Home » 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.

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.

March 16th, Thursday 10 a.m.


Japan: We have made efforts to support the Ministerial Declaration of 2019. Endeavour to implement supply and demand reduction measures in a comprehensive manner in the framework of national drug prevention strategy. Recognizing challenges specific to the country we have implemented demand reduction, prevention measures and awareness activities to support people at risk to provide service for addiction treatment and social reintegration support. Close collaboration with public and private agencies. Significantly low lifetime prevalence of drug use in Japan. Supply reduction, collaboration with relevant agencies to strengthen money laundering, cutting down financial challenges. Increase severity of penalties against money laundering. Illicit trafficking is beyond national borders. Must strengthen the international network. Actively promoting information sharing. Best practices for drug control should be determined based on history, culture, and social context. We share the common goal to foster society free from drug abuse. Collab to increase this call in the international community.

Pakistan: Strong commitment to our international responsibilities. The Ministerial Declaration called for full implementation of the Political Declaration, 2014 statement and the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document. We have had effective implementation efforts. We have a zero tolerance policy and strong resolve against all manifestations. Based on control conventions and drug demand and supply with the needs of children into account. Policy strategies implemented include formulation of anti narcotics policy 2019 and 1997 control of substances acts amendments passed last year, continuous oversight, sustained efforts against cultivation, poppy free status, effective prosecution, efforts to counter money laundering, robust and stringent precursor control. Sustained endeavors in collaboration with international and regional partners. Seizing huge narcotic drugs and precursors in 2021 and 2022. Highest contribution to international seizures and intelligence operations in 2021 and 2022. Maritime domain operations in collaboration with 12 partner countries. Arrest of 55 traffickers and seize 16 metric tonnes of drugs and precursors.  Responded to 262 global requests for assistance in 2021 and 200 in 2022.

Korea: Today we introduce the implementation of Ministerial Declaration 2019 at national and regional level. Smuggling in Korea is increasing, routes diversified and efforts becoming more sophisticated. Custom service is aware of the current situation and announced measures to disrupt the supply chain. Measures are, firstly inspection, reinforcing infrastructure, cooperation, capacity building. Customs service determination and mobilized available means to stop smuggling. Best practices of bilateral cooperation to counter trafficking between Korea an dThailand. Cross border transnational crime. Inspections done on imported goods and customs capacity growing. Info exchanged between authorities is improving. Bilateral anti drug operation for first time in history between countries. Achieving results and effective cooperation. Operation SIREN established this cooperation at the airport in Thailand to coordinate measures. Experts from custom authorities worked together to share noted patterns and efforts in smuggling. Through operation inspection carried out and high risk crime intercepted. Joint anti drug operation confirmed that the number of cases increased by several fold. Number of seizures in 2021 was 171.5 tonnes which is an all time high. Not a unique problem but a common problem. Bilateral cooperation necessary and expansion of measures to disrupt supply chain

Russia: Monitoring illicit trafficking and the bank system as it is related. Drug trafficking includes the flow of goods and financial infrastructure of 6million dollars annually. The benefits of drug trafficking due to the trend of legalization has been a growing threat, a social threat for peoples, not just for countries, but for people everywhere. Some societies don’t even know each other, they organize encrypted messages across countries and therefore it is our common and shared responsibility to address this. To cover their tracks, earlier criminals used cards. Our services with the central bank in Russia has flagged dubious transactions and identified criminals. The criteria for that is on the slide. I would like to point out that technical progress has led to increased criminal activities and alternatives for settlements, particularly cryptocurrency. We are seeing crypto more and more in use by criminals. We are analyzing transactions through the blockchain – dynamic of transactions, Tx count, turnover at address, owner info. We are holding events for allied countries such as Belarus, Uzbekistan and others… additional detail can be provided by our delegates in the room. We are seeing a mapping out of transactions, risk visualization, charting functions, etc. Crypto is leaving a trail, we are following that. The investigation is conducted by law enforcement on the darknet, I am presenting slides about what we observed and I have to say it is not just the financial system that is impacted.

Canada: Merci Monsieur le Président, Par le biais de la Stratégie canadienne sur les drogues et autres substances, le gouvernement du Canada s’est engagé à traiter les méfaits liés aux substances comme une question de santé publique avant tout. La Stratégie canadienne sur les drogues et autres substances prends une approche globale, collaborative, humaniste et fondée sur des données probantes, qui repose sur la prévention, le traitement, la réduction des méfaits et l’application de la loi. La Stratégie canadienne sur les drogues et autres substances soutient et s’aligne sur les thèmes de la Déclaration ministérielle de 2019, qui réitère les thèmes du document final de l’UNGASS de 2016, tels que,

– Mettre en œuvre des mesures de réduction de la demande et des mesures connexes, y compris la prévention, l’intervention précoce, le traitement, le rétablissement, la réhabilitation et la réinsertion sociale a réadaptation et la réinsertion sociale ;

– Assurer la disponibilité et l’accès aux substances placées sous contrôle à des fins médicales et scientifiques, tout en empêchant leur détournement ;

– S’attaquer à l’offre illégale de substances réglementées et aux mesures connexes ;

– Examiner les questions transversales telles que les drogues et les droits de l’homme ; et,

– traiter les nouveaux défis et les nouvelles tendances, y compris les nouvelles substances psychoactives.

 [Thank you Mister Chair, Through the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, the Government of Canada is committed to addressing substance-related harms as a public health issue first and foremost. The Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy is a comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based approach, based on: prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement. The Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy supports and aligns with the themes of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, which re-iterates themes from the 2016 UNGASS Outcome document, such as,

  • Implementing demand reduction and related measures, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery, rehabilitation and social re-integration;
  • Ensuring the availability of, and access to, controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion;
  • Addressing the illegal supply of controlled substances and related measures;
  • Looking at cross-cutting issues such as drugs and human rights; and,
  • Addressing evolving challenges and trends including new psychoactive substances.]

Canada’s approach also recognizes the human rights of people who use drugs, and seeks to reduce the stigma and discrimination that they face. We wish to recognize and applaud the UNODC for its efforts at recognizing stigma and addressing non-stigmatizing language, particularly since the introduction of resolution 61/11 on, “Promoting non-stigmatizing attitudes to ensure the availability of, access to and delivery of health, care and social services for drug users”. Canada is pleased to see the UNODC and its members states integrate these principles into their resolutions and policies, and encourages member states to continue to support this important aspect of drug policy. Canada also supports continued efforts to incorporate gender mainstreaming in the decisions and polices of the UNODC. Canada’s comprehensive drug policy also encompasses a range of enforcement initiatives. Law enforcement and border control activities focus on addressing the production and trafficking of controlled substances and support the control of regulated substances and the prevention of their diversion and misuse. Our law and border enforcement agencies continue to work with domestic and international partners to strengthen drug interdiction approaches within Canada and at our borders including through new and emerging technologies. Illegal drugs remain the most prominent market in the Canadian criminal landscape, with cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl surpassing other commodities involving organized crime. Moreover, as the surface and dark web are increasingly used to facilitate the distribution and sale of drugs, international and domestic mail streams are also increasingly exploited to traffic illegal substances within and across Canada, especially highly potent synthetic opioids. In closing, the Government of Canada will continue its balanced approach based on: prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement and support the commitments as outlined in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, while upholding a human rights approach. We will seek to work closely with the Commission, our international partners, frontline law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as civil society, and people with lived and living experience and people who use drug use; including those who currently use drugs, all of which are essential stakeholders to help guide our approaches. Thank you.

China: Over the past year, we have made a lot of work to implement the UNGASS outcome document, particularly regarding emerging drugs and treatment provision. We are holding anti-drug knowledge competitions for young people and designing special programs for children without parents. We are standardizing community-based rehabilitation and investing in capacity building. The professional capacities and treatment quality has been improved that integrates physical detoxification, training, and re-entry to employment. Needle and syringe exchange programs have contributed to the reduction of new HIV infections to zero. The infections we observed have been brought in from abroad. We stepped up efforts to intercept trafficking via bilateral cooperation, for example, intelligence sharing with Laos and Myanmar, among others. The drug situation in China is stable and improving. We continue to adhere to the principle of common and shared responsibility. We hope all MS will accelerate their actions as per their commitments.

South Africa: Our common and shared responsibility is to enhance regional cooperation due to the diversity and sophistication of the global drug situation. Potent illicit drugs and controlled prescription medicines are proliferating the market and innovation by international criminal groups exploiting technological advances. In the implementation of the 2019 declaration, our government has put in place a structure: specialized police units to counter illicit trafficking and drug abuse with international partners. The unit dismantled 28 clandestine labs. We established a working group on youth and (…). We have more than 50 private treatment centers and about 30 public to counter the harms of drugs and provide treatment to those with substance use disorders. The public services are free. Illicit drug trafficking comes with a number of other crimes, for example, human trafficking. Therefore, we appreciate the UNODC´s work in South Africa, including technical assistance and capacity building.

Netherlands: We fully align with the EU´s statement from yesterday. Like many countries here today, we are experiencing a number of specific challenges in our national realities. As highlighted before, the Dutch department of justice and security has started a new strategy with a focus on prevention, as preventing drugs from being used and produced is an important priority. We also want to protect young people from criminal recruitment. Our second priority area is dismantling criminal enterprises. Non-conviction-based confiscation processes (es) are in development. We are investing in more advanced technologies as well. We also prioritize the protection of people in the frontline – we have been made painfully aware of the dangers faced by journalists, lawyers, customs officers, and others. Our strategy is for the long-term but we are already seeing results, for example, we confiscated important criminal assets. A new law banning NPS will soon be adopted by parliament. We want to put an end to drug-related crime. Nevertheless, we are not waging a war on drugs. We are taking the needs of our people seriously.

Mexico (video message): I am going to tell you about the challenges we are facing. Mexico is transforming rapidly, there are many areas of change that are also affected by drug-related crimes. We need to set aside the drugs-centered discourse. The war on drugs has been a war on people, the story is told in human lives. The structural issues underpinning the drug problem are …. Heavy-handed prohibitionist policies lead to the worsening of indicators. The drug economy has been highly profitable, has led to deaths, and undermined the social order. Latin America has paid a proportionally high price in this war. In the Northern hemisphere, you have users, in the South we have gangs… the international drug trafficking problem will not be solved unless you understand the nature of organized crime truly everywhere. Mexico and Colombia will convene a conference to address alternative ideas and policies that uphold human rights baes on good medical practice and evidence. We think it is time to end useless rhetoric and (…) we need proposals that offer practical solutions. While we engage in this discussion, thousands are suffering. We need changes for the good of our countries, real action.

Mexico (in person): I wish to draw your attention to the document we have published “add title”. This is meant to be a guide to be further improved.

Norway: remains committed to fully implementing the 2019 and 2016 documents. That is because of our long-running commitment to health and well-being. Our successes are identified but there are also challenges. We started to distribute clean injection materials in the ‘90s and we have been ranked among the most successful countries in safeguarding the rights and health of people, including those who use drugs. Some would say it is an approach that promotes use… that would lead to an increase in the rate of use. Young people’s consumption rate is the lowest in Europe. We have zero new HIV infections among injecting drug users. We have been proudly at the forefront of fighting for the prioritizing of human rights. Early prevention and harm reduction are complementary actions. Those on the outskirts of society are further pushed away and equalities are deepening due to prohibitive punitive policies. We need a change in the current policies and Norway will introduce a new strategy next year that prioritizes health and support over punishment. Substance use and related problems need quick and effective responses. We will continue this approach and will not [prioritize possession/use].

Kenya: To ensure no one is left behind, we are implementing a drug demand reduction program. Prevention, focusing on children, youth, women and other vulnerable groups including those in prisons, has been designed as well as a “good parenting program”. Bloodborne diseases that are associated with drug use (..) Methadone clinics, also in prisons. Fundamental freedoms and human rights are a priority in conformity with international standards. We developed and implemented a robust political framework in line with our treaty-bound commitments. Precursors, NPS, pharmaceuticals, and trafficking through our borders remain a challenge and we need international collaboration to address these globally. Access to essential medicines is something we take seriously; we have put in place guides to eliminate all unnecessary bottlenecks. Drug abuse is a complex problem, so we strengthened our connection to all relevant stakeholders including civil society organizations. We are collecting comparable data and submitting all relevant information through the ARQ. This standing agenda point has enhanced MS’s efforts in countering the world drug problem. It is our hope that we will see significant results at our midterm review.

Indonesia: We take our commitments seriously and can boast the following: Treatment and low-threshold services are supported by scientific evidence. An alternative Empowerment program to provide life-skills is provided to people living in narcotics-prone areas (sic) has been implemented. Alternative Development is striving with coffee. We have signed over 50 MOU with countries.

Paraguay: We reiterate our commitment to the three conventions and the consequent political documents. As a landlocked country, we are a transit – over 8000 operations to disrupt this has caused a huge financial strain on our government. Since the inauguration of our government, we have taken serious actions to counter these illicit activities. We are committed to ensuring prevention at an early age so we are rolling out programs for school-aged children nationally. We established municipal councils for treatment and rehabilitation. We are taking bold steps to promote a sustainable and comprehensible alternative development program; therefore we welcome the draft resolution presented by Peru, Germany, and Thailand. This can be a strategy to help the poorest areas and provide them with prospects to organize peasants (sic) to refrain from taking up illicit cultivation. Gender-perspective, environmental preservation, and human rights are all important factors for us in pursuing Agenda 2030 and leaving no one behind.

Bangladesh (on behalf of 27 allied MS – tba): We recognize that the world drug program continues to present a serious threat to the well-being of humanity and undermines the development of our states. We recognize the conventions constitute the cornerstone of our international drug control system so we are concerned about the legalization of cannabis for non-medical reasons and fully share the opinion of INCB that clearly states this is a serious concern for the entire international community. We reaffirm our shared commitment to effectively counter the world drug problem that starts on the national level and starts with a full implementation of our commitments in the treaties and we promote a society free of drug abuse to ensure all people can live in peace, security and prosperity. We recognize CND as the lead policy-making body and the entities of the UNODC as leading bodies and reaffirm the treaty-mandated role of the INCB as it has been reaffirmed in consequent policy documents. We remain committed as is our shared and common responsibility to the 2014 declaration, the UNGASS outcome document as well as the 2019 declaration and hope to make the best use of our upcoming midterm review. We emphasize the need for adequate and sustainable funding to the UNODC as we rely on the office on the field.

Nigeria: Systematic action to strengthen policies to address the world drug problem is important, in line with our commitments in the conventions. An integrated and balanced approach is something we committed to. Thus, stepping up action against cultivation, manufacturing and trafficking, we have implemented a joint approach with (…) We have launched a helpline to tackle stigmatization and have rehabilitated over 1000 individuals last year. We seized and destroyed over 60k tons of cannabis and cocaine, among others. We recognize our treaty-bound obligations and currently working on centralizing our logistical efforts. Our food and drug control administration has stepped up data collection. Despite our efforts, the problem persists. This is clear in the World Drug Reports. The Nigerian Epidemiology Network has shown that cannabis use is on the rise. We are signing a call for the criminalization of Cannabis, the most abused substance in the World. Legalization of the nonmedical use of Cannabis is a violation of our common and shared commitments and responsibilities. Tramadol remains a challenge despite serious local regulatory efforts – this is the most abused medicine, and we are seeing a dangerous pattern. We reiterate our position on the urgent need to change the status of Tramadol in the international scheduling system.

India: The World Drug Report has mentioned that though the areas affected by opium production have been reduced but the supply has increased. In India, we have seized huge amounts. Most of the heroin and morphine seized were seen in Asia. Opiates produced in Afghanistan go through India. The quantities of seized cannabis resin raised to a record high. The most prominently affected areas traditionally are in Asia. We have seized over 3 thousand kg of Cannabis resin, 9k kg precursors. Technological advances for criminal communication is also a big concern for India.

Angola: We fully support Bangladesh’s statement on behalf of a group of MS and are particularly concerned by the trend of cannabis legalization for non-medical purposes.

Algeria: Significant quantities of cannabis cross our borders each year, reaching the west and southwest of our country. The relevant national institutions have engaged in combatting illicit drug trafficking, strengthening the impact of law enforcement and ensuring treatment and care for drug users. This has made it possible to report positive results regarding all forms of crime linked to this scourge. We are particularly concerned by early age education, “child brigades” have been set up. We have deployed numerous drug-care centers for victims and are striving to avoid any form of stigmatization. Preservation of public health is our main priority as well as dismantling crime.

France: We recognize the three conventions as cornerstones. Early prevention, accessibility in demand reduction and ensuring children with addicted parents have opportunities. We must fully uphold human rights and human dignity. We have issued a booklet with Germany on this topic. We are closely following the trends and we reiterate our commitment to work with UNODC to provide a collective response, fully upholding our commitments. We have a national strategy for the years to come with a central theme of education. We stepped up our efforts to counter illicit trafficking in setting up a new plan.

UTRIP: Dear excellencies delegates and colleagues, I’m Matej Košir, Director of Institut UTRIP non-profit think thank in prevention and advocacy from Slovenia. In recent years, the field of substance use prevention has been calling for a shift of responses to be more aligned with science and evidence based approach in line with the UNODC and WHO international standards on drug use prevention. Such approaches prioritise the individual and his/her safe and healthy development at the different ages as a reference to which prevention tools and programmes are designed. In this regard, the early prevention science looks at the different milestones of the developmental stages of an individual with an emphasis on programmes that improve social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural skills of children and young people. Furthermore, research in this field has provided us with evidence that prevention interventions can start at stages as early as infancy and prenatal period. During the 65th session, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs adopted resolution 65/4 on promoting comprehensive and scientific evidence based early prevention, which has been initiated and drafted by Slovenia. The resolution encourages prevention responses at early developmental stages through social and emotional learning programmes that are gender sensitive and covering various settings and societal structures such as family, school and community. Furthermore, the resolution requires that early prevention responses are a part of a comprehensive system of prevention. Such a system in turn entails the coordination and collaboration between different institutions and organisations including civil society organisations in contact with children at the different developmental stages. Finally, I’m here as an NGO representative working in the field of prevention, to highlight the value and importance of a comprehensive system of prevention and to urge member states to support and invest significantly in early prevention. Thank you very much.

Open Society Institute: Excellencies delegates and colleagues, I would like to invite the Commission, member states and assembled delegates to reflect on the crisis of opiate overdose death. Many of us have lost friends and family members. I would like to start with five seconds of silence to remember those we have lost. Every single one of these overdose deaths could have been avoided. In the US deaths from overdose have reached over 100,000 people per year. That is 300 people per day, with rates of death growing fastest amongst black men. This is not just a North American problem, however. Highly synthetic potent opiates are prevalent in many narcotic substances, including heroin and other opiates, and including stimulants such as cocaine, MDMA, or methamphetamine. Users may be opiate naive, unfamiliar with overdose response techniques or unconnected to harm reduction programmes. Worldwide overdose mortality data is often lacking, particularly from the Global South. However, where countries have limited success in controlling fentanyl production, this production just moves elsewhere, while new fentanyl like analogs are springing up daily. In short, we can expect the presence of these and other substances in illicit drug markets will continue to grow everywhere with increasingly deadly effect. Meanwhile, hardline responses to this situation are driving backwards years of moving forward towards decriminalisation and destigmatisation of people who use drugs and worsening the health and human rights consequences for people who use drugs and other groups including palliative and pain patients. Overdose has long-term global, economic and political implications like AIDS, yet, we do not yet have a fully framed global response. As someone said to me at the start of this week, there is a UNAIDS but there is no UN overdose. Regretfully, no CND 2023 resolutions seek directly to confront this crisis. Overdose needs a response. Specifically, I think we know that we need to increase Naloxone availability, and not just any Naloxone but with a focus on the generic variation and getting it into the hands of the community and the first true responders – that is people who use drugs themselves. This is not a new intervention and yet we are still pushing for full coverage. At the same time, naloxone is not enough. In order to respond to the overdose crisis, it is time for us in the international community to embrace some additional tools. So I’m going to give four examples and these are: Support for overdose prevention centres; public education through drug checking; safe supply; decriminalisation of personal possession. These interventions are not in fact new, yet they have remained sidelined in our conversations. It is time for these four interventions to move from the sides and into the centre of our conversation and into the centre of our responses to drug consumption in the context of the overdose crisis. In solidarity with the people of Ukraine, I thank you.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy: Thank you chair. We firmly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in particular the disastrous effect this has had on people who use drugs in the region. My name is Ellie Schwartz and I speak here today as a representative for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. I’m also here speaking on behalf of the Paradigma Coalition, a youth led group of organisations working to promote human rights and harm reduction. The majority of drug policies reference the protection of youth as a key goal. Young people and youth civil society hold keen insights into the needs and changing drug use patterns of young people. Many member states have engaged youth led civil society and young people who use drugs in the development and implementation of their policies to great success. Young people who use drugs hold additional risk as the criminalization and punishment have lifelong effects and infringe on the human rights such as the right to health, the right to education and the right to housing. This is why we as young people, urge member states to decriminalise drugs for personal possession and remove punitive measures for drug possession, or use in education. We ask member states and relevant agencies to engage with young people who use drugs and youth led civil society in designing evidence-based, youth-informed harm reduction initiatives that are designed for youth by youth. While the CND demonstrates its commitment to engaging young people in policy development through the forum, we have highlighted for many years now how young voices continue to not be taken seriously and are tokenized at the CND. The Youth Forum continues to limit meaningful youth involvement, as it removes us as participants from the main proceedings of the CND. All discussions are led by UNODC and not by youth, and primarily discuss prevention and not resolutions, CND agenda items or issues raised by young people. The Youth Forum has been described as a learning opportunity rather than a manner of engagement for young people in decision making, which radically diverges from the purposes of almost every other youth forum across the UN. Furthermore, the selection process, structure and purpose of the Youth forum remain unclear to many member states and civil society alike. Following the youth consultation with UNODC and the synthetic drug strategy civil society consultation, the Youth consultation on drugs was requested and highly anticipated but did not occur. The lack of meaningful involvement of young people and youth civil society is further exemplified by the fact that the majority of youth led side events were scheduled in the same time slot. We are disappointed to see this shrinking space for the youth voice to be heard in both the CND and UNODC. Particularly as we have seen major progressions in youth representation across the UN, such as the upcoming establishment of the UN youth officer. We encourage member states to look more critically at the role of the Youth Forum and the CND and encourage them to consider proposing progressive changes to youth engagement at the CND and at national levels. We applaud those member states who have included youth and youth civil society in the delegations and encourage them to continue to listen to youth members on the delegation and to support other member states in following suit. This Friday at 1pm in room M3, we are holding a side event discussing the opportunities for engaging young people in drug policy development and implementation. And we encourage both member states and UN agencies alike to attend and learn from concrete examples and best practices of youth engagement in drug policy. If our well being is as important as you say, you must seize these opportunities to work with us. Thank you.

Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association: Excellencies, representatives of civil societies, ladies and gentlemen, the Singapore anti-narcotics association or SANA in short, we’d like to extend our gratitude to the CND for providing us this opportunity to contribute to the formulation of global drug policies. SANA has come a long way since inception half a century ago, and remains resolute in our vision of achieving a drug free Singapore. Towards this end, and we work closely with students, NGO Social Services organisations, government agencies and the community at large, as well as families and persons in recovery, to enhance our drug prevention outreach and to build a strong ecosystem of pro social support. SANA is strengthened by our country’s comprehensive, functioning strategy. While Singapore adopts tough laws and robust enforcement, we believe that preventive education and targeted rehabilitation and aftercare with abstinence as a goal are complementary methods that will alleviate drug abuse issue. In order to reduce the recidivism rate, adopt a true care approach, where we engage persons in recovery, through their journey from incarceration, to pre release stages to reintegration back into society. And this is critical so that this individual have a smooth reintegration. We provide counselling and aftercare support, to help their recovery process. SANA also recognises that women have a very unique set of needs, with them often times wearing multiple hats in the family, and this needs must be addressed to fully help them in their rehabilitation, which is why SANA also provides customized care and aftercare support specially catered to women. SANA also established walk-in facilities, making SANA programmes and services more widely accessible to beneficiaries. We have a pool of peer leaders who are persons in recovery who were successfully stayed free from drugs, mentors inspiration for youth at risk groups as well as for other persons in recovery and their families. They have volunteered to come forward to contribute back to society, sharing the testimonials, challenges and motivation to remain drug free through avenues like school talks, support group facilitation, sharing through social and mass media. The experience allows them to relay and convey preventive drug education messages strongly, particularly in reaching out to younger abusers who have more liberal view on consumption of drugs such as cannabis, which has been legalised in many countries. SANA stands against possession of controlled drugs for recreational use. We will continue to work with individuals, communities, at risk groups and people in recovery by helping them to recognise that they can resist and rise above the influence of drugs. Thank you Chair.

IDPC: Thank you for giving me the floor. Mr. Chair, excellencies, dear colleagues, I am making this statement on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium, a global network of NGOs that promotes drug policies grounded in social justice and human rights. In the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, member states reiterated their commitments to the implementation of all their international drug policy obligations, including those derived from international human rights law, and from the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document. Four years have passed since then, and the international community is now approaching the mid-term review of the Ministerial Declaration. And yet, much remains to be done for drug policies to truly protect and prioritise the health, rights and safety of communities worldwide. The Ministerial Declaration reiterates the need to improve the availability of controlled medicines, including by removing the legislative and technical barriers hampering access. And yet, today a staggering 5 billion people live in countries with little to no access to critical pain medication. The Ministerial Declaration also recognises the need to ensure access to harm reduction interventions, including needle and syringe programmes, opioid agonist therapy and naloxone, all explicitly mentioned in the UNGASS Outcome Document. However, in most parts of the world these services are not available, sufficiently scaled up nor adequately funded, while the ongoing criminalisation of people who use drugs acts as a major barrier in access. Half a million people died from drug use-related causes in 2020 alone. These deaths are preventable – and we have tools available to do so. What we lack, especially at the CND, is an unequivocal commitment to harm reduction, decriminalisation and to saving lives. Furthermore, the 2019 Ministerial Declaration rightly identified ‘responses…not in conformity with applicable international human rights obligations’ as one of the key challenges to address for the next decade. Egregious human rights abuses continue to be committed in the name of drug control, including the use of the death penalty, extrajudicial killings, compulsory detention masked as treatment, police violence, racial and gender-based discrimination, the list goes on. Resolution 77/238 adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2022 includes the strongest language to date on human rights, including on harm reduction, racial discrimination and the rights of Indigenous peoples. For the first time in decades, the resolution also makes no reference to the unrealistic and damaging goal of achieving a ‘society free of drug abuse’. This strengthened human rights language should be incorporated in future CND resolutions – and most importantly, these commitments must lead to real change on the ground. The 2024 mid-term review is a critical opportunity for the international community to place human rights front and centre in UN drug policy. But this will only be possible with the strong and meaningful participation of civil society and communities most affected by drug policies. So we call on all member states to protect and expand civic space at the UN and at home. Finally, the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document provides a clear mandate to increase the unity of action across the UN system with regards to drugs. Towards that end, Vienna-based drug control bodies must acknowledge and welcome the input and expertise of other specialised UN entities and experts. The UN Human Rights Council is currently negotiating its third resolution on drug policy, which includes a call for the OHCHR to produce a report that will feed into the mid-term review in 2024. We call on Member States to support this important resolution and welcome contributions from OHCHR and other UN entities in the mid-term review and beyond, including through the UN System Coordination Task Team on drugs. Thank you for your attention.

Institute for Policy Studies: Good afternoon. My name is Alejandro Ocampo – Congress member in Colombia and I wish to use this opportunity to discuss with you the policies on the war on drugs. While in the United States a kilo of cocaine costs $27,000 and in Europe 35,000 euros. In my country and in many countries worldwide, it’s being sold at far cheaper prices. Our fields, our mountains, our valleys, it’s no secret to anyone are producing cocaine. The same cocaine that is being distributed worldwide. But the war efforts are focusing on peasant workers. That is where the violence is being brought. That is where death is taking place. These are where the displacements and the disappearances take place. This is where all of these effects that destroy the lives of 1000s of men, women and children in our countries are taking place. In countries all over the world, drugs trafficking consists in transporting a prohibited substance, which means that the very risks inherent to transporting it increase its value. Armed men carefully are guarding immense plantations. 1000s of people engaged in this activity worldwide, 1000s patrolling streets and 1000s engaging in the sale of this product in the streets of the US and Europe and all over the world. Negotiating the risks that are inherent to drug trafficking and the black market being increased and increasingly valorized. What do we have now? Death. Deaths where it has been produced, death among the cartels and gangs that are waging war on each other. Deaths of children, of young people as a result of overdoses, as a result of using substances blended with others that lead to their deaths. And I feel that we really have emphasised prevention, promotion of education, but equally on regulation. The war on drugs is being lost all over the world. And it is young people, children, boys, women, men who are losing their lives as a result of this conflict. Consuming these in a fashion that leads to their deaths and I would invite everyone all over the world that we have a form of regulation where we are able to eliminate drugs trafficking, and violence and death and war. Instead we are able to save the lives of these people who each day are out in the streets trying to buy a gram of cocaine because they need it. Let’s put an end to the deaths. Let’s put an end to the death at the barrel of a gun for a purchase worth a few dollars. Let’s tackle the problem at its roots in the form of regulation. In the form of permission, where countries are able to impose taxes, where we are able to engage in public health campaigns in order to save lives. And that way we’ll be able to overcome the deaths as they occur and this stop young people throwing away their lives because they’re using substances.

Corporacion ATS:  As a fellow human I want to appeal to your to your solidarity and humanity. In one year in Colombia, Mexico and Central America, we have lost 150,000 lives in the wars over the control of the cocaine trafficking routes. We’ve lost many hectares of jungle and biodiversity due to the illegal crops of coca leaves. We’ve lost millions of lives in an internal armed conflict fueled by the cocaine-based illicit trafficking. What do I say about the fight against drugs? That our production has risen by 43%. It’s just not working. Today, we asked you to join uncomfortable but necessary conversation. With cocaine regulation we see a more suitable strategy to prevent consumption, that and environmental disasters. We are asking to analyse the data, investigate, discuss, listen. But overall, I’m asking us to be seen this year. Thank you very much.

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