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)

Nigeria: My country reiterates our commitment to address the world drug problem in a balanced, comprehensive and integrated approach. We believe that better implementation of our national drug control masterplan will enhance our efforts. Our plan is built on 5 pillars: supply reduction tackles cannabis suppression as it remains the drug most commonly abused in the countries – it will make the drug trade unprofitable; demand reduction which highlights evidence-based drug prevention campaigns; access to medicines to deal with the problem of uneven access to drugs for medical and scientific purposes; governance which covers measures for ensuring implementation of the plan. To respond to the challenges posed by cannabis cultivation and illicit drug trafficking, we have undertaken measures such as taking land from people who use it for cannabis cultivation purposes. Our recent research conducted will inform our alternative development strategies. We are strengthening strategies to weaken the financial links of syndicates, and improving our asset recovery strategies to increase our ability to trace proceeds of crime and recover assets. Our strategies also aim to improve law enforcement and human rights practices. We made large seizures and convicted drug traffickers. We have consistently shared information with counterparts in other countries and sustained participation in regional and international seminars and conferences. International cooperation is critical and we are open to making more initiatives on international drug control. We note the increasing use of drugs, including pharmaceutical opioids. Our recent survey showed that cannabis is the most commonly used drugs, and 10.8% of the population have previously used cannabis. An estimated 7% of the population have used opioids. To deal with the drug problem at the national level, there is a need for more international cooperation in an integrated manner.

Thailand: I am the Chairman of the Thailand Royal Project on drug use prevention. I will share what we have done with drug prevention. The Royal Project focuses on human development and engages youth in shaping their respective communities while ensuring they will grow into useful people. We promote communities to build their preparedness. As youths can engage in risky behaviours, we invest in building their strength and capabilities to prevent risks including drug use. The skills we focus on are in fields of agriculture and farming so that they can grow into capable farmers and able to contribute to their families. Our project helps build network of young people focussed on investing in the future. Our programmes instil self-reliance and self-immunity amongst youth, as well as leadership, and help achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Please contact us if you would like to know more.

Egypt: Egypt has been quite active in launching different campaigns. We have been able to seize more than 700kg of hash and more than 1912 kg poppy seeds. We were able to seize hectares of illicit substances. The government seeks to promote efforts in different agricultural projects to development economies especially in the North, alongside tourism projects. We are also providing agricultural equipment. On psychotropic substances, the authorities are scheduling different substances including those for medical use. We have also been quite focus on uncovering new substances and scheduling properly. On money-laundering, we were able to seize 2 billion Egyptian Pounds of funds. The latest pharmaceutical products for medical use have also been the focus of attention, and measures to prevent their diversion. We also work on continuous assessment plan targeting university and school students with different awareness-raising sessions. We track rehabilitation and treatment centres that are not licensed by the state and can be counter-productive, alongside providing more mental health services. On drug trafficking, we have promote our control measures along our borders to prevent attempts to smuggle drugs. On human rights, the rights of children and women, the Ministry of Interior has established programmes relating to instruments of human rights ratified by Egypt and work with NGOs to disseminate this culture amongst officers working to counter the world drug problem. As for the protection of our youth and children, we are keen on offering special care to vulnerable groups. The National Council for Women and Children have been effective at developing their own strategy on protecting women and youth from drugs.

United States: US appreciates the Secretariat’s organisation on the last thematic session. US supports the multi-year framework of the CND. We welcome the continued balanced approach that covers drug supply and demand, and framework that covers regional and national developments, and allowed inputs by experts. We applaud Secretariat’s efforts to shift this year’s thematic meetings to a hybrid format, enabling experts to join virtually. We encourage the Secretariat to continue the use of such hybrid formats in future. We encourage the UNODC to continuing reporting data on drug trends as it is lacking, including on cultivation of drug crops, and encourage member states to contribute data to the UNODC. We note the UNODC’s efforts to collaborate with other agencies, and encourage this to continue.

Kenya: We have put in place a framework that has adopted the whole of government approach, that brings on board all relevant agencies and civil society and faith-based organisations that are involved in the management of drug abuse. Kenya is implementing measures to make sure that no one is left behind, including educating people from all walks of life on the dangers of abuse, and in response to COVID-19 we have rolled out several campaigns on mass media channels targeting adults and youth. Kenya has provided a framework for balanced treatment covering harm reduction and relevant interventions that prevent drug use and diseases such as HIV. We have the strong assurance that one of our international partners is coming on board to assist with the launch of a drug rehabilitation programme. Kenya is looking forward to partner with others to become a centre of excellence on drug rehabilitation. To effectively respond to problem of drug trafficking across borders, we have put in place measures to monitor and on asset recovery. I call on the international community to increase technical and financial assistance to put in place measures to tackle the world drug problem.

China:  In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extensively used the internet to reach young people including students to prevent drug use. On reducing the harm of drug abuse, we have implemented programmes to prevent HIV amongst people who inject drugs. Voluntary drug treatment services were enhanced. In mainland China, former drug users were incorporated in social security coverage. China respects the rights of all offenders including those from vulnerable groups such as women. We oppose the use of harm reduction in forms such as to disguise legalisation. COVID-19 has changed drug trafficking trends. Detections in the mainland and Hong Kong has showed more detections via maritime trade.

Zambia: On the operational recommendation in the 2019 ministerial statement of ensuring availability of controlled substances for medical purposes, Zambia is undertaking measures while seeking to prevent diversion. Zambia is developing modalities and enacting relevant laws on the use of cannabis for medical purposes in line with the treaties. Zambia has put in place specialised agencies to detect money laundering and organised crime, and working to enhance local, regional and international cooperation.

Algeria: The world drug problem has gained an impressive scale over the past 10 years despite efforts to address it by relevant authorities. Algeria remains a favoured transit route. The quantities have been assessed and monitored by the specialised authorities working in transport. We have been working with other authorities in the Sahel too. Drugs have been trafficked through to Europe. We have also engaged in capacity building which has made some gains. Cannabis seizures have been carried out. There have been concerning trends in the diversity of psychotropic substances seized, by networks exploiting the lack of security in the Sahel. Organised crime groups have also been working with trafficking groups.

Korea: The spread of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs is of concern. The seizures of methamphetamine have reached the highest level ever, due to the transnational nature of trafficking groups, requiring international cooperation. In February this year, we cooperated with Customs authorities around the world to target synthetic drugs, resulting in many seizures of large amounts of drugs. I call for continued attention from the international community for an effective platform for collaboration to disrupt the flow of synthetic drugs.

Russian Federation: In 2020, the drug situation was greatly affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has significantly re-shaped the market, such as increased use of the internet. There has also been increased demand for synthetic drugs. Efforts have been made to update drug control legislation, including measures to encourage people who use drugs to access drug treatment. The number of patients experiencing psychological disorders decreased by 25%. A new drug control strategy until 2030 has been adopted, with objectives including updating measures on trafficking, reducing non-medical use of drugs among others. We expect that this will result in less people engaged in trafficking and consumption. We appreciate that SCO and the SCTO partners share these as priorities, as reflected in the declarations adopted by these bodies. We look forward to extending this cooperation through BRICS, where the commitment to address transnational crime has been highlighted already including goals to achieve areas free from drugs.

Morocco: We reiterate the need to tackle cross-border trafficking. In 2020, we pursued efforts to implement a balanced, comprehensive and integrated strategies including on drug treatment and trafficking. We conducted operations that led to many seizures including over 2 million units of ecstasy and more than 3 tonnes of cocaine. There are several effects to mitigate in light of COVID-19, including improving the operation of drug addiction centres, involvement of families and home delivery of methadone for people who could not access the addiction centres, providing social support by community teams and legal and administrative support to help users access services during the pandemic, temporary accommodation for homeless people who use drugs, maintenance of the dispensing of methadone in prisons, ensuring virtual consultations on drug use and dependence. We are fully committed to implementing the 2019 Declaration, and to international cooperation which is crucial to combating all forms of trafficking.

Pakistan: We have made seizures, convicted people for trafficking, dismantled drug laboratories, and responded to requests for cooperation, as well as seized precursor chemicals. We have carried our education campaigns to prevent drug use.

Indonesia: A multi-pronged approach is needed. We focus on prevention, law enforcement, rehabilitation and empowerment. On prevention, we have launched a programme on the dangers of drugs with grassroots communities, and have formed a body of anti-drug volunteers. We also use social media to promote healthy lifestyles. The narcotics control board has made seizures of a range of drugs including cannabis and ecstasy, and destroyed 35 hectares of cannabis fields. Indonesia is actively investigating money laundering crimes, reaching $6 million dollars. Recently we have signed mutual legal assistance agreements with Switzerland and Russia, which will help combat narcotics crimes. Indonesia hopes there will be more international cooperation with people investigating narcotics crimes. We have increased capacity to provide drug treatment programmes. We are committed to restoring drug prone areas including through the use of alternative development programmes.

Canada: The overdose situation is complex, driven by many challenges. The government recognises that factors such as poverty, housing, stigma and trauma are behind drug use related problems. There needs to be understanding of hard to reach populations, which requires engagement of a wide range of partners including to respond to the needs of indigenous people. At federal level, we have improved access to pharmaceutical grade medication for people who use opioids including during the COVID-19 pandemic. While opioids are central to the government programme, methamphetamine is also important as supply and use is on the rise. We are working closely with law enforcement to detect methamphetamine and the chemicals they contain. We work with a range of partners including civil society and people with lived experiences, both of which are represented in our delegation.

 

Australia: We identified progress but also gaps and challenges in the implementation of our work. Two years after the adoption of the 2019 ministerial declaration, we are faced with new challenges, including those resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic: isolation, distancing and hygiene measures have affected the availability and access of treatment services, restrictions have led to changes in drug use patterns, while allowing for new illicit activities to emerge, presenting new challenges for law enforcement agencies. Global disparities in the availability and access to controlled medicines have also been exacerbated with transport restrictions creating additional barriers to access. Concerningly COVID-19 has also just proportionately impacted the most vulnerable. We encourage all countries to accelerate efforts to ensure access to treatment and health services for vulnerable members of society more positively, these challenges have also presented opportunities for innovation in addressing the world drug problem two alternative service delivery models to ensure people who use drugs can continue to access to services. In Australia, our response has been driven by the three pillars of our national drug strategy focused on demand, supply and harm reduction, and that is a balanced approach to reduce and prevent the harmful effects. COVID-19 has further reinforced the importance of our holistic and coordinated approach between health, law enforcement and education sectors. In particular, we’re focused on increasing support for online and telephone counseling and health checks. Australia’s approach to disrupting drug trafficking, in particular methamphetamine trafficking, include addressing supply and demand drivers by cooperation between domestic agencies and with international partners to detect and disrupt the manufacture and trafficking of methamphetamine, intelligence and doctrine owned, for example, using their wastewater analysis to identify areas upon methamphetamine consumption in Australia. Australia reaffirms its commitment to the international drug control conventions and welcomes the continuation of discussions and action on how we can best advance our commitments made under the 2019 ministerial declaration. Thank you.

Portugal: I’d like to emphasize that Portugal remains fully engaged to all commitments crystallized in the 2016 outcome documents. Portugal attaches great importance to the area of drug prevention and treatment in our national model focused on Public Health and Human Rights – it has been qualified as an important best practice example, so in line with these commitments also together with Austria, we tabled a draft resolution on behalf of the EU and its member states that now also counts with important sponsorship of an NGO in Brazil to be adopted and entitled promoting quality, affordable, scientific evidence based and comprehensive drug prevention and treatment services. With this resolution, we aim to emphasize the importance of ensuring that prevention and treatment provided to people who use drugs is of quality and affordable in order to further pursue our efforts in addressing the world drug situation in a more efficient manner. And these must be implemented with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the people who use drugs should not be stigmatized, nor discriminated against. On the other hand, the resolution also reiterated measures aimed at minimizing the adverse public health and social consequences of drug use, are one of the key aspects in preventing the transmission of HIV viral hepatitis and other blood borne diseases associated with drug use, that still have a high prevalence among people who use drugs. Moreover, we believe that through the implementation of such measures, paired with human rights and Public Health Perspectives, our efforts in addressing the world drug situation will bring more positive, effective, and long lasting results, not only for people who use drugs, but also for their families, and communities and all members of society – we therefore hope that this proposal can gather the support from the UN constituents, and I’d like to express our great appreciation for the work of the Bureau of the commission and all its officers in the secretariat. I thank you very much.

Philippines:  the Philippines continues to uphold its commitments during the global community of the scourge of illegal drugs. We are committed to the goals of the ministerial declaration of 2019, employing all of government and whole of society approach, guided by the Philippine anti illegal drug strategy – the vision of drug free communities through supply reduction, comprehensive demand reduction initiatives and support from strong regional and international ties. These efforts involve regular law enforcement and prosecution with strong adherence to the rule of law and observance of human rights, but allows the whole of nation approach and unites balances and strengthens demand reduction and access to treatment services, law enforcement and public health strategies and echoes the ministerial declarations fundamental principle of battling drug problem in a comprehensive and integrated balanced manner. This is also clearly in line with the 1988 and 2009 political declaration adopted by the General Assembly. We have enacted several laws, executive orders and department orders that enlist the help of all relevant stakeholders, including academia and the civil society in ensuring a multidisciplinary and scientific evidence based approach based on the principle of shared responsibility. We have improved efforts in access to demand reduction, and treatment services, including the consolidation of board processes in providing treatment and rehabilitation programs at various service delivery levels and levels of care needed by the patient’s. Philippines also shows deep commitment to regional cooperation, specifically through the ASEAN training center for preventive drug education, led by the University of the Philippines, which coordinates regional cooperation on prevention, preventive drug education among ASEAN member states. The Philippines has also worked with a number of organizations, international partners, including the UN General Assembly, WHO, UNODC, INCB and our bilateral partners, Australia, China, the European Union, Japan and the US, highlighting the Philippines human rights advocacy, while combating illegal drugs as among it’s top priorities. Thank you Madam Chair.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, SSDP: Thank you Chair, my name is Róisín Downes and I am the Director of International at Students for Sensible Drug Policy. A youth-led grassroots organisation present in over 30 countries across the world. Recognizing our common goals of working towards evidence-based drug policies that reduce the harms of drug use, especially with reference to Resolution 63/4, the commitments made in the UNGASS 2016 Outcome Document,  and the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, we ask the CND and member states consider the following: We ask the CND and UN members to honour the commitments made in the UNGASS 2016 Outcome Document to ensure active and meaningful participation of youth and youth-related organizations in the development, implementation and evaluation of drug policies and programs. As we highlighted in the informal dialogues, the Youth Forum is an initiative that is to be admired, yet it faces severe limitations. The Youth Forum places youth participation in another part of the Vienna International Centre, where they have limited interaction with the proceedings of the Commission, noting this year the forum even occurred in a different month to the main session. They are provided with a key opportunity to address the plenary on the last day of the conference when oftentimes a large number of the Commission’s functions have been completed. We ask that the principles of the UNODC “Listen First” program be implemented here, by providing the Youth forum with more timely and significant opportunities for engagement with the CND. Secondly, we ask for transparency on the selection process of delegates to the Youth Forum from both member states and the commission. We ask that Member States acknowledge, decriminalise and invest in harm reduction services such as drug checking kits, supervised injection facilities, and nightlife harm reduction, and support & fund evidence based age appropriate education that provides objective information on drug use and prioritizes the reduction of harm. Ensuring that services and education are age appropriate and easily accessible to young people could help to reduce risks of drug related death or problematic use later in life. Many organizations wish to provide these basic services, but are discouraged or disallowed from doing so because of the fear of criminal prosecution.  We welcome the recent reference by the UNODC to our peer based drug education program, Just Say Know, as supporting achieving sustainable development goals. We invite everyone to engage with it rather than showcase the successes we achieve for you, without significant help. We call on member states to support & implement drug education initiatives focusing on empowering young people and provide access to factual information to combat drug related harms & increasing health. Conduct an formal evaluation process of international drug policies with regard to children and young people, seeking compliance with the stipulations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, The World Health Organization, the UNGASS outcome document of 2016, the UN Common Position, and the Ministerial Declaration of 2019. In the declaration, Member States commit to safeguarding our future and ensuring that no one affected by the world drug problem is left behind. So DO NOT leave us behind. In order to forge an international drug policy approach which is effective in reducing drug-related harms and ensuring the health and well-being of young people worldwide, it is critical that international bodies and Member States consult and act on the input of youth. Furthermore, we invite all member states who value their youth to include a youth member on any delegation to future sessions, meetings, and events regarding drug policy. We wish for a drug policy approach which seeks a better tomorrow not just FOR but with the world’s youth. Thank you.

FORUT: I am addressing you today, not only on behalf of a regional development organization, but also on behalf of a large global network called Drug Policy Futures and start by confirming our strong commitment to the consensus reached in New York in 2016, as expressed in the UNGASS outcome document. The document is an excellent menu for a broad, balanced and evidence based drug policies, the critical issue now it’s national implementation of the many good points in the Congress agreement. This is why Drug Policy Futures, this week launched a new report, titled Zooming in on UNGASS, where we take a closer look at what has happened since 2016 on six selected focus areas. And in 15 countries around the world that results from our monitoring efforts of the 15 countries, Id have different ways of following the agreement. Unfortunately though, the results also show the absence of national follow up in many countries and on many areas. The report was launched in a CND side event this week, and is being spread through international networks. It has also been circulated to all national delegations in Vienna, and can be downloaded from the website of Drug Policy Future’s recommendations to governments. And among these recommendations, I want to highlight the following one: all member states should establish monitoring systems for regular tracking of prevalence figures or drug use patterns, and use these data systematically to design or adjust policies and interventions. Second, all member states should make primary prevention the highest priority in national drug policies, as it is ethically rights, scientifically sound, and also economically smart. Three, all member states should allocate long time funding for prevention programs to make them sustainable over time because as we all know, prevention simply takes time. Number four, all member states should benefit from the competence that civil society organizations have in prevention and in mobilizing communities and individuals. Five, all member states must take women’s needs and roles into account as a cross cutting issue in all drug policy areas in prevention in treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. And finally number six, all member states should recognize and define self help groups in national drug policies and strategies. Thank you so much for your time and your attention.

Singapore anti narcotic Association: Our goal is to work towards a drug free Singapore. We achieve this goal firstly by preventive education so that people especially our young can make informed decisions. And secondly to use evidence informed and targeted interventions with excellence as a goal. Over the last decade, we have touched the lives of more than 75,000 youth in our preventive efforts, as well as helping persons in recovery, and our families to our programs. Today, the effect of COVID-19 continues in both Singapore and across the world. Recovering substance abusers and their families are not spared from the far reaching impact of COVID-19, and would require additional support to cope with economic and social challenges COVID-19 restrictions, also affected the implementation of our programs. Last year was challenging for us. We had to leverage on technology to shape our modality of operations to ensure our clients, people in recovery, and your families were probably during the lockdown, and some of the examples include setting up hotlines to allow clients to reach us, proactively reaching out to clients to find out how they’re coping through phone and vendor emergency help through our efforts, we managed to assist over 600 people in recovery, and your families during the lockdown on preventive education from family talk with close to 3000 youth in our various online programs. Last December, the CND narrowly voted to remove cannabis from the schedule of the 1961 single convention on Narcotic Drugs stoner. We remain concerned over the decision by CND to reclassify cannabis as a less dangerous drug. As you may create a public impression that cannabis is not dangerous to public health, and this is contrary to many scientific cases such findings that clearly shows the adverse short- and long-term effects of cannabis use, including impairment to a person’s respiratory and cognitive functions. According to the World Drug Report 2020, cannabis remains the most abused drugs, globally, where it is abused by 192 million people. We maintain the view that the three international conventions, which are the cornerstone of the international system should be adhered to. Thank you.

India: tba

Chair: Agenda item closed.

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