Home » Plenary Items 1, 2, 3 – Opening of the 66th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Plenary Items 1, 2, 3 – Opening of the 66th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs


Secretary: [Organizational and administrative disclaimers for online participants]

Chair: [Opening statement – no interpretation]

Item 1.

Chair: The extended bureau held three meetings this year to address organizational matters that were also discussed during the pre-consultation sessions. I thank all the participants. I also thank my predecessor (…)

Item 2. Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters

Economic and Social Council: (…) coordinated efforts must ensure no one affected by the drug problem is left behind as a consequences of our efforts to mitigate risks. The links between drugs and the environemnet cant be forgotten in this undertaking. Balanced programs should be considered to make national and regional policies. The CND plays an important role in the EcoSoc family – I thank the chairs and participants.  I wish you successful deliberations.

Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC: (…) production has reached unprecedented heights while the development of synthetic drugs is moving at an alarming pace. Politicization leads to polarization. The international drug control system has helped keep people safe and healthy since its inception. Drug-related deaths account for only 9% of deaths compared to alcohol and tobacco. The challenge of illicit drugs is not frozen in time. We need to find practical solutions – agencies, civil society, MS and all stakeholders should come together to consider every facet of the issue. The upcoming midterm review provides an ample opportunity. When we engage in those debates, please bear in mind the need to recognize that sustainable response is built on compassion, we need to take at serious alternatives to incarcerations, we need to use a gender-sensitive lens and ensure equal access, we need to reach young people who use drugs now more than ever before, we have to help them be part of the solution. People who inject drugs are more likely to live with illnesses and are less likely to access lifesaving services. Controlled access – standing in solidarity with the global south. The importance of investing sufficient resources to preserve human dignity and human rights. We have to aim to reduce the harms of drugs as part of comprehensive programs. Last year, UNODC supported the introduction of OST (?) in (…) Pakistan, Uganda, Tajikistan … We have seen several countries call for progressive approaches but few have provided the necessary funds. We must also address the links between drugs and other forms of crime, including terrorism. Intelligence sharing and cross-border collaboration must be emphasized so we can keep up with emerging threats. Farmers who are stuck in illicit economies need alternatives. Excellencies, with expertise across these crosscutting issues, UNODC is supporting 35 countries to provide services to people and we support forensic work. We support 40 countries in their response to the synthetic drugs problem. We are developing tools for early prevention – for children ( and addressing the spread of HIV in prisons). In more than 50 countries we helped enhance interdiction and train practitioners to counter online trafficking of drugs, this week we will launch our first global report on cocaine´, dynamics, and actors. We will launch the world drug report in June that will have a dedicated chapter to priority thematic areas. We continue cooperation with all agencies here in Vienna, we work together with you to have an impact on the ground. We need to strive for a new global consensus on global drug policy, we need to devote the necessary attention and resources. The midterm review is a great window of opportunity. The UNGASS outcome document is a testament to our previous commitments and we are provided an opportunity looks at them with fresh eyes, as well as keeping in mind our commitments in the other political documents and declarations.

WHO: We live in a time of multiple overlapping crises, disrupting access to essential services for millions. That includes people who use drugs, and those who need access to controlled medicines for pain relief and palliative care. Nonmedical use of psychoactive drugs leads to almost 600,000 deaths due to viral hepatitis, HIV and overdose. People who use drugs often suffer criminalisation, stigma and discrimination. Denied access to health services compounding the harms of drug use. At the same time, millions live and die with severe pain because of restrictions on controlled medicines. We must strike a balance between policies that protect people from harms associated with drug use while making controlled medicines available for medical use. WHO remains committed to work with INCB, UNODC, MS and civil society to find solutions that protect health, are evidence based and grounded in human rights, because health is a human right and so is access to medicines and services. We need to protect health.

INCB: A number of challenges to health and wellbeing being discussed at the session. I highlight 5 from the Board’s perspective. First, INCB is concerned about the trend of cannabis legalisation in a limited number of countries —which is why this is the focus of the thematic chapter of the INCB annual report. The Conventions require the use of these substances being limited to medical and scientific purposes. The 1961 convention classifies cannabis as Schedule 1. Highly addictive, liable to abuse. Legalisation of cannabis reduces perceived harms of cannabis use despite the high potency of edibles and vaping products, which appeal to youth through packaging. The convention provides sufficient flexibility to provide alternatives to incarceration for cannabis offences without resorting to legalisation. 2. Coca bush production, and trafficking is making cocaine highly pure and available. Criminal activity increases secondary extraction of cocaine in Europe. 3. THe opioid overdose crisis in North America has worsened due to production and trafficking of synthetic opioids. Loss of life. Trafficking in fentanlyl is expanding to toher regions such as Oceania. 4. The increasing use of non scheduled chemicals in precursor and manufacture is increasing. WE’re concerned about the trafficking of non scheduled substances and the speed of the illicit drug industry to circumvent rules and regulations. 5. Access to medical controlled substances is limited and continues to persist. We highlight this in a recent report. Some progress has been made but much more needs to be done. Review regulation, administrative changes, measures to improve affordability. The full implementation of the Convention as agreed by state parties is a challenge —the conventions are the cornerstone of the system. The stated goal of the conventions is welfare and humankind. Respect of human rights is of fundamental importance in drug policy founded upon human dignity and free from stigma. Policies that violate human rights in the name of drug control are inconsistent with the obligations of the conventions. The treatment of drug related behaviours, particularly minor ones and by people who use drugs, may be dealt with by alternative measures. INCB encourages exploration of this approach. Reliance excessively on criminal justice discourages treatment, affects minorities and promotes stigma. Concern about afghanistan and were willing to support in any manner we can. With regards to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, our condolences. INCB reminds states that they can expedite provision of controlled substances for emergencies. Success in promoting SDGs.

OHCHR: Thank you for this opportunity to speak to the Commission. Our organizations share a profound concern about the health and welfare of human beings. This year, you will be preparing the 2024 mid-term review of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration on persistent and emerging challenges related to the global drug situation. This is a key moment. As you look back, to take stock of results to date, you will also be looking forward – planning what ground should be covered by 2029, and how to do it. I encourage that the mid-term review embraces full participation by civil society – including the voices of people who use drugs – and by all relevant United Nations bodies, to ensure that drug policies are grounded in human rights, in particular health and development. The review also provides an occasion for the Commission to renew its strong commitment to human rights as part of transformative change to address the global drug situation. According to the 2022 World Drug Report, around 284 million people use drugs worldwide. Over 11 million people inject them. We are all aware of the continued uncontrolled growth of global markets in illegal drugs and the impact on societies around the world. From violent crime, to ruin and loss of life, to mass incarceration – the toll is unbearably heavy. But if drugs destroy lives, the same can also be true of drug policies. In recent years we have seen some politicians directing hatred against people who use drugs; declaring ‘war’ against their own people because of drug-related criminality; militarizing drug law enforcement; and, in a few cases, resorting to measures such as widespread extra-judicial killings. In many other countries, decades of punitive, ‘war on drugs’ strategies have failed to prevent an increasing range and quantity of substances produced and consumed. Drug crime is one of the chief reasons that well over 2 million people are currently in prisons and other facilities of detention. In 35 countries, the death penalty is prescribed for drug-related offenses. Yet, international human rights law restricts the use of capital punishment to the most serious crimes, understood as involving ‘intentional killing’. I reiterate my call on States that maintain the death penalty to abolish it, including for drug-related offences. The ‘war on drugs’ paradigm is detrimental to public health. Fear of arrest and widespread stigma around drug use prevent people who use drugs, from accessing healthcare, harm reduction services and effective voluntary treatment programmes. This is clearly a factor in the very high number of deaths resulting from substance abuse – 1.2 million people in 2019, according to the latest available data. The ‘war on drugs’ approach also perpetuates existing patterns of discrimination, including against people of African descent, women and indigenous peoples. Driving the drug trade underground leads to the development of criminal networks. It is clear to many that the ‘war on drugs’ is not working. And a number of countries have led the way forward. For example, earlier this month, the President of Colombia told the Human Rights Council he was “leaving behind prohibition as a dominant paradigm” in favour of drug policies “based on human rights.” Ghana has also been a key supporter of a human rights and public health approach to drug policy, demonstrated by its recent drug law reform. Laos is taking steps to approve production and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes, following Thailand’s decision in this regard in 2022. We must continue this progress in all regions of the world, and stop the war on drugs. Instead, let us focus on transformative change, crafting drug policies which are based on evidence, which put human rights at their centre, which are gender-sensitive, and which ultimately improve the lives of the millions of individuals affected. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.

Item 3. General debate

Group of 77 and China: We would like to congratulate the Ambassador for his selection as chair. We would like to reaffirm our full cooperation to making the present session of CND a success. We extend our full support to Ghada Wahly as Executive Director of UNODC, and we will continue working with you to achieve more progress to counter the world drug problem. We note the commendable efforts of the chairperson to ensure the success of this session. We would like to stress that addressing and countering the world drug problem is a common and shared repsonsibility to be achieved through effective regional, subregional and national cooperation. Regardless of the evolving nature of the world drug problem, this problem still exists and shows we need to address and counter this problem based on common and shared responsibility. We must continue cooperation through sharing of resources, including funding equipment and technology, particularly for developing countries, as well as sharing information in an open and transparent way to counter the world drug problem. We remain strongly convinced by multilateralism and by imposing measures on countries opposing international law and conventions we will achieve success and reinforce states ability to counter the world drug problem. We must recognize the role of law enforcement, border security, healthcare professionals, and education to counter the world drug problem. We strengthen the three international drug control conventions, along with other relevant international instruments as cornerstones of international drug policy. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to demand reduction and supply reduction, to full conformity with international law to counter the world drug problem. We remain fully committed to significantly reducing the illicit cultivation, production, and trafficking of narcotics, and diversion from illicit trafficking, money laundering, and other forms of organized crime. We must ensure effective and comprehensive scientific measures to limiting the consequences of drug abuse. We must continue to face multifaceted challenges, and there remains a continued need for cooperation and support through the sharing of modern technologies and equipment to enhance the capacity of states to counter the world drug problem in line with the three conventions. We emphasize the need for resources for the UNODC to enhance its capacity building efforts for developing countries. We stress that we must see a gender and age perspective in drug policy, and an appropriate emphasis on communities and families, with a specific focus on women, children and youth to promote health, access to treatment for the betterment of humanity.

Africa Group: The Africa Group would like to allign itself with the statement of the Group of 77 and China. We would like to congratulate the chair on election and affirm our full support for his work. We appreciate the work of Ghada Wahly for able leadership and guiding the fight against the world drug problem. We affirm our commitment to the common and shared responsibility of fighting the world drug problem and in our commitment to 2009 Political Declaration, 2014 Ministerial Declaration, 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document, and 2019 Ministerial Declaration. We must see a consensus on the fight against the world drug problem as it is reinforcing of these documents and look forward to the 2024 review to take stock on progress in this fight. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of achieveing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. We look forward to implementing this 2030 Agenda. We stress our concern about the 2022 INCB report noting access to OST, substances for treating pain and substance use disorders, is concentrated in developed world, and that substances are widely unavailable in Africa for medical needs. Africa is experienceing the double burden of disesase, a rise in drug use and the associated health problems, struggling health systems, while grappling with affordability, availability, accessibility to medicines. We reaffirm our commitment to respond to drug abuse and ensure access to health programs. We implore relevant states and stakeholders ensure continued accessibility of substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their abuse. We must see an increase in technical assistance and transfer of know how to ensure the ability of developing countries to manufacture generic versions of medicines. We note the deletion of cannabis from schedule 4 of the 1961 Convention, with it being moved to schedule 1, taking into consideration member states have a right to exercise domestic control in line with this convention. We have grave concern about drug abuse among African women and youth, undermining opportunites for sustainable economic development, and raising serious challenges posed by interlinkage between other forms of crime. Note with concern the non-medical use of opioids such as tramadol, we must collect and share data to work towards placing this substance under the control of the conventions, while ensure access and availability for medical use. We also express concern about the online sale of illicit drugs and increased trafficking in precursor chemicals, and stress that we must counter these evolving trades through strengthening law enforcement. We note the principle role of CND as the policy making body of UN for drug control and reaffirm the treaty mandated role of the INCB and WHO. We must ensure sufficient resources are made available for the commissions mandate, and for the UNODC to mobilize resources for technical development for combatting crime and the world drug probelm. We must also ensure equitable geographical representation for the recruitment of UNODC at headquarters and in senior, policy making levels, as well as professional posts with specific skills.

Asia Pacific Group: In the interest of time we will read the shorter version of this speech, but the full version will be made available on website of CND. Congratulations to the ambassador as election as chair and we will support you to make this session a success. We affirm our full support to Ms Ghada Wahly, the group looks forward to continuously working with you to combat drug use. We would like to reaffirm our position that UNODC is leading entity to counter the world drug problem, and of CND as the main role as a policy making body and its responsibility to provide guidance to MS in this regard. We reaffirm our belief that the world drug problem is a challenge to be addressed based on an integrated, multidisciplinary approach, with a common and shared responsibility, and through effective cooperation. We fully support efforts for cooperation on policy, operations, and through exchange of info. We affirm our commmitment to efforts to counter the world drug problem through demand reduction efforts, supply reduction, and cooperation, to be undertaken with strong conformity to the conventions and within the charter, the declaration of human rights, integrity for human rights and states autonomy, the dignity of the individual, and with common respect among states. We must work to counter the world drug problem and work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, as these both are mutually enforcing. We look forward to the importance of our work ahead of the 2024 mid-term review of the Ministerial Declaration. We must show firm commitment to this review process by identifying progress achieved and laying out a roadmap for 2029. We note concerns over a threat of spread of amphetamine like substances, especially methamphetamine, as well as non-scheduled precursors and new psychoactive substances. We welcome the early warning advisory on new psychoactive substances to identify emerging substances and for member states to share and manage data on new psychoactive substances. We must enhance the capacity of law enforcement, and strengthen cooperation with industry where appropriate to counter emerging challenges. We need to respond to challenges of increasing links between trafficking, organized crime, laundering, cybercrime, and terrorism. We reaffirm our commitment to addressing the world drug problem through universal access to prevention programs, and full complience with control conventions. We need to address the needs of most affected communities, women, children and youth, through effective policies and programs.

Group of Latin American Countries and the Caribbean: GRULAC acknowledges and thanks the work of INCB, UNODC and the resources we were provided. We welcome the theme of this session and would like to bring your attention to the fact that we are still working with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are of course seeking to address drug-related harms, specifically violence in relation to the trafficking of drugs. We need to apply a balanced and comprehensive approach pursuant to national legislation as well as scientific evidence and human rights, taking into account the effect on public health and the environment as well as social justice. We mainstream a gender perspective on all our programs and we welcome the work of this commission on upholding the SDGs, especially number 5. In cooperation with the 2022-2025 gender strategy, we call attention to the (status of women and girls]. FinGov is the relevant form to assess the financial situation of the UNODC and we underscore their accomplishments and thank colleagues for their work. Turning to personal matters, we highlight the need to ensure that human resources management within the UN system mainstreams a regional and gender representation balance. In our region, we emphasize international collaboration and the targeting of organized crime, technical assistance in particular to developing countries so we all have sufficient resources to succeed.  We are looking forward to the mid-term review and we express our good faith in expecting a political document at the beginning of our next session that focuses on taking stock on all our international commitments and identifying the work ahead.

EU and its Member States + allied countries: Mr. Chair, Distinguished Ministers, Executive Director of the UNODC, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is an honour to speak today on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The following countries align themselves with this statement: North Macedonia , Montenegro* , Serbia* , Albania* , Ukraine* , the Republic of Moldova* , Bosnia and Herzegovina* , Georgia, Iceland+ , Liechtenstein+ , Norway+ , Andorra and San Marino. First, I would like to express our gratitude to you, Mr. Chair, the vice chairs, and the Secretariat of the UNODC for your work during this 66th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Mr. Chair, Our activities within this Commission are not immune from the challenging realities we live in. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine affects us all. It is a flagrant violation of international law and the UN Charter and thus threatens the foundation, on which our activities here today are based. The war and humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian Federation also hinders our efforts to organise treatment services for people who use drugs, and for people who need controlled medicines. It also creates an environment conducive for criminal organisations to operate unchallenged, including for drug-trafficking. This adds another layer to the devastation. The EU and its Member States condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal military aggression against Ukraine, and we stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and its people.  Candidate Countries North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, as well as potential Candidate Country Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process. + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are members of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area. 2 Mr. Chair, The EU’s work in the area of drugs is based on the EU Drugs Strategy 2021–2025. Please allow me to particularly highlight two issues of this Strategy today. Firstly, the EU and its Member States support the full respect of human dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms in international drug policy. Human rights constitute an important cornerstone of drug policy. States must respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the inherent dignity of all individuals and the rule of law in the development and implementation of all drug policies. Measures need to be taken to improve the situation for people in vulnerable and marginalised situations and to reduce stigma and discrimination. Civil society plays an important role in promoting human rights. The EU Drugs Strategy is based on the founding values of the EU, including those of respect for human dignity and human rights in line with the three International Drug Control Conventions. The EU and its Member States condemn the use of the death penalty and any other form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment for drugrelated offences. We oppose these measures firmly and call for them to be abolished Furthermore, the EU Drugs Strategy also underlines the need for efforts to disrupt and dismantle high-risk drug-related organised crime groups. The illicit drug markets are linked with violence, as underlined in the World Drug Report 2022, and other forms of crime, and more complex and deep investigation of transnational crimes is needed. Drugs can fuel and prolong conflict, and have destabilising effects as well as social and economic costs, which hinder sustainable development. Respect of human rights must be central in addressing these issues. Secondly, the vast treatment gap for women who use drugs that we witness globally, as also highlighted in the latest World Drug Report, remains of grave concern. More resources and efforts must be used to close this gap and ensure women the right to equal access to treatment and services. For example, improved data collection is necessary to increase the provision of evidence-based interventions for women. In 2016, the UNGASS Outcome Document called on Member States to mainstream a gender perspective in drug-related policies and programmes. Member States also agreed to ensure the involvement of women in all stages of the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of drug policies and programmes. We must speed up the implementation of all international drug policy commitments, above all the UNGASS Outcome Document. The EU will do its part. The EU Drugs Strategy incorporates a gender equality and health equity perspective, and also emphasises the need to promote public health and to ensure a high level of human health protection. In this regard, it is necessary to take into account the health impact of drug use, including on key populations. We are working to address the remaining challenges in this area, for example through ensuring gender-sensitive access to effective evidence-based drug treatment, 3 tackling gender-based violence, and reducing barriers to treatment and other services for women who use drugs. Fostering women empowerment and measures that contribute to gender equality must be at the core of alternative development interventions as well. We also stand ready to engage with others to improve the situation globally. Mr Chair, To conclude, the EU and its Member States look forward to continuing working relentlessly with our international partners to address the world drug situation. We continue to remain a strong partner to UNODC in tackling these issues globally and we welcome its important efforts. Thank you, Mr Chair.

Bolivia: Sisters and brothers: In 1961 the Convention on Narcotic Drugs committed a historic mistake, an attack on the culture of the native peoples by decreeing that: “The Coca Leaf is condemned to extermination in the next 25 years”. To the condemnation the Coca Leaf replied: – “I am the manifestation of life in perfect balance, I am health, I am food, I am millenary, therefore, I am indestructible”. Since 1961, for 6 decades, the operators of the geopolitics of western domination have intervened in its natural cultivation, its ritual use and its traditional consumption, implementing programmes to eradicate the coca leaf for crimes it has never committed. Colonial rhetoric, neglectful regulation, policies and mechanisms contrary to the basic meaning of resilience used by the 1961 Convention have not accepted, nor integrated adverse circumstances to transform them into the hope of Vivir Bien de Todos. The colonial sense of the non-resilient rhetoric of the Single Convention has demonstrated an inability to learn, transcend and redirect the state of unified consciousness between the Original Peoples and the Sacred Coca Leaf. For these reasons, the policies of eradication and extermination of the natural coca leaf, the regulation of its use, the control of its consumption, the denials of its industrial processing and the prohibitions of its commercialisation have failed. Let’s push for changes in the narrative of the 1961 Convention towards its resilient abilities, let’s consider this meeting as an opportunity to become critically aware of the legal, political and media architecture of the Convention. And of its most emblematic achievements, which I will point out below: – Six decades of colonisation of the natural coca leaf. – Six decades of violation of the sovereignty of indigenous peoples. – Six decades of discrimination of legitimate rights to the traditional, nutritional, therapeutic and ritual use of the coca leaf. – Six decades of discrimination of legitimate rights to industrialise and commercialise the natural coca leaf. – Six decades of manufacturing the rhetoric of consent of the nations of the world to exterminate the natural coca leaf and its peoples. – Six decades of experimental implementation of policies, mechanisms, regulations and norms contrary to the basic sense of social and psychological resilience to exterminate the coca leaf. – Six decades of manufacturing consent to reject the consumption of the natural coca leaf and destroying the image of the “culture of life code” on a global scale. Therefore: – When mechanisms and regulation are negligent and non-resilient policies become a lie. – when laws and law are inefficient, justice is unjust, and destroys itself. – when the curtain of lies about the coca leaf falls, it is time to liberate the coca leaf. Politically, based on the discernment between the truth about the coca leaf, the falsehood and the post-truth, fabricated about what the coca leaf is NOT, for six decades. Therefore, exercising our rights, we invite member countries to accompany the process of critical review of the current classification of the Coca Leaf as a Schedule 1 narcotic drug, which Bolivia will initiate in the light of current scientific evidence, objective and verifiable methodologies of the technical-scientific entity of the World Health Organisation and the Committee of Experts on Pharmacopoeia. Finally, I would like to share some achievements with the international community in the fight against drug trafficking. – One billion dollars allocated in the last 12 years. – More than 20.34 tonnes of cocaine base paste and cocaine hydrochloride seized in 2022. – More than 190 tons of marijuana seized and destroyed in the presence of the UNODC; 55 crystallisation laboratories and 618 cocaine base paste factories were destroyed. Similarly, 3,433 persons were apprehended. We seized 94 aircraft and 4 helicopters, used for aerial transit, with a multi-million dollar economic impact on the assets of criminal organisations and family clans. – Thanks to the recovery of our democracy and our model, the results exceeded the de facto management of 2020 by 24%. We also managed to stabilise coca cultivation in the Andean region, with Bolivia being the only country to reduce its cultivation, from 29,400 to 29,200 hectares, with a net reduction of 0.7%. With these results we show our firm will before the Bolivian people and the international community that Bolivia fulfils its commitments and we will continue to work tirelessly to stabilise coca crops with social control and against the scourge of drug trafficking, for which the regionalisation of the fight against drug trafficking is fundamental. The ritual use of the coca leaf is not drug addiction. The freedom of the coca leaf nobody is going to give us, liberation is conquered with resilient actions, transcending the adverse circumstances that deceive, that discriminate, that make us suffer. The liberation of the coca leaf will be a domino effect of combat on the informative, judicial and political fronts. Jallalla Inal Mama! Jallalla Free and Natural Coca Leaf!

Malta: Malta aligns itself with the EU statement and expresses solidarity with Ukraine. Malta stands firm in its support for the overarching objectives of the international drug control framework —to safeguard, protect and promote the health and welfare of humankind. Malta’s recent efforts are in keeping with this approach. We seek to acknowledge the realities on the ground pragmatically. We established an authority on the responsible use of cannabis, promoting the principles of harm and risk reduction and preventative measures rather (…) Civil society has played a critical role. WE have developed licensing guidelines which open the door to an application and are rigorous . First harm reduction associations for cannabis. The objectives of these nonprofits is a safe space providing access and availability of tools needed to address issues related to substance use, including accurate information through standardised labelling, education, and responsible authority will also monitor compliance with established standards and quality control. The promotion of harm reduction and prevention among young people are a crucial component of this process. The results of impact assessment studies will be shared with the international community as a testament to our commitment to transparency. Chair, in order to address this problem, these principles must be integrated into related policies. WE echo concerns in INCB and WDR report regarding comorbidity of substance use disorders and mental illness. We have sought to tackle these through our mental health strategy, based on EU strategy and action plan. We will discuss this in a side event.

Singapore: The current trends in supply and abuse are worrying. A quarter more than in 2010 consume drugs today. More than half a million deaths in 2020. Compared to previous generations, there is a higher prevalence of cannabis and younger people using. Cannabis admissions for psychotic disorders have increased more than eightfold. Inevitable or preventable but we have not done so? Could it be increased liberalisation? Should we have acted against increased potency of THC, like edibles and vaping? These questions make us think harder about our drug policy. Singapore is close to a major drug production region. This makes us an attractive transit node to be exploited by drug syndicates. We can’t change this. We have seen drugs destroy lives throughout our history. We cant eliminate this risk. For instance, as recent as 2019, in Singapore, a man on LSD stabbed his mother and punched his grandmother, who died. Harm prevention approach is needed —reduce demand and drug supply. Tough laws and robust enforcement, as well as heavy investment in rehabilitation and reintegration. Experiences tell us that art can play a role in rehabilitation. Visit our exhibition. Drug trafficking is a transnational crime. Singapore reaffirms our commitment to the conventions and the role of the CND and INCB in monitoring adherence to the conventions. We’re a candidate for CND membership. We want to contribute more. We seek your support.

United Kingdom: Chair and distinguished guests, I will start by reaffirming the UK’s total support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s illegal and justified aggression. Alongside allies around the world we stand with the Ukrainian people. Turning to this session, drugs cause enormous harm across our societies. That is why it is so vital we tackle the flow of illicit drugs and bring the criminals to justice. A global effort is needed and I reaffirm the UK’s commitment to the CND and international drug control conventions. The UK’s approach is underpinned by a comprehensive 10 year strategy to address the demand for and supply of drugs. We are investing an extra 3 million pounds over 3 years to attack the drug supply chain, working closely with law enforcement partners. Our side event this year looks at trafficking of drugs across the Indian ocean and African coast. We want to drive progress collectively. We have targeted networks trafficking drugs in the UK. Our flagship Country Lines program has led to 8000 arrests. As we bear down on drug supply chains we must also break the cycle of addiction and help people rebuild their lives. Therefore the UK is investing 780 million pounds over 3 years to build a world class treatment and recovery system. Another priority of the UK government is to achieve a generational shift in demand for drugs. We are building evidence to shape our approach to put in a system that deters drug use to swift interventions and diversion away from the criminal justice system. Tackling drugs requires a multi-agency approach – an example is our addiction, diversion, disruption and recovery enforcement initiative (PROJECT ADDER). It combines law enforcement activity with diversionary and recovery provisions to drive down addiction and drug related harms. Through these measures and many more the UK is determined to turn the tide on drug misuse. This is a global issue and we greatly value our international partnerships in this space. On that note I wish you all an engaging and productive session.

Paraguay: Paraguay aligns itself with the statements delivered by G77 in China and with the GRULAC statement. Paraguay wishes to reiterate the commitment, trust and confidence of my country for the work of this commission and to underscore Paraguay’s candidate for a seat of the membership of CND 2025-2028. It is worth noting accordingly that during 2023 Paraguay holds the chair of the InterAmerican drug abuse control commission. Equally, I would note that between 2021-2022 we worked alongside France and Slovenia in co-chairmanship of mechanism of drugs of EU-CELAC. Paraguay reaffirms that to curb the drug problem this is a common and shared responsibility and as such we highlight the need for international cooperation and technical assistance. In particular given our situation as a landlocked developing country. The national government is working bilaterally and multilaterally with UNODC, INCB, Copolad, El Paccto, Eurofront and program of CICAT. The Paraguayan government restates its commitment to tackling drug trafficking head on – both supply and demand. We are working to consolidate our programs to prevention at an early stage. Also to strengthen our national interdiction and prevention of trafficking and distribution of natural and synthetic drugs while at the same time protecting our common home – the environment. We would underscore that the government’s actions and interventions in its current term have caused significant financial damage to criminal groups to a sum of nearly 1.5 billion dollars in almost 4 years. Paraguay is taking bold steps to implement gender based policies as well as promoting alternative sustainable development adding to the value chain for industrial hemp and cannabis for medical use. The government underscores its commitment to upholding the 3 international drug control treaties and supports the work of the chair with a view to preparing for the mid-term review 2024. Finally, we commit to continuing our efforts in order to continue to attain the SDG’s leaving no one behind.

Republic of Namibia: My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of Africa group and G77 of China. Covid-19 taught us hard lessons about the global community. Countries became inward instead of sharing the public good. The global south were further left out as the global north hoarded the new covid-19 vaccines and vaccinating their people multiple times over while the global south still had to administer their first dose to their citizens. At this juncture I would like to congratulate the director of WHO for initiating the intergovernmental negotiating body aimed at establishing a framework to respond to future pandemics without any country being left out. Namibia also welcomes the upcoming 2023 high level forum of Sustainable Development (SD) with the theme accelerating recovery from coronavirus disease and full implementation of 2030 agenda for SD at all levels. In the period under review, Namibia confiscated approx. 3800 tons of cannabis. 8107kg of heroin, 1108 grams of cocaine powder. 12.34grams of crystal meth, 23,712 tablets of Mandrax, 54 capsules of methamphetamine and 2102 units of crack cocaine. Namibia continues to advocate that the international drug control convention constitutes the cornerstone of the int. drug control system and underline the importance of achieving targets and goals set out in the 2009 political declaration and plan of action, SD goals as well as 2016 UNGASS. As such, Namibia aligns with INCB’s concern of the growing trend of legalization or decriminalisation of cannabis and cannabis related products. Some of these changes propagate cannabis as a friendly and useful plant ignoring scientific evidence of harm such as mental health problems. Lack of medical evidence on drug seizures provides it difficult to provide international support to the African region. Namibia remains committed to curbing the world drug problem together with the international community.

Belgium: Belgium aligns itself with the statement made by Sweden on behalf of the EU member states. In my national capacity I would like to underscore the following – as minister for health and social affairs I focus on the members of society who are most vulnerable and in need of help and support. We must ensure consideration for the vulnerabilities of people in physical or psychological pain, people in prison, people with a recent history of migration, and young people, when developing and implementing drug policies. We must ensure universal availability for prevention programs, harm reduction interventions, and care for all members of society. This implies non-discriminatory access to substances for medical purposes. Belgium has been investing in early detection of mental health problems and mental health care for all citizens with particular focus on people in prisons and people who use drugs. Despite this, we should not be complacent, as there is lots of work to do. We support, along with UNODC, efforts of member states such as the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure access to opioids for medical use. We would like to highlight the divide between states in terms of access to substances for medical use and call on the CND to improve access globally. However, these efforts to guarantee access to medication must go hand in hand with ensuring prevention of illicit use. We would also like to focus on our efforts in tackling drug related organized crime. The Sky ECC operation is underway in Belgium and has led to more than 100,000 people arrested and €110 million being seized, along with 110 tonnes of cocaine being seized in ports. We will continue close cooperation with Europol and sign bilateral agreements with source and transit countries through laws devised to limit access to ports for indicted persons, and increase prosecution for trafficking by sea. We look forward to 2024 and the midterm review which is time to take stock of our progress in the shared obligation to combat drugs. In doing so, our efforts need to be anchored in effective upholding of international law and protection for human rights. We would like to affirm our staunch opposition to the use of the death penalty for drug related infractions. We would like to state that no patient should be left behind, and we need to move forward to implement SDG 2030. We also need to protect drug users in various conflicts across the world through treatment and controlled access to medicine.

Pakistan: We look forward to a productive session under the able chairmanship of the Ambassador. We would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the UNODC for the organization of this high-level event. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on people’s lives, economies, and societies, increasing inequality and threatening progress made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Poverty, unfairness, lack of opportunities, income gap are some of the main factors contributing to drug abuse and all issues could be addressed through effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The goal of the 2030 Agenda and the effort to address the world drug problem are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Pakistan continues to face major challenges related to drug trafficking and illicit drug trade, both of which pose a great threat to society and economy, while undermining rule of law and good governance. In response to this, we have strengthened law enforcement agencies and our legal frameworks, but we need more to be done to effectively combat trafficking and abuse. We are fully committed to fulfilling our obligations under the three control conventions and adopted an integrated approach to tackling the world drug problem. However, we can’t tackle the problem alone, the global nature requires an entire world approach. We are deeply concerned about the dilution of the focus of the international community on the gravity of the world drug problem by coining new terms undermining the collective efforts to address this global challenge. We call on all countries to recognize the importance of the term “world drug problem” and work together to address this issue. We look forward to the high-level segment and review of political declaration next year. This represents an important opportunity to take stock of progress made and affirm commitment to a comprehensive approach to tackle the world drug problem. We are ready to cooperate with the international community to counter the menace of drug trafficking, join hands in our fight and work together to build a world free from illicit drugs.

Tunisia: (Sound quality not sufficient for interpretation into English)

Honduras: We align with the statement by GRULAC as well as the Group 77 and China. We see multilateralism as THE mechanism to address global challenges and, as one of those global challenges, the world drug problem. We must see it as a common and shared but differentiated issue. Our plans for development are impacted by the illicit drugs trafficking chain of organized trans-national crime that threatens the rule of law and the safety of our people in our country. We applied to be a member of the CND. Elections will take place in April 2025. The global recession has clearly affected our country, leading to social insecurity. Tackling the drugs problem has to be centered around strengthening the judiciary and address social matters with a view to promote health security and wellbeing. In this context, we underscore the ongoing need for cooperation and support, including technical assistance. We emphasize the urgent need for assistance in shaping and funding the anti-drugs strategy with specific projects geared to preventing and prohibiting drugs-related crimes. We also tackle the difficult of insufficient availability of medicines. We call for strengthened cooperation and inter-institutional partnerships. We reaffirm our commitment to the three treaties and the political documents of 2008, 2916 and 2019.

Colombia:  We are tired. We are tired of seeing deaths. We are tired of pursuing a failed war against drugs. This is not our failure; this is not an outstanding debt of Colombia but rather the international drug control regime. Our country has most strictly engaged in the prohibitionist war on drugs, more than 2 million hectares were sprayed and manually eradicated, more than 70k laboratories have been destroyed and nearly 6000 tons of cocaine that was heading to the global north was seized. Even against this backdrop, we are dealing with significant increases in trafficking that plunged us into [a fragile social environment]. Despite vast investments, cocaine production has reached its highest peak, and the World Drug Report of 22 informs us that millions of people worldwide consume some type of illicit substance. The market countries are making demands without contributing enough to the prevention of use. Our government is committing to renewing its approach world-wide and we opted for total peace. We are engaged in processes that seeks to end armed conflicts and the final aim is not the aim to coexist with drugs trafficking but to end it. We seek to protect the wellbeing of the most vulnerable communities that suffered disproportionally under prohibition. We are applying restorative justice matters and we emphasize a still greater gender-balance in our approach in line with our feminist policies. Therapeutic justice and social inclusion as well as territorial integrity, fair and responsible regulation of cannabis and the coca leaf (…) we hope to see the approach of social inclusion reflected internationally – in line with the UNGASS outcome document and our human rights treaties. We reject the disproportionate burden imposed on the people of Latin America and the Caribbean. Less money for guns, more money for agricultural development. Listing coca leaf under the convention was a historic wrong doing against the indigenous people of the Andes. The plant is not the problem. The plant is part of our history. We call you to revise the classification of the coca leaf as we prepare for the midterm review. The commission needs to finally understand that crises are also windows of opportunity. The commission is facing a challenge…

Ghana: Mr Chair, Distinguished delegates. Permit me, first, to congratulate you, Ambassador Miguel Camilo Ruíz Blanco of Colombia, on your election as the Chair of the 66th Session of CND; and other elected members of the Bureau.  Ghana remains grateful and reaffirms its resolute support, cooperation and commitment to the cause of the Commission, which is our shared and common responsibility in addressing and countering the global narcotic drugs problem.  Ghana has historically addressed the narcotic drugs problem by adopting evidence-based  strategies centered on health , development, human rights, and global best practices. We have taken pragmatic steps to provide alternatives to incarceration for people who use drugs, as well as  steps to provide life-saving harm reduction services for people who use drugs, which are entirely in line with our obligations under the three international drug control conventions and other UN resolutions and commitments to address drug use and possession, including the UNGASS Outcome Document, agreed to by the international community in 2016 and also will help curb the transmission of bloodborne viruses (such as HIV and hepatitis B and C), overdose deaths and drug dependence.  Against this backdrop, Ghana is currently discussing the implementation of new harm reduction services for people who use drugs. These steps are consistent with Sustainable Development Goal 3: Health and well-being for all, which will not be achieved if we continue to leave people who use drugs behind when they may need health services. Our criminal justice system will be less congested, thereby allowing law  enforcement agencies to focus on operating minds or those at the helm of the drugs trade.  The narcotic drugs issue is a shared responsibility and in that spirit , in Decemeber 2022, Ghana organised a National Dialogue where critical statekeholders – including government, UN partners and civil society – were brought together to identify critical areas and opportunities to craft policies that can help address some of the challenges based on recommendations from the two-day discussion.  The meeting was  an opportunity to re-assess the impact of drugs and drug policies and reflect on our journey in the evolution of drug control mechanisms adopted as a country, areas where we need reforms, assessing emerging initiatives across Africa to adopt an evidence-based approach to the drug situation and strategies that will work for us as a people. Thank You for your attention.  

Italy: We align with the EU statement, including the strongest possible condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The safety of our communities is of high importance so we are against of legalization in any form. It is hard to define cannabis with its over 30 derivatives, so information exchange is crucial. Prevention and recovery are just as important. Our policies are aimed at adolescents. We have seen significant results with respect to the reduction of tobacco reduction thanks to targeted information campaigns. Similar results must be achieved but it is hard because of the persistent circulation of misinformation. The international cooperation aimed at contrasting drug trafficking should be strengthened. It is an economy that moves across state borders and can be only addressed through international cooperation. We are impressed with the work of the UNODC and CND including the scheduling mechanism and technical assistance. Young people are especially facing the threat of misleading messages about the dangers of drugs. We have seen an increasing level of consumption. We grant access to treatment to anyone in need without any form of discrimination. We provided care to over 100 thousand people struggling with addiction. Italy believes that drug policies should not drift towards legalization because we are convinced that freedom consists of putting yourself in the position of respecting your own dignity and valuing your own life.

Now I make a statement as the president of the Pompidou Group. We will be holding this position until 2025. As such, we confirm a human-rights-based approach. Our priorities are: deepening the already existing relationships with MS, prioritizing prevention, recovery, and treatment shall be accessible, and countering organized crime – achieving a balance between freedom and responsibility.

Indonesia: We align with our regional group statement. The COVID pandemic impacted the economy, public health and people’s lives. Prompted governments to take drastic measures to limit the spread o the virus. Meanwhile, the pandemic also triggered economic downturns in many countries, including Indonesia. Illicit activities became a push factor in the production, transportation and trade in illicit drugs due to economic needs. The modus operandi and trends have shifted. Increased use of postal shipping, virtual currency and large scale shipments. Resulting in substantial increase in methamphetamine cases in Indonesia compared to the previous years. Despite this, we’re committed to implementing our commitments in the Treaties and 2023 national priority programme which includes: Preventing and countering trafficking drugs and precursors. Strengthening prevention and rehabilitation. Indonesia implements international prevention standards in demand reduction —ranging from education and prevention to post rehabilitation and aftercare programmes, in pursuit of the objectives of a society free from drug abuse, to promote health and welfare or wellbeing of all.  Our rehabilitation treatments are set up. We take the floor to express interest in hosting the 45th session of the HONLEA Asia Pacific this year. 

Philippines: We align ourselves with the statement by our regional group. We believe the Conventions are the cornerstones of international drug control. A comprehensive and balanced approach is vital. We developed the Anti Illegal Drugs Strategy with drug supply and demand reduction. To achieve a drug resistant Philippines. Framework for law enforcement, accountability and penalties for violation. Compassionate approach to victims of drug abuse, voluntary services —with respect for human rights. We believe in the importance of prevention to protect the vulnerabilities of the youth from the drugs menace. With the international standards on drug abuse prevention as a model, we have produced a number of programmes suitable to all ages and members of our community. We acknowledge the importance of civil society in fighting drugs: religious sector, youth, etc. in these programmes. Bilateral, regional and international cooperation through exchange of information, collaboration, and technical assistance is of crucial importance. The desire for a drug resistant society is something we share with neighbours. WE will continue to rally ASEAN members to implement ASEAN work plans for communities against illicit drugs. Enhance and improve the policy document to cooperate and support one another to address the world drug problem. It’s a common and shared responsibility. Vital to note that each state has the sovereign right to determine the best approach, taking into consideration historical, political, economic, social and cultural context and social norms. A one size fits all approach is ineffective based on our experience and will continue to be so. Our government understands the importance of waging a campaign against drugs without undermining the legitimacy and integrity of the campaign. Full respect for territorial sovereignty and non-intervention, precept that must be observed by all. We will not stand idly while the scourge of drugs affects our people and young. Our purpose is that Filipinos live in safe and secure communities. Sacrosanct duty to protect our effort, implementing anti-illegal drug campaign adhering to human rights drug laws and principles, to pursue peace security and development.

Uruguay: We have an integral vision of rights and obligations assumed by our country. Not only in relation to the Conventions but also fundamentally in relation to the UN Charter. International norms and instruments on human rights protections are the basis of our integral view on drug policy. Our country understands that the CND is the ideal space to debate and consolidate joint positions and definitions to address this issue. To do so effectively, integrally, we need contributions from all UN agencies in the UN system; for instance, Human Rights Council and WHO. Within the framework of the objectives related to the SDGs, Uruguay’s drug policy seeks to promote more just and peaceful societies in the framework of the 20230 Agenda. Uruguay invites the CND, INCB, WHO, and all Member States to engage in dialogue to implement public policies that are efficient in preventing and treatment, with protections for human rights. Uruguay’s drugs strategy has a multidisciplinary and integral drug policy with a human rights perspective, always taking into consideration that the centre of all regulations and policies on this matter are people and the rights that derive from their dignity. The new reality post-emergence of COVID-19 on health and life, the impact of this on the economy of the world, means that Uruguay has adopted measures to invest in people and socially vulnerable groups of our people. We commit to dialogue to promote international cooperation and the construction of consensus that should not be imposed with conservative visions but modern actions on the basis of evidence, experience, science, to protect people who use drugs in their familial and societal context. To promote a freer and fairer society.

Tajikistan: We are on the frontlines of combating illicit trafficking from Afghanistan on the northern route. The drugs situation in our country hinges on the situation in Afghanistan with a very long border with that country. Emphasising the change in government in Afghanistan has led to increases in smuggling, law enforcement bodies seized over 2 tons of narcotics. The indicator had increased by up to 5 tons in 2023. Important factor is foreign nationals in our country engaging in crimes such as smuggling of drugs. The number of those engaged in these crimes increased to 24 individuals in 2023. Most were Afghan nationals. Increased seizures too. Illustrates the fact that there are plenty of drugs in the northern province of Afghanistan ready to hit the northern route. The assessment of the situation in Afghanistan is ongoing as well as the threat of those drugs reaching our country. We may create new border controls. We try to stabilise the situation and stem the flow of drugs and trafficking and abuse. The guiding document is our national strategy 2021-2023. The main goals o the strategy are ensuring that the republic is free from the Afghan-emanating drugs and their consequences as well as combating illicit drugs which finance international terrorism. In 2022, there were more than 4000 drug users in the country —increase from past years. For every 10,000 citizens, there are 400 drug users in Tajikistan. Drug production in Afghanistan is increasing , which is why we assist our country to strengthen border control. Grateful to state partners and UNODC for their support in combating illicit trafficking of drugs.

Argentina: Mr. Chairman, Madam Director, dear delegates, I am pleased to have the opportunity once again to I am pleased to have the opportunity once again to lead the Argentine delegation to this Sixty-sixth delegation to this Sixty-sixth Regular Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Argentina reaffirms its commitment to the world drug problem from a comprehensive and multidisciplinary a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, differentiating care strategies for people who use drugs from those who do not. for people who use drugs, from those aimed at the prosecution of organized drug trafficking crime in the midst organised drug trafficking in full compliance with international law, the universal declaration of human rights, in the framework of the three international drug control conventions. international drug control conventions. We find ourselves in a global context where countries have a responsibility to work on actions that will responsibility to work on actions that will reverse the consequences of the post-pandemic, the inequality gap post-pandemic, the gap of economic, social and gender inequalities in our populations, with the necessary inequalities in our populations, with the necessary intervention in comprehensive public policies that the necessary intervention in comprehensive public policies that improve the quality of life of our people. Argentina’s comprehensive policy is addressed by the Secretariat for Comprehensive Drug Policy (SEDRON). Policies on Drugs (SEDRONAR) and the Ministry of Security, along with civil society organisations civil society organisations and the 24 jurisdictions that make up our territory. Our country is tackling the restriction of the illicit supply of narcotics through the implementation of its “Federal Plan on Drugs”. the implementation of its “Federal Plan to tackle Organised Crime”, which consists of preventing, identifying which consists of preventing, identifying, neutralising and dismantling serious crimes carried out by criminal organisations by criminal organisations by strengthening the prevention and investigation capacity of the and investigative capacity of its Security Forces, with emphasis on the economic dimension of trafficking, preventing the economic dimension of trafficking, preventing its diversion for illicit purposes through the National Register of through the National Register of Chemical Precursors. Public policies on problematic drug use should be seen as care policies. as care policies. This is why Argentina continues to focus on the accessibility of care and treatment services. accessibility of care services and community support with differentiated strategies for prevention differentiated prevention strategies, since no social class or age group is exempt from the risk of no social class or age group is exempt from this problem. Our federal care network has grown by 126% since the beginning of the current government. government, understanding the importance of caring for those who suffer. To continue to expand responses based on a comprehensive approach between actions aimed at reducing the supply and demand of drugs. supply reduction and demand reduction, with a focus on people’s care, is our goal. on people’s care, is our priority. We value this international space where we are all present as a privileged tool to develop common as a privileged tool to elaborate common agreements on the needs of public policies of public policies respectful of human rights that contribute to social peace, democracy and social peace, democracy and care for people. Thank you very much.

Panama: The midterm review of 2024 will allow us to take stock and make necessary adjustments to tackle this global challenge. In Panama, we are dealing with the cost of our geographic location between producers and consumers of drugs. And affected by migration flows and trafficking. Increasing wave of migration in the region has led to a factor catalysing multidimensional crisis following the wake of the COVID.19 pandemic which makes it necessary to engage in cross border dialogue for effective cooperation, exchanging good practices and building technical capacity among nations and schemes for multilateral cooperation. Panama has mechanisms in place bringing together state institutions in continuous fashion to implement drugs strategy. Coordination is led by the National Commission for Prevention of Drug Related Crime —coordinating demand and supply reduction measures, alternative development programmes, control measures, drugs observatory and international cooperation and evaluation of programmes. Following the extension of the life cycle of our strategy, CONAPRED updating drug policies for greater efficiency and efficacy. With the plan of action of CICAD-OAS. In terms of drug use reduction, in 2022 programmes implemented to build capacity in particular to build training for a high number of professionals in treatment and prevention. Workshops organised substance use disorders con quality standards. As procedures, in 2022, 128,000 packets of drugs. Shared and common responsibility. Shouldered as part of multilateralism as ideal means to implement and international agenda, with international cooperation, with integrated, well balanced, multidisciplinary approach towards the world drug problem in keeping with national legislation, respectful of human rights, scientific evidence based, taking into account public health, environment and social justice.

Brazil: The newly invested government under President Lula reaffirms its commitment to our international drug policy commitments and to the implementation of the 2019 ministerial declaration. We are unequivocally committed to addressing the world drug problem by means of an integrated balanced and multidisciplinary approach, respecting human rights, tackling social inabilities and racial discrimination and emphasizing health, environmental protection and social justice. In the words of President Lula to our National Congress I quote: “The country needs a new drug policy intersectional and focused on risk reduction as well as drug use prevention and addressing treatment and care for people who use drugs. The current warlike model for combating drug trafficking will be replaced by strategies to confront and disarticulate criminal organizations based on knowledge and information with the strengthening of investigation and intelligence”. Among our main priorities special attention will be provided to groups disproportionately affected in terms of human rights concerns such as women, indigenous and black people, children and adolescents, and key populations. We will counter all forms of stigma and discrimination especially those perpetrated by the state itself. We recognize the use of drugs as a public health and social development issue and we work based on scientific evidence for the improvement of both the health and the social protection systems. Brazil is a country of continental dimensions. One of the main challenges we face now is the intersection of drug trafficking and an environmental organized crime with strong impact on the Amazon and on the life of indigenous groups and local communities. This challenge demands effectively enforcement combined with the protection of the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples. Finally, Brazil adds its voice to other delegations who have advocated the end of their penalties for the use or trafficking drugs during the following days. We intend to strengthen our ties with all countries with our view to building consensus and to forging drug policies conditions conducive to a safer and more equal society. Thank you Mr. Chair.

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