Home » Plenary: Item 6. Follow-up to the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of all commitments, as reflected in the Ministerial Declaration of 2019, to address and counter the world drug problem (Continued)

Plenary: Item 6. Follow-up to the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of all commitments, as reflected in the Ministerial Declaration of 2019, to address and counter the world drug problem (Continued)

Chair: Good morning.

Peru: It is with great grief that Peru regrets the loss of an important diplomat, a renowned Peruvian who gave his full career for international peace and security. He’s always been an example, we grieve his death and all diplomats will follow his leadership; he set exceptional standards. He lived to the age of 100, so a long lift – a great career, and always aiming at the highest goals of diplomacy. Thank you for giving us the floor and observing a minute of silence. We regret his passing.

Chair: Thank Ambassador for Peru for. Now we continue with agenda item 6. and 6(a).

USA: the US supports revisions to the ARQ proposed by the UNODC branch. While we acknowledge that technical work will be needed to assist member states, we are cognisant of the need to update the ARQ to reflect new commitments and note the response rate is very low, especially amongst developing countries. The US appreciates the work of the Commission to organise the thematic dialogue last year. The October discussion was a constructive one. We urge the Secretariat to organise future thematic discussions back to back with inter-sessional meetings to enhance participation. Member states are keen to use these discussions to share best practice. We commend UNODC efforts to draft reports on the issues discussed yesterday and note it reflects inter-agency cooperation, and encourage the UNODC to continue these efforts.

Mexico: we appreciate efforts to update the ARQ and the decision adopted on this. The main task of implementing the 2019 ministerial declaration is our focus now. We are grateful for UNODC and secretariat particularly Angela Me and states that constructively participated in the review mechanism to update the ARQ. The contributions of the statistical institute and other institutions of the state. Instruments to improve data relating to this are being worked on, including on cross-cutting issues such as drugs and human rights, drugs and gender, drugs and development. That is why we support the work of revising the text of the ARQs and support other inititiatives such as studies on population groups. I conclude with the plea to step up the cooperation between the UNODC and the statistical commission, and the CEB to bolster and make more systematic our efforts to collect data and analyse the results.

Pakistan: As a responsible country, we remain mindful of our international obligations – including all Conventions and drug policy documents including the Ministerial Declaration 2019, calling for implementation of the 2009 Political Declaration. We would appreciate the Commission’s initiative in adopting a multi-year plan to address the challenges identified in the Ministerial Declaration in a systematic manner. Pakistan is very concerned about the persistent and emerging challenges relating to the world drug problem, as identified in the 2019 Declaration. Owing to its geographical location, Pakistan has become a major victim and transit country of opiates produced in neighbouring country. A sizeable share of these are trafficked through our borders. We have put in place a comprehensive legal policy and administrative framework to full implement recommendations. We have a strong resolve and policy of zero tolerance against illicit drugs and drug crimes – evident through our measures taken. [including: Successful transition from a poppy cultivation in the 1990s to a poppy-free state in 2001. More than 90% rate of conviction in narcotics related cases.]

I would also like to draw attention to a negative mention to Pakistan in the report of the Secretariat on the world situation in respect to drug trafficking. We have already responded to this reference in our earlier intervention and would request the Commission to consider our relevant response as part of our intervention under item 6 as well. Pakistan is a regular contributor to ARQ and other data requirements. We request this commission to increase focus on improving the respective capabilities through provision of sufficient resources and technical support.

Zambia: It is a fact that both the range of drugs and drug markets are expanding and diversifying. My country has reported trafficking and abuse of amphetamines and tramadol, which were not common in the past. WE have continued to record an increase in heroin and cocaine trafficking and abuse. Since 2017, Zambia was being used as a transit country from some East African countries. The drug is trafficked in its dry form in the form of tea; the traffickers have been using courier companies like DHL and Zambian Post Office by tricking authorities into believing that the property being exported was tea.

My country has recorded trafficking in special cannabis, high in potency, mostly from southern African countries. This is preferred to locally grown cannabis and highly sought after. We have also continued to record seizures of ephedrine – including 1.5kg seized from a businesswoman on one instance, who was arrested at one of our airports.

Zambia has recorded an increase in seizures of medicinal drugs like codeine, which could be attributed to illegal access by drug abusers who looked for alternatives. There’s also a trend where young people use tramadol. It’s worrying to note that non-medical use of prescription drugs poses risks to health and safety in our society. To counter the drug trends, we have intensified screening of passengers and measures with other countries. In the spirit of cooperation, we have continued to share information with other member States, resulting in successful operations. Zambia is committed to the implementation of all treaties and protocols – including declarations and agreements. The country has developed a drug control policy with a focus on enhancing cooperation in substance abuse prevention and control strategies. The policy calls for enhanced access to controlled substances for medical purposes, while preventing diversion and trafficking. To address and counter new challenges, there are measures to combat NPSs, and the provision of alternative development programmes. Zambia remains committed to implementing all commitments.

Thailand: I will address item 6(a). The ARQ is a useful input for the UNODC reports, which support policymaking by member states on drug control. Capacity building on data collection and analysis is important for achieving good quality data. The questions in the revised ARQ seem more complicated but it is a good opportunity for member states to enhance their capacity on data collection. Member states should have a good data base of information to enable them to complete the questionnaires. I commend the UNODC for their work on this. We have organised meetings to improve the quality of data and to do capacity-building. On establishing regional and global networks, ASEAN member states have set up a monitoring network comprising representatives of national focal points on supply and demand sides. The annual report has been produced since 2016 and assisted us in formulating our own report, including on emerging drugs in the region. The ASEAN data monitoring (DM) avoid duplication with the ARQ. The latest data collected is from 2019 and the report is currently being produced.

Thailand is committed to implementing the 2019 ministerial declaration. Particularly on alternative development, member states might wish to visit our exhibition the Royal Initiatives and wisdom of the late King which are based on the concept of ‘help the hill tribes, help the Thai people, help the world’.

In conclusion I would like to thank the UNODC for their contribution to the drug control work.

Kenya: on agenda item 6, Kenya has taken an active role in ensuring that commitments adopted by ministers are implemented. On collecting data on drug trafficking and abuse, Kenya participated in the second expert group on the ARQ. It was a great honour to represent the Africa continent in this meeting. We appreciate the work of UNODC as the tool covers all relevant areas relating to drug control and abuse including epidemiological and empirical data. Up until the launch of the new tool, the national focal point for drug control organised a training for all relevant agencies in 2019. Participants were sensitised on the new tool. I can attest to the relevancy of the ARQ as it has facilitated the collection of data for annual reports which we have submitted to our Assembly.

Through engagement with all key players including civil society organisations we have prepared a draft national drug policy which is awaiting the attention of parliament. Implementation of these policies will include active participation of civil society whom we are actively engaging in the control and management of drug abuse. For implementation of international commitments, I can attest my government is providing all efforts to combat drug trafficking and abuse, including setting up an inter-agency taskforce comprising Kenyan Bureau of Standards, prisons service, police, youth, amongst others. Sub-units have been set up including on anti-money laundering, tracking proceeds of crime and transnational organised crime in collaboration with the NCA in the UK. On preventing drug abuse, Kenya through the Poisons Board has expanded the national coverage of distribution networks of controlled substances through urban and rural networks, regularly provided training and sensitisation to relevant stakeholders to ensure adequate access to controlled medicines and substances for research purposes. Control on abuse of pharmaceutical drugs through monitoring and surveillance has led to the recall and rescheduling of certain substances. Kenya is focussed on ensuring affordability and availability of controlled medicines while ensuring efficacy. As a country, we are implementing programmes to make sure no one is left behind in prevention, care and support services to all people affected by drug abuse. We have rolled our prevention programmes aimed at educating people on the dangers of drug abuse, including lifestyle programmes in primary schools. The positive parenting programme that focusses on the role of families in prevention and recovery. Advocacy programmes on ongoing including through mass media channels. On treatment and rehab, Kenya has provided harm reduction, medically assisted therapy and other interventions such as treatment of hepatitis. NACADA undertakes regular inspection of facilities to ensure standards are met, and collaborating with relevant partners. NACADA was given land in Mombasa in 2019 for a model treatment and rehabilitation centre. It is in operation now and former people who inject drugs are receiving treatment, nutrition and skills development to ensure their reintegration into society. Effective control strategies must rely on data. NACADA is gathering data, including several surveys conducted last year, in primary schools as well as in universities this year. NACADA publishes a journal of studies on drug abuse each year. I welcome member states to look at our journal on our website and encourage their scholars to publish. I thank our colleagues for their presentations which have enabled us to learn.

Delegation of United Republic of Tanzania: Thank you Mr Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen. I wish to join others who spoke before me in congratulating the chairperson for his good work in presiding the deliberations of this session. By the same token I wish to compliment Ms Ghada Waly on her appointment as ED of the UNODC. She can count on the collaboration of Tanzania.

Implementing the drug treaties continues to be a challenge globally, including in Tanzania. The most consumed domestic product in Tanzania is cannabis, followed by cat. Heroine and cocaine are imported from outside. To address this problem Tanzania has adopted practical and pragmatical measures proposed by the UNODC, and has implemented a national plan of action as well as UNGASS 2016. Tanzania considers these documents to be the core guidelines to address the world drug problem.

A high percentage of persons injecting drugs suffer HIV, and an even high percentage suffer  Hepatitis C. Tanzania has made significant progress in addressing the drug problem, by adopting new Drug control legislation in 2017, which led to the creation of a new drug enforcement authority in 2017. We have adopted the balanced approach to address supply issues as well as putting in place measures to provide health and treatment to users. We are pleased to report that we continue to collaborate with UNODC, UK, and the EU. In addition, we have signed an agreement with neighbouring countries including South Africa to share information. We have increased our engagement with NGOs, academia, and other stakeholders, in order to ensure that they are part of our comprehensive and integrated approach.

With respect to harm reduction interventions we have rolled out education programmes, NSPs, rehabilitation programmes, recovery homes. A total of eight methadone centres have been opened in the country. We are planning to open a methadone programme in prisons, with the support of the EU and UNODC. In order to counter the world drug problem, Tanzania wants to reaffirm its unwavering support to the UNODC and other partners. Thank you Mr. Chairperson for your kind attention.

Delegation of Peru: Thank you very much Chair. We’d like to express our deepest congratulations to the secretariat regarding their report on Alternative Deportment.

Peru restates its firm commitment to alternative development, and has taken the chair of the alternative development group at the OAS. The cultivation of coca leaves in my country is an ancestral tradition of coca growers, and is thus protected. Alternative development aims to involve illegal coca growers in rural areas to transition to legal economy. We have put together a multisectoral plan in the Perima valley and similar areas, in which we are trying to ensure that the area where most coca is produced becomes a prosperous and save environment. The strategy is based on three components: sustainable environment, opportunities, and Governance, to generate an institutional environment that is favourable to the provision of public services. We are also trying to bring together all state entities in an ongoing dialogue with local activities and leaders.

Peru would like to underscore the importance of international cooperation under the principle of common and shared responsibilities. Alternative development aims to address a problem that affects the whole global community. We’d like to invite all delegations to co-sponsor the resolution on alternative development that has been presented by Peru.

International Federation of NGOs:

Throughout South East Asia and the Pacific, despite the long-standing efforts of Member States we continue to observe poorly designed drug policies that only serve to criminalize and disproportionately punish people who use drugs. Some of these policies include harsh enforcement measures such as corporal punishment, as well as mass incarceration, extra judicial killings, avoidable risk exposure to HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C and non-judicial detention in compulsory and isolation centers.

Indeed, the current lack of evidence informed drug prevention, education, harm reduction and treatment approaches in the Region is exacerbated by the continued persecution of people who use drugs. This is the situation that greatly increases the level of stigma and discrimination experienced by people who use drugs and drives people away from the health and helping systems.

The prevention of drug use should be one of the pillars of any comprehensive response to drug use in society. In particular, there should be a focus on young people within prevention efforts to delay initiation into drug use (legal and illegal) and thus, reducing the prevalence of problematic drug use in adulthood. In addition, given we must accept that despite our best efforts some people will use drugs, it is important to have a variety of evidence-based drug treatment approaches, evidence based prevention programs and harm reduction measures. Accordingly, we urge the Member States of South East Asia and the Pacific Region to consider addressing drug use as public health issue, support people dependent on drugs through quality evidence-based treatment and recovery services, and removing barriers to accessing health services for people who use drugs.

Law enforcement also needs to be re-focused to target the most serious drug offenses, organized crime and high-level corruption. In particular, drug trafficking and the related serious problems of corruption and money laundering needs to be tackled. South East Asia and Pacific Region Member States need to ensure the implementation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) and the World Health Organisation’s International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders, focusing on both drug demand and supply reduction measures.

While we congratulate the recent efforts of some Member States in South East Asia in initiating discussions to develop drug policies that are based on alternatives to punishing and incarcerating people who use drugs; we respectfully: 1. Call on all South East Asian and Pacific Region Member States to implement the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document; 2. Call on greater assistance from developed country Foreign Aid budgets to complement the current high levels of supply reduction assistance for Pacific Island Member States with aid to support the establishment of evidence-based drug prevention, treatment programs and harm reduction measures. 3. Call on all South East Asian and Pacific Region Member States to establish and support an Asia-Pacific Monitoring Centre on Drug Issues (under the auspices of the UNODC) to gather valuable and reliable data on the drug situation in the Region; 4. Call on all Member States to acknowledge the need to collaborate with civil society, and to enable them to have a more active role in the formulation and implementation of drug policies based on evidence; and 5. Call on all Member States to acknowledge that many non-governmental organizations have the expertise, accountability and community connections to be highly aware of the drug trends and characteristics and needs of people who use drugs. Civil society has, and continues to, gather crucial data and has valuable knowledge which can be shared.

In conclusion, we encourage all Member States, the United Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Narcotic Control Board, The World Health Organization and other relevant international organizations to unequivocally promote evidence-based drug prevention, education, harm reduction measures, and treatment approaches as an integral part of the health system and as a cornerstone of the international, national and local strategies to counter the world drug problem.

Campaign for development and solidarity (Drug Policy Futures): we welcome what people have called the decade of action until 2029. As NGOs, we welcome the implementation of the UNGASS Outcome document. We represent a group of NGOS called Drug Policy Futures. We have selected 5 areas that we call upon governments to prioritise. In an exhibition outside BRA we have presented this as children and youth first and think this could be a good slogan for the decade of action. We call on member states to give children and youth the highest priority, to prevent drug use. Preventing drug use amongst adolescents is the best way. It is effective and needed in all cultures, give lifelong positive outcomes. Luckily the UNODC standards on prevention tell us how to get the best results. We call on governments to prioritise these 5 areas: low prevalence – governments should make this their priority. We remind ourselves that this is an important way of reducing drug-related harm. On combating illicit drug use, the silent majority is waiting for action. Governments need to prioritise school programmes, to raise awareness on the risks of drug use. Information doesn’t necessarily change behaviour but young people have the right to know the risk of starting to use drugs. We need to support parents and their mobilisation. The international standards point to the critical role of parental upbringing. Governments must implement better parenting programmes. Some adolescents are more vulnerable than others. We must have systems in schools to assist vulnerable children and youth. We hope to have your cooperation in these priorities.

XX (Morocco NGO): We support orphans and children in difficult circumstances. In relation to the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, we partner with other organisations to contribute to the SDGs. In order to combat addiction, we have three focus areas: prevention, in public schools this is intended for social reintegration and provides counselling. We have a global strategic plan of action, including counselling, psychotherapy, raising awareness, sports and cultural awareness and games, psychological assistance and self-esteem building, giving behavioural skills that children need. The reason why we are here today is that Morocco is the first consuming country of cannabis. CBD should not be removed from Schedule 4, nor used as medication – THC is transformed once in the digestive tract. I recommend the scientific study of the Institute for Drug Addiction. All experiences of states having legalised of decriminalised cannabis have seen consumption level and the impact on society have all exponentially increased. We call on the Commission to develop a balanced approach, demand and supply reduction being the main purpose, respect for human rights and international cooperation, our policies should be based on scientific research and proven cases. As a member on civil society, we very strongly recommend implementation of the Recommendations of civil societies – the Vienna NGO Committee particularly, to be taken by this Commission. Civil society constantly has contact with many issues and problems out there – we know how to manage them.

Frontline Aids: We reach over 300,000 people who use drugs, with community-led harm reduction services. Globally, women make up 1/3 of people who use drugs and 1/5 of people who inject drugs. Yet women’s health and rights are too often overlooked. Drug use often contradicts the gender roles that society attributes to women. As a result, women who use drugs face intense stigma and discrimination and high levels of violence. In addition, they are often unable to access family planning and health services. More than 65% of women who inject drugs do not use contraception – largely due to access barriers. They also struggle to access post-natal care, HIV testing, treatment and services that prevent transmission.

Access to sexual and reproductive health services must be a priority for those engaged in designing and delivering drug policy programmes. We call on all to build on the momentum from the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document and the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, as well as CND Resolutions 61/6, 62/4 and 63/5. Including increasing harm reduction and tailoring harm reduction services to meet the needs of women and men who use drugs; delivering integrated, multi-disciplinary and evidence-based interventions – including mainstreaming gender-bases; collecting and using gender-dis-aggregated data to track how punitive drug policies affect women’s access to medical services. We are launching new guidance on the health and rights of women who use drugs. We invite all delegates to join us at our lunch event.

Harm Reduction International: In the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, the rate of HIV and blood-borne diseases was noted with concern; and resolved to adopt measures to minimise the effects on health – in other words, harm reduction. Res 63/8 urges member States to provide bilateral and other funding for the HIV response. Despite these declarations, people who use drugs continue to be left behind, exacerbating health and human rights crises. PWUD account for 12% of global infections, including 40% of new infections in Eastern Europe and Asia. Harm reduction interventions – such as OST – are proven to be effective, save lives and contribute to healthier communities. Yet global harm reduction is critically low.

In 2016, harm reduction funding in low and middle income countries was 13% of the 1.5 billion estimated to be needed. OST is available in some prisons in only 58 countries around the world; needle programmes only in 10 countries. This crisis is not due to lack of evidence or money – it is due to criminalisation, stigma and discrimination. We welcome the acknowledgement that responses not in conformity with human rights standards represent a challenge to commitments – this includes the abolition of the death penalty for drug offences. Despite multiple calls, including by HRC, UNODC and INCB, 35 countries retain this in their legislation. Executions for drug offences increased between 2018 and 2019, signifying a worrying reverse of trend.

We urge all member States and the Commission to condemn this practice and require full transparency.

Association pour eto Hombres: We welcome commitments of MSs to adopt scientific-based drug policies, as reflected in the 2019 Declaration and 2016 Outcome Document. More than 100 signatory NGOs submit the following statement:

We invite MSs to ensure the implementation of WHO standards for drug use disorders. Human rights-based interventions. We encourage member States and UNODC to encourage the use of evidence-based practices as a regular basis, collaborating with the research community. We recommend removing interventions not supported by scientific evidence. We suggest robust data collection systems. We urge MSs, UNODC, organisations to collect pertinent data about PWUD and current and emerging challenges. We stress the need to promote research on the effectiveness of drug-related treatments, including relapse prevention and overdose prevention. We invite to prioritise research and data collection on women children, people with HIV, in prison for drug offences, or ethnic minorities, to design effective implementations. We call for more cost-effective practices to ensure access to drugs. We call on MSs to collaborate with civil society. We encourage member States to unequivocally promote evidence-based treatment as part of the health system.

Vienna NGO Committee: The Committee exists to empower and support civil society groups around the world, including more than 250 members, to engage in these discussions and processes. Last year’s Ministerial Declaration committed the CNG to work closely with civil society; the UNGASS Outcome Document stressed the important role we play in the implementation of drug policies. More recently the Common Position talks of the involvement of civil society, as well as PWUD, women and young people. More recently, the latest alert from INCB concerns: the role of civil society in development of drug policies in intervention, treatment and social reintegration. This is appreciated.

The rhetoric is more supportive now for civil society than ever before. There’s also greater participation. The ministerial segment was attended by a record number of CSOs. In 2019, we managed nearly 300 applications for NGOs to speak here at the CNG. We selected 53 speakers across seven different events. This year there are 57 side events either organised or co-sponsored by NGOs. Often we have done that alongside governments and agencies. We value, very positively, the meaningful engagement of civil society as part of the established structure of CNG sessions; as well as new opportunities to engage – including in INCB hearings and expert meetings. We urge MSs to continue to support these kinds of collaborations, and all NGOs to take advantage of these opportunities. We are convinced that civil society views are a valuable resource for the CND.

I formally welcome Ms Ghada Waly. We look forward to working with her and trust that under her leadership, the office will continue to champion civil society. I thank the CND chair himself for a wonderful informal dialogue with civil society this morning and the ongoing support provided by CND.

Slum Child Foundation: Allow me to thank the assembly for giving me an opportunity to address it. My appeal to member States is to think about the future of these populations. As a fellow African, we struggle with poverty, access to treatment, healthcare and much more. I echo the voice on the re-classification of marijuana. We should stop mispriority and work on most important things that help the development of populations. Moving forward, my appeal to developmental partners and states Parties is to continue supporting evidence-based intervention at the grass roots level – more needs to reach the grass roots. I welcome those here to go to the slums where I was brought up, where I do evidence-based intervention developed from the UNODC and see where prevention works and it is less expensive. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. We need more action and not talk.

International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care: The main barriers to adequate medications are lack of awareness, of training, and weak supply chains. Together we can solve these problems. MSs can enlist civil society experts to train workforces and assist with developing policies. Where I work, palliative care organisations work with narcotics organisations to ensure appropriate medication while preventing diversion. Medicines identified as essential medicines serve the public health needs of the population and must be accessible through the public system. We stand by MSs to fulfil their commitments in the Ministerial Declaration. We are at your disposal.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Dear Chair, The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights thanks you for the invitation to speak. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, In the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, all UN Member States reiterated their  commitment to respecting, protecting and promoting all human rights, fundamental freedoms and the inherent dignity of all individuals and the rule of law in the development and implementation of drug policies.  The Member States also expressed concern regarding ‘responses that are not in conformity with applicable international human rights obligations’. The Ministerial Declaration noted that such responses ‘represent a challenge to the implementation of joint commitments of States based on the principle of common and shared responsibility’.  Furthermore, in the Outcome Document of UNGASS 2016, all States committed to tackle impunity. ( recommendation o of Chapter 4 of the UNGASS2016 Outcome Document). In the recent Annual Report, the International Narcotic Control Board expressed serious concern with the continued reports of grave human rights violations perpetrated in the name of drug control. In this regard, the Board again in strongest terms wished to call for an immediate halt to any extrajudicial responses to suspected drug-related criminality or drug use. https://www.incb.org/incb/en/publications/annual-reports/annual-report-2019.html The UN Human Rights Office welcomes INCB’s initiatives and recommendations. Mr. Chair, In her key note speech, delivered at  the  International Harm Reduction Conference, held in April 2019,the  High Commissioner for Human Rights stated : “The so-called “war on drugs” is driven by the idea that crackdowns on people who use drugs – or who are involved in the trade of drugs – will make drug use go away.  But we know, from experience, that this is simply not true.  She further Stated, “ We are witnessing continuing – and in some cases, increasing –human rights violations related to drug control measures. They include reports of extensive extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances in some countries” She emphasized,  “I want to be very clear here. Every human being accused of an offense has the right to due process in a court of law. Anyone who is responsible for killing such a person – whether or not the perpetrator or those responsible are agents of the State – is committing a serious offense that must be investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned.” Dear Chair, In the UN System Common Position on Drug Related Matter, adopted by the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) in 2018, all UN principals committed to address impunity for serious human rights violations in the context of drug control efforts. In 2019, our office in cooperation with the relevant UN peacekeeping operation mission in one State in the Asian region prepared a special report examines the impact on civilians of airstrikes on alleged drug-processing facilities. The Report determined that the operation caused a large number of civilian casualties. In the report, the UN verified 39 civilian casualties, among them 14 children and one woman, from multiple airstrikes on more than 60 sites that identified as drug-production facilities. The report stated that according to international humanitarian law, including international customary law, facilities that contribute economically or financially to the war effort of a party to a conflict are considered civilian objectives. The United Nations maintains that considering these objects and individuals legitimate targets dangerously erodes the fundamental principle of distinction, placing the broader civilian population and infrastructure at risk. The report recommended the concerned State to conduct an independent and transparent investigation to examine the impact on civilians from the said military  operation and to make public the findings as well as measures taken to ensure accountability, including the appropriate redress provided to victims and their family members. Dear Chair, In June 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Council expressed concern about the range of rights violations in the context on drug control efforts in another State in the same region (A/HRC/41/2 on Promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines).  The Council requested the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in that country and present the report the council’s  forty-fourth session in June 2020. The Council urged the government to cooperate with UN offices and mechanisms by facilitating country visits and “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation.” The resolution also urged concerned government to “take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international norms and standards, including on due process and the rule of law.” Dear Chair, The UN Human Rights Office calls upon all concerned States, in accordance with their obligations under international law, to carry out independent, impartial, prompt, thorough, effective and credible investigations into all alleged  extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights violations carried out in the name of drug control. States should provide full reparation, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation, to victims of such violations. Mr. Chair, OHCHR Stands ready to support States in addressing impunity for serious human rights violations in the context of drug control efforts. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

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