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: We will continue Item 6 now.

Report on Youth Forum: (Video): Youth no matter our background, we share opinions and knowledge and share our experiences in the Forum. Theis is an essential chance to raise our voices and share knowledge. By change we change create change ourselves. Micro and macro level discussions. Talked about social skills, self esteem and self-confidence. Protective factors, we don’t have time in school to discuss these topics.

Ms. Ingrid Engene GøRANSON and Mr. Carlos ARAUJO – Youth Forum:  Excellencies and influential reps, were here to speak to our future. 74 young people from 43 countries. Persistence of COIVD 19 pandemic, we have experiences vulnerabilities to substance abuse. Specific goal: for all people to be healthy. To do this, we must commit to prevention. We can on MS to invest in prevention efforts. We want to encourage the use of evidence-based approaches. Help us create a safe environment for everybody. Youth engagement is crucial to ensure we accomplish a global mission please recognise the tremendous capacity of youth, and involve us in policy ad decisions making.

Youth involved promotes healthy decision making. Evidence based prevention programs for youth, starts with communities that inspire evidence-based prevention. We are aware of what we need in terms of evidence-based prevention. Especially in hard times. In the pandemic in particular. Change lies in your hands, so join forces with the youth for a future we can look forward to.

Chair: Thank you.

UNODC-WHO Informal Scientific Network: The UNODC-WHO Informal Scientific Network is calling for the increased implementation of evidencebased and humane policies and strategies for preventing substance use and treating substance use disorders among women and girls. Girls and boys have different developmental trajectories with overlapping as well as unique vulnerability and resilience factors associated with distinct substance use patterns and risks for developing substance use disorders. While globally one in three people who uses drugs is a woman with trends indicating an increase in females – only one in six people treated for drug use disorders is a woman. The COVID pandemic has increased emotional distress and exacerbated social and economic challenges with concomitant rises in substance use, and women and girls are among the most affected. Overall, for the same amount of substance consumed, women have worse health and social consequences including higher rates of infectious and mental health disorders, homelessness, stigmatization, incarceration and violence. UNODC and WHO have summarized a list of effective preventions in their International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, and of treatments in their International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders. However, few women and girls benefit from these interventions and much more needs to be done to increase accessibility. The UNODC-WHO Informal Scientific Network makes the following recommendations: 1. Eliminate all forms of discrimination and stigma against girls and women with substance use disorders and against treatment providers. Substance use disorders are health disorders and best addressed through a biopsychosocial health response. 2. Enhance workforce development to provide effective training to support prevention and treatment of substance use disorders for girls and women. 3. Implement effective prevention and health promotion for girls and women of all ages, that benefit them equally to their male counterparts. 4. Avail adequate resources for the effective prevention and treatment of substance use disorders for women and girls, including pregnant women and women in the criminal justice system, along a continuum of care, and across the lifespan to close the prevailing treatment gap. 5. Invest in research to increase our understanding of the risk and protective factors associated with substance use in girls and women, and the most effective prevention and treatment strategies in different socioeconomic contexts. 6. Promote and evaluate gender-sensitive policies to address substance use that allow for the provision of public health and human-rights based treatment interventions for women with substance use disorders. For the interest of time, a fuller statement will be shared with the Secretariat.

International AIDS Society: I am honoured to join you at the plenary of the 65th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. My statement reflects a consultation among scientists and community leaders on the impact of inequalities on HIV and viral hepatitis prevention, treatment, care and support among people who use drugs. We have seen major progress in addressing the AIDS epidemic. But despite new diagnostics, prevention tools and treatment, this progress remains fragile and inadequate among people who use drugs. Social, economic, racial, legal and gender inequalities and the infringement of human rights are hindering the HIV response. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the armed conflict in Ukraine, have shone a harsh light on structural inequalities that block access to services for vulnerable, criminalized and marginalized populations. This is especially true for people who use drugs. Our consultation heard from the Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Health in Ukraine that the harm reduction and HIV programmes – considered among the best globally – are now under threat. When countries fail to designate harm reduction as an essential service – whether in emergency situations or under normal conditions – that is a structural choice to treat one group of people as less deserving of health and human rights than others. Because of criminalization, stigmatization and underfunding, people who use drugs are disproportionately affected by HIV and viral hepatitis. Access to tailored services is even harder for women, young people, sex workers, refugees, indigenous people and people of colour. This is not just a violation of human rights, but poor health policy. If we want to end these epidemics, we must scale up access to harm reduction services so that they can be easily, voluntarily and confidentially accessed by all people who use drugs. That is why the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 calls for ending inequalities to end AIDS and underlines the importance of the active involvement of all stakeholders: policymakers, the community, law enforcement, the criminal justice system, healthcare providers and non-governmental organizations. Programmes will only be effective if we have disaggregated data to understand the full extent and variety of drug use, including stimulants and new psychoactive substances as well as opioids. More research will support strategic harm reduction programming. Creating an enabling legal environment, by removing laws that criminalize drug use or possession for personal use, is a crucial step to reduce the spread of HIV and other harms among people who use drugs. I urge the Member States to fulfil the commitments made under the 2021 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, which sets strict targets to reduce restrictive legal and policy frameworks, lessen gender-based inequalities, and decrease stigma and discrimination. Community-led organizations are critical to the HIV response among people who use drugs. Governments must act now and invest to meet the targets for community-led organizations to deliver 30% of testing and treatment, 80% of HIV prevention, and 60% of programmes to support the achievement of societal enablers. Community participation in policymaking – should be funded and actively supported. Recognizing the equal worth and dignity of every person is an ethical imperative and an obligation arising from international human rights instruments. Ending stigma and discrimination; reforming punitive laws; investing in community-led responses, research; and funding – these are the path to equitable access to services for people who use drugs, and to a healthier world for us all.

Argentina: The WDP has political, economic and social consequences. It requires a comprehensive, well balanced, multidisciplinary approach. It exceeds the boundaries of our continent but the countries of our hemisphere have achieved progress in identifying the features of our region to design appropriate policies. Important to implement services and comprehensive early prevention services that are evidence based through multi sectoral and multi-institutional mechanisms to support young people. As CND, we have to heighten debates by underscoring the importance of promoting human rights and new policies to address the world drug problem based on common and shared responsibility. We encourage all agencies in the field to facilitate access to evidence based demand reduction service, particularly towards vulnerable people, vulnerabilities exercised by the pandemic. We continue to monitor health policies, focus on women and young people, underscoring the specific needs of age and gender. Evidence gathering and implementing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system are priorities for SEDRONAR. Let’s use this opportunity to continue discussing constraints, identifying alternatives, and aligning discussions with development agenda, to shift away from the traditional model to produce new strategies to take on the world drug problem.

Conectas Direitos Humanos: (Technical difficulties).

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