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: We are addressing the drugs issue as a health policy matter. Our policies are linked to the 2019 declaration that restates our priorities named in the UNGASS outcome document for example ensuring availability for medical and scientific purposes, addressing the illegal diversion, cross-cutting issues such as human rights and NPS. The human rights of people who use drugs are need to be recognized as battling stigma. We welcome UNODC striving to use non-stigmatizing language. We highlight the need to elevate access to services to those people who are impacted by marginalization. We urge the UNODC to embrace the UN Common Position on Drugs that Canada fully supports. Our national policy encompasses a number of law enforcement activities as well, for example on the border, we work with domestic and international partners to increase interception. Illegal drug trafficking remains an outstanding criminal concern with cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl surpassing all others.  Balanced approach and support commitments as outlined in the 2019 declaration while upholding a human rights approach.

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: (full statement TBA)

Open Society Institute: (full statement TBA)

Students for Sensible Drug Policy: (full statement TBA)

Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association: (full statement TBA)

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: (full statement TBA)

Corporacion ATS: (full statement TBA)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *