying with human rights and public health. This brings us to the change from 2015 in my country to implement all the commitments of the international commitments from 2009 and 2014 and more recently the document in UNGASS 2016 documents. From the outset we endorsed the follow up from 2016, we stand ready to continue with the policies that separate us from 2019 in keeping with the resolutions and the proposed modalities of the CND. In preparation of 2016 we had a full-fledged assessment of progress of world policy. We would like to say we go along with the document to counter the world drug problem. we underlie in the fact that his contains the principles of shared responsibility. We must jointly address these issues in order to fully implement the drug control treaties. We continue to consolidate the methods this administration has selected. All skills brought to bed to combat drug trafficking are found in the ministry and the federal bodies. we place the individual at the heart of our treaties with a focus on public health. we bring on board civil society to have a response to these issues. We can therefore prioritise the community response under the federal council for narcotic drugs. All we know about the issues in our country ensure a full fledged approach to the world drug problem. we are satisfied to note the CND deals with vulnerable groups. We are aware of the work of UNODC and the exchange of good practice. We work jointly with them. we continue to work hard to bring consistency of efforts in the international community. We are committed to the hemispheres of the Americas. In 2017 we hosted the high level meeting. We are aware of the work and cooperation we are engaged in. we participate in the database that the UN makes available. All the tools that help us effectively move ahead. There should be control of new substances in the international schedules of the UN convention. Member states will be able to support the inclusion of these substances.

Belarus: 9 years ago we set ourselves an ambitious target to a significant reduction of drug use and criminal activities and eventually eradicate them. We were indeed right to set ourselves those targets. The drug problem has not let up, it is worsening. We need increased cooperation, and mutual assistance. We have taken urgent measures to tackle the problem. We are the only state banning 98% of narcotic drugs. Last year we shut down more than 40 drug organisations in belarus. We seized more than 16,000 tons of narcotic drugs. We saw not one single death from overdose among minors – this was due to harsher penalties to deter use. We will be striving to transform our commitments into concrete measures and achieve a world free of drugs.

Australia: We are committed to a health and law enforcement based approach, reflected in our ten-year 2017 drug strategy. We emphasise importance on supply reduction through law enforcement and demand reduction through treatment. Evidence tells use that certain groups of people are more vulnerable and that must be considered with no one left behind. Australia remains concerned that 75% of the world do not have adequate access to pain relief. We believe access can be expanded while remaining the integrity of the conventions. We continue to support the INCB and UNODC with funding and support. Law enforcement is best spent on disrupting the drug trade. Australia has found diversion to be greatly effective to conviction. Extra judicial drugs killings are unacceptable. The death penalty is an inhumane and ineffective way to deter drug-use. We call on all members to engage with academia and civil society. We remain encouraged by member states to combating the global drug problem.

Bahrain: I would like to extend my gratitude to the speakers and organisers. We are committed to contributing alongside law enforcement agencies to curb the drug problem. we are gather in the hope to devise realistic solutions for the world drug problem. The latest developments in the field have highlighted recent challenges, e.g. the link between offences and organised crime. There is the challenge between different country’s legislation. This calls on us to fight the criminal activities, thus the importance of this meeting stand in the face of illicit drug trafficking, the links between different kinds of crimes. It has become clear the illegal proceeds of illicit drug trafficking are the most important revenue for criminal organisations. This needs a lot of financial resources and makes drugs all the more severe and dangerous which threaten the development of our countries. We reiterate in order to be successful we must strengthen our capacities as anti-narcotic agencies from a technical and security viewpoint. Agencies must have in mind the importance of protecting people from the threat of drugs without yielding to pressure or incentives. We have worked on converging our efforts with them through an integrated network. It is important to stop the relationships between drug cartels and other criminal groups which threaten both stability and security we have taken measures with neighbouring countries in the Arab world. We established programmes to focus on transnational organised crimes and their new methods for smuggling. We have launched a national strategy in 2015 coinciding with the UN day against drugs. We have launched activities in line with the UNODC including training sessions for professionals working in the field. We are contingent on prevention, we have a specialised hospital for drug addicts. We have launched awareness raising programmes with ministries to target our youth and highlight the dangers and risks of drug abuse, these campaigns have been very successful. In conclusion, the success of the national strategy reached 79%, we hope the objectives will transfer into reality. Â

Czech Republic: I want to stress the we’re aligned with the statements of the EU. As we mentioned in previous years the overdose deaths of many spread among millions of people in destabilised countries call for a critical review of the global drugs policies. We must push to accept the scientific evidence and set realistic aims. We must accept the evidence and less repressive policies. We must focus on treatment. People who suffer from problem drug use should be encouraged to come forward without stigma, it must be a public health perspective. Which is why we decriminalised the possession of a small amount of drugs for personal use. We should learn our lessons from alcohol and tobacco policies, the successes – unlike illegal drugs. We must further integrate drug policies for licit and illicit substances. It is not a problem of addiction but addictive behaviour. The legal and illegal drug worlds are not separated, in terms of addictive behaviour, it often shifts from one to another. The drug policies of our country are not perfect, but we believe we are going in the right direction, rates of harmful illnesses among drug uses have gone down, organised crime has not corrupted police or politics. We call on member states to incorporate the principles of human rights. We strongly condemn extra judicial killings and disagree with the death penalty for drug related crimes. Not long after the UNGASS document we saw many people be murdered without trial, violating human rights principles. In our country we urge not to pull back from a critical look at the 2009 declaration and draw realistic policy in light of UNGASS 2016. We call for a new policy of minimising harms and risks. We call for stronger involvement of all UN agencies and civil society in all decision-making processes. We would like to stress that since the 2016 UNGASS document to redraft concrete budgets, to achieve realistic goals on harm minimisation. It is evident we are at a crossroad and have to allow the truth to be spoken as many analytics say that the international drug control system might fall apart if the evidence is ignored. We want to believe we will make the right decisions to prevent the suffering of many.

Chile: We are fast approaching the 10th anniversary of the 2009 Convention. We will only succeed if we take a multilateral approach. It is necessary to develop and formula that takes us beyond 2019. We will have to define a roadmap and better project our efforts towards a common goal. We are developing tribunals serving as alternatives incarceration and have found them to be successful..

France: We endorse the statement made by Bulgaria on behalf of the EU. We committed ourselves to scientific-based recommendations. We must create awareness in society of new psychoactive substances and addiction in society. Promotion of health, improving social justice and the wellbeing of society are our 3 messages. Clear public messaging will promote these messages. Our focus is on vulnerable people, mainly young people. Our youth is apriority and a non-moralising approach to change behaviour and resist peer pressure is important. We must listen to our children, and those that are healthy are better able to resist high risk behaviours. Although differences in approaches persist, our challenges are the same and we must work together. We signed up to the 2016 Outcome Document and we must now implement it to promote health, security and the wellbeing of society.

Canada: We remain committed to working with the international community with highest regard to human rights. UNGASS represents a milestone. We focus on addressing stigma and sharing our efforts to address the opioid crisis. For people who use drugs and those who support them know that stigmas are experienced in multiple domains. People who use drugs provide a unique perspective to ensure client centred evidence based policy making. We are grateful for our co sponsor Uruguay. We are pleased to include members of civil society to our delegation this year. We encourage all member states to join us. We have a public health crisis, the many opioid overdoses, we expect 4000 deaths in 2018. The emergence of fentanyl, the tragedy has been felt by too many. The loss of individuals. The government has responded but much needs to be done, we have 30 drug consumption centres, have enabled easier access to treatment, and authorised drug checking in authorised sites. We expand harm reduction strategies. In 2016 we announced a new strategy to restore harm reduction as a key pillar alongside treatment. It is essential, it keeps people alive. We continue to move forward to legalise cannabis, despite nearly a century of law enforcement it remains widely available. It is not protecting Canadians, especially youth. In 2017 we introduced the Cannabis Act to create a national framework to regulate cannabis across all areas. Proposals on licensing are being developed. We have scheduled NPSs. This year the CND may include 12 of these as part of international control. We are committed to an evidence-based approach and its position is that all drug policy must respect human rights. Forums such as the CND are essential for humane drug policy.

Norway: We have a long tradition to update our strategies and plans of action. We have the same expectations, UNGASS must be the document to build further actions upon. It is a key milestone. Several issues need to be addressed in the years ahead. We will be a clear voice for a progressive approach. The world drug problem varies across regions, international cooperation will always be needed. We are a consumption country but worldwide supply reduction will influence Norway. For our government drug related issues are a top priority. Efforts that do not contribute to health must be terminated. The times are changing and so must we. Our policy today looks different to 10 years ago. The importance of prioritising saving lives and dignity call upon a public health approach. We expect the case will be the same internationally. A drug free society has not been a goal in this millennium, it is not realistic or achievable.  That goal will not meet the SDG ambitions and it is not evident the goal reduces use or harms. As it is a health issue it should be based in the health system. Possession for personal use has been passed to health authorities. Police and criminal justice can focus on trafficking and organised crime. Corruption is a premise for drug trafficking. The most effective way to tackle drug problems. From us you can expect a strong voice for the goals of UNGASS. Respectful inclusion of civil society and UN agencies in line with the 7 chapters of UNGASS. I draw you to L7: protection of children, no child should be born with HIV.

United Arab Emirates: Our concerns with the world drug problem are far from an end, and this problem continues to worsen. The economic problems faced by many exacerbate the problem. We are looking at national, local, present and future challenges. We are organising a conference on how to address the world drug problem by 2030. We are revamping our strategy across the board. We have based reducing demand on the sustainable development goals, with a greater focus on SDG 4 and children. We opened up new rehabilitation centres for people who use drugs for all social categories including women. Creating job opportunities for people who use drugs who have been ‘cured’ of their addiction. We are dismantling organised crime groups by 85% during the past year. We’ve also amended our legislation to place drug crimes under the federal courts, with a view to dismantle illegal drug activities. We uphold all 3 anti-drug conventions.

Pakistan: The complicated and ever-changing nature of this challenge affects us all. It continues to be a challenge to development, peace, stability and rule of law, and a threat to present and future generations. We need enhanced regional and international cooperation. The international community must redouble its efforts and the conventions must be brought under sharper focus. We expect the in 2019 the meeting will provide an opportunity for stocktaking of our efforts over the last decade. We must learn from our experiences and let them guide the roadmap to post 2019. We are concerned with the legalisation of illicit drugs in some regions – the conventions clearly prohibit the recreational use of illicit drugs. We urge the commission and the UNODC to play an active role to guard against such trends. We appreciate the efforts of eradication of poppy by one country, but the 60% increase in poppy cultivation in 2017 is concerning. In 2016 and 2017 we dismantled 49 drug trafficking organizations. We value greater cooperation and we are thankful for the support granted to us, but we still have a lot more to do. We must craft regional responses to counter the world drug problem.

Costa Rica: We are gratified to note the work of the office in the past year in the context of international organised crime as they relate to other problems such as the funding of terrorism and illicit trafficking of drugs. The CND must draw on the resources to perform its duties. The office must continue to build bridges across the different countries and agencies across the issues of drugs. The post UNGASS 2016 phase requires implementation, we have a framework and recommendations which let us take action on the basis of minimum requirements. At the domestic level we must engage in review processes to measure progress. In our country we decriminalised drug consumption. We are addressing diversification and access to health and social services with harm reduction steps included. Issues of stigma may breach human rights of drug users. Our administrations must provide resources to research drugs, to solidify our scientific evidence; the UNODC has an important part to play in this regard. We should not miss the occasion to reiterate that our country is against capital punishment in all circumstances and there is no evidence it prevents crime. Under no circumstances should it be considered legitimate.

Lebanon: We are meeting a decade after the community’s 2009 declaration to wipe out the world drug problem. Problems have since spread and worsened. Our delegation highlights the need for all countries to cooperate in countering the world drug problem based on reducing demand and supply and developing international co-operation. We are aware of economic factors being a breeding ground for drug related problems, states must work together to create alternative projects to empower vulnerable communities. 2019 is just around the corner to review the implementation of the 2009 commitments, we would like to underscore our commitment to the 3 international conventions and our commitments of the 3 pillars of the plan of action, supplemented by UNGASS 2016. We have adopted a modern law regarding drugs that is consistent with the 2017 INCB report. To counter drugs through policy consistent with human rights and proportionality. We perceive drug abusers as patients with an illness in need of rehabilitation. We refer the addicts to treatment centres, they can be exempted from prosecution and the state funds this. We continue to consider treatment as an alternative to prosecution. The new law bans the death penalty for drug offences. Our security and judicial authorities continue to try and seize drugs. The continued regional instability has aggravated the drug problem in our country. 525 seizures of drugs and 671 individuals have been arrested this year. There is an urgent need for assistance for our law authorities. We commend UNODCs efforts to counter the global drug problem. Last month we put forward a national paper as a result of a workshop last year. It lays down the priorities of our agencies in charge of drugs and we are convinced the UNODC will give attention to our paper to build the capacities of national authorities in Lebanon to counter the drug problem. Our mission is ready to co-operate. The international drug control system has many challenges, but without this system things would be much worse. We must close the gaps within that system. Any loose interpretation would leave the door wide open for states doing it alone.

Panama: 9 years ago we committed to eliminating the demand and production of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances. Despite these efforts, evidence shows that the market for illicit drugs continues to flourish, which new substances continue to arise. Evidence is both stark and blunt. Between 2011 and 2016 consumption rose by 30% in Europe and North America. We are at a crossroads and we need to give consideration among all member states to our true purpose. What was the impact of our agreement 9 years ago? We should wonder where and why we are failing at at least containing the world drug problem. Loss of human life, and the negative impact on young people is growing. If countries are certain to move ahead with addressing drug abuse, we cannot fail to address trafficking in arms and weapons and must see the cost to human life. 2016 marked a watershed, as we came to realise we had to have an interdisciplinary approach to drugs. Albert Einstein said “we cannot expect to do the same thing over and over again, and expect the same result”. I’d like to point out that this space is the best area for the debate, with with diversity of viewpoints that will help us get to the most viable solution. Sustainable development means that nobody is left behind, but too many people are being left behind.

Turkey: We welcome follow up for the UNGASS document. We shared out best practices and will continue our contribution. We are a transit country from Afghanistan and a target country for synthetic drugs from Europe. In 2017 more than 17 tons of heroin, 6.8 million ecstasy tablets, 23.2 million captagon tablets were seized. We have cooperated with the UK and Spain in more seizures. Turkey strictly controls medical opium production, and share our knowledge with other countries. Since 2008 691 substances have been scheduled. We use online info sharing platform. We invite all member states to use these systems. Drug trafficking is linked with all organised crime. PKK has been involved in drugs since 1980’s. According to the UNODC in 2015 the value of illicit drugs trafficked on the Balkan route was $28 billion annually. We reiterate Turkey’s high expectation for member states’ cooperation to fight international terrorist organisations.  

Germany: We align ourselves with a statement made by Bulgaria on behalf of the EU. I would like to draw your attention to children and young people. To the baby who is being born addicted to opioids, to the boy who did not go to school because he has to sell drugs. Policy must take account of children who are often left to their own devices. We want to see prevention and social welfare services in place everywhere. Sadly, children and youth and exposed to drug related crime. Many live in poverty devoid of opportunity, crime appears as a profitable career path. Their problems get worse. We must ensure access to education and welfare. Several resolutions are dedicated to children and youth, let us start here to remember the importance of protecting children and youth. They are our future, we cannot afford to not pay attention to them.

South Africa: At the outset, we welcome your election. We thank the executive director and to the secretariat. We associate ourselves with the statement of the Africa group. Trafficking poses a major threat to security to SA. We are committed to reducing supply and demand. We will continue to implement evidence-based treatment services that promote human rights of our people. We have implemented a 5 year strategy predicated on demand and supply reduction in line with the 3 international conventions. The new strategy will take into consideration progress made from the 2009, 2014 and 2016 UNGASS documents. We have made progress against drug abuse and trafficking including adoption of policies of demand reduction approaches. We are committed to expanding treatment services to those in need and new centres are being built. The illicit trafficking of drugs is an ongoing challenge in countering the world drug problem. Our ports are increasingly targeted. To respond to this our government has strengthened enforcement measures. We have specialised units within the police. At the continental level we make efforts to counter the world drug problem. It is our view that 2019 must take into account the 2009 goals and the UNGASS document.

Italy: We align ourselves with the statement of the EU. The world drug problem has changed over the past decade, and so has the response of the international community. The UNGASS outcome document recognises that policies only work when they respect human rights and health. We must invest in treatment and harm reduction, care for the safety of individuals, protect vulnerable groups, allow access of drugs for medical purposes, and we must ensure that criminal justice system provides proportional responses to drug offences. We reiterate the need to deal with the death penalty for drug related crimes – it hampers international cooperation. We have improved early prevention capacity in schools and improved awareness raising. We have reinforced the warning system dedicated to monitoring NPS distributed through the internet. We have enjoyed exceptional results on supply reduction by law enforcement and international partners. Governments cannot fight this battle alone and we need help from civil society.

Qatar: The 2019 deadline approaches but the world drug problem is still worsening. We see  new set of threats posed by NPS. We see increased links between trafficking NPS, terrorism, money laundering and other forms of crime. We must step up our efforts. We need to implement all of the objectives contained in the outcome document. We are implementing an integral and strategic approach to countering the drug problem. We continue to contribute to programs for countering drugs. We call on member states to contribute to UNODC, and vice versa in order to better protect children through programs and best practice training.

Slovenia: We are convinced the world needs a human rights-based approach to drugs policy. The 3 UN conventions and human rights instruments provide a good basis for this. We have been developing our own policy and practice to reduce demand and supply. We adopted our second action plan last year. The risk and harm reduction programmes in our country have increased awareness of HIV prevention. Substitution programmes are run across all 18 treatment centres. Cannabis regulation has been gaining attention in Slovenia. We are suggesting more liberalised access to cannabis. Our ministry of health organised a meeting on cannabis medical regulation in 2017 to identify the ways it could be regulated in line with the UN conventions. I would like to highlight the importance of a broad policy to reduce drug demand, which cannot be stressed enough. We will continue to support the 2016 UNGASS outcomes.

Republic of Korea: New and emerging challenges such as the links between drugs and corruption, and the issue of NPSs. We affirm that the international community must tackle these multifaceted challenges in a balanced manner. We believe the 2019 meeting will be a great opportunity to take stock of the 2009 commitments to counter the world drug problem. In light of the problems we have faced in the past decade we look forward to an inclusive dialogue and action orientated actions in 2019. We are committed to countering the drug problem at national and international levels. We are responding to the online issues of buying drugs and we have an online programme to trace drug trafficking over the internet. We introduced a legal basis for punishing drugs advertised through the internet. We have contributed to supporting integrated drug information systems with other Asian countries. We would like to emphasise that the 2009, 2014 and 2016 UNGASS lay the groundwork for the world to counter the international drug problem. Implementation of the 2016 UNGASS document contributes to the targets set out in 2009.

Belgium: We need cooperation between all stakeholders, and good interagency communication in this area. We urge member states to provide adequate access to controlled substances worldwide. We promote proportionate sentencing in Belgium – there is no place for the death penalty for drug offences. We are committed to ending AIDs by 2030 including among people who use drugs. NPS remains a concern. In September 2017 we approved new legislation to combat and schedule NPS including derivatives of fentanyl. We welcome resolution 60/4 that was approved last year, and harm reduction measures in this regard.

UK: We are delivering an evidence based approach to drugs. For the first time our strategy has a global chapter. We recognise efforts to tackle the world drug problem. It is crucial that we continue to implement the 2016 UNGASS outcome document. Significant progress has been made in tackling NPS. We welcome resolution 60/4 with particular regard to NPS and in strengthening data collection and sharing. We support the work of UNODC. We oppose the use of the death penalty and call of the abolition of this practice. People who use drugs are further at risk of harms, and we are fully committed to eradicating AIDs by 2030. No one should have to live or die in pain. Drug trafficking poses a significant threat to the safety of all our nations.

Ecuador: Two years ago, we had UNGASS 2016, a historical landmark. It is necessary to continue to apply the 7 chapters in the document. We have just implemented a strategy in line with the 3 drug treaties. In 2017, the authorities of our country dealt traffickers lethal blows by seizing drugs, increasing by 170%. In 2017, we dismantled 33% more crime groups than in 2016. We identified ringleaders in the distribution of illicit substances. There is a legal and a moral obligation to support such activities because the problem spans the world, where there is demand there is someone willing to furnish it. Addictions are a public health issue and the strategy is prevention and avoiding stigma, protecting human rights. We have made progress and we think we should have a gender focused approach, a focus on public health and a focus on youth. Along these lines we will continue to support socioeconomic development in rural and urban vulnerable areas. Our strategy has mechanisms to support socioeconomic programmes in the country. It is an urgent matter to have an alternative development strategy to ensure the policies come to grips with the world drug problem. Reprehensible acts of violence underpin our determination to apply alternative development. We are convinced that we cannot postpone the way we approach drugs policy, to go beyond supply and demand policies: people must be at the centre of this. We must come up with real and effective solutions for the next generations.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: I would like to welcome delegates and guests to the CND. Countering the growing drug problem is one of our priorities. We see our activity in this area as being linked to the task of building a safe and stable future. Anti drugs co-operation provides a unique platform whereby we work at the same time as developing anti drugs enforcement measures, and implementing long term strategies to reduce demand. We seek to build and strengthen the drug control measures already in place. Over the past 6 years we had a three tiered mechanism to put in place effective co-operation at the expert and government levels. We have joint anti drugs events to stabilise the drug situations within our countries which aim to shut down drug smuggling and to identify and detect precursor delivery channels. We have tremendous potential to counter the drug threat. We have seized 1,500 tonnes of hashish and 160 tonnes of heroin, nearly 40% of the total seizures of heroin and marijuana in the Eurasian continent. We call for joined up efforts to work on the rehabilitation of drug addicts and to reduce drug demand. We have an anti-drugs body to reduce dependency and addiction. It is evident that illegal trafficking is undermining institutions. We are concerned with NPS which are a new challenge in combatting the evil that is drugs. We attach great importance of international joined up efforts. The joint efforts we are making have strengthened our potential. We are a responsible organisation who seek to increase the security of the region and the World.

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