Plenary Item 7. Inter-agency cooperation and coordination of efforts in addressing and countering the world drug problem

CHAIR: Introduction to Item 7

UNODC: We have produced a communication package to UN countries to help them see how the UN system can better support implementation of drug policy. This package includes relevant guidelines and considerations. We hope to report even more progress next year.

UNODC: (…) drug prevention, treatment and care based on scientific evidence and human rights. Our inter-agency technical working group was launched with WHO in February and involves over 50 agencies. The progress in developing effective rehabilitation and treatment continues to be uneven. Until now no inter-agency initiative existed to strengthen prevention. Our goal is to enhance this kind of cooperation with the following goals:

Together with UNHCR, we have supported families and children in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Though we are not a typical humanitarian body, we have been working very hard that responses include robust support for families and protect children and look after persons with drug use problems. With the UNHCR and WHO, we developed a handbook on addressing substance use disorders in humanitarian settings. We have integrated drug prevention, treatment and care in humanitarian responses on the country level.

Chair: Thank you for your presentations. The floor is now open.

Algeria: The problem of drugs is a global problem. We have fully committed to fighting and countering drugs by completely implement the three conventions as well as the relevant declarations. We formulated a comprehensive national strategy 2019-2024 to face this global danger. Cannabis is mostly available in our country considering we are a transit country. We have taken tangible measures to raise awareness of its use through joint efforts with schools and media outlets. We still face serious difficulties considering the situation in our neighboring countries, especially the drugs entering the country from the western country. We are fully committed to work with partners to adapt to the new methods of organized crime networks. We have set forth a number of administrative and legal measures. We must stop this scourge that jeopardizes the future of our youth.

UK: We appreciate the presentations today and look forward to further presentations on arbitrary detention. We thank the work of the working group that exposes violations of human rights – these are of utmost importance to us. Respect to Human Rights forms the bedrock of our work. The working group has a clear mandate to address us here and we are all to benefit from it. We see it from INCB and World Drug Reports. Collectively, we are stronger – including other UN bodies and civil society. We make this statement with an illegal war in the background. As the UN SG said, such use of force against an autonomous country is a violation of the Charter. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia has the requirement to uphold international law. With their actions, they breach the conventions as well as they obstruct access to medicine. We also condemn Russia’s outrageous statements against Ukraine. We will work with our allies across a multilateral system to condemn Russia’s actions and we call for peace.

USA: We reaffirm the CND´s leading role in international drug policies and the conventions as the cornerstones. We intend to follow-up on all our commitments in line with the 2009 declaration. As the UNGASS outcome document makes it clear, experience across the UN system is necessary for effective cooperation as well as relevant domestic sectors. We have confirmed CND´s role t coordinate inter-agency collaboration to support the development and implementation of global drug policy. This does not succeed their policy making role. Recently, despite covid challenges, we have seen increased collaboration in this respect. UNODC launched SDS, the Synthetic Drug Strategy that brings together UNODC programs to provide MS with tools, resources and information. It ensures coherence by consulting the private sector and academia as well. INCB committed to voluntary actions as it strengthens its relationship with MS.

Chair: I propose we adjourn until tomorrow morning to start with item 6, the Youth Forum and a few more interventions from MS. Thank you for your attendance and a wish you a pleasant early evening. Meeting adjourned.

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