Plenary – Item 3. General debate

Nigeria: Nigeria has continued to adopt drug control policies and strategies to respond to emerging and evolving realities policy that is anchored on the National Drug Control Master Plan [DCMP]. First introduced in 1999 then revised to 2021 – 2025. This is an integrated and balanced policy, which combines law enforcement, and the promotion of public health, while employing interagency collaboration and global cooperation in country against the world drug problem. DCMP rests on four major strategic pillars, namely drug supply reduction drug demand reduction, improved access control, as well as governance and coordination of drug control activities. This policy is consistent with our obligations under the three drug control conventions, and the three political documents adopted by member states since 2009. To address and counter the world drug problem as well as the 2019 ministerial declaration. 

Despite the implementation of our framework, and Strategic Action Plan, trafficking and abuse of control substances persist. First, the cultivation and high trafficking of cannabis, and its abuse has been on the increase. National Drug Use Survey 2019 revealed that over 10 million persons abused cannabis in one year. In similar pattern, 2019 and 2020 world drug reports identified cannabis, as the most abused substance, which is threats to security, health and well being of the global population. Second, trafficking and non medical use of synthetic and pharmaceutical opioids, especially Tramadol remains a challenge. This is in spite of our domestic control efforts, as well as to tripartite meetings, facilitated by UNODC involving Nigeria, Ghana and India, held in New Delhi and Lagos in 2019. To address this terminal crisis, Nigeria, considers the legalisation of the illicit use of cannabis as a violation of the drug control treaties, while highlighting the urgent need for change the control measures for Tramadol, and other pharmaceuticals. Nigeria has decentralised, the storage of finished narcotic drugs to ensure their access, availability and affordability for medical and scientific use. We are now able to optimise data collection, and improve state with three submissions of annual requirements to the INCB. in 2020, 2017 and 2019, respectively. We are also on course to start local manufacturing of narcotic medicines from two WHO pre qualified pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure availability and meet national needs. In conclusion, Nigeria calls for robust international cooperation to address the links between drug trafficking and terrorism, illicit financial flows smuggling of migrants and other forms of organised crime.  In addition, we underscore the importance of technical assistance by UNODC, which has greatly assisted practitioners of beneficiary countries and positively impacted global efforts to counter and address the world drug problem and urge for the continuation.

Iran: Allow me to briefly touch upon major activities by the Islamic Republic of Iraq in the field of treatment and harm reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic: offering regular training, formulating and submitting for implementation the relevant set of instructions, as well as oversight for the sound implementation and control of infection caused by COVID-19 at residential and semi residential centres. Increasing the capacity for homeless addicts, as well as making operational centres for medical tests from homeless that suffer from COVID-19. Also, collaborating with UNODC in making operational two harm reduction centres for taking care of women and girls who are addicted to narcotic drugs. It should be noted that during the past year and because of the COVID -9 pandemic the Islamic Republic of Iran in collaboration with UNODC took part in more than 20 regional and international events in a virtual manner. The Islamic Republic of Iran continued its major activities for countering the global problem of narcotic drugs in 2020, which has been described by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution as a major jihad. Law enforcement agency members of the drug control headquarters during the year 2020 have managed to squeeze approximately 1150 tonnes of different types of narcotic drugs by continuing the strengthening of mechanisms for monitoring and control as well as enhancing intelligence exchange among relevant authorities. [ ] In order to proceed with an inclusive and balanced approach in the field of drug control Iran counters any diversion to illicit markets and networks and at the same time have implemented a wide range of projects in the field of demand reduction, prevention and treatment and harm reduction; we have a vocational training for drug addicts. Priority has been given to the community based approach in the field of drug control based on an enter participation by people from all walks of life as ordered by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr Hassan Rowhani; with a moto of “social participation prevents addiction”. [ ] These activities emanate from the firm belief in the need for regional and international cooperation in the field of drug control and the implementation of balanced strategy in the said area. In conclusion, I wish to re emphasise the Islamic Republic of Iran’s resolve and adherence for continued fight against the global problem of drugs and sharing experiences with other countries and pay homage to the blood of my fellow countrymen who dedicated their lives for the sake of combating drugs and call upon other countries and international organs to refrain from any obstructive measures with regards to the transfer of needed equipment and technical assistance in accordance with the principle of shared responsibility and commitment towards international convention. The resolution of international problems requires understanding of cooperation and all countries capable of eliminating these challenges all by itself, both measures require a common understanding and implementation of fundamental measures but all members of the international community. It is the help to bring about a better future for our children through cooperation and solidarity.

Portugal: The Ministerial Declaration of 2019 allowed us to recall the importance of implementing all our commitments, setting the stage for an international single-track approach, reaffirming the multidimensional nature of those commitments and promoting its implementation in practice. The prius of these commitments is reflected in the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session Outcome Document, an historic landmark, in which Member States recognized that the world drug situation should be addressed in a multilateral setting and demands an integrated, multidisciplinary, balanced, evidence-based and comprehensive approach. In this regard, Portugal fully supports the UN System Common Position on drug policy as well as its Task Team, a key development towards the assurance of UN system-wide coherence and alignment with the overarching Sustainable Development Goals. Portugal recognizes drug use as a health issue and drug user as a person who needs to be treated and not punished. In this regard, a public health oriented approach has been implementing, with the aim of preventing the spread of HIV among people who use drugs and decreasing the number of drug-related deaths. At the same time we continue to be strongly committed to supply reduction activities, including law enforcement, judicial cooperation, strengthening assets recovery efforts and combating money laundering. Portugal would like to underline the value and importance of the International Guidelines on Human Rights Drug policy, which provide a comprehensive set of international standards for guiding governments to develop human rights compliant drug policies. Furthermore, and in line with this model, Portugal strongly condemns the application of capital punishment in cases of crime offenses related to drug use. As a matter of fact, Portugal unrelentingly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances. Portugal and Austria have tabled a draft resolution on behalf of the EU and its Member States, entitled “Promoting quality, affordable, scientific evidence-based and comprehensive drug prevention and treatment services”. This draft resolution highlights several relevant topics in the area of drug prevention and treatment. At this stage, Portugal would like to take this opportunity to recognize the role played by civil society organizations in the development and implementation of drug policy. I will now address you very briefly in my capacity as Presidency of the Pompidou Group, of the Council of Europe. This year we are celebrating the fiftieth Anniversary of the Pompidou Group, under the motto “Human rights at the heart of drug policies”. The most important feature of the Anniversary is the expected adoption of a revised statute which includes a strong focus on human rights and public health. The Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe is committed to continue and expand its efforts to further cooperate with international organisations and with civil society organisations towards our common goal to bring public health and the respect of human rights to the forefront of drug policy.

Indonesia: Indonesia would like to associate itself with the Group of 77 and China statement and releases our national statement as follows. Covid 19 has affected many people as well as hindered global efforts to combat drug abuse and trafficking. While it is still early to calculate the effects in countering the world drug problem, but a few things are certain: prolonged lockdown and economic fallout due to the pandemic contribute to increased drug abuse, particularly by the most vulnerable. When borders closed criminal groups adapted very quickly using maritime trafficking routes and new technologies to market illicit drugs. During the pandemic we have seen a relatively substantial increase in methamphetamine cases in Indonesia compared to previous years. Indonesia is strongly committed to implementing our obligations per the major drug control treaties and the 2009 plan of action. We do this in a holistic and integrated manner by balancing three aspects – a hard power approach through law enforcement measures, a soft approach through preventive measures, community empowerment and rehabilitation, and smart power approach utilizing ICT and research. Moving forward, allow me to offer 3 key recommendations: 

  1. To govern stronger we must govern together, we cannot solve the world drug problem on our own, we need a whole government and whole society approach, that also includes family and community. 
  2. International cooperation is key – Indonesia calls on states to work together to disrupt and dismantle criminal groups, including through intelligence gathering and information sharing. 
  3. Rule of law and law enforcement approach against organized criminal groups involved in illicit drug trafficking is imperative considering the serious threats posed to individuals, families and society with full respect of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, non-intervention and rule of law. 

As part of our commitment on this issue, allow me to announce Indonesia’s candidacy as members of CND year 2024-2027. We hope all member states will be able lend their favourable support to our candidacy. Indonesia will continue its long standing cooperation with the international community in our joint efforts to tackle the world drug problem.

Argentina: Would like to restate our commitment to an integrated approach on the global problem of drugs in full compliance with international law and the UN Convention on Human Rights in the context of the three conventions on international drugs control. This is only possible if we consolidate democractic models in countries which guide our policies to build societies that are more egalitarian and equitable. We have all had to face the challenge of the pandemic and have responded nimbly in this context, by strengthening state systems of healthcare, and making payments to the most vulnerable sectors and strengthening the world of labour. The pandemic showed us the importance of dialogue with the international community and within regions. In order to comply with our integrated approach we added action between the secretariat on integrated policies on drugs, the ministry of security and the ministry of health in order to take differentiated action to care for people and to ensure reduction of supply of substances. We have expanded our policies of prevention, treatment and care with collective strategies and intersectional agreements, also increasing areas of care, and in the end the proportion of the population we reach through national but accessible networks. We strengthened strategies of intervention for those people who suffer from situations of problematic substances accompanying them with policies which focus on gender and reintroducing them to the world of employment. Investigating new patterns of consumption, linking to actions of prevention and accessibility of treatment are the pillars of our action to make more effective demand reduction. As for reducing supply we strengthened efforts among federal forces of law and order so they can carry out high quality criminal investigations in cooperation with agencies and bodies of the state which makes it possible to break up the drug trafficking chain, and other complex related crimes such as tax evasion, money laundering, human trafficking etc. We also recognize the availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes as an essential element for the right to health. Argentina commits itself to continue working on integrated policies of care and treatment. Under the remit of president Hernandez who also stipulated we should prioritize the common good.
Philippines: Continue to uphold the centrality of international drug control convention. Which serve as principle frameworks in addressing the world drug problem. We continue to strengthen our actions towards implementing joint commitments to counter the world drug problem. Guided by Philippine’s Anti-Illegal Drug Strategy (PADS) drug policy we implement a comprehensive and balanced approach to address all the facets of the world drug problem. Within their mandates all agencies of government, along with NGOs and the private sector are working together to do their part in implementing drug supply and demand reduction strategies. In the implementation of PADS we have set the foundation for the implementation of a whole nation approach against illegal drugs. Successes have been felt in the implementation of this strategy as drug use went down and public awareness and approval of the government’s campaign were recorded at high rates. In the midst of the pandmeic continue to implement programs to design online platforms reaching more of our target sector, which is youth. Preventive education and providing capacity building programs virtually encouraged participation from those in remote provinces. Information was disseminated through social media and online portals making them always available and accessible. To ensure treatment interventions will continue even during the pandemic the Dangerous Drugs Board implemented prevention and control protocols in drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities. We have also supplemented the resources of a number of agencies to help them implement their priorities in the Anti-Drug Strategy. Among programs to be implemented includes the production of advocacy materials and implementation of drug free workplace policies. Amidst challenges the Philippines remains true to its commitment to protecting its citizens from the scourge of illegal drugs, represented by our commitment to the maintenance of peace and order, protection of life liberty and property, and promotion general welfare enshrined in our constitution which protects every human being and ensures full respect of human rights.

Italy: Given the stress and isolation caused by the pandemic, youth are more vulnerable to addiction than ever before, necessitating new policies and interventions. We work on current efforts to respond to illicit sale and purchase of drugs, via the internet, especially new substances. I want to stress once again the importance of developing prevention strategies for youth, focusing especially on families and schools. Our mandate is not limited to substance addiction but includes all the forms of addiction that affect the youth, such as behavioural addictions. Comprehensive strategies is key. In that we develop a national action plan for addiction, based on the European action plan. We will involve both central and local institution, as well as civil society organisations, and the scientific community. It is also our ambition to strengthen international collaboration, not only in the framework of the European Union institutions, but also at a wider international level. In fact, our belief is that the only possible way to achieve significant results is through a common synergic effort, our policies are based on the integrated synergic approach. They must not only focus on drugs supply but also reduce demand. These two complimentary elements are part of the same approach, and are supposed to go hand in hand. Demand Reduction in order to be effective must be social health centred and cover all the aspects of the phenomenon of addiction. A comprehensive approach should be founded on effective and efficient, evidence based prevention programmes and best practices. It must be provided access without discrimination to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery and risk and harm reduction services. Please allow me to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all the social and health care professionals involved in the treatment of addiction in both the public and private sector. These diligent, professionals, as continued to work in support of others in hospitals and health care facilities, including addition treatment services that have stayed open during this pandemic, stress, isolation, and the disruption of social connections are all factors that can lead to the problematic use of drugs and alcohol, as well as to behavioural addictions, access to treatment is crucial. Now more than ever we will continue to support those who are suffering, and we must continue to guarantee health, or to our citizens without discrimination.

US: The United States is pleased to be participating in the CND, because this is the forum in which we can work together to make meaningful progress, that will benefit all nations. I want to express our sincere appreciation for the Secretary its efforts to make this meeting, the first ever hybrid CND possible. We welcome the opportunity to engage with all delegates, Even if we are not all physically in Vienna. CND is the premier forum to focus on the problems caused by illicit drugs. And these problems are significant, and made tragically worse by the COVID 19 pandemic. We know the effects that substance use disorder can have on communities, families, on health and on our nations, we know to how synthetic drugs including illicitly manufactured fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues, and new psychoactive substances, make existing problems worse. In the US illicitly manufactured synthetic drugs were responsible for more overdose deaths last year than any other substance, and they’re becoming more prevalent in other countries as well.

Every member of the CND knows we must address the problems that affect us all so we all may benefit. But we can’t confront today’s challenges with yesterday’s methods. We have to modernise and make sure our approaches are responsive to current trends. In the US we are facing unprecedented levels of overdoses. On April 1 we released President Biden’s plan to address the addiction overdose epidemic, which calls for modern solutions such as expanding access to evidence based treatment services and harm reduction services and prioritising racial equity also seek to expand access to recovery support services, and reduce barriers to employment for people in recovery, reducing the demand for drugs is an important part of the equation. Reducing the supply of illicit drugs, particularly synthetics includes addressing the supply of precursor chemicals used to make these substances. Many are now scheduled, but scheduling alone won’t make them go away as illicitly producing make drugs proliferate.

CND member states must ensure they have strong regulatory systems in place, particularly for tracking production or chemical industries to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of weak regulations and allow illicit production of these substances. While a strong regulatory framework is the most important piece, we must also engage the private sector in preventing the diversion of illicit substances, as well as the production and shipping of illicit substances, including through mail carriers. In this regard, we welcome the adoption of the US sponsored resolution 63/2 focused on public private partnerships, and we implore all members to make its implementation a priority. Provide the framework, and the CND provides the mechanism for member states to find a way to act on key issues. The US looks forward to working together to address our common problems and save lives.

Chile: The prevention of drug taking is a priority. We have been working with all means available to us, to prevent consumption of substances; working with all Chileans, in particularly with our children’s children and young people. In this spirit, we have continued with the implementation of the national plan. It’s now active in 85% of the country. We hope to extend it in 2022. This plan is a part of our plan for [SDG]2030. One of the main components of this strategy is a national drugs observatory, an organisation, made up of 14 state bodies, which provides real time information about the situation of drug trafficking in our country, [] to supply demand and the response to this phenomenon. In this vein, thinking about the concerns provoked by the phenomenon of emerging drugs, we created an early warning system. Another essential component in our drugs policy. This system launched in November 2020 as its main goal is to maintain active vigilance regarding the arrival of new drugs, provide evidence so that we can devise new policies in terms of controlling supply. We are taking the most appropriate action we can towards new active thinking about everything that is occurring in our region. All of this is important when we consider the results recent studies conducted in our country that shows drug consumption among young Chileans is at a very high levels; now even greater than those of the consumption by adults. This is a very sad and worrying phenomenon. We have conducted all of these measures to combat consumption of these drugs. And we see this a long way ahead of us. On this basis we enter full support at the 64th CND to achieving the goals, as suggested by WHO, when it comes to new drugs, and when it comes to drug control, in the same vein as our country has acted in the past. On December 21 we said we wanted to overcome the consumption of cannabis. And it’s sprayed in our country. And we ask you to continue to increasing control mechanisms, so that we can better face the problem of drugs, all of this being evidence based.

China: This year marks the anniversaries of the conclusion of the 1961 Convention and 1971 Convention respectively. China firmly supports and implements the conventions. We have always been of the opinion that this makes positive contributions to safeguarding people’s wellbeing and creating a path in national drug control. Currently drug control is facing major changes with ever increasing new and emerging types of synthetic substances as well as methods of drug manufacturing and trafficking. New challenges from Covid-19 in past year is placing new demands on drug control. In the past year authorities have been fighting drugs and preventing new coronavirus infections. We conducted information and education campaigns on the internet leading to a sharp drop in the number of new drug users. We used big data to curb crime, intensified drug user treatment and built a regulatory platform for precursors. Public satisfaction with drug control has reached 96.96%. Drugs remain a common enemy of human society and no country is immune. All countries should work together to be safe, accomplish shared missions and fulfill shared responsibilities. We should overcome difficulties together to resolutely oppose legalization of drugs in any shaper or form. We should keep pace with times and find new ways to control drugs, promote innovation in techniques to overcome difficulties. Countries should study changes in the drug situation in depth and continue to learn and share success. While a drug free world is the main goal, conditions and measures differ among countries. We should discard prejudice and finger pointing in favour of experience sharing. The world drug situation is grim and complex but as the old Chinese saying goes the seemingly insurmountable differences cannot break our backs. 

Japan: All of us have endured difficult months and years, billions of lives have been lost, the pandemic has disturbed our societies and caused prolonged social isolation. It has also exacerbated the world drug problem by hampering our demand and supply reduction capacities and highlighting new challenges in law enforcement, drug prevention and treatment services, as well continued access to internationally controlled substances. While this has exposed serious challenges in our system, it has also presented opportunities to review and strengthen our approaches to ensure sustainability and societal resilience, not only to Covid-19 but to future pandemics and other emerging health threats. We must build on this momentum and further bolster international cooperation in order to bolster our fight against the world drug problem. We must also advance the implementation of all integrated drug policy commitments as a follow up to the ministerial declaration of 2019. We remain fully committed to the effective implementation of international drug control conventions. We continue to contribute to international cooperation to combat the world drug problem with UNODC, INCB and WHO, to ensure the health and welfare of all of our societies.
Australia: Covid-19 has put great pressure on our communities, our economies and our efforts to address the world drug problem. We support the Commission’s statement on the impacts of the pandemic on the implementation of our joint commitments. Wer emain committed to the collective response to new and emerging trends and challenges. This session of the Commission marks the 60th and 50th anniversary of 1961 and 1971 conventions respectively. These milestones are a testament to the enduring relevance to conventions and we remain strongly committed to implementing them. To ensure they remain relevant into the future, we must be prepared to listen to expert scientific and medical advice, and keep scheduling up to date and in line with community expectations. The scheduling system is essential to the integrity to drug control framework. We welcome the commissions vote in december on WHO recommendations to reschedule cannabis and cannabis resin. This deomnstrated the enduring relevance of the international drug control regimes which aims to protect public health and ensure wellbeing in society. Australia is honoured to have been a member of CND and we are seeking reelection for another term. We have brought an Indo-Pacific perspective to the CND, and collaborated with regional partners to address shared challenges. After 45 years we are as committed as ever to the essential work of CND including contributing to the global SMART program to address challenges posed by synthetic drugs and the joint global program to ensure access to controlled medicines. If reelected, Australia will continue to advocate for access to controlled medicines in line with the primary objectives of the international conventions with a focus on addressing the specific needs of vulnerable populations. We will also advocate for a balanced, evidence-based approach, incorporating both law enforcement and health approaches. We remain steadfast seeking the abolition death penalty in all circumstances, it remains an inhumane, irreversible and ineffcetive form of punishment. The international community should make more use of commission to share evidence based policies and lessons learned, in order for the best policies to emerge. If reelected we will do more to share experience, both good and bad, in pursuing supply, demand and harm reduction measures, working with all stakeholders including civil society organizations. We will accelerate the implementation of our 2019 ministerial declaration commitments including the complementary and mutually reinforcing 2009 political declaration and plan of action and the 2016 UNGASS outcome document.

Germany: It has been 60 years of the single convention on Narcotic Drugs ,50 years of the Convention on psychotropic substances in 5 years of UNGASS2016 with its groundbreaking outcome document in themselves. These would be three good reasons to take an optimistic view of the future. However, the current situation gives only slight reason for optimism. Illicit drug production and trafficking have reached alarming peaks. Globally, the number of drug death is at an unacceptably high level. In many places, the situation of small scale farmers in drug growing areas has deteriorated. The COVID 19 pandemic has only made matters worse. It is precisely those who are already vulnerable, those who are living with addiction that have been hit full force. Oftentimes, they have no access to the health care system, and they have scarcely any means of protecting themselves from infection. 

Supply reduction and law enforcement will not be able to solve the global drug problem on their own. They must be supplemented by another pillar; health policy. We must recognise that drug dependence is a disease and people suffering from a disease need counselling care and harm reduction measures. This not only benefits those living with addiction and their relatives, it also benefits society as a whole. If we want to see a reduction in illicit drug use we must address the reasons that cause people to turn to drugs and invest in efficient prevention vicious. This is why I’m delighted that in late 2020, the European Union adopted a new EU drug strategy for the next five years. [This] embodies precisely this wisely chosen mix of supply reduction, law enforcement, and health policy. In addition, it includes the important element of international cooperation, including alternative development. Let us continue to collaborate with one another in this spirit for a strong international drug control regime, and for the most vulnerable in our societies.

Slovenia: Slovenia highly appreciates the role of the UNODC. In our view, it enables important exchange of experience in search of joint ways to resolve the problem of illicit production, trade, and use of drugs at the global, regional, and national levels in a comprehensive manner and with respect for human rights. For these reasons, Slovenia decided to renew its financial support for the work of the UNODC. 

Slovenia is not immune to drug abuse. In response to this problem, my country employs an interdisciplinary comprehensive and balanced approach. The Slovenian Ministry of Health systematically promotes scientifically proven measures and cooperation among different stakeholders, including governmental experts, scientists, and non governmental actors. On the topic of early prevention aim, we explore ways to make effective preventive solutions available and to galvanise action and implementation in line with the UNODC and WHO international standards on drug use prevention. We regard addiction as an illness, and the person suffering from it as requiring particular medical and social assistance, as well as rehabilitation. To meet this principle [we manage] over 170 social welfare programmes contributing to prevention, treatment, harm reduction, [against] stigmatisation and reintegration of drug users into society. We are convinced that reducing the supply of controlled substances is one the guiding principles in a comprehensive and balanced drugs policy. In this context, it is important to mention that the traditional drug trafficking route is still active in both directions. Slovenia’s geographical position on this route in a certain way, influences the situation in the field of drugs. Slovenia is mostly a transit country, but also a target country in this regard. Sometime now we have been observing the trend that companies are being set up in Slovenia solely for the purpose of smuggling controlled drugs. As a consequence, the Slovenian police has stepped up its efforts to disclose the abuse by potential businesses in smuggling control drugs. We are aware that organised criminal groups are able to quickly adapt to the different situations and trends in countries, as well as to the current situations due to the COVID 19 pandemic. During the last year, the activities of drug criminal groups have not decreased despite the restrictions posed by the pandemic. On the contrary, the COVID-19 situation has only increased the supply and sale of controlled substances, especially synthetic and new psychoactive substances via internet, especially darknet. Organised criminal groups are taking full advantage of encrypted digital communication. We support all activities in this area on a global level, as we are aware that national efforts, no matter how appreciated they are do not contribute significantly to the global reduction of the problem. Before concluding, I would like to underline the great importance that my country attaches to regional cooperation, tackling the drug problem, Slovenia, therefore intends, not only to maintain, but also to enhance its cooperation. In light of the global nature of the drug challenge. We call on cooperation among countries around the world.

Austria: 64th CND takes place in the year of two important anniversaries. 60 years ago the single convention on Narcotic Drugs was adopted, followed by the Convention on psychotropic substances, 10 years later. In the spirit of these major breakthroughs in international drug policy we look forward to maintaining a fruitful dialogue and identifying innovative solutions during the present session. The conditions in which we are meeting this week are not easy, but the COVID 19 pandemic makes it makes the review and analysis of the global drug situation, all the more important. Austria is committed to fostering international cooperation to tackle the world drug situation. Together with Portugal, we are sponsoring a draft resolution supported by member states of the European Union that seeks to promote quality, affordable scientific evidence based and comprehensive drug prevention and treatment services worldwide. Is firm in its view that addiction cannot be reduced to a criminal matter. Addiction is a chronic illness that has consequences for those directly affected, the immediate environment and society as a whole. Therefore, the medical health, economic, and social dimension of the issue, must also be taken into account. In general, we place a strong emphasis on intensive prevention because evidence has shown that health related measures are most effective when they are implemented at an early stage. We are particularly concerned with the protection of vulnerable groups, such as children and young people. We have launched a number of successful projects in the area of harm reduction and in the prevention of the transmission of HIV or hepatitis C. In conclusion, let me underline our excellent cooperation with you and UNODC and our full commitment to supporting the fulfilment of its mandate.

United Arab Emirates: Covid-19 has had great implications on our lifestyle and livelihoods, and this led to adoption of a number of preventive measures that have led to changes to criminal patterns especially with reference to drug production and acquisition. This has contributed to lowering certain types of criminality but at the same time presenting a new challenge, namely looking at an increase in cyber crime. The UAE remains fully committed to combatting trans-national organized crime and crimes related to use and smuggling of drugs and psychotropic substances. Covid-19 impacted society in the UAE and we developed our own policy framework to tackle this problem, we have recently witnessed an increase in supply and increase in prices by 150%, this meant we were faced with greater demand for rehab centres which we have met by rapid responses to increase staff in these centres. National taskforce has decided to convene to tackle the latest trends especially the networks operating along borders and we have established plans in order to deal with this new situation as we have seen additional attempts to use boats to smuggle drugs. Patrol forces were able to seize 1,250kg of drugs and 82,000 narcotic pills as we countered 16 attempts at maritime drug smuggling in 2020. We know that 2019 was exceptional as it has had a great impact on our statistics related to drug criminality. While some crimes decreased others increased and we have seen an increase in drug crimes by 20%. At the same time we are keen to pursue operations using the latest technologies and we have conducted 455 exchanges of information with other relevant peer authorities around the world. We have implemented 16 extra judicial operations with other partners and cooperated with Interpol arresting a wanted individual in our country who was delivered to italian authorities. The number of arrested individuals in other countries with our cooperation amounted to 21 individuals. We have been forced to reconsider many things in our lives and how we assess the latest trends in criminality. We are faced with many challenges with the drug problem migrating into the cyber world and use of social media networks to market and promote drugs as well as many using crypto currency for the sake of their operations.

Romania: Romania fully supports the statement of the European Union (EU). We appreciate that this debate allows us to discuss efficient ways to combat the consequences of the Covid-19 situation on the global drug problem. The pandemic had a high impact on societies which led to the worsening of drug situation worldwide affecting people who use drugs and vulnerable people by disrupting prevention treatment and care services, while organized crime groups remained active, adapting transportation models and trafficking routes. In order to address trends and challenges I would like to highlight important aspects for consideration: we need to multiply actions and accelerate implementation of our joint commitments through the adoption of the 2019 ministerial declaration and 2016 UNGASS outcome document in line with our relevant 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to ensure nobody is left behind. Efforts to achieve the relevant SDGs and efforts to address the world drug problem compliment and enforce each other. We should take advantage of good practices, lessons learned, and opportunities identified during this period to strengthen cooperation at all levels and further develop innovative approaches to drug prevention, treatment and care services. It is beneficial to continue to involve and facilitate participation of civil society in deliberations of drug policies. Policies should respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms of vulnerable freedoms, and protect families, vulnerable groups, communities, and society as a whole. We must further commit to the effective implementation of the three UN drug conventions and other relevant human rights instruments which are the cornerstone of the drug control system. We fully support the adoption draft resolution submitted by the EU to promote development of quality, affordable, scientific, evidence-based, comprehensive drug prevention and treatment services around the world. We underline that we welcome this session as an opportunity to exchange information to further contribute to broader un priorities to promote human rights, peace, security and development. Let me express a hope that our joint efforts will lead to a more balanced and comprehensive policy despite challenges caused by the pandemic.
Saudi Arabia: This session is held in exceptional circumstances as a result of Covid-19 and its repercussions on health, society, and economies. The pandemic has also impacted drug trafficking and health related aspects to drug policies. We want to reaffirm our commitment to all conventions and treaties pertaining to combating the illicit trade in drugs including the three conventions which are the cornerstone of our efforts to counter the world drug problem based on common and shared responsibility principle. We have not spared any efforts in countering the world drug problem and mitigating its impact. Despite the efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia to combat trafficking, the groups trafficking methamphetamine have increased activities finding alternative routes through Eastern Europe and Asia. Therefore, we have increased cooperation with international partners in order to track consignments and intercept them. There was a major success achieved in cooperation with Malaysia as the Malaysian officials intercepted the trafficking of over 194 million methamphetamine tablets as a result of our successful cooperation. We note the increase in trafficking of methamphetamine and methamphetamine type stimulants and notice an increase in heroin smuggling networks. Therefore, we have doubled efforts to prevent trafficking and rehabilitate users of such substances. We have provided awareness raising lectures, seminars and workshops with the participation of the private sector. We reiterate that easing measures to sanction drug traffickers will not yield the desired result of safer and drug free societies but we commend efforts exerted to contain trade and movement of precursors and substances that can be used in manufacturing drugs.

Uruguay: Uruguay historically has been a defender of international law and it has a comprehensive understanding of the Conventions and of the commitments entered into by the countries; not just in the context of the dimensions the Conventions of 1961 and 1971 and 1978. Fundamentally, when it comes to prevention, protection of human rights, we consider that the new pre-sets [] must ensure protection of health and access to appropriate treatment. [] and leads to drug demand reduction policies. In Uruguay we will continue to promote an open policy and we will work together with different states and agencies, international bodies, in the various global and regional areas promoting an open pluralistic debate. Similarly, we will strengthen international cooperation and bilateral cooperation in order to enrich our various aspects. Acknowledging that this is a multi sided threat, facing humanity with very complex and multidisciplinary issues, there is no single solution to the problems related to drugs. There are numerous and multi sided problems. There is no single reality, rather, this changes depending upon the region and the country. In December 2020, there was an international milestone in the changes began to come about in the legislation of various countries. Given that this Commission and the UNODC, following the WHO recommendations, adopted the exclusion of cannabis and its resin from list IV of the 1961 convention. This is something very important for many of the countries which are members of this Commission. In this context, we should restate the principle that each country is sovereign to establish its own policies aimed at improving public health, respecting human rights in line with international law, and implementing measures to combat drug trafficking. Uruguay provides a model of governments of public measures to combat drugs, which brings together in a balanced way the interests of the state, of civil society and the private sector. Applying these policies [enhances] economic and social development, and the cultural development of all of society. The basic goal is to guarantee access to health care universally. From a holistic point of view [take care] of the needs of society based on the recognition of differing realities as well as on the different needs regarding the non problematic use of certain licit drugs. When problems persist, the results are not as hopeful. We need to look at our conclusions and concede errors. Reality is complex and diverse. We need to analyse our successes, and also our mistakes, strategic mistakes which have occurred, so we try and find a better solution; and to remember that when use of drug is problematic, we need to acknowledge that this affects health. Without heart of our work, we must have the individual, acknowledging there is no predetermined or single model. We need to have a holistic approach and to continue to think about those who use problematic substances. Think about their motivation and their needs. And there is no single valid path, there are various approaches possible. In conclusion we have adopted a strategy for the period 2021 to 2025, in which we restate our commitment to strengthen communication, cooperation, and exchange of information with other countries in order to address the negative effects of drugs throughout the world, with a holistic approach, one which is balanced and interdisciplinary, based on protection of human rights, scientific and technical evidence, and take into account the gender perspective. We understand this is a dynamic and complex problem affecting various areas and dimensions. We must come up with appropriate and commensurate solutions to all of this so that we can meet the needs of all of society in the context of the current pandemic. Our country promotes exchange of knowledge and experience establishing areas for cooperation linked to action between different regional stakeholders and international stakeholders in a given field.

Tunisia: I would like to associate myself with the statements of the African group and that of the 77 and China Group, especially in stating that resolving the world drug problem and countering drugs is a common and shared responsibility that requires the strengthening international and regional cooperation and also adopting a balanced comprehensive, integrated, evidence based approach, while taking into account the different challenges that we are facing today at the economic, social and security levels in order to support and protect the safety, health and well being of humanity everywhere. We are gathered today in exceptional circumstances that were imposed on us due to the COVID 19 pandemic, which has brought new repercussions and new challenges to all walks of life, including preventing drug use and combating the illicit drug trade, which calls upon us to strengthen and converge our efforts to face this scourge and its repercussions, especially on the youth. It is noteworthy that Tunisia, based on its strong belief in the importance of the role played by international community, and also upon the initiative of our president has tabled with France the resolution 25/32, that was adopted unanimously by the Security Council in July 2020 adopting a new approach towards international security based on synergy, cooperation and solidarity in order to face challenges. I cannot but recognise the importance of the role played by UNODC and the INCB in order to support different countries, especially developing and less developed countries, and building their capacities in order to make available the international controlled substances that are necessary for pharmaceutical and medical purposes. Tunisia, despite these exceptional circumstances, and based on our belief and the importance of upholding our commitment to all international instruments that were adopted in this field. Tunisia is willing to or is preparing to provide a detailed report on the equipments that it has made and implementing the recommendations of the INCB in light of the visit, that the board has paid to our country in 2018 and in light of the Tunisian Government’s commitment and its determination to double its efforts to prevent drug addiction, and to promote the treatment and rehabilitation of drug users, and those grappling with problems, especially those that are currently in prison at the legislative level. After the law Number 52 of 1992 that was amended on the 25th of April, 2017 by abolishing the provisions of chapter 12 in order to allow judges more room for jurisprudence and discretion. Recently, the parliament was presented with a draft law in order to provide more discretion and authority for judges, and gradually decrease the sanctions that are related to drug use and possession and also maintaining the apprehensive aspect, other sanctions pertaining to drug trafficking and drug trade, Tunisia is paying special attention to mental health and helping people get rid of addiction, attesting an increase in people benefiting from such services.

France: France fully endorses the statement made by Portugal, on behalf of the EU. The current drug supply and demand situation is complex and is constantly evolving. Consumption is diversifying. The internet is contributing to broad distribution and trafficking is shifting to new routes, and it is taking on a new scale, while the current health crisis has sped up certain trends. It has also led to positive developments, particularly in the treatment of drug users, and this is why France wishes to highlight a few key ideas. The first of these is the need for an informed, non ideological discussion of these issues, based on the most up to date scientific data and studies. Last December, the international community adopted the WHO recommendation to promote the use of cannabis for scientific and medical purposes, while maintaining its classification as a narcotic. France welcomes this decision, and through this the international community has shown the relevance of the current Treaty System by proving that texts can evolve in compliance with international law and in full accordance with the latest best scientific recommendations, without falling victim to instrumentalisation. Respect for the international framework for cooperation and the implementation of our common objectives is an essential principle that must guide us all; The three UN drug conventions as the basis for our cooperation, as the outcome document adopted at the UNGASS on the world drug problem in 2016 is our operational roadmap. The keystone of this cooperation must remain respect for human rights. France first recalls its ongoing determined opposition to the death penalty in all places and under all circumstances. We call an all member states to respect the commitments made in the United Nations International Bill of Human Rights. We also urge all states that still apply this inhuman punishment to establish a moratorium, with a view to full abolition. The current pandemic has shown to what extent we share the same vulnerabilities and how interdependent we all are on a global scale, but it also shows us how necessary it is to join forces to pool our knowledge, expertise and resources. When it comes to drugs as well as the weaknesses, vulnerabilities and decisions of some have an impact on others and that is why France is a strong advocate of the principle of multilateralism. If we want to see a reduction in drug use and limit the impact of trafficking on security, the rule of law, health, and the legal economy. We must work in concert. By relying on the valuable work of all of the competent authorities, led by the INCB, UNODC and the WHO, but also in [] community and the experience of civil society on the ground. We must find together the best solutions to all new challenges. Many young people will emerge weakened and traumatised from the many months of this pandemic, the risk of increased drug use is real because some people see drugs as a way out. We must act immediately and forcefully to better prevent and mitigate the associated risks. It is with this in mind that France is running for a new mandate within the CND for 2022 to 2025.

Burkina Faso: Supports and subscribes to statements made on behalf of the African Group as well as the Group of 77 and China. Burkina Faso is deeply concerned by the scourge of drugs and its corollaries as well as to the security and development of states. Statistics in the World Drug Report certainly caught our attention. It is stated that 36.6 million people are affected by drug problems worldwide, and that 192 million consumed cannabis in 2018, making it the most widely used drugs followed by opipids whose non-medical usage exacerbates public health crises. In Burkina Faso the situation is alarming, in 2020 over 30,800 kg of cannabis and 289,346 kg of prohibited substances were seized. In parallel the government and civil society organizations working on awareness programs in schools and universities as well as with the most vulnerable members of society. In spite of progress, the phenomenon of drugs remains a major concern for my country. It presents many security challenges with recurrent terrorist attacks. Furthermore, the decision taken in 2020 to modify the classification system for cannabis and related substances is one which will lead to increased use of cannabis and its derivatives. We call for increased international cooperation and technical assistance to combat the global drug problem. For this reason my delegation is joining forces with other co-offices to draft a resolution to combat non-medical use of pharmaceuticals and we call on all delegations to support this draft resolution. We would like to reiterate that we stand ready to implement obligations to combat the scourge of drugs.

Czechia: Last year was impacted by a pandemic which has brought dramatic changes to our lives, including many losses. Many of us have changed the way we go about our daily lives. This has resulted in negative consequences for public health aspects and for the drug situation in general. I want to thank all those directly facing pandemic including providers and all staff of addictology services. Services responded quickly and provided interventions such as prevention, harm reduction , treatment, rehabilitation, recovery and social integration. The pandemic has as also affected efforts to bridge gaps and address persistent trends in response to the world drug situation. We need to reaffirm our joint commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism to achieve progress and accelerate implementation of international drug policy commitments in an integrated, evidence-based and comprehensive approach. Drug policy and situations in regions and countries are evolving. We must closely cooperate to achieve effective responses and intervention in addressing the world drug situation, from implementation of prevention measures to the promotion to reduce drug related harms and other demand reduction interventions such as treatment, rehabilitation, and stabilization of mental health of people effected by addictive behaviour. In order to develop a healthy lifestyle in children and youth special attention needs to be paid to these groups. We have a responsibility to create the condition to support the availability of and access to services, programs and intervention. It is necessary to protect society through demand reduction and harm reduction programs as well as addressing drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime. We are involved in the EU policy cycle especially to reduce production of synthetic drugs of new psychoactive substances in the EU and to dismantle organized crime groups involved in their production, trafficking and distribution. We are the leader of the two year EU project to dismantle illegal methamphetamine laboratories and any criminal efforts to supply drug precursors and other active chemicals for the production of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs. We are also closely cooperating in the preparation of the next EU policy cycle for period 2022-2025. We see new threats drug policy is facing from how drug markets and drug trafficking have adapted to new situations from the pandemic. We are facing new technologies, online sales, innovative trafficking and production. We are concerned about the prevalence of precursors and other chemicals used in drug production. We see an increase in harms among people who use drugs is also caused by policies and stigmatization accompanied by exclusion from preventative and other programs. Therefore all policies, programs and interventions must support proportionate sentencing for drug related offences. We reaffirm our joint commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism we welcome the UN system common position on drug related matters and work of the task team which confirms the cooperation across different roles of UN agencies. We emphasize the important role of the scientific community and NGOs in their efforts to combat the world drug situation. We must work together for collective efforts to ensure safety, health and wellbeing of all members of society, prevention of risky behaviour, availability to healthcare, reduce harm related to drug use, and promote and respect human rights.
Poland: We share the opinion of the European Union and therefore wish to emphasize our full support for priorities of EU drug policy. It is vital to us to develop policies that respect human rights and liberties, evidence-based practices, participation and listening to drug-dependent populations and civil society. We stress our ongoing objection to capital punishment in any case, not only in relation to drugs. The pandemic caused deterioration in health as well as social and economic standing, including the whole spectrum of personnel involved in healthcare and public security. The current state of affairs has seen a sharp decline in demand reduction, including problems contacting prevention services, as well as providing treatment and access to sport and other activities. As the available data shows illegal drug markets were not impacted by the pandemic and supply did not fall. Local problems related to the availability of drugs were noted but generally supply did not fall additionally there was a rise in the role of the internet in distributing drugs. The economic crisis, loss of employment and security, social isolation, as well as interpersonal and development limitations especially among children and adolescents, severely affected mental health and contributed to the use of alcohol, drugs, poly-drug use as well as other addictions and their related harms. The broadly understood issue of mental healthcare for children and adolescents and the holistic approach to addiction deserves intensified attention and response on the part of all stakeholders. We are confronted by the pandemic which marginalizes all problems and the economic crisis which impacts individual and societal level while there is also a need to maintain standard of international law in the field of drug supply and demand reduction as well as to respond to emerging challenges. It is necessary to focus attention on cooperation between law enforcement and the one side and public health on the other. The pandemic necessitated the design and application of new responses to the drug problem, many of which will stay past the pandemic. We should strengthen and develop cooperation at the international and regional level, share experiences, and prevent challenges. It is important to continue high-level cooperation and dialogue in the spirit of common ground and respect for conditions of respective countries. We should continue joint translation into practice of the UNGASS 2016 outcome document and 2019 political declaration. These allow for evidence-based and balanced policy which will be supportive in global activities.

Myanmar: Allow me to express my pleasure to have this opportunity to review on the drug control measures taken by Myanmar during this 64 CND meeting. Is is widely known that Myanmar is one of the countries in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific region that has suffered most from the growing threat of drugs. Regarding this, since regaining independence in 1948 consecutive governments have relentlessly carried out preventive measures as a priority. Myanmar, as a signatory country to the UN Convention on drugs control has been fulfilling all obligations in line with the UN conventions. [ ] Law enforcement agencies, led by the military and police have conducted special operations to dismantle clandestine labs, and drug gangs, on a yearly basis. [ ] I’m happy to report the newer cultivation of poppy and opium production have declined significantly over the past years; the results are from the joint opium survey with UNODC. [ ] Opium poppy farmers are not put in jail in accordance with the law, but have been provided with alternative sustainable livelihoods. With a view to upgrade the livelihoods of the opium farmers Myanmar has signed a MoU with Malenko company from France to export coffee seeds from alternative development areas in the country, and plans to export 600 tonnes of coffee seeds to European countries.

As the stability of the state is somehow related to the growing threat of illicit drugs, the government is persistently collaborating with ethnic groups in signing a conciliation agreement to maintain peace in the country forever. Even though we are witnessing the decline of opioid cultivation and opium production in recent years, the increase of ATS production has become a main threat to the country. We believe that the only way to stop the growing threat of ATS is to take full control, and close cooperation to prevent a diversion and illicit trafficking in precursor chemicals from neighbouring countries. [ ] Moreover, the 1993 narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances national law, amended on 2018 in order to be in line with international standards and norms, is opening up more opportunity for drugs and treatment for rehabilitation. In order to solve the mounting threat of drugs, financial and technical support from the international community is highly essential because we hope that our international counterparts will assist us to this. I would like to reiterate that the cooperation mechanism, among every country is one of the crucial factors to solve the growing threat of drugs in our region.

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