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

Chile: We need to write a concrete response that includes evidence-based programs.

Afghanistan: We would like to stress the importance of women and girls in these considerations.

Georgia: We support Ukraine and condemn Russia. We acknowledge importance of international cooperation to protect human rights.

Greece: We align with statement from the EU. We stands in solidarity with Ukraine. We appreciate thematic discussions and the ongoing work of the CND. We look forward to similar fruitful discussions this year. We would like to highlight the importance of addressing stigma and accessing health services and employment, especially during the pandemic.

Turkmenistan: According to UNDC reports, drug problem has increased during Covid. We have an unpromising commitment to fighting the world drug problem. We have strengthened our national borders, security, and law enforcement. We have participated in Central Asian activities organized by the UN. We plan to host the 35th session of the subcommittee on international drug trafficking. i am confident that we will be able to achieve our global goals.

Kazakhstan: With France and others, we will be organizing a side event to set up Central Asian efforts against drug trafficking. We support initiatives in Europe and Central Asia. We will make every effort to cooperate with international organizations during the CND. We believe that Sweden will help us. We support the adoption of international drug control initiatives.

Canada: Mister Chair, Ministers, Heads of Delegation, Distinguished Delegates, and Civil Society Representatives: It is with a heavy heart and grave concern, that I address the Commission on Narcotic Drugs today as we are entering the third week of Vladimir Putin’s senseless, unprovoked, illegal and violent aggression against Ukraine. This war is a clear violation of the UN Charter. It is an attack on democracy and the tenants of the rule of law and multilateralism, which this body is committed to uphold and strengthen. Vladimir Putin’s criminal behavior is causing widespread humanitarian consequences, resulting in the senseless deaths of innocent people, and creating chaos and lawlessness — an environment in which criminal actors and drug trafficking can thrive. Canada stands with the government of Ukraine and its brave and resilient people and joins the international community in calling on the President of the Russian Federation to end its illegal war of aggression and pursue a resolution through diplomacy. With respect to our national statement, the Government of Canada recognizes that the opioid overdose crisis is one of the most serious and unprecedented public health threats in Canada’s recent history, with more than 24,626 lives lost since 2016. Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the overdose crisis, with most jurisdictions in Canada reporting record high rates of overdose deaths and harms. This impact is even greater within Indigenous communities across Canada. The Government of Canada’s response to the overdose crisis is guided by our national drug strategy, which continues to be aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Harm reduction is an important component of Canada’s federal response to the overdose crisis. Harm reduction measures, such as naloxone, supervised consumption sites, drug checking, and services that provide safer pharmaceutical-grade medications are saving lives and guiding thousands to wellness and the many pathways to care. Mister Chair, the domestic policies outlined are all tied to the importance of reducing stigma as it is the main reason why so many hide their substance use and avoid seeking help. Addressing stigma is a critical step in recognizing the fundamental rights and dignity of all people, including people who use drugs. Canada also recognizes the importance of measures to address the illegal drug supply as part of a comprehensive and balanced approach. Despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19, Canada has continued to work bilaterally and multilaterally with international partners to monitor illegal drug supply trends and the trafficking of opioids, related analogues, and new psychoactive substances. This collaborative approach supports our individual efforts to quickly identify and mitigate threats to the public health and safety of our populations. As outlined in the UNGASS outcome document, it is critical for enforcement and supply reduction interventions to be aligned with national and international human rights obligations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada welcomes the statement from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as we remain gravely concerned about the ongoing violations and abuses committed in the name of the world drug problem, including extrajudicial killings and mass incarceration. In conclusion, we look forward to continuing our work with the Commission, as well as with other relevant United Nations entities, including the United Nations System Coordination Task Team, and civil society, to examine approaches to drug policy, beyond COVID-19, as well as ways to advance our drug policy goals, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. I wish you a fruitful session. Thank you.

Brazil: Drug trafficking has become a growing international activity, especially in Latin American countries. We have become a major transit and consumer country for cocaine. We acknowledge the need for human rights focused policy. It is essential to reduce the supply of drugs produced in Latin America. We welcome the partnership between Brazil and the UN.

Australia: Chair, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Representatives, Australia condemns the Russian Federation, in the strongest terms, for its act of aggression in invading Ukraine. It is a flagrant breach of international law, including the UN Charter’s prohibition on the use of force. Australia calls on Russia to cease its invasion and withdraw its military forces from Ukraine. Australia reiterates our full support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity – the bedrock principles of a rules-based world order. Chair, The unprecedented global health crisis presented by COVID-19 continues to put great pressure on our collective efforts to address the world drug problem. COVID-19 has impacted all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental and 2020 saw the global average Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) index score decrease for the first time since the adoption of the SDGs in 2015. ECOSOC’s main theme for 2022 “Building back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is a timely reminder that efforts to achieve the SDGs and to effectively address the world drug problem are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Australia is honoured to have been re-elected as a member of the CND and will continue to bring an Indo-Pacific perspective to the CND by collaborating closely with our regional partners. Consistent with targets under SDG 3.8 and the primary objectives of the international conventions, Australia continues to advocate for greater access to controlled medicines for those in need, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Australia encourages the international community to continue to utilise CND to improve the sharing of evidence-based policies and lessons learned to promote best practice. We also recognise the important role played by civil society, the scientific community and academia, and encourage their continued involvement to address the world drug problem. Consistent with our National Drug Strategy, Australia will continue to advocate for a balanced and evidence-based approach between law enforcement and health to reduce the harm and impacts of illicit drugs on individuals, families and communities. We will also continue to advocate for gender equality and for the rights of women and girls in the global response to the world drug problem. In closing, Australia reaffirms its support to the international drug control conventions and implementation of commitments under the 2019 Ministerial Declaration and looks forward to a productive CND session. Thank you.

Morocco: The implementation of our national strategy is continuing to adapt to new challenges, especially those presented by Covid19. We have seized many substances across our boarders, much more than in past years. We adopted a law that provides a framework for cannabis consumption and cultivation. We want to involve affected communities, including farmers, into this framework. Our efforts to counter drug trafficking involve education and international cooperation. We should move away from policies that are political in nature.

Austria: We align with statements from the EU and stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Drug trafficking dynamics have accelerated during the pandemic, such as larger shipment sizes and increases in contactless methods of delivery. The expansion of the global synthetic drug market further increasing the number of drug-related deaths worldwide is another phenomenon that is deeply concerning for Austria. We are committed to the idea that addiction is an illness, not a crime. Addiction prevention policies and treatment services must therefore also take into account the medical health economic and social dimensions of the issue.  Enhancing international cooperation is key to addressing these evolving challenges.

Bangladesh: We are committed to UN conventions and political declarations. The drug problem is high on the agenda of the present government of Bangladesh. We are working towards long-term sustainable development and have plans to set up treatment centers across the country.  We fully support these conversations.

Mexico: We stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We flag that multilateralism is the best way to find peace and make progress. Human needs to be at the center of public policy. We have reached a turning point in our drug policy. We are now focused on reducing inequality, increasing early prevention programs, and stopping the illegal arms trade. Mexico has a national prevention prediction strategy which is a national campaign for prevention, not only of substances but also violence. We recognize the importance of listening to experts and evidence.

Trinidad and Tobago: We are grateful for the UN’s support throughout the Caribbean. We consider a balanced approach critical to success. Spectrometer devices have facilitated field testing of substances. We are in the process of securing additional devices. Over the last three years, our Forensic Science Center has been taken the lead in analyzing and reporting on the composition of the mentioned substances. The government has implemented drug demand reduction programs alternatives to incarceration for justice involve drug-dependent persons and proportional sentencing of drug-related matters.

Sudan: We align with the African Group and 77 China. We confirm the importance of international frameworks and instruments. Large amounts of cannabis are being cultivated in Sudan. These illegal crops are a safe haven for drug traffickers and pose a great threat to the environment, our communities, and our law enforcement. We have seized many fishing boats used for drug trafficking.  We have organized a number of training sessions to provide educational programs to institutions. We have over 70 voluntary organizations working and actively seeking to raise awareness in the field of harm related to drugs. Unfortunately, we suffer from the lack of any public treatment centers. Drug users and dependents are being treated in asylums and psychological and psychiatric hospitals. We seek to obtain more technical support, logistical equipment, and assistance to build the capacities of professionals working in drug prevention.

Costa Rica: We have done much research into the potential benefits of cannabis medically and culturally. We want to provide access and availability of high-quality medicinal products which are active effective and safe. We are achieving possible options for growing cannabis for industrial or culinary purposes that promote development in areas of the country that have been severely hit by the economic crisis. We need to be dealing with the drug issue with responsibility and tools in the framework of international law and guaranteeing better opportunities for development.

Armenia: Covid 19 continues to affect our efforts. These challenges require international cooperation. It is our common and shared responsibility to ensure effective national and international responses to illicit drug trafficking and its links to corruption and organized crime, including trafficking of persons trafficking in firearms, cyber-crime, money laundering, and in some cases terrorism. Armenian authorities have been quick in reacting to the new challenges especially when it comes to the extensive use of the Internet for drug trafficking. We have reinforced its control operations over the postal deliveries by introducing more checks with special equipment detection dogs and also by engaging intelligence and analytical units. We look forward to ensuring more harmonized efforts against drug trafficking.

Senegal: My delegation would like to congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau election to steer the proceedings only session with the remarkable support the secretary. Start assured of our untiring corporation and our full support distinguished delegates cynical induces the statements delivered on behalf of the group of 77 and China and the group of African States and would like to add the following comments in a national capacity focus of the 2021 world drug report suggest said there will be an 11% increase in the number of persons using drugs by 2030 with a pronounced 40% increase in Africa owing to its young and rapidly growing population during the pandemic. An increase in the use of cannabis was observed cannabis is the most consumed drug worldwide in this regard is necessary to encourage research underway on pregnenolone a natural molecule produced by the brain which is believed to be a natural defence system against cannabis in derivatives of this manic molecule which is already being developed by a team of researchers could be used as a medication. This would be the first pharmacological therapy against cannabis dependence the double crisis of the current 19 pandemic and the situations of complex that we are confronted with will without doubt have negative implications on the availability of substances for medical and therapeutic purposes as we might expect the least developed countries will be the most affected by this. My delegation would like to draw the attention of JC and its technical and institutional partners to the thousands of patients in Africa and worldwide who waiting for controlled medicine which they greatly need to alleviate that pain so cynical believes that the 1961 1871 and 1988 conventions constitute the cornerstone for the international drug control system it’s believe that member states must honour their commitments release two drug control and strengthen international Co-operation on the basis the principle of shared responsibility of states. My delegation last letter support and highlight importance of assisting in development alternative and programmes which unnecessary and important when it comes to implementing them alongside law enforcement measures for the development and implementation of this programme it would be necessary to establish a framework for consultations to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practises.

Jamaica: Jamaica congratulates you chairman for your election to preside over this 65th session, please be assured that my delegation’s support in this year’s team is of special significance as countries seek to recover and build back better from the covid 19 pandemic. The pandemic has laid bare the gaping and persistent inequities in our respective societies including the global framework for drug control. It is a living demonstration that if we are to successfully combat this and future pandemic’s discussions and access to medicines, the international drug control architecture must be prioritised. It is in this topic that Jamaica enter in the scene. The under treaty mandated United Nations entities call to action on scaling up the implementation of international drug policy components on improving availability of access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. We found the main concern is reporting the acceleration of drug trafficking patterns due to the pandemic. Continuing on this trajectory would place at risk gains made in addressing the world drug problem to beat. We therefore call on all member states to redouble and accelerate joint efforts to implement the drug policy commitments on the 2019 ministerial declaration and the 2016 outcome document of the 30th special session of the General Assembly. International cooperation is an indispensable tool for rolling back the negative impact of the pandemic and addressing and countering the world drug problem. We should therefore embrace international cooperation by the sharing best practices, information technology and resources and by promoting greater exchanges of intelligence and effective introduction approaches. We owe this much to people for a safe and secure world. We like to especially thank world development key partners such as Interpol and the WSU for support through initiatives such as the air periscope and global container control program. This commitment to the three international drug conventions which are the cornerstone of international drug control architecture is vital to addressing the world drug problem, and also reaffirmed the principle rule of the same day as the policy making body of United’s transfer to control matters.

Ecuador: I congratulate you for your appointment chairman Start by saying that Ecuador would like to encourage the Russian Federation to immediately reach a ceasefire in Ukraine which will provide the necessary conditions for a diplomatic solution. We would like to express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Ecuador recognises the phenomenon of drugs as an issue that needs to be tackled in a comprehensive way, that takes into account the political economic security, public health and socio-cultural spheres including of course the gender lens in order to tackle issues through the process of shared responsibility. Ecuador believes that we need to find effective solutions for controlling drug trafficking and not criminalising consumers therefore we would like to reaffirm the need to come up with innovative solutions which result from the social experience and cultural realities as well as academic and scientific research which will give us thorough knowledge of this problem in all of its dimensions. Therefore, in Ecuador we are making significant efforts to control illegal drugs trafficking and related crimes. We would like to applaud and support efforts made to revise the lists and frameworks of international treaties on drugs when it comes to including new substances and changing the scope of substance control as the dynamic of this should match regional realities and should respect ancestral knowledge and uses. Therefore the Ecuadorian government would like to support the recommendation made by the IDPC to include fentanyl precursors in the 1988 convention, which will allow states to remain alert to any potential appearance of this substance and also to monitor its manufacture and distribution ensuring that the illegal use of this substance does not further stretch to more countries and will make it more difficult for drug traffickers to get hold of these precursors. Therefore we would like to encourage cooperation agencies to direct their efforts at strengthening technical capacities in order to control these precursors. Ecuador is supporting vulnerable populations and addressing drug trafficking and consumption through implementing strategies for preventive alternative development that is comprehensive and sustainable focused on efforts to control illegal substances. We’re doing this through strengthening research processes. Various institutions are actively participating in the scientific research, which will make it possible to use ancestral knowledge and medicines and apply these in treating illnesses indications and in industrial uses. Ecuador would like to encourage international cooperation and continue mobilising resources aimed at dealing with the challenges of this phenomenon such as finding effective mechanisms for safekeeping and safe elimination of controlled substances or overcoming budgetary or operative constraints in order to implement the drugs laws and to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Tanzania: We on behalf of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to UNODC for convening this important session of the CND during this challenging time of Covid 19 pandemic. I wish to congratulate the chair of the Commission and unity secretariat.  Particular realities are the world drug problem including the links between drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime. The sensitivity of the problem in my country adopted practical and pragmatic measures proposed by the UN in the fight against illicit drug trade by implementing the three UN conventions 2009: political declaration and plan of action as well as the owners 2016 outcome document only an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem. We believe that these documents are the core pillars in offering guidance in the fight against the world drug problem and our strategic plan in addressing drug problems. The control and enforcement act of 2017 that has led to the formation of a DRUG control and enforcement authority, that is EDCAA, is the government entity responsible for drug supply reduction, demand reduction, harm reduction, an investment in an enhancement of international cooperation between June 2019 to December 2021. The United Republic of Tanzania has experienced a surge in drug trafficking and illegal trafficking of precursor chemicals through sea with other international partners have been at the forefront working with our government. To combat it, a total of 1100 kilograms of heroin and 4:52 kg of methamphetamine were seized by the drug control and enforcement authority through the city drug trafficking routes. There are numerous demand reduction and harm reduction interventions in the country such as integrated methadone assisted therapy services in which 12 sites operating with remove and 10,500 people with the opioid use disorder attend on daily basis. The United republic of Tanzania believes that it is important to have a comprehensive balanced policy which combines law enforcement and the promotion of public health education justice and law enforcement sectors while employing agents collaboration and cooperation at all levels in countering the world drug problem. We call for robust international cooperation to address the links between drug trafficking and terrorism in this city financial flaws smuggling of migrants and other forms of organised crime.
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Vienna NGO Committee (VNGOC): Thank you, Ambassador. Distinguished delegates, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jamie Bridge, and I am the Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. Our mission is to support, promote and protect the engagement of civil society in international drug policy discussions. We currently have around 350 members from 94 countries, but we strive to represent the thousands and thousands of NGOs who are working across all issues related to drugs around the world. As such, we stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues facing humanitarian crises, violence, repression, hostility and war. We stand in awe of the bravery and commitment of those NGOs on the ground, still delivering drug services, health services and support to the people who need them most, and those independently documenting and monitoring the situations as they unfold. It is at times like these that the paramount importance of civil society comes to the fore, and I salute you all. For all but a handful of NGO colleagues who are lucky enough to be here in Vienna, this CND will be another online meeting – yet once again civil society engagement remains a strength of the Commission’s programme, and something that it should be proud of. There are hundreds of NGOs participating in this year’s meeting, and more than 70 side events on offer this week that are either led or co-sponsored by civil society. This includes an event led by VNGOC to present a new Asia-Pacific Civil Society Common Position on Drugs, after extensive consultations with partners across the region. I urge all member states to make the most of the expertise, resources, perspectives and inputs on offer this week. I would also like to thank the Chair, Bureau and Secretariat for facilitating and protecting civil society access once again, as well as thanking UNODC, especially the Civil Society Unit, for their ongoing support and collaboration. On behalf of the Committee, I wish you all a productive CND and we remain here to assist in any way that we can. Thank you for your kind attention.

Open Society Institute: Mr chairman, back in 2020 my home state of New Jersey in the United States took a remarkable step facing the prohibitionist. During the winter surge of COVID-19 it released 2200 people from prison in one single day reducing the state prison population by 30%, many of these people should have never been in prison. In the first place some struggled with drug dependence and were imprisoned for possession for others. Their crime was selling small amounts of drugs to survive. Many were also victims of racially biassed law enforcement whereby black and brown people were arrested for behaviour that is widely tolerated from others.

With its prison release, New Jersey tackled 2 problems at once: it contained the harms of the COVID-19 and began to remedy a longstanding drug policy and justice for all the misery it has caused. The covid 19 pandemic has also pushed drug policy innovation. Various countries introduced or broadened take home programmes back in a more equal and sustainable world. It is imperative that this body, the CND, and you wondered if you play a leading role in this process. Current drug control policies have contributed to overcrowd prisons worldwide, where one in five prisoners is in for drug offence criminalisation.

Mentioned by several states today, drug use and simple possession is a way out. The Commission should also examine how lockdowns made people who use drugs even more vulnerable to arrest, many are already underfunded health. Social services for the people who use drugs were disrupted leaving users at increased risk of HIV hepatitis C an accidental overdose. The drug supply across the world and in the United states became even more unsafe causing over those deaths in 2021 to exceed 100,000 in the United States alone

Regretfully last years resolution did not ask for this kind of learning while it speaks to the dramatic consequences of the pandemic , it does not talk about the fact that overtly punitive drug control policies significantly exacerbated those consequences. I very much hope that the CND member states, along with other UN agencies, engage in a thorough process of reflection to learn lessons and build on the innovations inspired by the pandemic end, to adjust their approach to drug policy putting health and being at its centre. In solidarity with the people of Ukraine, illegally invaded by Russia, thank you.

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