Home » Plenary Item 3. General debate (continued)

Plenary Item 3. General debate (continued)

United Republic of Tanzania: Thank you Madam Chair for giving my delegation the floor. At the outset, allow me to extend my delegation’s warm congratulation to you and other members of the Bureau. Upon your election on this 66th session, I wish to commend the executive secretary of UNODC and the staff for organising this important meeting. Madam Chair, my delegation endorses the statements made on behalf of the G77 and China and the African group. And I would like to, therefore, make this statement in my national capacity. Madam Chair, the United Republic of Tanzania has continued to adapt her drug control policies and strategies through integrated and balanced approach. In response to emerging and evolving realities on the road drug problem, including the links between drug trafficking and other forms of transorganized crimes. My Country adopted practical and pragmatic measures, including implementing all the three UN conventions, the 2009 political declaration and plan of action, the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session outcome document as well as the 2019 ministerial declaration. Our strategic plan in addressing and countering drug problems is anchored on the Drug control and Enforcement Act of 2015. That has led to the formation of the drug control and enforcement authorities. Therefore, my country has continued to implement various measures as follows. Firstly, we have renewed attacks upon the drug supply chain that brings drugs across the world into and out of Tanzania. By cutting supply chain logistics and focusing on apprehending the criminals, between 2018 to 2022 we experienced a surge of drug trafficking in which a total of 176 tons of cannabis, 130 tons of khat and 3311 kilograms of heroin was saved in the country. We also managed to object to the importation of precursor chemicals, due to irregularities in complying with requirements of national and international law. Secondly, my country has been focusing on drug demand reduction measures, by putting more emphasis and turning people’s lives around and diminishing them from indulging in drug use and illicit drug trade. My country has been showing numerous efforts in implementing these strategies by conducting mass awareness campaigns to communities in order to prevent individuals from indulging into drug trafficking and use their special programs from the low to high educational level through establishment of anti- drug pads and mass media campaigns. The United Republic of Tanzania has also been scaling harm reduction interventions to people with drug use disorders, and working around them in building the abilities and turning around their lives away from drug dependence. Harm reduction interventions are intensively conducted in our country through provision of psychoeducation detoxification services, establishment of drop off centres, needle and syringe programs, recovery homes and rehabilitation programs. In 2021,a total of 169,000 individuals with various drug use disorders received health services and mental health and substance use units. There are also 15 operable medically assisted therapy sites in which more than 12,000 people with opioid use disorders attend services on a daily basis including one operable pilot site in-prison setting. There are also 45 recovery homes in the country in which the government provides effective supervision of such services by competent domestic authorities with user friendly guidelines to ensure adequate quality of services. Fourthly, our country has also strengthened regional and international cooperation based on the principle of common and shared responsibilities in addressing and countering the world drug problem.Our country therefore called for all UN bodies and specialised agencies to continue supporting member states in the fight against the word drug problem. Madam Chair, I believe that it is important to have a comprehensive, integrated and balanced policy, which combines law enforcement and the promotion of public health, education, justice, while employing interagency collaboration and global cooperation at all levels. in addressing and countering the drug problem. We call for robust regional and international cooperation, including in addressing and countering the links between trafficking and terrorism, illicit financial flows, smuggling of migrants and other forms of organized crimes. Madam Chair in conclusion, we highly believe that we will beat this problem by standing together. We underscore the importance of the technical assistance provided by you and UNODC which has greatly assisted practitioners in the field and positively impacted global efforts to counter and address the world drug problem, and therefore we urge more support. I thank you. 

Brunei Darussalam: Your Excellency, Madam Vice Chair of the 66th CND, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Salam alaikum. Let me begin by congratulating his excellency, on his election as the chair of this meeting. Also like to commend the hard work done by the UNODC for the preparation of this meeting. Brunei Darussalam reaffirms the principle role of the CND as the main policy making body responsible for drug control matters. We reiterate that the three international conventions constitute the cornerstone of the control system. Madam Chair, ladies and gentleman, Brunei Darussalam adopts a holistic and the whole of nation approach in addressing the issues. These include the engagement of key state stakeholders, advocating preventive education and the continuous enhancement of treatment and rehabilitation programs, as well as an emphasis on the reintegration of drug offenders into society. However, the transnational nature of the crimes continues to be a threat to our nation, and in particular, our children and the youth determine the nation’s future and character as a catalyst of the nation’s development. Therefore, the normalisation of drugs, infused in food marketed as edibles, is a worrying concern for us, because of easy accessibility and the various reports of hospitalisation following the misuse and overdose of cannabis. Madam Vice Chair, ladies and gentleman, in addressing the drug problem to protect our people, we adopt a zero tolerance approach to prevent and reduce the consequential harm it would have on our societies. Our aspirational goal for a drug-free nation has helped preserve peace and security. The Brunei Darussalam approach is in line with the ASEAN collective vision and expectation of a drug free ASEAN. ASEAN recognizes that there is no one size fits all approach in addressing that issue. And it is important for us to respect the sovereign rights of each state to consider and implement policies based on the unique cultural, historical and social challenges. To this end, Brunei Darussalam is in full support of our fellow ASEAN member states who didn’t seek CND membership for the period of 2024 and 2027. It is a common and shared responsibility. Responsibility in tackling the drug problems allow us to reiterate our commitment to make those working closely with our regional and international counterparts in ensuring that the people, especially our younger generation is safe from the drug menace. Thank you. Salam alaikum.

Nigeria: I wish to congratulate you on your election as the chair of the 66th session and to commend the Secretariat for the excellent preparation for the session. I wish to assure you for the unwavering support of my delegation. We ally ourselves with the statement delivered on behalf of G77 and China, and the African Group. Madam Chair, despite the debilitating impact of COVID-19 on efforts to combat drug related issues, Nigeria has continued to adapt its drug control policies and strategies to respond to emerging and evolving realities. Our policy is anchored on the national drug master control master plan, the National Drug Control Master Plan was first introduced in 1999. The revised plan extends to 2025 and seeks an integrated and balanced policy which combines law enforcement and the promotion of public health. It rests on four major strategic pillars, namely drug supply reduction, drug demand reduction, improved access to controlled medicines, as well as governance and coordination of drug control. These are policies consistent with obligations under the Conventions and the Political document adopted by member states in 2009 as well as the 2019 ministerial declaration. We continued to introduce innovative measures to ensure reduction demand by launching a toll free helpline for drug dependent individuals, families and employers of people suffering from drug use disorder, which allows them to seek help, without compromising their confidentiality and safety. The centre text exists in English and other local languages with a team of psychologists, counsellors and mental health professionals. In this regard Nigeria has counselled and rehabilitated 19,401 drug dependent individuals between January 2021 and December 2022. We have continued to introduce a robust advocacy campaign war against drug abuse, which was launched to create anti drug abuse awareness at the grassroots by all state commands of NDA. Despite the implementation of this framework and Strategic Action Plan, trafficking and abuse of controlled substances persists. The cultivation and trafficking of cannabis and its abuse has been on the increase. Our national drug survey of 2019 revealed that 10 million persons abuse cannabis in one year. Similar patterns in 2019 and 2020 and 2021. The WDR identified cannabis as the most abused substance with threats to security, health and wellbeing of the global population. We reiterate that legalisation on non medical use of cannabis is in violation of drug control treaties. Secondly, the trafficking and non medical use of synthetic opioids, pharmaceuticals control narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, or new psychotropic substances, especially Tramadol remain a challenge. This is in spite of our domestic control efforts. Nigeria therefore wishes to change control measures for commerce in Tramadol and other pharmaceuticals containing psychotropic substances,  narcotic drugs and new psychoactive substances. In relation to the access, availability and affordability for medical and scientific use, we’re now able to optimise data collection and improve our submission of requirements to the INCB with the launch in 2022 of our national quality quantification and estimation survey conducted in 2017 and 2019 respectively. We are also to start local manufacturing of narcotic medicine from two World Health Organization prequalified pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure availability, and to meet needs. Nigeria is willing to upgrade its approaches through cooperation and partnerships. We therefore call for international cooperation to address the links between drug trafficking and terrorism, banditry, illicit financial flows, smuggling of migrants and other forms of organised crime. In addition, we have to underscore the importance of technical assistance by UNODC, which has greatly assisted practitioners, beneficiary countries and positively impacted global efforts to counter and address the world drug problem and urge for the continuation of partnership. It is my privilege and honour to inform you that based on the decision taken during the the HONLEA in Nairobi, Nigeria is hosting the next meeting of HONLEA in Abuja in September 2023.

Bahrain: We have especially focused on the youth stepping up awareness raising campaigns and presentations in schools in close cooperation with the education ministry, as well as in youth clubs and community associations and civil society organisations, pursuant to the principle of community participation. We have launched a number of educational and community initiatives at all educational levels to empower students to uphold moral values and stay away from unhealthy behaviour, notably drug use. The school curriculum includes a specific program to counter both violence and addiction as part of a scheme to raise awareness of the harmful effects of drug violence and addiction. This scheme is currently being expanded to hopefully cover all schools in the near future. In reviewing international drug reports, we find that the amount of production is increasing. Tremendous security challenge in terms of the use of social media for the marketing and distribution of narcotics. The kingdom has produced a national anti narcotics plan, including demand and supply reduction and enhanced international cooperation. We were fortunate to record a commendable 90% (?) success rate in the implementation of version one, which reflects the tremendous efforts we have undertaken to control and fight this scourge. Increase in narcotics cooperation with ADOT agencies and Coast Guard. We also do not overlook the legislative aspect. We are continuously reviewing drug schedules and we promote our international relations in order to combat drug trafficking operations in cooperation with other states. We have provided international intelligence, information that led to the arrest of a number of traffickers in cooperation with our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council. We must also say in this international meeting that we cannot deal with this dark picture of drugs without providing a comprehensive, balanced and multidisciplinary approach while emphasising the security aspects in dealing with drug gangs and cartels. This requires promoting counter narcotics authorities and supplying them with trained individuals who are not only qualified with skills and technical skills but are also morally and socially qualified so that the sole objective in combating narcotics is the protection of their communities and countries without being subject to any pressures or attractions of whatever source. In conclusion, I must indicate the pilot experience in Bahrain in terms of the penal law and alternative measures. Males and females have worked with the private and public sector in order to provide opportunities to individuals, after serving their alternative penalties. 

Lao PDR: (…)

Ecuador: Madam Chair, Ecuador is working in an active way in the areas of drug supply and demand reduction, in line with the principle of common shared and differentiated responsibility. My country is convinced that the socio-economic phenomenon of drugs requires ongoing issues to be joint and coordinated internationally. My country restates his commitment to the implementation of international drug agreements. We’re always looking to strengthen the technical process of recording, tracking and disposing of substances which could be used in illicit drug production and to this end coordinate its efforts in various places of international cooperation. My country acknowledges the complexity and national character of the issue of drugs globally as well as the need to strengthen international cooperation and for an ongoing review and improvement of national policies. Bearing in mind the particularities, which become evident in this phenomenon in each territory. My country restates the need to update national legislation regarding extensive control, and inclusion of new substances in the convention. On the scope of cannabis control, we urge there to be a tightening up if possible in existing legislation based on scientific evidence. The tentativeness of the measures adopted by Ecuador to interrupt cocaine precursors, which in the last two years amounted to (?) tons. of which had been destroyed, making Ecuador, one of the countries in the world which has made the greatest contribution towards reducing supply of drugs globally, Ecuador is not a country that manufactures cocaine. Hence, its efforts are made at withdrawing these substances from the market through concerted action, which avoids overlooking substances on them for markets for consumption and other countries as well as preventing the criminals from profiting from them. Our country acknowledges as well the area of control. We need to have a comprehensive approach to the global problem of drugs which includes socioeconomics …. most vulnerable communities, which are involved in illicit activities relating to drugs. Hence, my country restates its commitment towards generating alternative development strategies, including preventive alternative development approaches in rural and urban areas. We condemn emphatically transnational organised crime because it undermines democratic institutions and has a harmful effect on our societies. My country restates its commitment to fight this by strengthening the legal framework, the rule of law and multilateral cooperation which respects the sovereignty of each state by the exchange of information, legal assistance and by developing inter agency action to promote law enforcement. My government, through its Council of Public Security, is making available significant resources and strengthening capacity to bolster cooperation in the areas of prevention investigation, prosecution or punishment of these illicit activities. We work on ongoing designing, implementing preventive policies and trafficking, for problematic consumption such as promoting healthy lifestyles, comprehensive prevention of drug concerns. Consumption between generations, similarly, is developing a national strategy against drug trafficking as a measure to mitigate the effects of this phenomenon. While conducting investigations and obtaining evidence is essential, informed decision and public policy is committed to acting based on epidemiology, as well as other approaches aimed at specific populations and issues of public health. So we need to draw on precise information to improve the response of our countries to drugs. Madam, Ecuador acknowledges the importance of international cooperation mechanisms to address the global problem with drugs and instead, urges partners to increase the resources for technical, operational and balanced assistance. To achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the outlines for states based on maintenance of comprehensive security and guarantee containing the fundamental rights of the population. We appeal to the international community for the effects of trafficking, and the attraction of the international market for drug consumption being one of the main causes of violent deaths in our country. This situation must be addressed and perceived as a problem which threatens human life and hence threatens the peace and security of our state. The challenges against the global problem of drugs have increased, hence it is essential that we promote mutual trust and cooperation to improve the results of the fight against this scourge. Thank you very much.

Sudan: My delegation aligns itself with the statements made at the outset of the session. On behalf of the G77 and China, the African group, and the Arab group, underlining the role played by the UNODC, the main body within the United Nations system which has a role in fighting the problem of drugs. We would also like to commend the role of the INCB and the WHO and following up on the international conventions and in controlling and scheduling narcotic substances. Here both regional and global cooperation should be bolstered as this problem is a true challenge, especially for developing countries that are striving towards the achievement of SDGs. My delegation reiterates that we are fully committed to the three international drug conventions as well as the 2009 political declaration and plan of action, the 2014 ministerial statement, the 2016 UNGASS document as well as the 2019 ministerial declaration as cornerstones in addressing the world drug problem. Cannabis continues to account for most of Sudan’s seizures. It is the most prevalent drug among drug users and there is a marked increase in the smuggling operations into our country. As our borders are extended and long as well as totally open without any barriers between us and neighbouring states, tramadol and captagon drugs have also been smuggled. And we notice a rise in the abuse of both substances among various segments of society. Both Tramadol and Captagon result in many health and social problems, and so some of the drug syndicates also try to exploit our territory. As a transit country of heroin coming from Southeast Asia towards Europe. In addition, a new route has emerged along the Red Sea coast, cocaine is also smuggled through some neighbouring states through our borders and airports as well. So, the emergence of new trends in amphetamine derivatives such as crystal meth, for instance, which is the one that most mostly kills youth. We have been able to also see Captagon manufacturing equipment coming from one of the neighbouring states. We have also seized about 1000 kilograms of Afghan Hashish in late 2022. To work on a balanced and comprehensive approach, combining both demand reduction and supply reduction we have preventive programs to fight drugs and we involve all sectors of the state and the civil and civil society in fighting drugs. Our anti narcotics department works in all provinces in the country. Unfortunately, Sudan has no public treatment centres. Our addicts are often treated in psychiatric hospitals, which are not fit for purpose. Therefore, we hope we can obtain assistance and support in helping addicts and creating specialised centres. We hope to be able to receive technical assistance so as to build our capacities and provide them with scientific and practical tools in all aspects of anti-narcotics. Thank you.

Gambia: The Gambia joins other delegates to congratulate the chair of the 66th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and pledge an election pledge, its willingness to support him during his tenure.  The Gambia joins other delegates to congratulate the chair of the 66th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and pledge its willingness to support him during his tenure. The Gambia recognized the challenges facing the world in tackling the world drug problem. Those affirm its commitment to the initiatives and efforts of CND and to play its role and its part in mitigating the impacts of drugs on our society. The government of the Gambia Madam Chair is in the final year of implementation of the first national drug control strategy. The goals of study includes, among others, measures to promote drug abuse as a public health issue by departing from this criminal justice approach. It is evident that the seemingly strict criminal laws around drugs have so far fall short of the desired objectives around the world. The Gambia is currently over holding the drug, creating room for greater flexibility for first time offenders for cannabis possession by introducing non custodial sentencing, such as community service and mentoring.  Madam Chair, These are records revealed an increasing trend in the abuse of control drugs, particularly ecstasy since COVID-19. As a mitigation measure or demand reduction with this intensified, but the impact of these efforts are limited to the lack of facilities.  The Gambia therefore invites partners to support the effort toward peace in a rehab centre to cater for the peculiar needs of drug users. This is a demonstration of the Gambians’ commitment to the implementation of the drug laws or the implementation of drug laws that are guided by human rights considerations and comply with recommended international standards and best practices. Madam Chair, The Gambia noted initiatives around the world around the international around the International Cannabis Control Regime including the rescheduling of cannabis, However, we advocate for Responsible national policy frameworks that guarantee the use of cannabis for the intended medical and scientific purposes only.  Cannabis is most abused drug in the Gambia. And the same is the experience in most African countries due to its availability and affordability. We therefore continue to handle cannabis control measures with caution and alertness in order to save our youth. Cannabis is the most abused drug in the Gambia. And the same is the experience in most African countries due to its availability and affordability. We therefore continue to handle cannabis control measures with caution and alertness in order to save our youth. Madam Chair, consistent with the international drug control conventions, the Gambia pursues a robust international cooperation agenda. We have succeeded in signing bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements with countries in the region and beyond. Currently, Madam Chair, we have a cooperation instrument that facilitates intelligence sharing and joint investigation with antilock agencies in Senegal, Nigeria, and UK Border Force. Finally, Madam Chair, negotiations to sign an MOU with the United States National Crime Agency of United Kingdom DCSA of Italy The General Directorate of animal control, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the counter narcotic departments of Turkey is ongoing

Zambia: Since this is the first time that I’m taking the floor on behalf of Zambia, allow me to congratulate the chairperson on assuming office as the chair of the CND and to further express Zambia’s deepest appreciation and gratitude to you and RDC for convening this important session of the CND amidst many global challenges such as the Russia Ukraine war, which is impacting negatively on the cost of living of people in many countries globally. The continued threat of the COVID 19 pandemic and unprecedented increase in illicit drug trafficking and substance abuse. The Republic of Zambia has continued to improve on hard drug control policies, legal framework and strategies that promote international best practices in response to emerging and evolving global drug challenges. Among them is the pilot diversion programme for juveniles that come into conflict with the law, to protect the rights of children. We shall pardon some of our prisoners with minor drug offences to decongest correctional facilities, regional, sub regional and interagency cooperation. Some chair you may be interested to note that at the peak of the COVID 19 pandemic, Zambia witnessed an increase in the number of people seeking counselling services. In response to this challenge. His Excellency, the President of the Republic of has instituted an inter ministerial committee to oversee construction of rehabilitation centres. Madam Chairperson cannabis trafficking and abuse is today the second commonly abused illicit drug in Zambia. The two drugs are also combined to make a dangerous concoction known as volo (?) abuse of medicinal drugs such as (…) with codeine, which has also continued to pose a real threat to the lives of young people across our country. We are witnessing mushrooming armies of young children as young as nine years old, on substance abuse engaging in anti social behaviour, such as theft and mugging of unsuspected persons around the country. We are also concerned, the increase in heroin abuse may further compound and worsen the problem of HIV AIDS among the youth. As a result of going consents of this drug abuse problem. My country is taking strides to take drug rehabilitation services accessible to the needy, the country has also scaled up drug use epidemiology across the country, and sharpening of interdiction skills to limit illicit drug supply. Madam Chair, Zambia is also engaging in parallel financial investigations in investigating drug trafficking so that we deprive criminals, the illicit benefits that they get from this devastating crime and teach them that crime does not pay. Zambia nonetheless, Madam Chair has faith in the collaborative effort of the global community to fight the drug scourge. However, there is a need to address key drivers of the world drug problem. We call for strengthened international cooperation to address the link between drug trafficking and illicit financial flows and all other forms of organised crime. Further, Madam Chair, we stress the importance of increased technical assistance by UNODC in capacity building, and exchange programmes among law enforcement agencies around the world to get the global scourge especially in illicit heroin trafficking and Tramadol, my country remains committed to the implementation of the international drug control treaties and other related records. I thank you Madam Chair. 

Senegal:  Senegal would like to align itself with the statement of the G77 and China and the African Group. We’d like to add the following in our national capacity. West Africa for several years now has been a preferred transit zone for drug traffickers of cocaine in particular, but also an area of crop growing and manufacturing of cannabis. One of the consequences of this is an increase in the consumption of drugs of all types, in particular by young people and as time goes on by women as well. To curb this phenomenon we are mobilising significant resources. By way of example, special operations in 2022 led to the seizure of 20 214 tons of cannabis 331 kilos of cocaine, and upwards of 21,000 pills, psychotropic pills and 3051 pills of ecstasy. We have just drawn up a national plan in this area running from 2016 to 2020 and extended to from 2021 to 2025. The strategic plan is organised in the following manner: Bolstering the legal and institutional framework for combating drugs, capacity building for stakeholders, demand reduction, demand reduction, as well as awareness raising. Substance availability for medical and therapeutic purposes remains a significant challenge and thus, we would like to call upon the UNODC and its technical partners for support. We believe that the 1961, 1971 and 1988 conventions are the cornerstone of international drugs control. We believe that member states must comply with all obligations stemming from these conventions when it comes to preventing and combating drugs and strengthen international cooperation based on the principle of shared and common responsibility. Finally alternative development programs go hand in hand with prevention measures. This requires training, technical support, exchange of experience and best practices bilaterally. And multilaterally. 

State of Palestine: The state of Palestine is fully committed to all international drug control conventions. We also highly value the role of the UNODC in continuing to fight against this. We continue to fully cooperate with the international community in combating drugs locally, regionally and globally. It is a phenomenon which is a multifaceted challenge for all; for individuals and governments alike. Therefore, it needs to be combined to mitigate the effects of this scourge. The state of Palestine also underlines the relevance and measures related to demand and supply reduction. They are to be taken in accordance with international human rights standards, international principles of international law while protecting the rights of individuals. We live in exceptional conditions. The authorities in Palestine whether police or military authority has been successful, plus security, treatment and rehabilitation. We also have other achievements such as the forensic laboratory, as well as the forensic dogs and police units. We also have agents that work in anti-narcotics and regarding treatment we have drug treatment centres, as well as methadone centres. We have equipment that we obtained thanks to grants provided to the state of Palestine. We would like to thank all those who have helped the state of Palestine. As for our relationship with UNODC we are keen to continue our cooperation with it. It has provided counselling to us through our regional office and Cairo’s office in Palestine through the main headquarters. This has contributed to our national program; that is the anti narcotics program and criminal justice program in Palestine. This program has also allowed us to establish our national policies against drugs. We fully support, as well, the statements of the group, and China, Asia and the Arab states. Thank you very much. 

WHO: The World Health Organization continues to work on its priority areas, including protecting people from harm due to drug use, improving access to controlled medicines, as well as advancing evidence-based prevention and management of drug use and drug use disorders. Following the COVID 19 pandemic and its enormous impact on the physical and mental health of people and the disruption of health services around the world. We face emerging challenges to our public health responses to drug use and drug use disorders. The recent dramatic humanitarian emergencies, the growing burden of communicable and non communicable diseases. And now, the overdose crisis, which is particularly acute in several countries. All these factors present enormous challenges for already stretched health systems around the world. At the same time, many other countries struggle to access opioids and other controlled medicines that are essential for effective health. The United Nations system UN Common Position supports the implementation of international drug control policies, highlighted the importance of effective UN-interagency collaboration in recent years. Ensuring safe equitable access to medicines and international control continues to be a difficult task for most countries. Yet it is a particularly important intervention during humanitarian emergencies, when the barriers to accessing medicines are even greater. The COVID 19 pandemic was a natural disaster that highlighted this critical importance. People who use drugs and who are living with drug use disorders should have non discriminatory access to effective and ethical treatment and harm reduction services. While opioid agonist maintenance treatment is indispensable for effective treatment for opioid dependence. Likewise, the availability of naloxone for effective prevention of opioid overdose deaths has been a hallmark of the public health response to the burgeoning opioid overdose epidemic in many countries. The provision of sterile injecting equipment for people who inject drugs is an essential harm reduction intervention with public health impact on HIV and viral hepatitis. epidemics. stigma, discrimination, criminalization and violation of human rights are all key barriers to the access of essential health services for people who use drugs and with drug use disorders. Global collaborative and coordinated efforts are needed more than ever to monitor the health effects of psychoactive drug use in populations, but particularly with rapid changes in regulations for cannabis in some jurisdictions. The health of populations should take precedence over commercial interests and all the necessary measures should be put in place to protect the health of people, particularly those most vulnerable. New evidence generated for the prevention and management of health conditions due to drug use, as well as treatment options require regular updates of WHO normative guidance, including the upcoming WHO guidance for national policymakers to ensure safe and balanced access to controlled medicines. WHO, through its annually convened, ECDD has provided recommendations to countries on the appropriate level of international control for psychoactive substances to protect against health related harms, while ensuring legitimate access to psychoactive medicines and medicinal preparations for clinical care and research. Novel synthetic drugs, such as synthetic opioids and stimulants have multiplied during recent years, which presents additional challenges for the health of people, if not properly addressed through effective prevention, treatment and harm reduction interventions. The World Health Organisation will continue to work to advance a public health approach and drug policies to promote health. keep the world safe and serve the most vulnerable. Thank you for your attention.

Sovereign Order of Malta: (…)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished representatives, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this audience today on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, comprising 192-member National Societies and working through millions of community-based staff and volunteers. As the world’s largest humanitarian network, our mission is to prevent or mitigate human suffering in all its forms and ensure that everyone has access to lifesaving health services. We have reached a critical point in our efforts to reform the way we address public health emergencies. COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world further away from hard gained progress towards Universal Health Coverage and achieving health for all. The pandemic exposed many existing vulnerabilities and created new ones, placing a heavy toll on already vulnerable populations and communities, like people who use drugs. At the same time many drivers of disease spread and other disasters—from climate change to urbanization and inequity—are still growing. Along with them, the risk for further public health emergencies. Our recently launched World Disasters Report states that despite the enormous efforts of governments, international organisations, researchers and others–despite efforts that hundreds of frontline responders have made to respond to COVID-19, we need to be better prepared for future pandemics and other public health emergencies. At the same time, inequalities and health disparities persist between and within countries. People who use drugs and those with drug use disorders are some of the first to be left behind in almost all circumstances. We must work hard to ensure people who use drugs have access to health services, as well as to appropriate psychosocial support, finding new innovative ways to meaningfully include them in all interventions, laws and policies. Strengthening our efforts to combat stigma and discrimination and adopting a more human approach to fighting drugs are a necessary step towards inclusive, equitable society. Back in 2005 the international Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, deeply concerned about the growing abuse of substances worldwide, decided that drug issues should have been considered a health priority equal to other epidemics and emergencies. 121 National Societies established a common commitment, called the Rome Consensus towards a Humanitarian Drug Policy, which was relaunched together with NGOs, experts, activists, and professionals in 2020 here at the CND, to address together addiction issues with a humanitarian approach. We received positive consideration from UNODC, WHO, Pompidou Group and thousands of signatories so far, and now also Governments are providing their support to this strategy. RCRC staff and volunteers are best placed to support Member States to reach those hard to reach, bridge the gap that may exist between formal health institutions and the most vulnerable, RCRC staff and volunteers are there before, during and after crises occur, empowering communities and finally ensuring that no one is left behind.

Gulf of Cooperation Council: The GCC believes firmly in the importance of concerted international efforts in countering drugs and related crimes globally. Addressing this scourge is a shared common responsibility to be shouldered within a multilateral framework through effective and tangible regional and international cooperation, founded on complementarity and multidisciplinary in a science based manner with the aim to bolster and protect the health, safety and well being of humanity in its entirety. You are all well aware of the true threats illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances poses to development and stability in any given state. The risk of drug use and their illicit prevalence is not limited to lethal harm on physical health, rather it has psychological and detrimental societal impact on individuals and societies alike. It further endangers world economies through the flow of drug money into the global financial system. Hence, the early recognition of GCC member states of the importance of drug countering, that is, through an integrated plan, through programmes that have been drawn up starting with addiction treatment, trafficking reduction, the drying up of their sources, all the way to suspect financial transactions tracing, in addition to tracking revenues from drug related crimes, money laundering and terrorism financing. Madam Chair, the General Secretariat underscores that the single convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. The 1988 Convention Against Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, and other relevant international instruments constitute the backbone of the international drug control system. We reiterate our steadfast commitment to guarantee a holistic approach in tackling drugs through demand and supply reduction, relevant action, international cooperation always in line with the UN Charter, aims and purposes, international law, the full respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non interference to end the internal affairs of states. The General Secretariat remains committed to implementing the 2009 political declaration and plan of action, encountering the challenges and embracing the priorities of the joint ministerial statement, the 2014 high level review, the 2016 outcome document of the UNGASS and the 2019 ministerial declaration. The responsibility of preserving our common references is one that we share with all. Examples of the Criminal Information Center of the GCC which covers and participates in joint investigations, controlled delivery contributes towards complementarity and cooperation among relevant competent authorities at the national level. And equally take part in international efforts through international organisations and tackling transnational organised crime especially and other associated crimes with the support of the UNODC. This is in order to establish a unified international network to come back to drug crimes around the world. The General Secretariat remains committed to the INCB and to maintaining the availability of drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes. We have made all possible efforts through the promulgation of federal regulations and laws at the level of member states in order to establish a well detailed plan. The GCC remains committed to countering the global drug problems, to combating it and to supporting international efforts and protecting societies. We firmly believe that a challenge of this day necessitates concerted efforts. We will all succeed in your endeavours and the peace and mercy of God be upon you. 

Interpol: The UN conferences already called on state parties to make the best use of Interpol, to finance, in relation to technical assistance and information sharing respectively, to achieve the goals of the conventions. Over the years, Interpol has remained on the side of law enforcement, facilitating international information sharing, in a fast changing landscape. This is how in June last year, a major international drug trafficker, the Brazilian Sergio Roberto de Cavallo was arrested in Hungary, where he lived on a fake Mexican passport two years after simulating his own death in Spain. This arrest is the result of the tireless efforts of law enforcement in Brazil, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, and the United States. With the support and coordination from Interpol international, law enforcement cooperation is a daily reality that Interpol is able to sustain thanks to the trust and the support of its member countries. A few years ago, the Czech Republic provided such an example of trust, as it handed over to Interpol, a high tech forensic tool called Relief for the shared benefit of our 195 member countries. Relief allows the comparative analysis of the logos and the chemical composition of drug packages for line forms to uncover the words and origin of compressed drug deliveries and shipments. We encourage all our member countries to use and to populate the relevant database. Relief comes at a clear demonstration of how law enforcement can leverage new technologies to tackle illicit drug trafficking. Interpol has a database containing millions of records. Last year, almost 6 billion searches were performed by law enforcement across the world in these databases, in addition to the many notices and decisions that were published at the request of countries due to dangerous drug traffickers on the run. Madam Chair we celebrated our Centennial this year here in Vienna, where the organisation is born from the practical necessity of police to get united against transnational crime. In line with a mandate Interpol has been entrusted to facilitate international law enforcement cooperation. Interpol stands ready to continue to assist state parties in achieving the goals of the treaties. I thank you for your attention. 

Organization of American States: The Secretary of the OAS, Luis Almagro, closed the second regular section of the OAS General Assembly held in Peru last October, saying that every human right of every person must be protected, promoted and that we owe development to our people. And we all have the right to live in peace, the right to live safely. And that our actions should provide answers. To do so. We must focus on the search for security for our citizens, the right to live in peace and safely; addressing drug related problems that beset our member states, specifically corruption, impunity, violence and human rights violations. Insecurity cannot be viewed or analysed in insulation, but as part of a multi dimensional and multi factor problem. It is a product of a network that includes terrorism, transnational crime, and ongoing threats to public security. Multilateralism is necessary for cooperation and dialogue, a platform for pursuing common objectives, conflict resolution, and coordinating tangible solutions. That’s the nature of the OAS Secretariat for multidimensional security. Multi dimensional security is one of the four pillars, along with democracy, human rights and development, all cross cutting issues within the drug problem. I would like to recognise the fundamental role played by our partners, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Narcotics Control Board and other institutional actors in the international system. It is important to address the issue of security from a multilateral perspective, but always with an emphasis on the individual as a focus of our actions, actions that must be guided by the need for protection of human rights, promotion of public health approaches and evidence-based policies. I would like to underscore the efforts of the organisation of American States and, specifically today, the Executive Secretariat of CICAD-OAS in ensuring that the OAS hemispheric drug strategy and its benefaction are not simply documents, but serve as important tools for addressing the most pressing regional drug control challenges profile this decade.

The Colombo Plan: The Colombo Plan appreciates the strong partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the civil society organisations, and the 28 member states which composes Colombo Plan as an intergovernmental organisation since 1951. Dealing with complex issues of drug abuse and crime would really be difficult without the active support of our member countries, various stakeholders, state departments and contributions from member countries. The DAP has the distinction of being the flagship programme of global plans since 1973. Throughout the 50 years of its existence, our expanding partnerships with respective government federal agencies, mostly narcotic agencies of respective countries, and other organisations enabled us to provide evidence-based capacity building activities and projects to cover more than 80 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Throughout our global credentialing and certification centres, we have provided credentials to many Addiction Professionals from these countries, assuring the highest levels of service quality for substance use disorder clients worldwide. Gender related and age specific modules have also been developed to address a variety of demographic conditions which may require unique interventions. And on this plan, we are continually expanding and upgrading our universal treatment and universal prevention curriculums to assure dynamic adoption of policies based on new developments in the field of addiction, medicine and policies promulgated by the CND. Likewise, Colombo’s global toxic adulterant project has been engaged in the global testing and analysis of seized drug samples as well as conducting research on immediate and long term public health implications of these adulterants. We provide capacity building activities for Forensic and National Reference laboratories worldwide. The project is currently engaged in tracking alarming super-stimulant effects reported by users in the Middle East since 2017. The project has identified more than 15 substances being used in 32% of street level drugs, with many toxic and lethal doses of such additives. With the use of the world’s first portable drug testing machine, also developed by Colombo Plan scientists and experts, the organisation is dedicated to continue to monitor the illicit drug supply for the presence of these adulterants. Such information will be of critical value for the enforcement and public health sector. Colombo Plan undertakes the above mentioned task as it welcomes the principle that the 2009 political declaration and plan of action, the 2014 joint ministerial statement, and the 2016 UNGASS outcome document are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Rest assured that our organisation will continue with the belief that all three documents must be given the same emphasis and attention together with the three drug conventions which serve as the cornerstone of the international drug control system. They all represent the commitments and obligations collectively made. Likewise, we commit to diligently review initiative progress in the implementation of appropriate international drug policy commitments for the midterm review. Thank you Mr Chair. 

Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean: Your excellencies and distinguished delegates. Today I would like to discuss a major topic which is the involvement of Hezbollah in drug trafficking and using its revenue to finance terrorism. It is my privilege to represent the Mediterranean parliament. I will focus on the threat of  terrorist financing and the dangerous role played by the terrorist organisation Hezbollah worldwide and other international efforts and the social role of the Mediterranean parliament in the fight against this dangerous phenomenon. The drug trade which is the main financier of the rampant terrorism in the Middle East. In all parts of the world, trafficking has destroyed countless lives and has caused untold damage to communities around the world. It is a tool that fuels addiction, crime, violence and terrorism. It contributes to increasing poverty, misery and insecurity in many societies, because involvement in this illegal activity not only exacerbates these problems but creates more instability, disintegration, and spread of terrorism. Hezbollah has reportedly been involved in the drug trade for many years, and it makes billions of dollars in profits annually. These funds are used to finance terrorist activities that threaten the safety and security of nations around the world. Moreover, its boundless involvement in the drug trade is often associated with other forms of organised crime. The latest evidence of this is the involvement of the Lebanese businessman, Mr. Malla. General Abdullah, who is the financial director and supervisor of money laundering in Hezbollah, who was convicted and among the most wanted internationalists by the US Department of Treasury. And the so-called Mohamed Ibrahim who took over money laundering for Hezbollah and the financing of terrorism in Belgium, Lebanon, Iraq and some countries in West Africa through the pharmaceutical trade according to a report by the US State Department. In April, 16 kilograms of Captagon sent to Kuwait were caught. In May, over 11,000 tablets of amphetamine were seized in Saudi Arabia and 24 kilograms of hashish. The United Arab Emirates confiscated over 1 million pills of Captagon coming from Lebanon in 2020, the largest operation of the scale of its kind. We cannot allow Hezbollah to continue taking advantage of the misery and suffering of Lebanon, we must take action to disrupt trafficking networks and undermine the financing of terrorism. At the same time, we must recognize that addiction is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted response. And we need to address the root causes of addiction and provide the support and assistance to assist those who abuse drugs. We must also work to prevent the spread of drugs and provide rehabilitation and treatment for those affected by that use. In conclusion, the international community must unite to address the role of Hezbollah in the drug trade and financing of terrorism. We must also take decisive action to disrupt these networks and prevent them from profiting from this criminal activity. At the same time we must work to address the reasons behind the addiction and provide support to those affected by this problem. We can create a world where drugs and terrorism are no longer major problems. 

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: I joined you this year by video as the Global Fund’s Board Committees are meeting in Geneva, making it sadly impossible for me to join you in person. But I did want to underscore the deep connection between your work at the 66th CND and ours to bring an end to HIV AIDS. Drug policy remains key, often determining who is reached with life saving HIV prevention, treatment and care and who is not. At the Global Fund, as at the CND human rights is not something separate from our work, but integral to our success. Harm reduction services would reduce HIV infection, but not if fear of arrest keeps people from using them with risk for HIV or TB so high in so many prisons. Access to justice is an essential disease prevention intervention. The Global Fund strategy therefore includes a commitment to reforming laws and policies that hinder efforts to end HIV, TB and Malaria. Recent events have brought us both terrible tests and important lessons. Countries meeting the challenge of COVID-19 used new flexibility in dispensing medication for addiction and offered alternatives to incarceration offenders from prisons across the world. All these measures are permitted by the drug conventions, and are indeed essential to continue momentum against HIV and TB.  We have also been inspired by the success of organisations in Ukraine in maintaining HIV service delivery despite the war. A reminder of why we must keep communities including people who use drugs at the centre of our workplaces. A number of declarations have affirmed the commitment to combating HIV.  This year we rely on CND to help make that commitment real. The Global Fund is glad to be partnering with UNODC on a range of issues including law enforcement, gender sensitive programming, and conditions in prison. Collaboration with all UN agencies and member states will be needed to meet our shared goal of a world where we would use both the harm of drugs and the criminalization and over incarceration, which fuels so many harms of their own.

Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs:  Thank you, Ambassador, for giving me floor, and a warm congratulations on your election as CND Chair. Distinguished delegates, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, It is my pleasure to speak today, as this year marks the 40th anniversary for the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, which was founded in 1983. It is also my last time addressing you all as Chair, as our 366 members from 100 countries will be electing a new VNGOC Chairperson on Thursday afternoon. I want to say a few words about the civil society engagement here at CND, and the added value that we can bring to your work and deliberations, as I am aware that this has been a topic of discussion among member states over the past weeks. With the support of successive Chairs, the CND Secretariat and UNODC, we have developed a healthy, productive level of NGO participation here in Vienna – building on the foundations laid by the Rules of Procedure of the functional commissions of ECOSOC, as well as ECOSOC resolution 1996/31. This year, we are delighted to see the return of a strong, diverse civil society presence here in Vienna, as well as those joining online. There are several hundred civil society participants registered this week from more than 120 ECOSOC accredited NGOs. We bring our unique expertise and experience to the work of the CND – both in the Plenary and through our side events – and we speak from a comprehensive range of different perspectives that span across the full scope of the world drug situation. I welcome all member states to engage with the NGOs who are here this week, to hear and consider what we have to say, and to read the reports, research and other documents we are providing – both on the table outside this room, and on the new “virtual NGO table” accessible via the 66th session webpage. As the Vienna NGO Committee, our mission is to support, promote and protect the engagement of civil society at CND – something we have been doing for 40 years and will hopefully continue to do for many more. To that end, we are here to assist you in any way that we can, and I wish you all a productive CND. Thank you.

Association Proyecto Hombre: While significant progress has been made, drugs continue to have an evident impact on children and youth. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Called appropriate action to protect children from the illicit production, trafficking and use of substances. The 2016 UNGASS outcome document provides practical and age appropriate prevention measures tailored to the specific needs of children and youth. The 2019 WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP international guidelines on human rights and drug policy state that children have the right to be heard in all matters concerning them, and that they shall be a primary consideration in drug laws, policies and practices. In the 65th session of the CND, the resolution promoting comprehensive and scientific evidence based early prevention was adopted supporting prevention responses within families, schools and communities. Over the last decade, Association Proyecto Hombre as a grassroots non government organisation in Spain has reached more than 1.5 million people in drugs and other addictive behaviour prevention programs.We would like to share the following nine recommendations to member states in the margins of the 66th session of the UN CND.  One: reinforce the implementation of the UNODC and WHO specialist centres on drug use prevention by extending the coverage and improving the social and environmental efforts to strongly encourage investing in reliable comparable longitudinal research studies to promote scientific evidence based prevention to reduce drug related problems more effectively. Two: at the same time, we stress avoiding drug policies based on beliefs and misperceptions not supported scientific evidence. Three: ensure that effective prevention interventions are available, accessible and affordable for any individual from anywhere in the world, particularly in the most deprived populations. Four: accordingly, long term funding strategies are required to pay special attention to providing adaptive drug prevention in groups in situations of vulnerability, including ethnic minorities, those suffering from parental drug abuse, and those with other mental health disorders. Five: the earlier the better. Evidence shows that earlier drug prevention leads to better outcomes in children and youth. Six: accordingly, drug prevention programs should be implemented at all stages of life, including prenatal and early childhood. Seven: to endorse coordinated prevention policies not only for illicit drugs, but also for legal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes and other addictive addictions such as gambling. Eight: provide healthy alternative leisure activities among children and youth. Nine: we call member states to further collaborate with civil society, community based and youth led organisations to formulate and implement drug demand reduction policies. Many NGOs have accumulated considerable expertise, are socially accepted and are well informed about the needs of people who use drugs. To conclude, we encourage member states and the UNODC, among other international agencies to unequivocally promote evidence based prevention as an integral part of the health system to address drug related problems and other related addictive behaviours, alongside civil society organisations. Thank you. 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM): We come to this Commission this year gravely concerned about global developments, both in terms of the unprecedented human toll of addiction, which nowhere in the world is immune to and is reaching catastrophic levels in many regions. No matter how unfashionable it may be we should never turn our back towards the vision of a drug free society. This is a noble vision and goal, even if it may not be perfectly attainable in the near future. Would we ever want this august body or the United Nations generally to turn its back on other so called unattainable goals, like a society free of extreme poverty? Or a society free from violent conflict? Is it really too much to seek a society free from the use of drugs? If we care about human life, and we care about encouraging people to recover and to live not only free of drugs, but as fully participating members in society then this should not be controversial. In the same spirit, how can any nation justify violating the essence and the letter of the three international conventions on drugs simply by opting out of key provisions so that we can see the flourishing legalisation of drugs and encouraging and facilitating addiction? These actions I remind you violate the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and threaten international cooperation concerning drug abuse and trafficking. We as all member states refer to both the current and the catastrophic experience that my country is having and more than 20 US states that have legalised and commercialised the so-called use of medical marijuana. At this time, we are seeing commercialised cannabis responsible for increased psychosis and suicide, increased school dropouts, increased car crashes, increased problems with mental and other physical health. We agree that it is noble to include tools like Naloxone, the opioid overdose medication, to reduce the harm of drugs and meet people where they are at. We should absolutely do that. And we should also not only meet them where they’re at, but we should not leave them where they are. That is not enough. There is no such thing as safe drugs. Member states that have made this critical error and fail to see how recovery should always be the aim have some of the higher rates of drug related death and suffering. We also remind the state parties about the health and social impacts of the non medical use of drugs like psychedelics and cannabis. Now, make no mistake about it, the legalisation of cannabis is about one thing and one thing only: making a small number of people rich at the expense of our young people. We cannot sit idly by and simply debate merits when it is very clear where the evidence is. No one should be in jail for simple possession of cannabis use, but to believe that is not to believe that we should allow multinational corporations whose business it is to increase addiction to take over this entire discussion.The rise in youth use in my country is particularly hard to see, given the long term effects. Young people are becoming addicted to cannabis; we have seen an explosion of the illegal market, not just the legal market, and the explosion of transnational criminal syndicates, taking advantage of these laws. The marijuana industry is actively trying to become the next big tobacco and might I remind you the global health disaster of our time has been from the tobacco industry. We should not repeat the mistakes of the past. We should learn from them and move forward with a balanced strategy of demand and supply reduction, one that respects human rights and has recovery as the goal but does not promote casual use. We don’t want to saddle people with criminal records, send them to detention camps, or have extra judicial killings. But at the same time, we do not want a free for all of drug use that actually removes liberty. We therefore respectfully request that member countries follow the three international drug conventions and reiterate their commitments to them in connection with this current debate happening around the world about the legal status of both cannabis and psychedelic drugs. The use of these drugs for non medical and non research purposes is not a solution to the existing strategies and challenges with drug control. We remind member states to implement their obligations to the three drug conventions. They are flexible enough and should not adapt to political whims or for-profit business schemes, which only aim to further enslave our brains, hold back the next generation and condemn people to a life of addiction to mind altering substances. Thank you.

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