Plenary Item 3. General debate (continued) – Morning session

Germany: For a few months now, Germany has had a new government. I am the new Drugs Commissioner. Germany stands for a multilateral rules-based approach to foreign policy. Reciprocal constructive exchanges will continue to shape our role in this space. Not violence and despotism. We condemn Russia’s aggression in the highest possible terms, it undermines security and stability. We speak in solidarity with Ukraine. We call on President Putin to end this murderous war of oppression and the senselless killing. The new Federal Government was elected for its commitment to base the foreign policy on peaceful coexistence. This applies to our issues in Vienna. Everything we do in drug policy must be allowed with human rights. Criminal prosecution within the limits of proportionality. Rule out the death penalty. Never justified and applies to drug related offences. Law enforcement only if evidence based. Harm demand reduction measures. This applies to addiction and drug policy. Prevention begins in families and schools and continues in workplaces and senior citizens homes. Better treatment of addiction and causes. Assist people affected by substance abuse. Harm reduction is essential. Safer consumption rooms. Substitution treatment. Naloxone saves lives. Drug checking reduces risk of overdosing and guides people suffering from substance abuse to counselling. With regard to cannabis, we begin a new chapter – harm reduction. We want to discuss new approaches in harm reduction, treatment, prevention, law enforcement. Germany advocates for a balanced approach. Includes farmers alternatives legal to grow drugs. We must do this from every angle. This rear resolution on AD in Thailand and Peru describes environmental destruction by drug cultivation and production. Please support me. We can only tackle the challenges of drugs together. Let’s discuss this together in the spirit of mutual understanding. Thank you

Cyprus: Full solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Still suffering from the consequences of foreign invasion, Cyprus supports Ukraine against the invasion by Russia, which is a violation of international law and undermines stability and security. Adherence to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. We fully align with the EU statement. Adding remarks in national capacity. The covid pandemic has impacted all of our societies, affecting many aspects of our lives. Health certainly but also social and economic aspects and unfortunately exarbverating drug situation. Cyprus values CND as UNODC and leading entities to address and counter the world drug problem. Cyprus reaffirms commitments to implement UNGASS 2016 to achieve measurable progress by 2030. We strongly believe that efforts should go in all areas of drug policy, as well as providing effective and proportional responses to drugs in respect for UN drug conventions and protocols. Cyprus pursues and evidence based approach on drug policy, with a main focus on individual without neglecting protection of society as a chwole. This includes demand and supply reduction, and harm mitigation of drug use. Within this framework, the Addictions authority is the national coordinator in licit and illicit substances, focusing on monitoring implementation for addressing addiction for 2021-2028. Acts in full cmomplaicen with human rights and fundamental principles of human dignity, equality and non-discrimination. Coordination, cooperation, with all relevant stakeholders and social partners is crucial in this regard. Pandemic confronted us with a new reality. Consumption of cannabis growing and reduction of MDMA use. New methods of trafficking of illegal substances to match the new normality, including new ways of delivery and communication. Cyprus authorities have adjusted their work complying with national strategy and maintain appropriate standards. Operation factors, treatment and harm reduction programmes changed, expanded training to health officers, smooth operations of treatment facilities in our national plan for crisis – including remote services and ensuring the availability of medicines, direct access to telephone assistance. I reiterate Cyprus’ support of INCB and CND in addressing drug challenges and facilitating joint efforts for feasible and sustainable policies for the benefits of all who struggle with drug dependency and society as a whole.

Bolivia: The world drug problem is an increasingly dynamic, complex, multifaceted phenomenon with a negative impact on health, social coexistence, human development, and implications for the safety of our people. This is not a problem for our country or region but the world. This is why it’s important to work together. Bolivia, by consolidating its nationalisation of anti-drug trafficking, has invested over 1billion dollars and reduced production of drugs. Demand from consumer countries continues to rise. In 2021, we adopted a strategy against illicit trafficking and control of coca cultivation (2021-2025) . Reactivated centre for counterdrug intelligence as a regional response to the drug trafficking problem to dismantle regional criminal organisations, with intelligence, strategic analysis. Furthermore, the air defence security command resumed its activities,controlling national airspace. Using radar systems to detect, identify and intercept irregular aircraft trafficking by air. We have resumed bilateral relations with our neighbouring countries to undertake coordinated operations by air, land and river. In international transparency, we participate in GLobal UNODC projects and programmes strengthening our fight against trafficking regionally and globally, including aircop, containers program and crimjust. Our work has been acknowledged by international entities. 10 years ago, we produced 20% of the total output of coca leaf production of Andean region. It’s now 11%. This shows successful implementation of our model. 9200 operations of interdiction leading to seizures of tons of cocaine and marihuana. 26 laboratories destroyed. 2 criminal organisations dismantled and drug trafficking deprived of 66million dollars. Bolivia reiterates its own commitment and political resolve to participate in this unequal struggle against drugs trafficking, couched in shared responsibility, dignity, sovereignty of states, to reduce supply and foster initiatives for development, demand reduction measures in the context of diplomacy. However, in the absence of demand reduction policies in consumer countries, world drug problem will remain and pose challenges to all.

Nigeria: Our policies are balanced and integrated to address and counter the world drug problem. The cultivation and use of cannabis have been on the increase. Our National Drug Survey of 2019 revealed that 19 million people used cannabis. Trafficking and non-medical use of opioids and pharmaceuticals, especially tramadol, remain a challenge. This is despite our drug control efforts. We insist on the need to change the control measures for tramadol and other pharmaceuticals. Nigeria has decentralised the storage of narcotic drugs to ensure availability and access for medical use. We have centralised our efforts to fulfil data requirements by INCB. In conclusion, we call for robust international cooperation to address the link between drugs, trafficking, smuggling of migrants, and other crimes. We underscore the importance of technical cooperation including the work of UNODC.

Sri Lanka: Drug use problem is significantly increasing, including in relations to other crimes including human trafficking. We all must unite together to break this disruptive cycle. United to promote sustainable economic growth and greater security. We reaffirm our determination to create a secure country free of drug abuse. The government believes that the drug problem needs to be addressed in a cooperative matter through an integrated, multidisciplinary, balanced and evidence-based approach. We take a punitive approach while promoting treatment and rehabilitation, including community-based treatment. I would like to emphasise that we are trying to protect the rights of the youth, women and children. We strongly believe that prevention is better than cure. The govt has recognised the need to bring together all sectors of society to fight against drug trafficking and narcoterrorism.

OHCHR:  Thank you, Chair, for inviting OHCHR to participate at this session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Three years into the COVID pandemic crisis, we continue to witness inequalities and poverty that have further deepened with devastating impact on the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, including people who use drug and thousands deprived of liberty in prisons or compulsory drug detention centres around the world for drug use. While we are focusing on how to build back better and ensure equitable societies around the world, new conflicts and crises add to existing challenges such as the world drug problem. Let us have no doubt that these crises are slowing down the progress that we achieved in the last few decades. However, against the odds, in the last year (since 64th session of this Commission held in March 2021), United Nations human rights entities, including our Office, have continued supporting States, civil society organisations and others stakeholders to address human rights issues, including those related to drug control. In the following, I will highlight two UN reports published in 2021, which are critically relevant to the deliberations in this Commission. – First, the Study on arbitrary detention in relation to drug policy, prepared by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Human Rights Council.   This landmark Study provides several critical recommendations on practical measures on the prohibition of arbitrary detention in relation to drug policy, including the decriminalization of drug use  and closure of the compulsory drug detention centres, whether run by States or privately run. All Member States of the United Nations committed to such absolute prohibition of arbitrary detention in the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document.  The Study will be presented to this Commission (as requested by the Human Rights Council) this week under agenda item 7.  OHCHR thanks the CND Bureau for inviting the Chair of the Working Group in this regard. – Second, I refer to the report of the High Commissioner of Human Rights on systemic racism and law enforcement violations against Africans and people of African descent. This historical report examines various aspects of systematic racism and law enforcement, including those related to drug law enforcement. Moving forward, the High Commissioner recommended the Agenda Towards Transformative Change for racial justice and equality Subsequently, the Human Rights Council established an international independent expert mechanism to examine systemic racism faced by Africans and people of African descent in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.  As requested in the resolution, the mechanism will cooperate notably with UNODC and other Vienna based entities in the implementation of its mandate . In the last year, we have also witnessed several other human rights developments as well as challenges in drug control efforts, including the increased use of the death penalty for drug offences in violation of the international human rights law. OHCHR will provide updates on those areas under different items of this Session of the Commission. In conclusion, recalling the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights , we would emphasize that it is our common responsibility to put human rights at the centre of all policies and decision-making processes at the UN. In the last month, we commemorated the second anniversary of the Secretary-General’s Call to Action. We encourage this Commission to put all efforts to ensure that human rights are placed at the heart of drug policy discussions at the CND- and beyond. Principled and comprehensive policies which respect dignity, development, human rights and justice will reduce both demand and supply of drugs; protect health; and will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and UNGASS 2016 commitments. OHCHR is committed to strengthen efforts to this end, jointly with States, UN partners, civil society, the community of people who use drugs and other stakeholders. We will continue working in this area within the framework of all relevant international law and policy, in particular the 2018 United Nation System Common Position on Drugs  and the 2019 International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy. Thank You, Chair.

WHO: The World Health Organization prioritizes, the protection of people from harm due to drug use, improved access to controlled medicines, the advancement of universal health coverage for people who use drugs and with drug use disorders, and the protection of populations from health emergencies. The rapidly unfolding humanitarian emergency in Ukraine and its neighbouring European countries, brings enormous suffering to millions of people, putting, at risk, the fundamental right of people to safely access health services. Ensuring equitable access to and appropriate use of safe and effective medicines under international control continues to be a challenging task for many health systems, particularly in times of humanitarian emergencies and the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence monitors new psychoactive drugs as they enter the market and issues evidence-based recommendations about the level of international control to prevent their harmful use, and also to ensure access to drugs with proven medical use. Severe shortages of essential controlled medicines have been reported during this pandemic and in emergencies situations, in particular for medicines used in intensive care units. Additionally, people with drug use disorders are at increased risk of COVID-19 and its complications. It is of paramount importance to ensure their access to effective and ethical prevention, treatment and harm reduction services, including vaccination against COVID-19. It is essential to provide uninterrupted critical services, including opioid agonist maintenance for the treatment of opioid dependence, prevention of drug overdose including community distribution of naloxone, sterile injecting equipment, and other screening and treatment services to manage the important health conditions associated with drug use such as HIV, TB and viral hepatitis. WHO has assessed the impact of the pandemic on health services and drug overdose prevention programs; and critical harm reduction services and opioid agonist maintenance treatment were disrupted in about half of countries involved in the assessment. Unprecedented challenges stemming from the recent humanitarian and pandemic emergencies have inspired the development of innovative approaches to provide controlled medicines.  These innovations in service provision for people with drug use disorders have demonstrated the potential for improved access through take-home opioid agonist maintenance medicines. These approaches may help advance Universal Health Coverage beyond the humanitarian and pandemic emergencies. Global collaborative and coordinated efforts are needed more than ever to assess the impact of these emergencies on drug use and service provision, and strengthen the preparedness of prevention, treatment and harm reduction services before and during health emergencies. The World Health Organization will continue to work on the public health dimensions of the world drug problem in collaboration with UNODC, INCB and other partners including governments, donors, implementers and civil society. We must work together to advance public health approaches in drug policies and accelerate the implementation of commitments made in line with the SDG 2030 agenda and the recommendations of UNGASS 2016 on the World Drug Problem.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): Thank you, Chair, last decades marked significant developments in drug policies. Overall approach and expressions such as “public health”, “scientific evidence” and “humanitarian policies” are more and more used by the international and national Institutions. The scientific evidence-based strategies are bearing fruit. Harm reduction works.  National polices can no longer refuse the benefit of opioid substitution therapy, nor of other harm reduction activities. However, there is still a long way to go. Drug use provokes enormous suffering for millions everywhere. Much of this suffering is not related to the effects of substances – it results, instead, from repressive and old-fashioned legislation and policies based on fear, discrimination and criminalisation. We know that repression only exacerbates stigma of People Who Use Drugs; stigma will cause death, upon death, upon death, as was stated by Mr Ban Ki Moon. For this reason we developed a global campaign, called the Rome Consensus 2.0, to build an international alliance that aims to develop humanitarian drug policies together with Civil Society Organizations and Members States. The Manifesto is designed to explore solutions that combine humanitarian attitudes in health, criminal justice, prevention and community responses to addiction problems. We invite you all to join it! The IFRC, part of the International Movement of the RC/RC, brings the power of humanity,  by bridging the gap among Governments and communities. We can reach the hardest to reach thanks to the millions volunteers. Our voice is well respected and heard all over the world, in peacetime and wartime. In this regard, we want to draw your attention about the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine: among the dramatic health issues is facing the country, we are deeply concerned that the population with drug disorders pay a higher price, being left without any assistance or access to treatment. The IFRC stands ready to help and share its health expertise to ensure drug reforms and policies are not only powerful on paper, but also in reality. Thank you.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: The events in Ukraine highlight the lifesaving importance of respecting treaty agreements and remind us of the interconnectedness of life. For the Global Fund, Ukraine has been a long standing example of how to address the twin challenges of drugs and HIV. Ukraine has shown how to build effective partnership between civil society and governments. They’ve done the hard work of moving beyond the entrenched approaches to prevention and treatment. Programmes in ukraine have built the evidence, now indisputable, that harm reduction expands the reach, value and impact of hiv and tb services. And that people who use drugs play a key role in developing services. We are united in our commitments. 2016 UNGASS, 2019, Common Position Drug policy, 2021 Political Declaration of HIV, all afirm greater action to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. Recent events remind us that the letter of international commitments mean little without the spirit of making them real. In too many countries if you go to an effective HIV prevention service for people who use drugs you will quite likely also find police around the corner waiting to arrest those using those services. In too many countries, prisons and places of detention are places of extremely high risk for HIV, TB acquisition and where prevention and treatment is too often scarcely available. For all of us working to reduce the harms of drugs, progress requires recognition of the uncomfortable truth that criminalisation is a cause of harm and disease. This year, the GLobal Fund aims to raise at least 18bn dollars through its rpelentismneth fund. This is critical to delivering our new strategy which reasserts and strengthens our commitment to human rights and uses all means to challenge laws, practices that block people’s access to lifesaving health services. I’m delighted that the global fund has recently agreed an MOU with UNODC on the issues around hiv and drug use, including law enforcement, gendersernstivi programming, improving access to health in prisons. All of us must step out of our silos and work with partners, long established and new to leverage our collective voice, work together to advance health and human rights. I hope you will join us in replenishment not only of financial resources but our shared commitment to put science ahead of stigma, and keep the voices of communities at the centre, and honour the core of SDGs and basic human principle of leaving no one behind.

Pakistan Youth Organization (PYO): Importance of comprehensive and evidence based prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery services. The capacity building services are needed for drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation professionals. Not enough services in member states as needed. CSOs have been working under VNGOC working together to develop a Common position to capture consensus of all civil society organisations and 24 recommendations are presented in the document, which call on action from MS and multilateral bodies. The inclusion of CSOs in UN and MS programmes, human rights focused programmes, especifically on health, criminal justice responses, alternative development, and other cross-cutting issues – we urge Asia Pacigic MS and other countries to recognize the recommendations of local CSOs, implementing them to respond to the world drug situation. Work with CSOs to place human rights, evidence and health at the centre of all drug policy.

Turkey (right to reply): Statements made by Cyprus are unfounded and we reject them. Turkish intervention in Northern Cyprus is legal and Northern Cyprus is governed by a democratically elected government. We condemn Cyprus from using the situation of Ukraine and this forum to raise this issue.

Cyprus (right to reply): It is not my intention to discuss this issue but as the representative mentioned my country, albeit in unacceptable terms, I represent the Republic of Cyprus, the only recognised state in the island of Cyprus. We were the victims of armed aggression by Turkey in 1974 in violation of international law. The occupation of a third of the island of Cyprus affects the lives of all cypriots. Does not befit the dignity of to make mention of illegal secessionist entities. Numerous resolutions have condemned the illegal so-called TRC. Unwavering commitment to seek a just, durable, negotiated solution to the Cyprus issue, based on UN Security Council resolution, allowing peace and property for all cypriots

Turkey (right to reply): Reminding history. Republic of Cyprus 1960 partnership between the peoples of the island. However, the state of affairs in republic of cyprus ceased to exist when Turkish Cypriots were ousted from all organs of partnership republic. Since 1963 there’s no single authority in law or in fact competent to represent these two peoples and Cyprus as a whole.

Cyprus (right to reply): The distortion of historical facts is unacceptable in this forum. There is only one recognised Republic of Cyprus, member of UN and EU. Therefore, I ask my distinguished colleagues to check against her facts. What we’ve been seeking is a solution based on international law and a solution allowing all cypritios regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, to live in security, peace and with their full human rights.

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